Operation Mercy facilitates a fitness program aimed at strengthening muscle support for women with endemic and debilitating spinal issues.
A doctor and physiotherapist provide oversight and guidance for customised back exercises and weight loss. Operation Mercy staff engage in massage and modelling of the exercise program together with the ladies, also offering psychosocial support.
In the process, many realise that they can take control of their own improved well-being for the first time. Many of these women are unvalued and isolated in the poorest part of the city, which is also isolated along ethnic lines. Hope and Health moreover aims at community- or peace-building in this context, where Macedonians and Albanians are intentionally placed to serve, give value and identify across ethnic lines.