Archive for December, 2008

Light for Children November Update

December 11, 2008


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3rd of December 2008

Light for Children October 08’ Report

Written by Catherine Charles, LIFOC volunteer (catherine@lightforchildren.com), and prepared by Sebastian Lindstrom (sebastian@lightforchildren.com)


Goodbye to the old hello to the new

This month we said goodbye to our Canadian volunteer Chelsey who left us on the 14th of this month, British volunteers Craig and Rhi who have been working at Missionaries of Charity Disabled Orphanage in Kumasi and Catherine, our Australian volunteer who finished on the 28th of this month after working for the LFOC project based out of our head office .

The three have been with us for just over 3 months and continue the next two weeks travelling the coast of Ghana before heading to their respective homes.  We also welcomed Josephine, Pernilla, Victoria and Charlotte who visited from Sweden and worked at Missionaries of Charity for one week.  We thank those who are leaving us for all the hard work they have put in as a part of our organization. We wish them well and welcome all our newcomers.

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Call to Action

We have a family in our program whose is in a dire situation and they are looking for someone who is willing to help.  They are a family of six, all living with HIV; mum, dad, two girls under the age of 10 years and twin boys both 9 months old.  They live in a wooden hut roughly the size of an average family bathroom next to the local tip together with other members of the local “poorer” community.  The father struggles to care for the family as he is regularly ill himself and therefore cannot work fulltime. The mother is also rarely in good health and one of the twins, Edward, is particularly ill. Our volunteer from Australia, Catherine, has donated $600 to the family. However she is aware that this is merely a band aid solution after seeing their circumstance for a second time before leaving LIFOC.  We therefore require any other possible donations as we wish to produce a sustainable long term outcome.  Please go to the donate part of our website if you wish to contribute as we assure you that not a penny will go to waste but to the family.

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MAM Project – Initial Stakeholders Meeting (Mobilize Against Malaria)

Recently LIFOC won a grant to work on behalf of the State of Kumasi in training and rolling out a Malaria project that will effectively teach our local Licensed Chemical Sellers to identify Malaria symptoms and focus on pregnant women and children.  With a recent up rise in deaths caused by malaria it is of major concern that the community at large has become complacent. Because of this we want to ensure that we minimize the amount of deaths caused by malaria. Earlier in the month LIFOC held its first stakeholders meeting at the Metro Health Conference Centre in Adum, Kumasi.  Attendees included Assembly men, Sub Metro office members and other identifiable groups who hold a vested interest in the cause.  The Metro Health Director chaired the meeting which was deemed a huge success with everyone coming together to recognize need for the program and its next steps moving forward.

 

MAM Project – Local Volunteer Training

Also as part of the MAM project there is a strong focus on educating local members of the community in order to get them to recognize early signs of malaria and act immediately.  In order to reach the community we engaged 30 local volunteers and trained them for 3 days on best ways to communicate and effectively send out their message.  The training was held by our very own Mike Owusu and Yaw Otchere as well as local doctors and health practitioners from the Metro Health Clinic. It was conducted at the Teachers Hall in Amakom, Kumasi.  Again, this was deemed a success and all volunteers were sent out to the community with measurable targets to reach and a timeline of December. However the program will pick up again in January and continue for another 12 months

 

School Presentations

School presentations have continued throughout the month at Esuaso Secondary School and the Methodist school with great results.  Teaching abstinence, condom use and faithfulness as a way for the students to remain safe from Teenage pregnancy, STI’s and HIV/AIDS, has been taught all through the teaching aid “The Journey of Hope”.

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Each volunteer, Craig, Rhi, Chelsey and Catherine, took turns teaching. They called for assignments and rewarded the children with posters designed by the volunteers along with treats for the best ones. After reading through the assignments it seemed most of the children received the message we sent them and we can only hope that they put it into practice.

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Socialization Meeting

This month saw the last socialization meeting for out volunteers. The meeting was held on Saturday November 16th at the National Cultural Centre but unfortunately only our Australian volunteer Catherine could attend as Rhi and Craig had Typhoid (both are now on the mend).

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Nearly all members of our organization attended, the children were weighed and taken to a play as Yaw and Mike spoke to the parents or caregivers. Medications were handed out and the whole group shared in Jollof Rice and juice before the meeting concluded.

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In Progress

The MAM project remains a strong focus of our organization moving forward, as does the care and support for the members of our organization.  Unfortunately tales of our family at the beginning of this report are not the only ones in need, and we continue to work towards reaching more sponsors and volunteers to assist with our cause.  Heading towards Christmas we are hoping to get some more volunteers locked in for 2009 and hopefully more sponsors for the remaining 35 children in our group that still needs support.  Missionaries of Charity orphanage had a tragic turn of events towards the later part of the month with an outbreak amongst the toddlers. It was believed to be a bad spread of food poisoning  and our hearts goes out to the whole team and volunteers Rhi and Craig who suffered a terrible loss of little Kofi.  All children are now thankfully on the mend.

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