Friday, May 31, 2013

Lift-off -- June 2!

Kelsey surrounded by the Chipulukusu CSS on her last trip
We're in the normal last-minute scramble!  Waaaay too many things to fit into our supply box, waaaay too many things to accomplish once we arrive, and waaay too little time to get ready.  In 3 days, however, all decisions will be made and we will be in route to Zambia. 

We are especially excited to be focusing on the orphan grief-support programs this trip.  Kelsey Welch, our Child Support Specialist (CSS) mentor, will be joining us and providing additional training for our hard-working volunteers.  The results from the support groups have been astounding!  Our follow-up surveys of 80 OVC, caretakers, and teachers  (remember we are evidence-based!) revealed decreased emotional distress and positive behavioral changes in almost every instance.  This is really ground breaking since very few grief-support programs and even fewer evaluations of those programs exist.  Watch for our next publication.  Final touches are being added to a co-authored manuscript written by Sherri, Kelsey (a social worker by profession), two Graceland nursing faculty members, and the Graceland librarian.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A prized certificate

Gershom presenting grade-promotion certificates to
 head teacher, Loveness Mulemba
Lisa, our amazing teacher mentor, came up with the great idea of providing grade promotion certificates for the kids in our schools in Zambia.  She designed certificates last month and made 300 copies for both of the schools with multiple grades and sent them home with Gershom.  The teachers were thrilled!  This is an innovative idea for the schools in our communities and will be loved by the students and deeply appreciated by the caretakers.   What a prized possession !  The coveted certificates will undoubtedly decorate the walls of many humble little homes.

Think about this.  Each child will receive a half-sheet sized certificate.  Cutting each page in half, 300 pieces of paper were needed.  This would have cost $54 locally (copying is extremely expensive).  Our budget-minded volunteers would never have spent this kind of money for certificates -- but they were thrilled we did!  Some splurges are well worth it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The great migration

L to R a small head teacher office, a small classroom and
two large classrooms.
Gershom just made a visit to the school in Kasompe and reports that all of the finishing touches have been completed on the new classrooms and students are ready to move in.  An earlier construction error has turned out to be a huge blessing.   One interior wall was inadvertently placed in the wrong location resulting in a HUGE office for the head teacher.  Upon inspection, we all agreed this needed to be changed.  So before the building was completed, it had to be renovated.  The final outcome, however, is good news for everyone.  In addition to the two large planned classrooms, we now have an additional smaller classroom that will be put to good use for the smallest class.  Everyone is especially proud of the large windows which provide good lighting in the classrooms.  What an exciting way to start a new school term!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Second chance

Jan Finger, Sina and Lindsey enjoying some leisurely moments
at the Lift a Life Campaign kick-off
If you weren't fortunate enough to attend the HealthEd Connect Lift a Life Capital Campaign kick-off, you have another chance to enjoy the event via the pictures taken by our resident photographer, Jac Kirkpatrick!  The pictures are now loaded on our website and ready for your viewing pleasure.  Click on and go to Photo Gallery.  Treat yourself to a 20 second mini-vacation in beautiful San Luis Obispo!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beep, Beep...

L to R John Smith, Dave Baltz, and Greg Hankins
our car philanthropists!
Recently three members of the Woods Chapel Community of Christ congregation combined their skills and interests to raise $3000 for Health Ed Connect. Former pastor Greg Hankins was having difficulty selling his car. He contacted, auto enthusiast, John Smith to help him market and sell the car. John agreed and suggested that part of the proceeds be donated to Health Ed. When Dave Baltz heard about it, he volunteered his auto body shop to polish and detail the vehicle. The result was a great looking car that sold fast creating a nice donation for Health Ed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What a Kick-off!!

Chuck Manning (saxophone) and jazz ensemble

The Hacienda Ranch

Michael Lewis (board member), Sherri (middle) visiting with a guest

Keagan Kirkpatrick introducing Boss Mirriam

Our hostess, Denise, who made it all possible!
The Lift a Life capital campaign kick-off in San Luis Obispo May 4 launched us into a whole new stratosphere!  In addition to the incredible hacienda setting nestled in the rolling California hills, the event itself was fun, festive, and super successful.   The music of renowned Los Angeles jazz musician, Chuck Manning, filled the air as guests mingled, sampled tempting hors d'oeuvres, and learned more about the programs sponsored by HealthEd Connect. 

We are incredibly excited as we think about the million opportunities to  Lift a Life afforded by meeting our goal of raising $1 million dollars.  An incredible ROI as lives are changed forever!  As Michael Lewis so eloquently reminded us "It's been said many times that charity is about helping the poor, and that justice is about asking 'Why are there so many poor?'  Both are crucial, but the latter is what energizes me.  That's the journey HealthEd Connect is on.  Please sign me up for that journey!"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Art Material Mountain

Art Material Mountain
Several weeks ago, Danica McLain, a two-time traveler to Zambia, a Connector Specialist, a talented artist, and a huge HealthEd Connect supporter, initiated an online program to obtain donations for art supplies for the schools in Zambia.  To date she's had over $2,000 donated for supplies!!  All of this for kids who think a #3 pencil is a REALLY big deal!!

This week Danica wrote, "I’ve ordered the first shipment of art supplies from the Art Room Aid project site, which came in yesterday! I’ve attached a photo of “Art Material Mountain” to give you a visual for the success of the project so far. Keep in mind the supplies that are unseen on the bottom- 10 pks of 240 pg construction paper, 2 class packs of 630 crayons, 20 packs of modeling clay…who knows what else! I’m so excited!"

All of you would-be travelers to Zambia, be forewarned that extra corners in your suitcase will be stuffed with art supplies for the foreseeable future.  The kids won't believe it!!