Friday, October 25, 2013

C5 sings!

Patty Sacry directing choir

Choir members with Jac and Sherri
The amazing C5 community children's choir in Carthage, Missouri sang for the benefit of HealthEd Connect October 23.  Actually, I should clarify that it's not exactly a children's choir.    It started out that way but none of the kids wanted to leave so the choir now has youth of all ages.  There are over 25 members in the choir but many had conflicting school activities and were not able to attend the program. 

Led by Patty Sacry and accompanied on the piano by Patty's husband, Dr. Roger Sacry, the choir sang in harmony, practiced 1/2 note intervals and in everyway amazed us.  The choir is a big booster and fund raiser for HealthEd Connect and asked us to come to Joplin to share more about the programs.  So Jac and Sherri Kirkpatrick made the trek to Joplin to share stories and hear the choir perform amazing African songs for the benefit of a very appreciative audience.   One of the young choir members proudly told us after the performance that she was planning to go to Africa someday and already had $36 saved!  What a great group of young people!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teachers March

Mr. Milimo (head teacher) marching with Chipulukusu teachers in Teacher's Day parade
Zambia highlights the importance of school teachers in a big way every year.  Schools are closed all over the country with parades and events in honor of teachers in each town.  The teachers at Chipulukusu and Kasompe requested a small stipend earlier this year so they could obtain matching shirts with the name of their school imprinted. We thought they might choose a bright color that would stand out but instead they chose a classy neutral color.  Our teachers are on the march --  proudly representing our schools.  The Copperbelt Province Minister was even in the reviewing stands supporting the teachers.   Hmmmm...I wonder if the teachers will request banners to carry in the parade next year.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Board Event

Dr. Tammy Everett unveiling Emerging SOE
Who likes to attend meetings??  Not the HealthEd Connect Board of Directors!  Instead, they prefer to refer to quarterly gatherings as 'events.'  The 'event' on October 10 and 11 included a dinner on Thursday evening at the Graceland Independence Campus with a program featuring Emerging Programs.  On Saturday (okay, we confess!) we  had several hours of committee meetings and business to take care of.  Shandra Newcom, who traveled to Zambia January 2013 and will return January 2014, unveiled a new palliative care program for the Kafwa health workers.  The Kafwa have long provided home health and 'hospice' for innumerable AIDS patients in their communities.  Now Shandra and Dr. Jeff Manuel (palliative care physician and board member) are developing a support program for the Kafwa.

Dr. Tammy Everett shared exciting news about the partnership between the Graceland School of Education and the Zambian schools.  The Iowa Department of Education has approved our Zambian schools as pre-service and practicum sites for education students.  A GU faculty member will accompany students to Zambia in June 2014 to mentor and work with the teachers.  What a boon for our schools!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back to School

Michelle Waite, Sherri Kirkpatrick, Shandra Newcom and Cherry Newcom in Zamtan
You're in for a 2 minute treat!  Just click on Back to School to see an update on our Zambian schools.  You may also find a few faces you recognize.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

News is spreading!

Bella and Sherri in St. Petersburg
Everywhere we go we hand out business cards about HealthEd Connect and spread the good word.  On our first stop in Chicago on our recent trip to Eastern Europe we shared information with a German liver transplant surgeon who lives in Cape Town and performs surgery in the U.S.  Then while touring St. Petersburg, we got acquainted with Bella, an Italian-Canadian, who was very interested in our programs.  Other late evenings were spent sharing stories about our awesome health workers with 2 pharmacists, Alka and Jodi, from Boston.  HealthEd business cards are being distributed around the world.  And then our favorite, visiting with Robyn (one of Sherri's former nursing students) and Aaron Luffman in Croatia.  The photographer who captured all of these moments somehow managed to join us each time before the food was all gone!
Robyn, Sherri, and Aaron in Zagreb, Croatia
Jodi, Sherri, and Alka having dinner in a castle in Ljubljana.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Agness with one of her students

One of our most dedicated teachers, Agness, is now enrolled in a teacher training program which she attends when her teaching day is finished.  Alice has had a really tough life, many times having no food to feed her children.  She and her husband both lost their jobs in 1999 and her husband died soon after she said, from depression.  In Agness' words, "I was so confused and terrified of what had just happened.  The situation was so bad and getting worse every day.  I saw widows dying with depression, others involving themselves in prostitution, but I refused involving myself in such acts.  In 2011, I got remarried and came to Chipulukusu.  I found myself at Young Peace Markers Community School and was very excited because my dream is being fulfilled.  My life has been revived from the point of death.  I was weak now I am strong and healthy."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

PTA meeting enthusiasm!

We were amazed to receive a report this week saying 204 caregivers attended the PTA meeting at Chipulukusu!!  That's better attendance than we get in the U.S.  We're curious as to how the caregivers even found out -- word of mouth?  The children told them?  The school has no way to print and send announcements home with the children.  Many of the families live a long distance from the church which also makes posting a notice ineffective.  Mysteriously, they somehow managed.  One of the big discussions at the meeting was the need for additional classrooms.  Several volunteers indicated they were ready to start digging foundation trenches immediately.  They just needed instruction on where and when.