Thursday, April 30, 2015

Child labor

It's definitely not all fun and games being a child in Nepal.  This little four-year-old girl named Rebika is carrying a heavy load in her basket.  Following close behind is her grandmother who accompanied her down the hill and back up again to bring water to the family.  So many children the world over literally carry loads way too heavy for their little bodies.

Next time you turn on your convenient tap in your kitchen sink, think of little Rebika who now has the additional challenges of the earthquake aftermath to deal with.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Long trek

Pinkey with RamPrasad
 This is the area near the epicenter of the earthquake.  Pinkey and her husband, Binod, traveled for over two weeks visiting the HealthEd Connect health projects in the rural villages of Nepal in March.  They had to walk the last 4 hours to reach the village of Gorka where Ram Prasad, one of the health workers, lives with his family.  Pinkey had to stay 12 days in the area because the roads were impassable due to recent rains.  The villagers, of course, were delighted to see her and to learn the simple  health lessons she taught and to receive a few medicines.  So many opportunities to bring health ministries where it's needed the most.
Typical mountain path in rural Nepal

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Something for Orphans to Smile About!

Kafwa CSS (backrow) with orphans who attend Isubilo.
The tireless Kafwa continue to spread love and hope to orphans.  Now in its third year, the Isubilo (Orphan Grief Support Program) continues to work its magic under the loving tutelage of the Kafwa Child Support Specialists (CSS).  Three times a year, the Kafwa organize new groups of orphans to share in a 13-week session of activities designed to provide a group to belong to, an adult who truly cares, and a way to express and acknowledge grief.  The Kafwa have had tears in their eyes in the past when they've shared the stories of the children's plights.  The teachers see an immediate change in the children when they join the group.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Go Enactus!

The Graceland Enactus team placed in the top 32 teams out of 181 at Nationals in St. Louis April 14-15.  Way to go Team!!  Two of the members on the presentation team, Karl Bradford and Lindsay Harmon, along with 3 others Graceland students, Tara Sheehy, Natalie Sherer, and Hannah Henson, will be on the Team Zambia departing for Africa with us on May 22.  Next year they will have plenty to report on regarding projects they're involved in with HealthEd Connect.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sewing At Last!

Kafwa learning to sew in Kafwa Center
The sewing machines are humming!  After a long saga of building the Kafwa Center, arranging for custom cabinets to be built for safe storage of the machines, getting sewing machines purchased and delivered, and getting the sewing machines assembled...we are rollin'.  The Kafwa found a seamstress to give them lessons and now they are mastering sewing 101 on their way to making school uniforms for the kids.  It has only taken 3 years to get to this point.....but the Kafwa are finally on their way to achieving a long-held dream!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Go-To teacher

Mevis is one of the most beloved teachers at Chipulukusu!  Not only is she a good teacher, she also takes the iniative in the after school programs such as the Good Life Gardening Program and the Girls Achievement Program.  She lives in a modest house with electricity but no water and has 4 children ages 11, 5 and 2 1/2 (twins).  Busy lady!

Teaching is her second career.  She worked in pyro electricals (whatever that is!) for 2 years before becoming a teacher at Young Peace Makers 2 years ago.  She's now getting ready to enroll in the teacher education program with the help of a HealthEd Connect scholarship.

It's obvious the students love her for good reasons!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Let there be Light

Catherine, Congolese TBA, demonstrating the Luci light
What a creative and practical idea!  Thanks to Michelle Mahlik our health workers in Nepal and Congo are now 'beta testing' Luci lights.

The soft plastic lanterns (think beach ball) are solar powered and collapse into a round disc about 1 inch tall.  They can then be blown up into a lantern about 8 inches tall.  A handy little handle on top allows them to be hung up.  We took one to Zambia in January and showed it to the 25 health workers at the Ebola workshop.  They loved it!  They also unanimously agreed the one we had should be sent home with the Congolese Wasaidizi since they need it at night when they deliver babies.  If they last and work well, I can envision little Luci lights swinging on the front of the Zambulances as they bump across the trails at night whisking people to the outpost hospital.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The power of gloves

Idah, front row green skirt arriving for the workshop

During the Ebola training last January, I gave each group of health workers several boxes of gloves to take home with them.  They use them routinely for delivering babies, caring for AIDS patients, etc. so they will be put to good use.

 Idah from Malawi said, "I've got a story to share."  She said her father was ill with diarrhea sometime ago so she stayed with him over a month caring for him and always wore her disposable Sinkhani gloves when appropriate.  Her father told everyone his daughter was a Dr. because she knew how to care for him correctly.  He wouldn't let anyone else touch him.  When he died, Idah gave those participating in the service a pair of gloves to wear in honor of his belief.