Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm a Kafwa!

Loveness and brother-in-law, Kenneth.

Our Kafwa not only visit the homes of neighbors, they also help each other out in times of need.  Loveness, one of the most faithful health workers, found herself needing the support of fellow Kafwa recently.  Loveness' brother-in-law, Kenneth, had been hospitalized because of tuberculosis and found himself too weak and unsteady on his feet to live alone. Loveness took him in and the Kafwa "adopted him."  When we visited Loveness, I made the comment, "Your home is spotless, Loveness!"  She replied, "I'm a Kafwa!"

Friday, November 25, 2016

More free lunches!

We give thanks...

....for 406 more free meals!

Thanks to all of you Amazon shoppers, we received a check for $48.81 that pays for 406 lunches for our kids!!! If you choose HealthEd Connect as your charity of choice, Amazon will make a donation to us every time you shop.    Just remember to start with a Smile at Smile.Amazon.com this holiday season and keep the free lunches coming!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Cornucopia truly runneth over with blessings!

Sending you, our tireless supporters, the warmest and most grateful of Thanksgiving greetings!

                                   The HealthEd Connect Team!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

How do you spend Friday?

Kafwa making rounds to see their clients
So....how do you spend your Fridays?  The women in Chipulukusu, Zambia meet, without fail, to spread out in teams to visit their 'clients.'   We might not think twice of visiting a friend in the hospital or taking a pot of hot soup to someone not feeling up to par, but most of us would do so by hopping into our cozy car and driving to our destination.

Kafwa walk.  In rain.  Through mud.  In cold.  Whatever it takes.  Regardless of weather conditions, they faithfully make their rounds bringing encouragement and advice to people who positively know they can depend on them.  The HealthEd Connect team frequently makes rounds when them when we're on site and we're worn out both physically and emotionally at the end of the day.  And many of the Kafwa are carrying a baby on their backs!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

African photocopy machine

Jac Kirkpatrick in action
Ever wonder what an African photocopy machine looks like? Well, wonder no more.  Just take a good look and you'll see one in action on the veranda of the Kafwa Center at Chipulukusu, Zambia.

The operator of this high-tech machine is non other than our Financial Officer, Jac Kirkpatrick.   This service is part of his job description as the official photographer, trip-planner, cobble-it-together for ailing vehicles, finding the closest ice cream store, telling stories, and being the all-around iconic team leader!  Am I right Zambian travelers?  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Mama Madam for grieving orphans

Maurine, leader of the Chipulukusu Mama Madams
The orphans in Zambia have incredible stories to tell.  Life as it was before they were orphaned and life as it is now.  For all too many of them, life now is difficult and filled with challenges.  The Kafwa in our Zambian schools have become a life line to over 100 orphans every year who attend the Isubilo orphan support groups.  The Child Support Specialist Kafwa have become rock stars among the children and are affectionately called Mama Madam.

Books telling their story in the context of the Zambian culture have been conspicuously missing.  Now, we have the missing link.  Based on stories the children have shared and pictures taken while on site, Sherri Kirkpatrick and Marla Blevins teamed up to create a book titled Mama Madam.  Pre-publication copies were taken to Zambia in July and are now being revised for publication.  Thanks to Margaret Chilolo, the books will be available in Chibemba as well as English.  We'll let you know when the books are available so you can order one.  Great discussion stimulator!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

HealthEd Connect BOD

Back row, Tammy Everett Jones, Michelle Mahlik, Emily Penrose-McLaughlin,
Jeff Manuel, Shandra Newcom, Jac Kirkpatrick, Cherry Newcom, Mike Keeble,
Heather Campbell, and front row, Lauren Hall and Michael Lewis.  Not pictured,
Amy Guthrey, Ron Carter, Sherri Kirkpatrick, and Stu Waite.

What a meeting!  From 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. last week, the ideas pinged like popcorn, the energy flowed ceaselessly, and innumerable plans emerged as we Envisioned the Future together.  We may have been brought together as a Board of Directors but our relationships have evolved into much more than a formal arrangement -- we share a passion and commitment to empower women and children in every way within our power.   And the outcomes of our programs are evidence we're on the right track!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Moving Forward in Nepal!


​The crowds go wild in America, celebrating Helping Heart Nepal!  


 Volunteers interview a village family in Nepal

"Helping Heart Nepal," the branch of HealthEd Connect operating in Nepal, is FINALLY registered!  The path to government registration of our NGO (non-governmental organization) has been as twisty and chaotic as the streets of Kathmandu! Through monsoons, aftershocks, and illness, our Nepali representative, Pinkey Malla, has been running from one government office to another for months trying to fulfill the many requirements in order to do business in Nepal. Our group of volunteer healthcare workers have never stopped their valuable work in the villages and the city, but we are now authorized to do other sorts of projects, as well.  Among the exciting possibilities are latrines, cookstoves, and literacy programs. Stay tuned to see further developments in Nepal!!!

Michelle Mahlik
Philosophy Department, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
BOD, HealthEd Connect (www.healthedconnect.org)