Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Climbing out of Poverty

Carol (left) with her grandmother
 She's growing up!  Carol is starting 10th grade this year and what a journey it has been.  Orphaned at a young age, she thought she was destined to stay at home because her grandmother could not afford school fees for her and her 3 siblings.  She was thrilled and immediately enrolled when she discovered Young Peace Maker School charged no fees for orphans.

When Carol graduated from grade 7 as one of the top achievers, she thought her school days were over since the cost of high school was beyond her grandmother's means.  It was a jubilant day when she was told she was the recipient of a Girls' Achievement Program (GAP) scholarship.  She continues to be a stellar student in high school just as she was in primary school.

Education has provided a bright future for Carol.  Unlike the many girls in Zambia who do not attend school and marry young, Carol has an excellent chance of climbing out of poverty thanks to HealthEd Connect donors.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Clinic under a tree

Moms waiting at Under 5 Clinic
Malawi has an average $750 income per capita.  Considering the fact that a number of officials are well paid and travel in Range Rovers, the vast majority of the remainder of the population lives in poverty.

But no whining here!  Jere, our Malawi Representative, recently visited one of the clinic sites in Mezembe where over 280 babies were weighed and monitored during his visit.  Without exception, the dedicated and hard-working mothers walked to the clinic site to obtain health care for their babies.  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dependent on the Big Three

How many different vegetables, fruits, and grain products do you see every time you go to the grocery store?  Hundreds I'm guessing.  Most of us are blessed with a huge variety of choices.

But did you know that, according to food experts who recently met in Iowa, only 30 plant species provide 95% of our global food energy needs? And that only three of these crops (wheat, maize and rice) provide half of the world’s food?  When one of the staple crops fails due to drought, flood, or pestilence, tragedy is often the result.  We're working to introduce new kitchen-garden crops, one at a time, to increase foods available in our program areas.  Lunches at our schools started with maize (corn) porridge only.  Since then the Kafwa have begun growing small gardens with a variety of greens, tomatoes and other crops to supplement the children's diet.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Style all their own

Just being ourselves, sir!

Two Rotarian visitors recently stopped by the Zamtan School to see the borehole (well) and water tank their clubs had funded.  The children greeted them with a charming welcome ceremony while the teachers and school board members graciously provided a tour of the school grounds.  When the visitors returned to the U.S., they called to say they had toured 25 Rotary water-project sites while in Zambia.  Zamtan, they enthusiastically added, was by far the most impressive of all of them!

The kids weren't real sure what the fuss was all about.  They were just being their charming, unique little selves complete with adorable hair-dos.  Fortunately for them, the visitors were so impressed they promised to be in contact to discuss additional projects in the near future.

Way to go kids!

Monday, August 6, 2018

City-villages: the Slum Areas of Kathmandu

Nepal often conjures images of small villages perched in the mountains and on the plains. However, there are other kinds of "villages" that exist within the boundaries of large cities like Kathmandu. Collections of little handmade homes stretch for miles along the riverbanks and form a kind of village community within the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.  These neighborhoods are composed of hundreds of families living in tidy rows of fragile handmade shelters, only a small percentage with access to an acceptable latrine. Illness and the elements are a perpetual risk for everyone in these communities, but especially for the very young and the very old.

We visited two of these neighborhoods on our recent trip to Nepal.  HealthEd Connect volunteers are findings ways to meet the needs of these precious people through forming relationships with local women who are mothers and caregivers. They teach sanitation, nutrition, hygiene, and provide simple medical solutions, as well as bringing comfort and kindness

A little game of peek-a-boo

A kind gentleman

A row of handmade homes along the riverbank in Kathmandu