Category Archives: Pacific and Austalasia

Sistema Aotearoa, NZ’s remarkable youth orchestra: a Rose NZ support target..

sistemanz3“If you had all been with Pip D and me this afternoon in South Auckland you would be at home tonight with a rosy glow in your hearts — or wherever you keep your rosy glows !…..

Pip and I attended, first, a very low key informal but heartfelt “cuppa” time before a BIG concert where we, and other supporters of Sistema were thanked over and over. A Samoan family spoke, to add impact— and that they surely did that, about what it meant to them to be a Sistema family. The young daughter student, maybe 12 or 13, read a speech describing how her music had lifted her to explore heights she thought impossible. (She is now a scholarship student at St Cuthberts, but that’s another story.). Her mother, Lindah, spoke really eloquently about what it mean for her and her husband to have their eldest three children learning violin, clarinet and trombone, and their fourth child, a cute little boy who sat through the whole long afternoon without a murmur, is rearing to join up. She particularly emphasised what it meant to live in Otara, aware of so many negative attitudes towards her community and sistemanz1her people, to have something as positive as Sistema to turn attitudes on their head.
The Dad, who apologized for his incoherence having come straight from work, was really the most eloquent of all:  He was speechless and tearful in his gratitude…….
THEN we went in to the huge arena-type stadium/hall and the music began! Nearly 400 children performed in different “orchestras” all through the afternoon. Other children sat on the floor listening with amazingly full-on attention. The music ranged from the beginners whose concentration, discipline  and application was remarkable (aged 6 or 7) to the two orchestras numbering around 100 students who so vividly demonstrated the great skills they had acquired. Really it took heart-warming to a new level and Pip and I both loved every minute. We sat behind two principals of the local schools and they are clearly rapt with the project and the difference it makes to their students. Maths, English and “leadership” qualities have all taken many notches UP for the kids involved. It just makes you WISH every child had the same chances. One young boy announcer talked about the thrill of looking at music not understanding a thing about it, then being able to read it, then PLAY it! He made it sound like one of the thrills of his life.
sistema-aotearoa-flute-kidsThe Wind Band came near the end of the programme and they were super cool. Flutes, I think five, were in evidence, plus clarinets, five, trombones, trumpets.  A real thrill and I know every Rose Trustee would have been absolutely delighted.
So I pass on the most sincere thanks from all the Sistema trustees, the teachers, the students…….Well done Roses for our  role in it all

We can happily be sure it will be a great project for continued support. In fact we were told Creative NZ is cutting back on their funding so people like us are even more important in the future. … Trish Gribben (Rose Charities NZ Trustee)

 

Project Toolkit Samoa: Rose Charities NZ gets going .. !

trish-toolkit
Caption: Rose Charities NZ chairperson, Trish Gribben examines a custom-designed “toolbox” which will carry delicate ENT instruments between Auckland and Apia, Samoa.

Project Toolkit” — ENT for Samoa

It’s for the little ones.” — Dr P.J. Faumui

Rose Charities NZ has an exciting new project – to take Ear, Nose and Throat surgery to Samoa, to help an estimated 25,000 children who need treatment.

“Project Toolkit” is the dream of a Samoan ENT surgeon who lives in Whanganui, Dr P.J. Faumui. There is no permanent ENT surgeon in Samoa and every time “PJ” (as he is affectionately known) visits his family in Samoa he conducts an ENT clinic at Apia Hospital. PJ sees about 40 or 50 patients a day but, without good medical instruments, is able to give them only very simple low-risk treatment.

So Rose Charities NZ has commited to Project Toolkit, a $45,000 set of top quality ENT instruments and the custom-designed trays which will make it possible to transport them between New Zealand and Samoa for visiting volunteer surgeons to conduct ENT clinics there. The trays, with silicone inserts to keep the instruments safe and secure, are designed to allow for sterilisation and for customs inspections.

PJ himself will head the team of volunteers, some of whom work at Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital.

Sheffmed, an Auckland-based medical equipment company is collaborating with the project. It has offered discounted prices and a vital role in maintaining and keeping the Toolkit safe when it is back from the tropical conditions of Samoa. Sheffmed will also liaise with volunteer doctors who are heading to Samoa.

Why has Rose Charities NZ, which has an international reputation for it support of eye clinics in Cambodia and Nepal, decided to focus on ENT surgery?

“Children who have untreated ear, nose and throat problems in early childhood, like “glue ear”, can be scarred for life,” says Rose chairperson Trish Gribben. “If they can’t hear well, they don’t do well at school, they become disruptive, they have behaviour problems. It’s not far-fetched to say untreated ENT problems can be a building block for an anti-social life.

“The children in Samoa are our neighbours. They deserve something better. The Kiwi Rose Trustees are really excited about PJ’s Project Toolkit. It fits Rose philosophy perfectly: Help a local person to do a grassroots project when a little effort can have a BIG impact,” says Trish.

“When I signed up with Sheffmed I asked PJ if he was thrilled,” said Trish. “His reply: “Well, it is for the little ones.”

“Rose NZ is hooked. Now we have to find the money. It is a big project for us as we are all volunteers. But we are delighted to be working with some Rotary clubs throughout New Zealand. And, through them, with the Harold Thomas Trust which is the legacy of the first New Zealander to be president of Rotary International, set up to provide health care for children in the Pacific. Harold Thomas just happens to have been my uncle — it is all a perfect fit, says Trish.