Category Archives: Community Support

Throwing malaria out of Ugandan schools: the malaria hero’s !

andres-malaria1Malaria is being tackled in rural Ugandan schools with Dr Anrew Macnab’s remarkable early rapid diagnosis and treatment program delivered by trained school ‘malaria hero’s’, school staff especially trained.  Implemented by Rose Charities Canada’s  Dr Andrew and HEDA Uganda, the program is giving hugely successful, recorded results, cutting the absenteeism through sickness much hated by student and teacher alike.   Please click here to see the most recent paper on the marvellous results.

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

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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.

RCSL: ‘Every great achievement was once considered impossible’

Vigneswara Tamil Vidyalayam is located in Hopton, a “tea plantation” village in Lunugala town in the middle of a mountain range (about 150 km from Colombo and elevated about 750 m above the sea level).
This school was started during the British colonization period in 1938 with only one “shack” building. The persistent effort of the villagers made it possible to upgrade this school to a Secondary School (grade 1 to Grade 11) with 480 students and 30 teachers. Guided by the current principal Mr. S. Thiyagasundaram, this School became a “model School” with awards and achievements.
The Community around this school is very poor with the parents are mostly plantation labours. The main agricultural product of this community is tea. There are many beautiful tea estates in Lunugala. For generations, the majority of the villagers are labours in the tea estate. Additionally people cultivate pepper, cinnamon and cacao and do home based small business.
Presently there is awareness for education in this area. The villagers need help and support to find the resource for education. This was identified by Rose Charities Srilanka two years ago. For RCSL, it has been a new experience to work in the Hill Country.
For the last two years RCSL provides educational support. Since 2014 Rose Lanka Microcredit has also started a village group in Hopton, Lunugala with the support of AMDA. So far there are 52 active members from this village group.
This school became the main recipient of various types of support from Rose Charities Srilanka and Rose Lanka Microcredit pvt ltd. For the last two years education materials, books and other supports were given to this school
This year the volley ball team of Vigneswara Tamil Vidyalayam (under 15 age group) came third place in all island level. This is a milestone in the history of this school. Rose Charities Srilanka and Rose Lanka Microcredit gave volley ball, nets and shoes to those kids. Few of the boys who were achieved this were from the microcredit families of Rose Charities.
The story did not end here. Like the previous years, 8 Primary students have passed in the Grade 5 Scholarship Exams held this year. They were felicitated by Rose Charities Srilanka and Rose Lanka Microcredit. Medals were awarded to these kids.
The school community is grateful for what has been done and welcome the efforts of Rose Charities Srilanka and Rose Lanka Microcredit for future support.

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School support in remote N.E. Thailand

hrh-kids3The Baan Mae Ramoeng School is close to the Myanmar border and helps around 1000 children from remove areas of considerable impoverishment. Population consists of mainly subsistence farming and there are many families displaced by conflict among the local population, the majority of which are ethnically Karen people.

Rose’s close Vancouver/Richmond partner organization CIEAF (Canadian International Education Assistance Fund) set out to assist this school having identified its needs through the Royal Thailand Consulate in Vancouver, which in turn was promoting its needs from one its main support group as one of the schools (of many) supported by Thailands Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in her considerable and noteworthy spectrum of charitable assistance.

hrh-kids1The Baan Mae Ramoeng School is close to the Myanmar border and helps around 1000 children from remove areas of considerable impoverishment. Population consists of mainly subsistence farming and there are many families displaced by conflict among the local population, the majority of which are ethnically Karen people.

HRH. Princess Sirindhorn identified that many of the children at the Baan Mae Ramoeng School had to walk huge

Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn makes a visit
Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn makes a visit

distances, as much as 40km each way to attend class. Dormatary facilities were badly needed. In addition need for a vocational training scheem was also noted in order to try to boost income generation for families in this very poor area.

CIEAF, Thai Consulate and Rose Charities aim to work together for fund-raising and implementation of the school upgrade program and this will start with a fundraiser at the Thai Consulate in Vancouver on September 19th.

hrh-kids4Donations are, greatly welcomed, tax-receiptable (Canada) and may be made on line here (scroll down the list of causes to Thailand after you hit the donate button)

 

 

‘Let there be Hope’ : CIEAF-Rose-AMDA Dinner for Nepal Rehabilitation.

ciaf-poster copy‘Dinner for Hope for Nepal’   CIEAF-Rose Charities Canada – AMDA Canada.  Generously hosted by the Continental Seafood Restaurant Richmond, Vancouver ..  Wed 24th June 2015  6.30 pm.     Donations and half of ticket cost  are tax receiptable (Canada).   Tickets from Continental Restaurant.   604-278-6331   Donations (not ticket sales) on line here

Rose Charities 2014 end of year Review

Rose Charities International Network:
2014 End of Year Review.

2014 for Rose Charities has been marked both by consolidation in which the well established projects have steadily moved forwards with new initiatives, plans and their implementation, and a considerable delivery of emergency relief for the Philippines. The moves towards increased self sustainability have made progress in a number of areas, notably with the Sri Lanka Medicare program including now a specialised Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Centre, Cambodia, where Drs Vra and Natalia Heng’s Rose Charities Eye Centre now operates also from their newly built clinic and caters for both the paying, to cover costs, and the poor. Projecto San Gerado Costa Rica’s community programs incorporating tourist and local produce are, now as part of Rose Charities Canada an impressive example of what can be achieved.

Sri Lanka was very active in 2014, continuing to lead the way in microcredit initiatives. It has had to reduce its preschool program due to lack of funding but still manages to run the new cut-down program in this hugely essential area. ( www.rosesrilanka.info )

Rose Charities Sri Lanka wonderfully hosted the 2014 Rose VI International Conference which was a huge success allowing international delegates (UK, Canada, USA, NZ, Cambodia, Japan) and Sri Lanka guests to network, discuss and witness the excellent programs in their area. In addition many of the children in the area worked hard to give delegates marvellous entertainment of dancing and singing which was hugely appreciated by all.

2014 was actually the 10th year after the terrible Asian tsunami of 2004 and it is a true tribute to the energy, charity and dedication of Anthony Richard and his team that so much has been achieved in that time. Over these years, programs have included child and adult health care, post traumatic child counselling, sports for peace and education for all ages, from pre-school to higher education. Poverty reduction through micro-credit and vocational training are now noteworthy as well as special development programs for women.

One of the most notable achievements of 2014 was the re-birth of the Rose Cambodia Rehab Centre (RCRC) ( www.roserehab.org ) which was in final stages of closure though lack of funds. This was also one of the major successes of the Sri Lanka Rose VI conference when Ms Sophak Chim (RCRC Cambodia) discussed issues with a very supportive Rose Charities USA team (Rachel Greene, Arnold Sanchez, Dianne Johnston). Ms Sophak showed that despite the difficulties of physiotherapy being well accepted in Cambodia, the demand for the clinic’s services were on the increase. Rose USA agreed to continue and expand support assisted by Canada and the UK. Previously the main support had come from Rose Australia (the main original founder of RCRC) but this organisation has had to go into a reorganisation phase (possibly with a view to disbanding) due to lack of funding and director base. RCRC has now continued to be successful under new Director Ms Chhouen Putheary. (Ms Sophak continues to advise),

Informal linkage of RCRC with Professor Nous Saroms’s Rehabilitation Surgery department in the PPSC medical centre ( www.cambodiasurgery.info ) continues both in cross-referrals and consultations. In addition PPSC takes many elective medical students who often write to Rose Charities asking for placements.

The Hillman Fund of Rose Charities Canada has also continued its support for physiotherapy treatment and training in Cambodia through assistance to the Cambodia Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) , as well as assisting in eye surgeon training at the Rose Eye Clinic. ( www.rose-eye.info ) . The Eye clinic has now treated some two hundred thousand patients which will rise to close to a quarter of a million within the next year and a half. It carries out both treatment and training and runs a peripheral outreach program. It is amazing to see where this project has gone from both its origin in 1997 as well as its disaster of 2003 when it was 99% looted of all equipment and gutted by thieves. A huge amount of success has been due to the input and assistance, material, teaching, and consultative assistance of Rose Charities New Zealand, ( www.rose-charities.org ) notably Mike Webber and John Veale. Also of great assistance in the development of the clinic and earlier outreach program(s) with IRIS Cambodia (founded by same founder(s) of Rose ) has been Dr Basant Raj Sharma. ‘Basant’ has taken the past few years to open now his own surgical eye clinic in South Nepal which will include a charity treatment component. Rose NZ will be assisting with this program.

Rose Charities Malaysia ( www.myrosecharity.org ) and Rose Charities Singapore ( www.rosesingapore.info ) have continued their impressive programs of local assistance with health clinics, assisting seniors and children’s programs and delivering health services (Rose Malaysia ) to the indigenous ‘Orang Asli’ people in rural areas. Both organisations set wonderful examples of organisations very well integrated to directly helping those in need in their own regions and have impressive memberships of many volunteers prepared to give their time and efforts for others. Rose Charities in Vietnam with its outstanding history of aid programs both with community development and blind home assistance in the Hue area and orphanage support through Rose Charities UK ( www.rosecharities.org.uk ). Rose Vietnam is currently undergoing restructuring but has potential to carry on its work into the future.

The typhoon Haiyan disaster, although in Nov 2013, carried on its effects into 2014 as did Rose Charities efforts to provide assistance. This was achieved on a considerable scale for Rose Charities with direct assistance (medical team lead by Dr Collin Yong in Negros), and indirect though support to partners such as AMDA medical team(s). All phases of the disaster were assisted from immediate health issues through provision of emergency water purification and solar lighting. The work also included rebuilding the health clinic, the walkway access and a number of fishing boats. The island of Negros, Cebu and Leyete were assisted and this has continued to the present time now with support for a newly designed, typhoon-proof home building program with the ‘Movement for Liveable Cebu’ organisation. These homes have now proved their worth by withstanding the much more recent typhoon Haguput. To support this work considerable funds were raised in Vancouver and Richmond working in conjunction with several groups and charitable individuals, one of the most noteworthy being Mr Alan Yong, cousin of Dr Collin Yong.

While Rose Charities is not primarily an emergency relief organisation we have nevertheless been able to provide considerable assistance over the years during major catastrophes, invariably working on advice and in conjunction with local groups on the ground who have requested assistance. With no budget for advertising and promotion it is probable that well over a million dollars has been raised for the disasters we have been involved with, but more importantly, programs continue to this day in Haiti (sports and community assistance) Tohoku (Japan) (AMDA Health Clinic) and, Sri Lanka (see above) and (as mentioned above) the Philippines. What is more, these assistance programs have been invariably without large, expensive infrastructure and working at grassroots level with virtually all donated funds being spent on crucial basic needs.

One area which illustrates this approach is Rose’s assistance to the current ‘Ebola’ crisis. While the current epidemic is in West Africa the disease is endemic in other parts of Africa and has the potential to spread seriously. Early diagnosis, case handling and treatment is essential to increase survival chances and Rose Charities through the Hillman Fund is now supporting a Ebola health training program in Uganda together with Makere University, both in rural and urban Ugandan areas. Dr Andrew Macnab (Brighter Smiles) and the Hillman Fund, with the HEADA Organisation has also initiated a schoolchild early malaria diagnosis program run by the schools themselves. Early results indicate a considerable reduction in school absentee time generated traditionally by the disease.

The problem of safe birthing and motherhood world-wide is a huge one. The want of education, hygiene, medications and trained helpers claims a heavy toll in mortality. In some countries, such as Afghanistan, a maternal and/or neonatal child death occurs every few minutes. Rose Charities Canada is focusing on this challenge with the formation of its Safe Motherhood and Birthing committee which is partly supported by the Hillman Fund and linking with Rose Charities UK ( www.rosecharities.org.uk ) . Programs now include the impressive Guatemala Safe Motherhood ( www.safemotherhoodproject.org ) training project for local Comadronas (birth attendants) founded by Annette Borkent and Dr Ruth Brighouse. There is also a joint initiative in Pakistan with the Frontier Primary Health Organization and a linked program in Afghanistan with Tabish Health and Community Organisation. In this last case recent progress has now resulted in the first two trained community nurses working in one of the main refugee and displaced persons camps near Kabul. One possible future linkage of this committee is to assist with a new RCRC (Cambodia) incipient birth assistance program.

It would be impossible to end this brief review of the Rose Charities International Network programs, without mention of one of its largest areas: education. World Rose groups support primary schools in Madagascar (Rose Madagascar), Zambia (Malambo Grassroots), Uganda (4 schools – Stand Tall Education ( www.standtalleducation.org ) , Volset, and Brighter Smiles (2), ( www.brightersmilesafrica.ca ), Guatemala (Mayan Project of Dr Ellen Coburn www.mayanproject.org ) and Sri Lanka. In addition there are child education support programs in Uganda (Smiles Uganda founded by Mr Galib Kara), Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and a pre-school program in Sri Lanka also. There is higher education support in Uganda, Zambia and Sri Lanka. In the case of Sri Lanka, these programs have produced many graduates including those in medicine, engineering and law. Advanced training programs are sponsored by the Hillman Fund in Uganda and have included ETATS (Emergency Medicine Training program) as well as advanced GP training. In Cambodia students were assisted in accountancy training and now at the Rose Charities Eye clinic there is training of eye surgeons (assisted by Rose NZ and the Hillman Fund). The full title of the Hillman Fund is the ‘Hillman Medical Education Fund’ and this indicates the importance which is put on training by this Rose group. Many special ‘Hillman scholars’ have been supported over the years for advanced and/or postgraduate training. Earlier mentioned too has been the training of midwives and birth attendants. Vocational training programs in Sri Lanka and Uganda (Brighter Smiles) have helped many to find employment in all areas and there is in-house training in the Rose Sri Lanka head office in the management of programs including micro-credit and business planning. A novel peer-to-peer training program is also supported in Uganda.

Left to the end, but perhaps the most important element of all is fund-raising. None of the spectrum of great Rose projects mentioned could exist without the funding. Once again Rose persons continue to show themselves to be stars holding a panoply of the most varied, enjoyable and energetic fund-raising initiatives. New Zealand to New York, Cambodia to Costa Rica, Uganda to Guatemala, Zambia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines -all have, and continue to hold, events and occasions to raise funds. Rose’s very close partner organisation AMDA, in conjunction with Rose, has for the last 3 years held emergency relief fundraisers in Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver bringing in incredible virtuosos from Japan to play alongside local experts. Athletes ride for funds in the international Vancouver-Whistler Granfondo bicycle race. Events have included sponsored walks in Malaysia, musical evenings in New Zealand, ‘bling’ sales in Vancouver, street hockey tournaments in New York city, a ‘Bollywood dance training and performance evening in Vancouver and sponsored scrabble evenings. Rose Charities Australia even at one stage held a paper aeroplane- making and distance flying competition (one of the events I had a great personal enjoyment in attending) . For all these initiatives and also to our accounting teams who year after year assist with the so important baseline work to keep the organizations going – Bravo !… and a huge thank you.

It is very difficult in a limited ‘thumbnail’ report to present anywhere near enough information of the scale, achievements and diversity of the full Rose network. The above is really only a glimpse over its surface. The bottom line however is that all the programs and achievement are due to one overriding factor. That is the amazing people that Rose Charities is fortunate to be associated with. The network is not a centralised unit; it is, in fact simply a vehicle to help move forward the amazing work of individuals and their own groups of project supporters. The ‘Charity Rose’ award is, every year, awarded to one recipient only. There is no mandate for the awardees to be kept within Rose Charities, yet every year to date, this happens. The reason for this is that when it comes to assessment and vote for the recipient, the achievement and dedication of Rose persons invariably are simply the most outstanding proposed within and without the organisation !

No doubt 2015 will have its ups and downs. In an increasingly wealth-polarised world, however, the need for aid and assistance will not be diminishing. Rose programs will be needed more than ever. In addition the environmental changes of global warming may sadly mean increased natural disaster frequency and severity. Rose Charities now has a track record and experience level generated over its 15 years in formal existence. We are an organisation focused on the most direct assistance we can possibly give with the absolute minimum spent on admin costs. Every time disaster strikes we see many big charity organisations taking up large tracts of expensive media coverage, and most carry out excellent (though often very expensive) programs. Yet time and again, such as in Sri Lanka, Haiti and Tohoku, a year or more after the event, the smaller, grassroots Rose supported programs remain and continue to tend to those who have been affected by the event.

The 7th Rose Charities International Meeting 2015 will be held in the Proyecto San Gerado Costa Rica program site. (March 8 – 10 2015) – see ( www.rosecharities.info/events/rose7-info-pack.zip ) As with all meetings it is a huge opportunity to witness the projects and initiatives and speak to those who run them. In addition there are often amazing presentations of local culture that the average person will simply never witness. No donor money is ever spent on these meetings (unless specifically requested for that use) and delegates all pay their own transport and accommodation. They are informal and always prove a superb forum for networking and exchange of ideas. The meetings are not restricted to Rose personnel and anyone genuinely interested is invited to attend.
Rose Charities People and Programs span many ‘New Years’ – Lunar, Khmer, Hindu, Gregorian etc. The last of these however is now. So for this Gregorian New Year 2014/2015 let me take the opportunity to say ‘Bravo’ to all and everyone, givers, receivers (invariably the same thing), whatever involvement level. Its you that makes everything happen. You are magnificent and have my unparalleled praise and unreserved thanks.

me-abby-13Will Grut MD
Vancouver, Canada
31 December 2014

Ebola preparedness Uganda

ebola-preparedness1One of the main causes of the current West African Ebola epidemic has been lack of trained personnel to identify and properly handle and treat early cases.  It is vital for other countries both African and other communities to receive the vital training in this area.  Please click here for the update of this current Makerere University – Rose Charities program 

 

Proyecto San Gerado Costa Rica joins Rose Charities Canada

image3Costa Rica’s rural population, especially in the south, has fallen far behind their city cousins in access to affordable education and adequately paying jobs. The typical family of 6 survives on $250/month with typical monthly food bills of over $120 alone. Proyecto San Gerardo has been offering an opportunity tolocal people in the villages of Rivas, Perez Zeledón, to stay in their communities and acquire income-generating skills since we were asked to teach English in 2006.  Every year an logoaverage of 200 students benefit from our English, Computer Skills, Business skills, First Aid and Apprenticeship courses as well as many more enjoying partial to full high school and university scholarships.  The project currently  provides employment to 3 local women and this year we will expand to 6 to accommodate the demand for Proyecto San Gerardo’s activities.     Read more..<click>..

Rose Charities Hillman Fund short report 2012-2013

HMEF ANNUAL REPORT 2012/13  <click for full report *.pdf> 

rr10The Hillman Medical Education Fund (HMEF) of Rose Charities Canada was started in 2007 by Dr Liz Hillman in memory of her husband Don and to continue their lifetime’s work supporting health education, especially in East Africa.   HMEF’s goal is to support potential leaders in health care and assist them as they build health education projects in their own communities. This year HMEF funded projects are in Uganda, Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Dedicated local leaders run all these projects. They are able to stretch our small grants to achieve big results. Typically grants are under $5000. The HMEF Team in Canada, led by Dr Joanne Young and guided by Dr Liz Hillman are all volunteers of Rose Charities Canada. They volunteer their time and cover any admin costs so that 100% of your donation will be sent to a project.