Category Archives: General interest

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 

 

Busy Rose Charities Malaysia… !

Events for 2014
java-map4D/3N Trip to ROSE Shelter in Bandung!

Date: 23rd to 26th Sept 2014
Activity: Visiting ROSE Shelter

ROSE Charities Malaysia will be visiting Bandung Rose Shelter in West Java, Indonesia. Provisions and assistance will be provided….

Members, Volunteers & Friends are invited. For more details, kindly contact: Mr. Lawrence (C/P: 012 4882419)

Cost: Ground arrangement (RM650) including airport transfers, hill resort hotel accommodation, all meals, sightseeing and self-funded shopping spree!

Flight Options:
MAS RM650 (Penang -> KL -> Jakarta & return) or
Air Asia RM950 (Penang -> KL -> Bandung & return)

 

Visiting Orang Asli Camp

Date: Sunday, 12th October 2014
Activity: Health Screening at Orang Asli Camp
ROSE Charities Malaysia partner with Lions Club to carry out regular bi-annually Health Screening event at the camp in Tapah,Perak. Families will also be receiving Provisions and Clothing, besides Food and Beverages provided.

 

Festive Celebration! ( Deepavali aka Festival of Lights)

Date: Sunday 19th October 2014
Activity: Children’s Day Out

ROSE Charities Malaysia will be inviting 200 underprivileged children to a Fun-fill gathering to celebrate Deepavali, including games and other activities and goodies!
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Seniors’ Day Out (International Day for the Elderly):

Date: Monday, 3rd Nov 2014
Activity: A day Trip up Penang Hill

In conjunction with International Day for the Elderly, Rose Charities Malaysia will be hosting 500 Seniors on a half day trip to experience a Ride on new Penang Hill Blue Funicular Train (1st generation was the wooden train and 2nd generation was red-and-white train)

Guests of Honor including The Governor of Penang and his consort, The Chief Minister and spouse will be among other State VIPs attending the event.
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Children’s Day Party ( Universal Children’s Day)

Date: Sunday, 7th Dec 2014
Activity: Grand Party @ Penang Sports Club

ROSE Charities Malaysia will be celebrating Universal Children’s Day together with 1000 children from various Charitable Homes.
Children are the Future of Nation and the Citizens of Tomorrow!

 

Members Yet?

No problem, Volunteers or Friends of Members/Volunteers are all Welcome!

If you are interested in any of the above event, Please do not hesitate to contact any of the following:

rosecharities.malaysia@gmail.com

gimsanlee168@gmail.com

lawrence2419@gmail.com
Continue reading Busy Rose Charities Malaysia… !

Smiles Uganda Fundraiser – For the Children of Uganda ” The more fun you have here, the more Smiles you’ll give there”

 

**Rose Charities Canada would like to invite you to our annual Smiles Uganda fundraiser!**

This year it will be held on Saturday, September 13, 2014, at the False Creek Yacht Club located at 1661 Granville Street, Vancouver BC.

Each year this event is organized to support 53 impoverished children in Kampala, Uganda. Smiles Uganda provides school fees to allow these children access to education they would not have otherwise. Over the last five years, the Smiles Uganda initiative has raised over $50,000 for school fees and we are VERY proud to share that our first graduate, Amos Alwa, has enrolled in Kyambogo University specializing in civil engineering! This would not be possible without your support! He is an amazing example of what we can do to change lives, just by having fun!

Smiles Uganda is run entirely by volunteers, so your donations go directly to benefit these incredibly worthy kids!

This years’ fundraiser promises to be the best one yet! We will be hosting it at the False Creek Yacht Club – beautiful views and sunset so come early and stay late! This year we will feature a live African musician, a top DJ from Republic night club, silent auction items, lots of hors d’oeuvres, and cheap drinks. Tickets are only $50!

If you find it difficult to attend this event, you can still help these kids by donating funds on line and/or contacting us to donate an item or service to our silent auction. We greatly appreciate all donations and auction items and make sure corporate sponsors are recognized for their support. As a registered Canadian Charity we also provide Canadian Charitable Tax Receipts.

You can buy tickets or donate via the website below:

Smiles sponsored students
Smiles sponsored students

Please extend this invitation to your friends, family and colleagues or feel free to bring a group!

****The more fun you have, the more smiles we can provide!****

 

Light and water and boats to rebuild Philippine lives

kopernik-water-filter-kidsOne of Rose Charities most fundamental principles is linkage and coordination with reliable partners to generate synergy to increase impact where needed.  Notable major Rose partners in the Philippines Hiayan disaster for assistance in the Negros area have been the Bacolod North Rotary Club and  Kopernik Technology Organization in Indonesia.  Rose Charities linked these two organizations during our first response mission to Negros a few days after the disaster had struck and the synergy has continued with outstanding work from all.
3,820 survivors have been reached in the latest phase of operations with the supply by Kopernik of solar lights and water filter systems. Distribution has been carried out by the Bacolod  Rotary with significant funding coming from Rose Charities USA and Canada.  The solar light systems not only provide bright light at night but also enable mobiles phones to be charged.
kopernik-giftingThe North Bacolod Rotary club distributed  the technologies over one month in Northern Iloilo; President Roxas Town, Northern Panay; Loguinot Island, Northern Iloilo Province; as well as in the cities of Cadiz, Sagay and Bacolod in Northern Negros. They managed very difficult logistics to ensure the water filters and solar lights reached those who needed them the most.
Even now though,  four months after the typhoon struck there are still many areas where people are struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives.  Bacolod North Rotary is being supported by Rose Charities to build boats for fishing families, to re-construct a major health clinic and other structural needs
Kopernik Technologies is a social-enterprise oriented community technology initiative which supplies appropriate and much needed technology to developing countries. Their support and speed of response in the Philippine Haiyan disaster has been outstanding.   Kopernik has also been coordinating with major Rose Charities partner AMDA International .   An informal, but highly functional network thus formed very early on in the course of the disaster which has generated a considerable synergy in the delivery of assistance to many areas of the Philippines  and many many thousands in need.

Street Invest discussions with Rose Charities

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Left, Will Grut, Kim Darton, Jan Johnston, Sarah Darton, Bill Johnston, Right. Breakfast coordination meeting in Vancouver.

Kim and Sarah Darton visited Vancouver in August/Sept and held coordination discussions with Jan and Bill Johnson  of the Rose Charities Canada, Rose Charities Vietnam boards and the Rose Charities International Council.   Kim Darton is one of the Trustees of  ‘Street Invest’, a wonderful organization which provides assistance to street children worldwide as well as training for street child workers.   Sarah Darton works with ‘Family Links’ UK  which specializes in psychological nurturing programs for parents, children and school staff in the UK.   Bill Johnston is on the board of both Rose Charities International Council as well as Rose Charities Canada and Jan Johnston was one of the founders of Rose Charities Vietnam and remains on that board.  Jan Johnston was the recipient of the 2010 Charity Rose Award.  Will Grut is Hon Sec and Trustee of Rose Charities UK

The world in New York !: Langage Event.. 24 Sept 2013

<click for more>

Practice ANY language in a no pressure, casual environment while benefiting a great cause! 

HOW IT WORKS:

– Come anytime between 6-11pm and make a $10 donation to Rose Charities

– We’ll provide you with flag stickers to stick on: one for your home country/language and one for each of the other languages you’d like to practice

– Take advantage of drink specials all night: $4 draft beer, $5 wine, $6 cocktails

– Begin informal conversation in whatever language you’d like!

We’ll have facilitators making introductions but there’s no set structure, just a bar full of great people simultaneously speaking dozens of different languages. Great opportunity to meet language partners and mingle with an international crowd. Open to all nationalities and language levels.

The projects you’ll be supporting in Vietnam and Cambodia will benefit tremendously from your donation

 … <click for more>

UK to Mongolia in and old Suzuki and support for Rose Charities. Bravo to the mighty Midgleys and Lee Schab !

khan-touch-this-finishAll and every congratulation to Will and Henry Midgley (NZ) and Lee Schab (Vancouver, Canada) for the epic journey to Mongolia in their little 1000cc second-hand  Suzuki car.  12 countries and thousands of kilometers many over the most difficult roads.  The photos below give a pictorial account of the trip.  The team made Rose Charities one of their two sponsored organizations.  The whole Rose network is hugely grateful   To date almost 1000 pounds have been raised for Rose international projects.  To donate (click)

 

 

The start …

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Left to right. Barbar Reade (Rose Charities UK), Will Midgley, Lee Schwab, Henry Midgley

The journey…

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Difficult moments…

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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.

Safe Motherhood Project Guatemala: another successful teaching visit..

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Annette Borkent demonstrates proper hand washing

We have just returned from another amazing time in Guatemala training further comadronas, (a.k.a. traditional birth attendants). We spent 2 weeks in a small town called El Rodeo in the Department of San Marcos. This town is situated in the western portion of Guatemala in the lowlands, near the Mexican border. We trained 55 eager students, the majority being comadronas who have been actively working, and the remainder, equal numbers of aspiring comadronas and volunteer ambulance attendants.

See  www.safemotherhoodproject.org

Once again, it was remarkable to see the students so intrigued by what they were learning. Their desire to learn was palpable! One of the important aspects of our training is for each student to do a real life interview and examination of a pregnant woman, to use their new knowledge that they have learned by using models and role playing. One of our comadrona students asked each of her patients to come to our course so that everyone in the course would have the opportunity to do a hands-on interview and exam of a pregnant woman. This was a huge gift for those who did not have a pregnant friend, sister, cousin or neighbour to join them for the private clinic which we set up as part of our course. During our second week, a pregnant student offered to have everyone watch Ruth did a live interview and exam on her as an example for the whole class. Awesome participation!

The course was very well received and we had a wonderful graduation ceremony to celebrate the students completing the 5 day courses. The mayor of El Rodeo supplied a wonderful meal for everyone present. We heard many times how much each student appreciated the course.

Since returning home, our team has already been asked to bring our course to 5 other towns! Our Guatemalan teammates will be teaching 3 of these groups throughout the coming months. We hope to be back in Guatemala for training of Trainers next year so that we can reach many more areas. We were unable to train trainers this year due to logistical issues. Our coordinator is working on getting everything lined up to do this for next Feb. We were also able to have meetings with 3 other NGOs in Guatemala in hopes of finding groups to collaborate with. One of these groups expressed a lot of interest in working together. We hope to find others as well in the coming year.

smp1We were excited to learn that the Minister of Health has asked for a meeting with our group in the near future and there is a real possibility that our project will be used as a model by other groups throughout Guatemala. Cenaida, our Guatemalan coordinator, is well prepared to make a presentation about our project. This will include the concept of having a registry of trained trainers and comadronas, at a national level, and to train all comadronas within Guatemala with our comprehensive hands-on course. We could then begin to divide Guatemala into regions with groups of trainers responsible for specific regions. Once a registry is formed, there could be a way of ensuring that trainers, as well as comadronas have a recertification on a regular basis, to keep everyone up to date. The doctor in charge of the doctors in the Dept. (state) of Sololá will also be present at this meeting to speak on our behalf. He has been a promoter of our course for the past number of years and has seen the benefits of our style of teaching. There will also be a representative of the Sololá Dept. of Development.

Things continue to unfold, and many more areas of Guatemala are still in need of training. Thank you all who have and continue to support  this project, helping many Guatemalans learn safe birthing skills and saving lives!