Category Archives: Community Support

Covid Emergency Nepal: masks for the community

Rose Charities Canada has sent funds for the Rose Nepal Programs Group under Ms Sarala Adhikari to urgently supply around 3000 medical masks, primarily for people in the Pharping area with a focus on kids. While the protective benefits of mask wearing have become well appreciated in the area, simple lack of having them has been impeding their usage. Great work Nepal Group !

The Freedom of No Malaria!

Since 2916 Dr Andrew Macnab’s (Rose Charities Canada / Rose Uganda Support Group) amazing schools based malaria abatement program in Uganda has been delivering outstanding results. The highly endemic disease accounts for thousands of missing days of education in a young population desperate to attain the maximum benefit from school attendance. Teachers are trained to recognize early symptoms and then confirm them with a simple and relatively cheap kit test. Artemsia based drugs (as approved by the WHO ) can be then started immediately in situ, and, being quick acting, take effect early to reduce the childs convalescent absence period from days to possibly only hours. (https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/45/6/1759/2670325 )

Children, teachers, parents all love the program and its success has been attested to now for the last 5 years. A huge success for Uganda, Rose teams but above everything the kids and their families !

Haiti Children and Y0uth Project: Spring 2021 update

Dear friends and family,

With the start of summer Emoji and mid 2021 approaching, as always we hope that all is well with you and yours. 

We have not written for several months because, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past several months have been fairly quiet for the Haiti Children & Youth Project.  

COVID-19  & PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Last year when the COVID-19 pandemic started, our team of volunteer leaders followed the Haitian health authority’s COVID prevention guidelines and temporarily stopped project activities involving group gatherings except for project committee meetings. Miraculously the number of COVID-19 cases were low in Haiti so last summer the Haitian government allowed groups of people to start meeting again with masks on at markets, schools, churches, etc. Even so, our Haitian leaders chose to wait until this past January 2021 to resume group project activities.

Last month, in May, several cases of the COVID-19 variant from Brazil were reported in Haiti with some associated deaths. Consequently, near the end of May the Haitian government requested the population again limit social / group gatherings and wear masks in public. Then on June 1st the government announced a 15 day “lock down” to hopefully stop the virus from continuing to spread. Online news reports that the Astrazenica vaccine may eventually be offered in Haiti.

EDUCATION SUPPORT  

Providing financial assistance to support the education of elementary and secondary school students is the only project activity which has continued throughout the pandemic. Haitian schools reopened last July 2020 and students were able to finish the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year from July to October then start the 2020-2021 school year last November. We are extremely thankful that the project was able to help pay the 2020-2021 school fees for 159 students with significant need, orphans and others from single parent or very low income families.

The positive impact this education support has for each student hits home with a recent story from an orphan who received her first education bursary from the project. When talking to one of the project leaders this student mentioned that this year she does not have to worry when the school administration starts following up on unpaid school fees and begins to send students home who are unable to pay the remaining balance. She expressed relief and gratitude that, with her school fees fully paid, she is one of the “privileged” children in the school who will be able to complete the whole academic year.

NEW JACMEL PROGRAM  (see photos below)

Last fall the Haitian committee leaders became aware of several orphans in the city of Jacmel which is a half hour drive southwest of the project office and work in Lavalee. Orphans in the city are often originally from a smaller community in the nearby countryside. When a child’s parents die a friend, family member, or another individual in the city offers to take in the orphan even if they themselves have their own children to care for and/or have limited resources. Many of the people who help care for the orphans are motivated to do so by their faith in God.

Our Haitian leaders proposed expanding the project to support orphans in Jacmel as well as other vulnerable children and youth in the city. This past January they started a program with two small groups: one of nine children age 10-15 years old (4 boys and 5 girls) and another of sixteen youth age 16-21 years old (10 boys and 6 girls). Every few weeks the children and youth meet together for social and educational activities. A nutritious snack is always served. The project has had the funds to also provide a full meal on four occasions.  Each of the 25 participants in this new Jacmel program received a school bursary for their 2020-2021 school year fees.

A close friend of Jean’s in Jacmel offered a place to hold this new program. The meeting place is a great resource for the program attendees as they are free to visit two project leaders there outside program hours. We are still in the process of raising funds to rent this location but so far two local Haitian citizens have each made a financial contribution towards the rent.

With sincere appreciation for your interest and support,

Jean & Terri Lubin

Rose Charities ‘Haiti Children & Youth Project’

Women’s higher education sponsorship. .. rose Nepal’s wonderful ‘buhari’ program

Rose Nepal ‘Buhari’ trainees. Advanced education for women

‘Buhari’ means married women / daughters in law.   This is the name that Rose Nepal gives to its advanced education program for women.   It is well documented that women’s education is one of the most effective parameters in advancing communities in all areas in almost every parameter index, from health, poverty reduction, peace  and Rose Nepal promotes these strongly in it Buhari program.  The program operates from the rural Pharping area of the Kathmandu Valley.  Notable (see image)  is  Sushima Thapa magar, one of the best achieving students to date from Kopu Village close to graduating in Engineering and Architecture.  She will be the first female Rose-Engineering graduate from this small community.

Sponsorships  in the Buhai Program and run at around CAD 600 per student per year which include both tuition (CAD 300 appx) and living / course material costs.(CAD 300 appx)  It is hard to find an initiative of better value as it creates both a active, involved and hugely needed future for the student herself, as well as a panoply of secondary benefits for her family, community, region and country.   Partial assistance (ie covering a proportion of the costs at any level) are equally welcomed and will be pooled by Rose to complete the amount for a full Buhari Scholarship. 

Donate to this program (select Nepal Education and Community from drop-down)

Firefighters learn to deliver guatemalan babies ! .. rose charities canada safe motherhood program

2020 marks the 18th year of the Safe Motherhood Project in Guatemala, a four to five day hands-on education program for Mayan midwives who are called comadronas, Guatemalan volunteer firemen/paramedics who are called bomberos, and other healthcare workers involved in maternity care.  We have now taught over 1280 students, skills helpful in managing obstetrical emergencies.  We have always intended that these skills complement the traditional birthing practices of Mayan comadronas.  The goal is to help reduce maternal and newborn mortality.

Fifty percent of the Guatemalan population identifies as indigenous, Maya.  The majority of the Mayan population in Guatemala lives rurally and does not have easy access to health care services.  While giving birth has become safer in the urban areas of Guatemala over the past twenty years due to proximity to a system of National Hospitals, giving birth rurally is still fraught with risk; hospital care is often a distance away, and maternal mortality and newborn mortality rates are much higher among the rural population in the country.   Our course targets comadronas and bomberos in the rural highlands of Guatemala.

The global pandemic caused by the SARS CoV2 virus has had a huge impact on our project this year.  Just before global cases of COVID 19 surged, from January 9 to January 26, Annette Borkent, RN, Ruth Brighouse, MD, and Birte Pachen, RM, travelled to Guatemala to join our Guatemalan teammates, Cenaida Juarez, project coordinator and instructor; Gloria Cotuj, comadrona and instructor; and Gaby Castellanos, nutritionist and instructor.  Together we taught 15 experienced comadronas in Santiago Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in the department of Solola.  All of our students were very satisfied with the course remarking how practical it was and how useful it would be to apply the skills learned in a rural home birth.   We had a wonderful closing ceremony where each student received their course diploma, manual, and birthing kit of supplies.  We were fortunate to use the facilities at the POWHER School, run by Salvando Madres.  POWHER is an NGO that also offers courses and assistance to the comadronas of the municipality of Santiago Atitlan.  We required translation assistance from Chonita one of POWHER’s instructors, as most students spoke the Mayan dialect of Tzutuil.  During this time we met American and Mexican midwives volunteering at the school and also at a Casa Materna (birth house)  in San Juan La Laguna, a community across the lake from Santiago.  Check our facebook page, “The Safe Motherhood Project” to see videos of us in action this year.

For the second week of our sojourn we planned to teach in San Juan La Laguna, but the group requesting our course cancelled the course just days before our arrival.  Always adaptable, we seized the opportunity to teach 57 school girls aged 10 to 13 years.  We taught the girls about female anatomy, menstruation, teen pregnancy, and the right to say “NO” to sexual advances. Teen pregnancy is a huge problem in Guatemala.  Each student was allowed to ask questions anonymously by writing her question on a piece of paper that was placed in our basket.  We jumbled the pieces of paper and drew questions and provided answers.  This was very successful.  This type of educational project would tie in nicely with the Days for Girls project where re-usable menstrual pads and panties are provided in a kit to each adolescent girl.  Unfortunately we had not budgeted for these supplies which we could have obtained for a cost from the local branch of Days for Girls.

We also took time to provide practice updates to our Guatemalan teammates and re-certify them on the various topics we teach.  We often do not have time during our trips to provide continuing education to our instructors.  This was a timely opportunity.  We also spent time updating our manual to be more commensurate with the Guatemalan Department of Public Health health promotion materials.

Finally, we were invited by three bomberos that we had taught three years prior, to Chichicastenango, Quiche, population, 75,000.  They shared stories of how valuable our course had been for them.  They had been called to a number of birthing emergencies and were able to save the lives of both mothers and babies using the techniques we had taught.  They wanted us to come to their city to offer a course to their bombero colleagues, which was planned for April 2020.

And then the virus struck globally and a pandemic was declared which halted our team’s activites abruptly in March…..

It is unfortunate that so many worthwhile projects have been placed “on hold” during this pandemic.  We have also suspended our fundraising activites given the current uncertainty.

We have been convinced by the students we’ve taught of the value of our “hands on” teaching model.  We believe this course is truly valuable and deserves to continue.  This hiatus will allow us to solicit funds from larger funding agencies in addition to our usual individual donors.

We have a positive balance in the bank.  While Guatemala is under curfew, there may still be useful activities our Guatemalan teammates can undertake in the next few months.  It is our hope to have a broader reach with our birthing emergencies course throughout Guatemala.  To do that we will need to train a larger and more geographically diverse group of instructors.  We hope to have some success with larger funding agencies who share our vision.

Annette Borkent. Founder Safe Motherhood Program Guatemala

dr. Elizabeth ‘liz’ Hillman (C.m.) passes on…… Rose Charities mourns

The late Dr’s Don and Elizabeth Hillman – mentors to the world..

We are sad to announce the passing on of Dr. Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Hillman, pivotal figure in the Rose Charities Canada and the whole Rose Charities Family. Liz both contributed in expertise and/or initiated multiple Rose Charities programs (under her special ‘Hillman Fund’ division) both in Africa and Asia. She was always one of Rose Charities topmost mentors and advisors.

Dr Elizabeth Hillman grew up in Northern Ontario with no roads, schools, or healthcare. She and her family lived in a retired railway car that was converted into a schoolhouse; the schoolhouse traveled to a different town each week, where her parents would teach the children of local workers. Dr Hillman went on to graduate from medical school at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1951. She then completed postgraduate training in pediatrics from five different schools in three countries.

For 20 years, Dr Hillman was Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics including Emergency, Management of Child Abuse, and the Poison Control Centre at Montreal Children’s Hospital. For four years, she served in Kenya with a McGill-Kenya CIDA-funded project to develop a pediatric program at the University of Nairobi, alongside her husband, Dr Donald Hillman, and their five children. She and her husband worked as global medical consultants in several Asian and African countries.

Dr Hillman was the first female president of the Medical Council of Canada and both she and her husband led active roles in the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They were both awarded the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1994 for their commitment to international child health. She was also chair of the Board of the Elisabeth Bruyère Research Institute at the University of Ottawa from 2005 to 2008. In honour of her late husband, Dr Hillman established the Hillman Medical Education Fund which ran as a special division of Rose Charities Canada (and International) to support health education and to foster future leaders in medicine, particularly in East Africa. It did however extend considerably further contributing to Rose Charities initiatives both in Asia as well as Africa.

Liz’s passing on is a great loss to the world. Her life was however full, vibrant and focused, contributing hugely to diffusing education and health care to many who have benefited from it and have themselves then spread it on to others. In this way her influence, and charity have brought wonderful lives to many who otherwise would have remained within the poverty trap.

To Rose Charities, Liz was one of the finest sources of expertise and advice possible and the organization was truly lucky to count her has a mentor. While Africa was her main focus, her experience and advice extended also to S.E. Asia, particularly Indo China which has been one of the main foci of Rose Charities activities for its 22 year existence.

Dr Elizabeth Hillman. The whole of Rose Charities salutes you, lauds and acclaims you, and now, mourns you. We will not forget you and extend all condolences to your family.

Menstrual Care Kits for Uganda

Many girls across the world are unable to attend school when they have their periods as they have no access to affordable menstrual care. Days for Girls is a US non-profit that has developed reusable kits that solve this problem. Their aim is to develop sustainable solutions that remove limitations for women and girls. Thanks to a partnership between Rose Charities and Disaster Aid Canada( a distributor for Days for Girls) 50  menstruation kits were sent from Vancouver to two of Rose’s projects in Uganda – Stand Tall School and Smiles Scholarship program. The kits had quite the journey! Made by volunteers on Vancouver Island, they were brought to Vancouver on the ferry, then transported in a hockey bag to Kampala where they were delivered to the girls.Along with some education about menstrual hygiene these kits will enable the young women to attend school without interruption each month. This is such a basic need for young women – access to products that allow them to continue with their lives whatever time of the month.

Maggie Francis (Chair Rose Charities Canada)

Rose NZ supporting student education in Nepal

Rose Charities NZ has worked with Ms Sarala Adhikari (Rose in Nepal) to cooperate with  the Shikharapur Community School (Principal Mr Binod Mahat, Campus Chief , Mr Niroj Shrestha)  in the beautiful and holy Pharping area in the Kathmandu Valley Nepal.  http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Pharping

 

Rose Charities NZ provided the funds for an entire and much needed new rood for the school in return for 7 students to be sponsored to grade 10 and 2 to even higher level.

It is anticipated that this program will meet with every success for the girls and will lead on to further cooperative efforts to increase support (especially female) education both in Nepal and worldwide.

Shikharapur Community School has close links with Tribhuvan University Kathmandu.

 

 

Safe Motherhood Guatemala, continued success and expansion in 2017

2017 marked the 15th year of the Safe Motherhood Project in Guatemala.  To recap, the Safe Motherhood Project is an educational project to train traditional Mayan Midwifes (Comadronas) in safe birthing techniques and emergency skills in caring for women who have their babies at home.  Each course is 5 days long.  We now have a competent team of 3 Guatemalan midwives who do the bulk of the teaching.  We strive to conduct 3 to 4 courses per year each course attended by 30 Comadronas and/or Paramedics.  The Canadian members of the project comprise 2 midwives, 1 family physician, and 1 maternity nurse. We Canadians visit at our own expense

once a year in February to make sure the project is on track or to provide practice updates. To date we have taught over 1000 Comadronas in various communities in many parts of the country.

Since our last report, the team has made 2 visits to Chisec, in the department of Alta Verapaz and has been able to teach 3 courses and a total of 100 comadronas in this municipality. Educational space and meals were generously provided by Karen and Rocky of Compelling Love Ministries, a couple from Kamloops who have acquired a small acreage in Chisec to provide community health education programs and to create a children’s nutritional center.  As I write this report, our Guatemalan team will be teaching for 2 weeks, roughly 60 students, in Chichicastenango, a large market community in the highlands of the department of Quiche.

Efforts have been made to connect with local Guatemalan NGOs to collaborate materially and financially on this project. Unfortunately, while we receive lots of approval and verbal support, material support at a local level has not been forthcoming.  I believe the reality for this project in Guatemala, as with much of the health and education infrastructure in the country, is a dependence on foreign donations for sustainability.  A positive development in this country strapped for health dollars is that the Comadronas have been recognized since 2014 as an essential part of the health care system.  The government has made efforts to credential Comadronas who receive formal training.  We have received official recognition of our course from several levels of government.

This coming February 2018, the Canadian team members will return to Guatemala for 2 weeks of courses. The community is to be determined.  However, the popularity of our course has increased by “word of mouth” and there are several communities requesting our presence.  The need is still there for this educational program.  We are proud that we have been able to continue this project for 15 years and look forward the project continuing for many more years to come.

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)