Hello everyone. Am Derrick Obin a 25years old Ugandan. My country is found in East Africa. It is such a beautiful part of the world to live in. My journey with Rose Charity has been such a life changing one. The organization stood with me from childhood through support in education till completion. The tuition, psychological and emotional support I got from my coordinators enabled me to complete my course and am now happily serving the health sector in my country with love and passion. The message I have for the world is that help rendered towards helping someone achieve their dream not only benefits the individual but it is service to the community and the nation at large. A small support could yield a great positive impact in the community and a nation. I am a living testimony of this. Much love from Uganda.
Category Archives: Healthcare
Rose Charities people….. ANDREW MACNAB (Canada)
Brighter Smiles Group. Unsurpassed understanding. Unparalleled friend to Uganda.
Andrew first went to Uganda 60 years ago (image) and has returned an almost uncountable number of times since. As a paediatrician, Andrew has over half a lifetime been able to improve child health in Uganda by employing school-based health promotion. a concept that he originally developed in collaboration with Canada’s First Nations for their school system. The model seeks to creatively engage school children and their teachers to enable each child to acquire knowledge and practical life-skills that benefit their long term health. It is an approach now endorsed globally by WHO.
Andrew’s approach met its first success in the dramatic improvement of oral health among Ugandan children. Andrew points out that .. It is notable that number one reason a child in Canada requires a general anesthetic, with all its risks, needs for specialized staff and equipment and its fear for a child, is for badly decayed teeth !.
Andrew, a Consultant at UBC both in Pediatrics and Urology founded his ‘Brighter Smiles’ organization to promote and implement his programs from a Canadian base and in the early 2000’s merged it as a member program of Rose Charities (bringing a huge panoply of experience, innovation and scope to the latter) and remains one of the most distinguished, internationally focused members of the Rose family
Andrews Africa programs (both Uganda and elsewhere) are, significantly, collaborations with local communities. Oral health (as mentioned above) led on to nutrition. Andrew promoted school health-nutrition plants plots and now many Ugandan schools now plant gardens and use the produce to benefit malnourished pupils through lunch programs. Malnutrition weakens children’s resistance to common infections and restricts their ability to learn. Andrew points out how much anemia and delayed reading age are remediable by the addition of vitamin A and iron to children’s diets, which in Uganda were regularly deficient in such. Researching this, his teams found that the innovation of combined planting in school gardens of a new, vitamin A and iron rich yellow sweet potato rootstock with the maize and beans traditionally grown was a highly effective solution.
Malaria in Schools program. One of Andrews major successes to date has been his malaria in school alleviation program. Seeing the problem of endemic malaria as much as an education as a health problem (days missed with stress on child and family superimposed on the danger of the illness) Andrew introduced highly monitored and personally researched program of early diagnosis and treatment, actually carried out by teachers, specifically trained to do so.
Andrew writes.. ‘The solution offered, although simple, was novel at the time. Supported by the Hillman fund (another Rose Charities member group) , our teams taught teachers how to ‘test and treat’ malaria by using a rapid screening test on a drop of blood and artemisinin combination therapy. This safely makes available WHO advocated tools to fight malaria available in rural areas with limited or no access to clinics. A two year evaluation documenting the change in duration of absence from school due to malaria has shown that this school-based approach significantly reduces morbidity – the prevalence of disease in the school area. . Pre-intervention, children used to miss an average of 6.5 school days with each bout of infection, but this has fallen to less than 1 day where teachers are able to screen all the children found to be sick at school (photo 3), and promptly treat those testing positive.’
The extent of Andrews charitable achievements considerably go beyond those above and include urological assistance to rural Uganda seniors (and in Canada, technological invention), promotion of anti-violence-on-women. ( an ongoing campaign has seen a partnership with one of Uganda’s leading popular song studios with their star performers in the development of a song ‘Tekawo Enjawulo’ – We can make it better). Andrew is constantly researching data to find novel or unrecognized ways to improve the wellbeing of communities and the women, men and children who constitute them.
Andrew Macnab, is a truly outstanding member of the Rose Charities ‘family’ who devotes vast experience, academic and practical ability for the benefit of others and has, and continues to both save and improve the lives of tens of thousands, directly and by linkage, to millions. He makes the world a better place
Ukraine war: the health assistance continues. Winter 2022
Rose Charities Canada has been continuing health-care support to the Ukraine war victims in through supporting highly effective ICross B.C efforts. Container(s) are being converted to mobile health clinics and hard to get specialized medications supplied from Canada. Peripheral medical supplies, ie blankets, baby items also are being sent through the same coordination.
Donate through https://www.rosecharities.ca/donate-index-impact Please donate in Emergency Relief section with a note saying ‘for Ukraine’
Safe Motherhood Guatemala update Jan 2022
The Guatemalan Safe Motherhood Project continues to make progress, in spite of the pandemic. We in Canada have been in bimonthly contact via Zoom with our Guatemalan teammates. Because of travel restrictions, teaching in other communities has been replaced with a new clinic, providing prenatal care to local pregnant women and holding prenatal discussion groups, as well as addressing topics beyond pregnancy and birth, including breastfeeding, alcohol and other substance use disorders, domestic violence, nutrition, and supporting teen mothers.
Here in Canada we’ve been having a meeting every 5-6 weeks with a primary focus on trying to find corporate sponsors as well as granting foundations. Our long-term goal is to expand our training courses with more teams. We hope to be able to travel to Guatemala once again in the fall of 2022. Our team will be able to train a number of further trainers to bring our hands-on course to many more remote areas, so as to make a larger impact in fewer years. The need remains huge and more trained teams are needed in order to impact the lives of so many marginalized, poverty-stricken families (primarily indigenous) in Guatemala. With persistence, further funding will allow this.
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 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.
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’
Rose Charities Singapore: Helping with Covid relief right from the beginning
Covid emergency Nepal: Oxygen Unit Support
Rose Charities Canada is supporting the Rose Charities Nepal Program Group in assisting an urgent local initiative, along with other groups and individuals to provide an oxygen unit for the Manmohan Hospital. The program to date has already raised around 50% of the required NPR 60 lakh (appx CAD65,000) allowing equipment already to be ordered (oxygen production, cylinders, beds etc, as well as ambulance refurbishment).
At the time of writing, Sars-Cov-2, having spread in from India is ravaging Nepal. Resources are strained to beyond their limits and at the end of May 2021 there were over half a million cases with some 8000 deaths. One of the essential treatment methods prevent death, the use of oxygen, has been made almost impossible give to to the majority of covid sufferers due to the overwhelming demand depleting supplies. Ref https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/10/hopeless-situation-oxygen-shortage-fuels-nepal-covid-crisis
The Government is doing what it can but itself has limited resources to spare amid the numerous other national demands from the pandemic.
Dakshinkali, in the Pharping community lies on the southern edge of the Kathmandu Valley, an area containing apprximately 2.5 million people or some 8% of the entire population of Nepal The Manmohan Memorial Community Hospital in Dakshinkali town provides a vital role in serving the people both of the local areas and its surrounds. Its services however have been overwhelmed by the current pandemic.
The power of small: the story of rose charities sight restoration in conflict torn Cambodia
Written and narrated by Trish Gribben (ex Chair Rose Charities N.Z. Produced by Hannah Walker)
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
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.