Category Archives: General interest

Rose Charities International Meeting 2012 – Penang

The Rose IV Meeting in Penang, Malaysia (22nd to 25th March 2012), and hosted by the Penang Rose Charities Association (Rose Charities Malaysia)  is shaping up to be an amazing gathering of both Rose Charities , and other people the world over.
Delegates representing projects or registered Rose groups from,  Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uganda, UK, USA and Canada and Guatemala  will be attending.
The ‘Hillman Fund’, a special group inside Rose Charities Canada which sponsors health education projects in Africa, Pakistan, and Cambodia will have a big presence including chair of the Hillman Committee, Dr Joanne Young of Vancouver,  Annette Borkent of the Safe Motherhood Guatemala Project, Dr Wagma Reshsteen of Primary Health Frontiers, Pakistan, and Dr Wais Aria of  The Tabish Social Health Organization, Afghanistan.
Dr Andrew MacNab (B.C’s Childrens Hospital)  founder of African Hearts and Brighter Smiles, Uganda will be speaking on his work with Health Promoting Schools, and Rachel Green of Rose Charities USA on the topical area of Social Networking.
AMDA International’s senior Emergency Relief Director (Mr Nithiananan) will be attending (AMDA and Rose Charities have worked very closely a number of  emergency relief operations and are very close partners) . AMDA has huge international emergency humanitarian relief experience, and is one of the foremost NGO’s in this area.
Joanna Thomson, founder of the Rose Cambodia Rehab Center will be discussing her amazing assistance to the disabled of Cambodia,  Mr Louis Lap Nguyen co-founder of Rose Charities Vietnam,  the impressive range of Rose Vietnam projects with include sight restoration, income generation and orphanage assistance
Rose Charities Sri Lanka with its spectrum of multi-sectorial projects, ranging from early childhood care and education, through education for all ages, including college support, micro-credit, sports for peace and vocational training will be represented by co-founder Mr Anthony Richards as well as Dr Yoga Yogendran.
From Rose Charities New Zealand, Mrs Anne George will be representing. Rose New Zealand works closely with the Rose Cambodia Sight Center providing expertise and resources. In 2011 the Sight Centre passed the mark for patients assisted (many with sight restoring operations). Rose NZ also assists eye programs in Nepal and work in NZ itself (Anne Georges specialty) with new immigrant program(s).  Rose Australia delegates will include Sarah Miller, an expert in Cambodia programs, Rose Austalia’s main focus.
Rose Charities Malaysia, the hosts will be very well represented, not least by Mr  Lawrence Cheah Chair of the Rose International Council.  Rose Charities Malaysia, running out of Penang assists Malaysias indigenous people (Orang Asli), help the aged programs and helth promotion in Penang.
The meetings will work at three levels.  a) sector focus groups on specific areas (Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka,  and Health Education/Safe birthing etc ) , round-table discussion for the whole Rose network and a more formal Conference component where persons from Malaysian (and other) NGO’s and interested parties will be invited.
Malaysia’s Penang Island, with its historic UNESCO listed George Town, is a wonderful location for the meeting, most of which will be held in the seaside Tanjung Bunga area at the Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel.
All Rose Charities persons and other linked or interested parties are welcome.
For details, please contact Mrs Sarah Miller (Australia)
or  Ms  Judith Peralta (Canada)
** Note: with one or two exceptions where limited assistance has been offered, all attendees are self funding.  Conference costs have been kindly born by Rose Charities Malaysia from specifically donated sources.  No Rose Charities charitable donation funds have been used for the conference or meeting, unless specifically given by donor(s) for that purpose.

NZ Optometry team help screen poor in rural Cambodia: Dec 2011

John Veale and Mike Webber (Optometrist Consultants, from Rose Charities New Zealand) went to Cambodia in mid-December, 2011. Their mission was to once again spend time at the Rose Charities Sight Centre in Phnom Penh with staff, training, ‘fine tuning’ and/or suggesting ways that could help in improving performance. The clinic now performs at a very high level of competence now in all areas of eyecare from surgery, medical ophthalmology and provision of spectacles after refraction, so the last six years of visits from the NZ team ( Dr. David Sabiston, John Veale and Mike Webber) , have proved very worthwhile.

Another aim of the work this visit was to attend and help at one of he outreach clinics undertaken by Rose clinic and staff. This is a strategy started this year to coordinate with a new Governmnent program for the rural poor. Seven NGO’s have signed up for the program, with Fred Hollows and Rose Charities being the first two groups to start outreach clinics and provide cataract operations to those to whom they never would have been previously available. The target is to perform 50,000 cataract operations by the year 2018 in Cambodia.

Rose Charities had planned for many years to commence rural clinics but in 2002 its vehicles and equipment were stolen by an crooked expatriate causing considerable delay to the program. Without this crime, The Rose Charities Sight Centre would by now have been able to assist many more poor Cambodians than the 100,000 it has assisted since 2002.

Mike Webber and John Veale attended the first Rose outreach clinic in the Kandal province and about an hour and a half drive from Phnom Penh. There was an official opening ceremony filmed by Tv news, and a high ranking Governmental official from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, before they we got down to business of screening.

They saw 253 patients, and of these about seventy were to be referred to the Rose Sight Centre for surgery for treatment at a later date. These patients were later transported down to Phnom Penh by truck (free), and taken home same way after treatment.

Dr. Hang Vra and his team conduct these outreach clinics once every two weeks at different locations in the provinces. The second outreach clinic saw 296 people and referred 125 referred to the Rose Charities Sight Centre for surgery.

Third outreach clinic saw 100cases`referred for surgery. The surgery in all these cases was predominantly for cataracts.

Mike Webber and John Veale also attended and helped at a program called Village Health And Community Development. This is a program run by Dr Veronica Ventura, an American gynecologist, who is based in Singapore. Both the Rose Charities Sight and Rehab/Surgical Centres cooperate with Village Health and Community Development programs where assistance can be given.

Dr Ventura has four such projects going in Cambodia. Her method it to target a village off the beaten track in Cambodia and takes in teams of various medical specialties, including ophthalmic, and to survey the health and needs of these isolated people. The program that John and Mike attended was in a village some one and a half hours drive from Kompong Thom, a town on the main road north to Siem Riep and geographically in the centre of Cambodia.

On this occasion The Singaporean team consisted of Dr Veronica Ventura, four Ophthlamic registrars in various stages of training, two optometry students, a lecturer in Optometry from the Singapore School, a group of medical students, and the Rose Charities NZ team (Mike and John). It was effectively a vision outreach program. The registering of patients, and various examinations were undertaken in classrooms in the village school. Over four days, 702 people were` seen for full health checks, and eye examinations. Of these about eighty required surgery ( 77 cataracts), and 220 pairs of ready made readers were supplied. A few required custom spectacles to be made up at Rose clinic in Phnom Penh. The surgery patients were to be
be transported free to the Rose clinic by Village Health, and receive their surgery free under the Government program a the Rose Sight Center. The Government program is generously sponsored by ABC Tissue.

Gratitude and Appreciation: John and Mike would like to acknowledge PIF (‘Pay It Forward) Foundation, NZ  for their financial support in purchasing a Keeler Hand Held slit lamp for Dr Vra, Belinda and
Kevin Way (OIC) for their gift to Rose clinic of two Neitz ophthalmoscopes, Dr. Geoff Duff for his donation of a Perkins hand held to tonometer,
Alison Hall for donating a supply of mydriatics and cycloplegics

Rose Charities would like to acknowledge the generosity and charity of ABC Tissue for their sponsorship through the Rose Sight Centre (and other NGO’s) to help eye care, blindness prevention and sight restoration for the poor of Cambodia

Forum and NGO Conference in historic UNESCO city of Penang ! March 2012

**How to develop organizationally but still remain community based. ** How to form relationships between projects and donors.  **How to make optimize social networking….. **  Come, learn, contribute and discuss…


Schedule of events:

  • Thursday 22th March 2012 – Recommended arrival date for Rose Charities specific meeting.  Evening: Private arrangements (dinner for any who wish to dine together in local ‘hawker cafe’ )
  • Friday 23th March 2012 – Rose Charities Annual planning meeting and AGM.  Theme “How to move forward, yet still remain community based”  Special session on ” Generating the best The Fund-Seeker and Fund-Donor relationship”
    • Recommended date for arrival for General Conference.
    • Rose Charities informal dinner in Old Town restaurant
  • Saturday 24th / Sunday 25th  March 2012.  Conference and open meeting(s). Hosted by Rose Charities Malaysia .   Saturday. Formal conference dinner (to be arranged).
  • Monday – departure

Venue:  Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel: Tanjung Bunga, Penang (appx 15 min from old town)

Recommended accom.   Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel,   Hotel Malaysia (more economical and in old town)

Email Secretary for event (click)

Note: For this and any Rose Charities Meetings, NO donor funds are used, unless specifically directed for that purpose.  All directors  pay their own way, and there are no ‘perks’ or ‘paid luxury trimmings’ .

New Keeler portable slit lamp for Rose Cambodia Sight Centre

Rose Charities New Zealand had purchased a new ‘Keller’ portable slit lamp for Rose Charities Sight Centre, Cambodia.  Mr Mike Webber (Wanganui, NZ)  who has provided huge support of the Sight Centre over the years, both with his optometry expertise as well as material input and networking was instrumental in making the donation. The slit lamp will upgrade the Sight Centres outreach services.

In December of this year (2012), Mike will  be travelling together with fellow optometrist and supporter of the Sight Centre, Mr John Veale (Christchurch NZ) to provice Rose Charities assistance  with an large rural optometry screening program organised by the ‘Village Health Development Organization’

More images from August 14th Rose Charities Auckland Fundraiser

Chairperson Trish Gribben (Auckland)  introduces Rose Charities NZ Trustees (left to right) Mike Webber (Whanganui) , Pip Neville-Barton (Waiheke Island) , Jane Midgley and John Veale (both Christchurch)

Sparkling rose wine and a picture of patients waiting at Lumbini Eye Institute, Nepal, set the scene for the fundraiser held in Auckland on August 14.

Rose Charities NZ chairperson Trish Gribben with Patron Lady June Hillary and volunteer Rosemary Hassan at the fund-raising screening  of the documentary, “Out of the Darkness” , about a remote surgical eye camp in Nepal

Haiti to get Container of Medical Supplies

In addition to sending medics to Haiti, Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA have, today, dispatched a large 40 ft container full of medical equipment and supplies all of which are to help resestablish the School of Nursing and the pediatric ward of the general hospital in Port-au-Prince.  Most of this equipment was donated by Medwish International Ohio and the remainder bought with funds raised by Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA. Some examples of supplies are: beds, cots, neo-natal monitoring equipment, syringes.

Haiti Relief Emergency Response

While in Vancouver I observed a lot of work going on to continue efforts to help Haiti. In this case the focus was the School of Nursing which was completely destroyed during the earthquake killing 74 young nursing students. Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA  combined their efforts  initially to send medical staff – nurses and pediatricians. These medics on the spot were able to identify  specific needs for equipment and training all of which were desperately needed.