Monday, April 11, 2011

January - May 2009

So here's where we'll start. We plan to give you a look back at all of our reports dating back to the beginning of 2009. Tomorrow we'll post June 2009. Enjoy our look back at (almost) all of our work!

January - May 2009
2009 has been a fast moving year for the projects happening here in Mufindi. The following is a description of what has been accomplished by the NGO so far this year up until the end of may Children’s Village: The Children’s Village (Orphanage) has grown quickly in the first 5 months of the year. We now have 24 children in total and are currently only waiting for the furniture to be complete before we officially open our third house. We currently employ 3 full-time “House Mothers to run each house, and we have one potential ‘Mother’ who is with us part time. The Mothers of each house are view by the children as just that- their Mother, and their responsibilities include- all of the laundry for the children, all cooking, cleaning, and washing of dishes, and general care for all the children including bathing them, getting them to school, and all other parenting duties. Another step in a long overdue project has been completed this month at the Orphanage: The trench has been dug for the piping and wiring of running water, and electricity at the Orphanage. When this project is complete, the entire Orphanage complex will be equipped with electricity run by a generator, and permanent running water. Currently, the Orphanage is run at night by use of kerosene lamps, and water is carried by the bucket to a tank designated for each house. These are tedious and expensive tasks that will be obsolete after the completion of this project. COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Our Community Outreach program is a project designed to address our first goal for care for Orphans, of caring for children as they live in the village, by supporting them and their families. This has included the dispensing of basic needs such as blankets, clothes, soap, and school supplies to those families in most need, and especially those caring for Orphans in the villages in our area. In addition to this, we have positively affected several groups of women in various communities that are infected with HIV/AIDS by starting some income generating projects. Two previously existing projects are continuing well: 1) A select group of 5 women living with HIV/AIDS and caring for Orphans are skillfully making batiks that are sold at Mufindi Highland Lodge, and other Fox Treks lodges/resorts. 2) Several groups of women (about 10-15 each) in the surrounding villages, are making baskets to be sold at the lodges as well. These women (in total currently about 80 women) use the extra income to help supplement their subsistence living. As all of the women in these groups are HIV+, many are too weak to work in their gardens to produce food for their families, so this extra income is used to hire help to do this cultivating for them. Two additional income generating projects have been started in the month of May that we are hoping will bring added income to even more families, and enrich their lives. One project includes more crafts, as we have had 5 looms made up by a professional artisan living in Tanzania, that will be used to make carpet-mats that are quite popular not only in the homes of ex-patriots that live in Tanzania, but also in local homes and establishments. It is the goal to not only sell these crafts at the Fox Treks lodges/resorts, but to expand to the local towns, and find an outlet for these mats to be sold as they are quite popular with locals, and can be sold at a profit friendly price. Income generation projects are designed to give the poorest families in our communities the ability to support themselves through their own work, ultimately instilling pride in their hard work and likely starting a self-sustaining business for these would-be entrepreneurs. HEALTH CARE: Mdabulo CTC Great measures have been taken to make 2009 a year of construction and completion for the Care and treatment Center (CTC) at Mdabulo. This facility is desperately needed to specifically address the growing problem of HIV/AIDS in the area. It is not an exaggeration to say that the surrounding villages are some of the world’s most affected areas from HIV, as statistics show that there are more Orphans in this area of Mufindi district then in any other, and Iringa region has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, one of the poorest countries located in sub-Saharan Africa, the worlds most affected area. The CTC construction is well underway, as the previous year has been spent jumping through bureaucratic hurdles in order to be in compliance with government qualifications. Currently, the staff from the closest government hospital in the town of Mafinga (over 50 km away) comes twice a month to give the services of a CTC as they take blood samples back to Mafinga, and return with results two weeks later. This is an arduous endeavor that is becoming more difficult the number of patients is well over 300 per day on the days of their visit. The CTC will be built in one of the most needed areas of the world, and patients will be able to receive full treatment for the disease in the village. Mdabulo Dispensary After the completion of full-renovation and construction of a Maternity Ward, pre, and post-labour rooms, delivery room, Doctors consulting rooms, Pharmacy, and complete construction and furnishing of a laboratory, all completed last year, this year we have finished construction of the foundations for the rest of dispensary that will insure for the opening of Mdabulo Hospital. Currently there is only one government hospital in all of Mufindi District (population 317,800 as of Jan. ‘09) and it is located over 50km away on dangerous, difficult roads at the district capital of Mafinga. When complete, this upgrade will include minor and major surgery theatres, an x-ray lab, several examination rooms, a wards for men and women. We are currently waiting for funds to be donated to complete this project. Ibwanzi dispensary After a long period waiting, this project is about to come to its end. All that is remaining for the completion of this new ward- a facility capable of giving in-patient service to up to 30 patients- are some finishing touches, and we will be able to officially upgrade the facility to a “Health Center.” With the government already approving this upgrade, the facility will now receive more resources allocated from the government as it has been allocated so far as a dispensary. In addition to the new wards, the facility will be equipped with running water, and is wired for electricity should we find the means to provide it either through Solar panels, or a generator. Dr. Leena Pasanen Dr. Leena Pasanen is currently volunteering part of her time with us here in Mufindi. She is a world-renowned pediatrician who has been named one of the World Medical Association’s 64 most compassionate doctors. Along with this she has this year received the honor of “Best Finn living outside the country,” awarded to her by her fellow countrymen. Along with holding regular clinics for children at Ibwanzi, Mdabulo, and Luhunga dispensaries, she also visits those in the surrounding villages too weak to reach one of these facilities. She is also our house doctor at the Orphanage. EDUCATION: Igoda Primary School Igoda Primary school is where all of our children will go to get their first formal education. So far we have built 6 new classrooms, a new library, and brought countless resources to the school including paying for the salaries of a teaching librarian, and a kindergarten teacher. This year we have initiated our School kitchen “Uji” Program. As many children at the school live to far to go home for lunch, there is no choice but to go the entire learning day without any sustenance. This program has allowed for the students to get some sustenance during the school day. Each day at 11am every student at the school receives a nutritious porridge-like substance (a local dish called uji) to help rejuvenate them and create a better learning environment for the students and teachers alike. Since this program began in February, the teachers have noticed improved behaviour, improved attendance, and better results from the students. Also at the school, we have installed some large water tanks that are currently collecting the last of the rain-water for the season. These will be connected with water pumps and give the school (and the school kitchen running water. The NGO has also connected with ‘Solar Aid,’ an NGO based in the UK, to give the school electricity for the first time in it’s history. Also this year we have constructed new toilets for the students and teachers, and under construction now is an unprecedented community hall that will allow for a place for educational, entertaining activities in the village center that will create a family environment, and hopefully be a focal-point center for AIDS education in the village. Luhunga Secondary School After graduating Igoda primary, the kids from the Orphanage will move on to Luhunga Secondary. There they will also receive an exemplary education as we have already begun projects to improve the quality of this school. The construction of a the foundation for the Luhunga Library is under way, and this facility will give the children of the school a place to be proud of, along with a place to study, and a place to enjoy it’s many resources. The library will also come with a water-catchments system, that will give the school running water, and the NGO has also equipped this school with Solar energy thanks to the installation made possible by ’Solar Aid.’ So far in 2009 it appears as though we will get to the completion stage of many of our projects. This is an exciting phase, as we will begin to see the fruitful rewards from a lot of hard work, and assistance from our donors across the world. Many thanks go out to all those who have supported these projects

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