Thursday, June 2, 2011
Pictured: Construction progress of House Number 2, the fifth house at the children's village.
Photo by Justin Dominguez
Building of house number 1 (The final house to be constructed) at the orphanage has hit the pause button this month, as the rains have made it difficult for us to clear the foundations. We will have to wait for the rains to let up, then burn the rock away before foundations can be dug. The building phase of house number 2 (the fifth house to be opened) is continuing well, with roofing slated to begin as soon as roofing carpenters are available.
This month we had a new addition to the children’s village come to us in a more traditional sense. Meida, a 19 year old girl who already has a child, delivered her second child at the Mdabulo health facility near the end of March. Meida has been long associated with the NGO and our projects, as she is an orphan herself. She is trying to find her voice as a disenfranchised youth. She has been living at the Children’s Village for almost a year now, and in that time she has been living with strong women and positive leaders in the community who aim to help her in her life. We are hoping she will make good choices going forward, and we can that she will be influenced positively by having strong women around her. She will be moving back to her own home shortly, and she will attempt to try to earn her own income through one of our income generating projects. As she leaves our Children’s Village program, and becomes part of our Community Outreach program, we are happy that she and her newborn are healthy, and we are hoping for bright days ahead for her and her family.
Home Based Care
From the beginning we have referred to Home Based Care (HBC) as the service that Dr. Leena provides by going house to house and treating patients in their homes. Recently however, our plans to have a community outreach team have led us to use the term in reference to a team of volunteers that will help the community outreach program become a sustainable locally run program that will be ongoing for decades to come.
This month, facilitators coordinated with Peace Corps Volunteer Meredith Pinto on a program designed to train 10 volunteers from the 5 different villages in the Mdabulo Ward. The trainings were funded by donations from African Book Box Society. They will last 28 days, and each volunteer will be taught comprehensively about the national guidelines for home based care volunteers. The volunteers will be trained on a variety of useful topics such as personal health, HIV prevention, and emergency first aid. Each volunteer will be tested at the end of the training. Ideally the NGO will get an opportunity to further train volunteers, and extend the training to more volunteers from all of the surrounding 16 villages. Further trainings might include permaculture gardening, and child and maternal health.
A huge fundraising effort for the Mdabulo Hospital project has started this month and will last into August. Four men are hiking the Appalachian trail in the eastern United States in a fundraising effort that is impressive and daring to say the least. The four men chose our NGO as a project worthy for the cause of their hike after Erik Christensen visited the project in April of 2009 when he was a peace corps volunteer in the country. Erik, and his three friends can be followed on their ongoing blog: GoMHH.com. They are hoping to emulate the successful story of the Greenstock family from the UK who donated 10,000GBP through Orphans in the Wild which has gone towards this project. A new refurbished Doctor’s house, and a new roof on our L-shaped operations wing of the hospital has been constructed with that donation.
The Luhunga Library is a secondary school library funded by African Book Box Society that we hope will be just as successful as the teaching library at Igoda Primary. At Luhunga, the library will include some laptop computers that have been sent through Orphans in the Wild through a connection with an organization called I.T. Africa. The computers, along with guided instruction on site, will help make the library a tremendous learning space for secondary school children. The library is nearly complete with window frames being placed in at the end of this month, and all shelving installed. We are excited to open this project, and we look forward to seeing how the school will use this invaluable resource.