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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Philippines: From Edmonton to Kauswaga, With Love

This week our absolutely wonderful friends Elizabeth Duffield, Katie Duffield Somerville, Gregg Oldringg and Margaret McPhedran pulled off an extraordinary feat.

These Edmontonians annually hold a fundraiser that is attended by only a modest number of committed friends and family members. They routinely raise enough to transform an overseas community completely.

This year was no exception: they achieved their goal of raising enough to provide the district of Kauswaga, the Philippines, with two clean water systems that will serve 600 people altogether.

Kauswaga is a district that epitomizes the struggle of Philippine Indigenous Peoples. Its inhabitants are mainly farmers and fisher-folk, and 70% of them are extremely poor. This district lacks all major services. The people are desperate for help.

Clean water is an excellent starting point for the kind of development that will allow Kauswaga’s people to be healthy and self-sufficient. These families will emerge with self-confidence and organizational capacities they did not realize they had, as our work in developing water sources always entails training the families to plan, implement, and manage their own water systems.

So kudos to our friends in Edmonton, who once again made something wonderful happen for a lot of people they will likely never meet.

Let’s give Beth the final word, as she describes the value of their hard work better than we could:

"We are amazed by two things, that our little community of friends and family continues to band together to support a community overseas. When it comes to clean water, it is within our capability to something and so in the end, we are just thrilled to be able to partner with amazing people in the Philippines for such incredible, long-term change. And second, that all this is happening, simply because we asked."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Somalia: Water an Emblem of Restored Confidence in the Camps

Late last year we shared the story of Somalia refugees of the Horn of Africa famine crisis who had begun living in a place called Taagwey camp in Mogadishu, Somalia. These incredibly poor families had managed to fundraise $15,000 for a water system from the camp itself. It was a shocking accomplishment.

We’re happy to report that Taagwey Camp’s deep water well (or ‘borehole’) and reservoir have been completed, thanks to the efforts of the community. Families in the camp organized themselves to contribute voluntary labour and set up a management committee responsible for the maintenance of the water system.

This was a coup for the people of Taagwey camp. It allowed them to regain a sense of control over their lives, something the famine had taken away from them. We are now talking with families who are ready to return home and rebuild more resilient lives. We’ll keep walking with these families as they make their way from disaster to stability. There will definitely be more stories to come.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

South Sudan - Hands Trained to Heal Have Become Hands That Harm

You know the situation has taken a significant turn for the worse in South Sudan's hospitals and clinics when the hands of doctors and nurses become as deadly as the diseases and illnesses they are trying to treat.

Chronic shortages of medical supplies are putting otherwise healthy people, including doctors and nurses, on the critical list.

Without basic medical supplies, such as surgical gloves, the unprotected hands of doctors and nurses become carriers of the disease, infection, and illness they are working so hard to prevent and treat.

One hospital, where doctors and nurses treat nearly 100,000 people annually, and conduct nearly 100 surgeries every month, was down to just one Kleenex-sized box of surgical gloves when we were first made aware of the problem.

HOPE International Development Agency has procured two huge containers of urgently needed medical supplies that will put the healing back in the hands of doctors and nurses in South Sudan. But we need your help to ship the containers as soon as possible.

Learn more about how you can help doctors and nurses as they struggle to save lives in very difficult circumstances.

Please visit today.