Report from Kenya

August 26, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Shirley McIntyre (in mauve) meets with women who have received goats through a Salt Spring-based SOLID program. SOLID volunteer Shirley McIntyre and board member Lynda Turner spent most of May this year in Kakamega, Kenya, collaborating with SOLID partners and other projects supported by the residents of Salt Spring.

Salt Spring continues to support goats for HIV+ mothers and in the last three years 300 goats were delivered, which has now multiplied to approximately 700 goats. This May Shirley and Lynda presented 25 goats to two groups of HIV+ mothers, who were overjoyed with this gift. The women had previously attended a workshop on the care and feeding of the goats and the goats had been examined by a vet. Read more

Rock SOLID Update

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Get your groove on and dance the night away! Only a few more days to gather pledges for RocKSOLID, a 24-hour dance marathon in support of SOLID, the Salt Spring Organization for Life Improvement and Development being held on April 5th & 6th, Mahon Hall, 6pm to 6pm.

To enter the contest and win fabulous prizes raise pledges of $50 or more. Pledge sheets available at SOLID Exchange, Salt Spring Books or from any SOLID board member. Read more

RocK SOLID

March 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Events, News

ROCK SOLID350Get your groove on and dance the night away!

A 24-hour dance marathon to support SOLID, Salt Spring Organization for Life Improvement and Development. April 5th & 6th, Mahon Hall, 6pm to 6pm.

To enter the contest and win fabulous prizes raise pledges of $50 or more. Pledge sheets available at SOLID Exchange, Salt Spring Books or from any SOLID board member.

Don’t want to dance all night? Then we have a variety of ways you can join us and participate.

$40.00 ~ 24 hour pass, come and go as you please!

$15.00 ~ 1 – 3 hour pass, come for just a set or two.

$30.00 ~ family rate, 2 adults and children under 10.

*This is a family-friendly event. Read more

FEED A FAMILY, FEED A VILLAGE

December 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News, SOLID Newsletters

SOLID has a challenge for the residents of Salt Spring Island which builds on the hugely successful goat sales from Christmas 2012.

hutIn May 2013 more dedicated volunteers from Salt Spring will be travelling to Kenya to volunteer their time and energy, and a big part of this mission will be the fulfillment of the “Feed a Family, Feed a Village Project” which will provide long lived fruit trees, tools and education on fruit propagation, ensuring that families receive critical nutrition during the annual famine season from March to June. Read more

GOATS! GOATS! GOATS!

December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, News, SOLID Newsletters

goatsIn May, 2012 Karen Hopping Siu of West Vancouver and Rita Burbulevicius from Salt Spring Island visited Kakamega in Western Kenya.  They were there to carry out a number of projects chief amoung, which was the delivery of goats to HIV+ mothers.  This is the second year that goats have been delivered from the good people of Salt Spring.  A total of nearly 300 goats have been delivered over the two years.  The goats are bought from the SOLID Exchange for $57 each.

Marie Mackay of North Vancouver, who lives in Kenya for 6 months of every year, organizes the process.  A qualified Kenyan buys the goats at the local goat markets, introduces the nannies to the pure-bred billies who are part of the project, and then transports the pregnant nannies to various HIV+ mothers’ organizations, which exist throughout the country.

Marie reports:”2012 was another good year for goat giving. In Shianda district, where several groups have been given goats, the groups have decided to form a cooperative to help members in developing a market for goat’s milk, meat, and dung.  The money goes back to the owners.  Any profits are used for micro-loans to members to expand their economic base.

“One positive outcome that may be attributed to the program is that the number of people in the area going for HIV testing has increased 300% and the incidence of stigmatization has decreased because of it”

Karen and Rita were overwhelmed by the joy shown by the Mothers when they received their goats at the goat giving ceremonies.  As Karen says, ”the women gathered and danced and sang their hearts out” in appreciation of this gift from Salt Spring, from people who didn’t know them and who lived halfway around the world

THANK YOU SALT SPRING! 

 

A Volunteer in Kenya

September 14, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Excerpts from a letter by SOLID volunteer, Karen Siu after her recent volunteer experience inKenya:

“I feel very privileged to have been allowed to travel toKenyaas a representative of SOLID, and I am proud to be one of the many supporters of the SOLID Exchange, contributing to the tireless work of fundraising for this wonderful cause.

This was my first trip toKenya, and my first volunteer trip.  I was a bit nervous about how things would go, as it was also the first trip for my traveling companion.

It turned out we had nothing to worry about as Lynda Turner, SOLID director had everything very well organized for us.  We were met at the airport by Lynda’s lovely partner in Dormer K learning centre, and taken to the complex that we stayed at for 3 weeks. There we met Marie McKay (love her!) who runs Keef, which gets boys sponsored for school scholarships. Marie was onSaltSpringIslandlast year talking about the goat gifting program.

We were soon busy buying items for the sanitary kits for the girls, and fair trade African giftwear to sell at home to continue to raise funds to support these projects.

Trips to different areas were arranged for us to meet with groups of women with HIV, and present to them the goats that had been generously donated by so many people.  The women were always gathered singing, as it was a very joyous occasion to be receiving a goat!

We also took buckets with the sanitary supplies for the girls to many different schools.  It was a bit like being Santa Clause!  The girls seem a bit shy at first, but were all smiles when they were given buckets containing sanitary pads, soap and underwear, enabling them to attend school every day of the month.

The trips to the schools to donate the uniforms were very special and memorable.  There were so many kids at these schools whose uniforms or clothing was in such disrepair that it was surprising that the items stayed on. The children were so happy to get their new uniforms that they would change into to the new ones right away!

There was also a trip to one of the local hospital maternity wards to hand out layette kits. This was a shocking experience as this was a very crowded and dirty small ward, with 2 moms with new babies crowding each small cot.  Some of the mothers were unable to pay their hospital bills, so they were forced to stay in the overcrowded and unsanitary wards until their bill was paid.  This all seems a bit irrational, but somehow it must work for the hospital, yet is tragic for the new moms.  When they got their layettes with their pads, soap, underwear and baby clothes in them they were all so happy.

It was very obvious that Dormer K is making a profound difference to these people and I was proud to represent SOLID as a volunteer. Kakamega,Kenyais not a place to go for a “holiday”, but the experience helping these people will stay with me forever.  I hope I am able to go again as it was a very rewarding experience! Karen Siu

Ndi Moyo Update

September 14, 2012 by  
Filed under News, SOLID Newsletters

Ndi_MoyoSOLID continues to support the Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Centre in Salima, Malawi, and over the past year your generous donations have allowed SOLID to send $10,000 to the centre, supporting the critical work that Ndi Moyo conducts every day with the sickest of Malawi’s palliative patients. Your donations funded the formal training of the centre’s Clinical Officer as he completed his Bachelor of Palliative Care through Hospice Africa Uganda. This training benefits not only the centre’s immediate clients but also provides the potential for training other local health professionals in the complexities of Palliative Care.

Your donations have provided for transportation of very ill patients to the centre for care, allowing them to receive the required attention to ease their suffering. We have also continued to support the Comfort Fund which supplies basics such as maize, sugar, soap, soy and toothbrushes, contributing to the health and well-being of families, and also lifting some of the social and economic burdens which illness can bring. Your generosity has also enabled Ndi Moyo staff to visit grieving families during their bereavement to offer counselling as well as contributing small sums to cover funeral expenses. This service provides much needed and appreciated comfort and support to the centre’s patients and their families. We will also be able to provide blankets and mosquito nets and maize to alleviate the social, economic and nutritional burdens that accompany chronic and terminal illness.

Life for local Malawians has become increasingly difficult with the devaluation of the local currency by more than 60% and poverty continues to be prevalent. For local people who earn their income in Kwacha this has had a staggering impact as of course people have not seen subsequent salary increases of 60%, nor have their salaries accounted for a 15% inflation rate. The cost of a litre of gas has increased by more than 90%, and the cost of transportation on mini-buses has skyrocketed. In essence the poor of Malawi have become poorer.

Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Centre has also struggled as the global economic downturn has dramatically affected donations received. In order to provide the necessary pain medications and other needs of their patients reaching the end of life $9000 monthly is required. The center currently has 340 active patients, and in addition they have been reaching out to their clients vulnerable children, ensuring that as orphans they still have support and access to school. Mosquito nets and blankets for the cool winter evenings are also a great need.

SOLID will continue to raise awareness and funds for this important project and your generosity is appreciated. Tax receipts are available for donations, and cheques should be made out to VIDEA (SOLID’s fiscal partner) with ADPP Ndi Moyo on the memo line) and can be sent to SOLID at 1206B-115 Fulford-Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2T9.

 

Anna Callegari

SOLID Director

Bootcamp for Africa – Let Malawi Move You

July 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, News

Let Malawi Move YouPlease join us for the first annual “Bootcamp for Africa – Let Malawi Move You” on Sunday September 23rd, 2012.

This is a joint venture between SOLID (Salt Spring Organization for Life Improvement and Development), VIDEA (Victoria International  Development Education Agency), Island Pharmacy, and Krista Erskine of Athletica BC to support Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Center in Salima, Malawi – an amazing center of excellence for Palliative Care in Malawi that currently provides medications, health care and support to over 340 active patients as they face the difficulties of the last days and weeks of life.

This year’s “Bootcamp for Africa” will be a fun filled two hours of endurance bootcamp activities, with a Marimba band to entertain, food, beverages and lots of great prizes for performance on the day, as well as prizes for the most successful fundraisers.

Pledge forms can be picked up at any Island Pharmacy location. Please raise as much money as you can for this great cause and bring the collected donations with you to the event.  Tax receipts are available for donations over $20, and cheques should be made out to VIDEA (SOLID’s fiscal partner) with ADPP Ndi Moyo on the memo line). Please contact acallegari2003@yahoo.com to register for this event and we look forward to seeing you there!

Pledge forms can be downloaded here.

 

Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Center

Local Pharmacist Anna Callegari first volunteered for the Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Center in Salima Malawi in 2007 when she and a nursing colleague Beth Gessinger travelled to five African countries on a volunteer mission.

Ndi Moyo is an amazing center of excellence for Palliative Care in Malawi and it currently provides medications, health care and support to over 340 active patients as they face the difficulties of the last days and weeks of life. In addition the center has been reaching out to their clients’ vulnerable children, ensuring that as orphans they still have the support they desperately need and access to schooling.

SOLID has held a commitment to support  Ndi Moyo for the past five years, providing a minimum of $3000 yearly for a comfort fund which supplies basics such as maize, sugar, soap, soy and toothbrushes, contributing to the health and well-being of families, and also lifting some of the social and economic burdens which illness can bring.

Over the past year generous donations have allowed SOLID to send $10,000 to the centre, supporting the critical work that Ndi Moyo conducts every day with the sickest of Malawi’s palliative patients. These donations funded the formal training of the centre’s Clinical Officer as he completed his Bachelor of Palliative Care through Hospice Africa Uganda. This training benefits not only the centre’s immediate clients but also provides the potential for training other local health professionals in the complexities of Palliative Care.

The donations have provided for transportation of very ill patients to the centre for care, allowing them to receive the required attention to ease their suffering and enabled Ndi Moyo staff to visit grieving families during their bereavement to offer counselling as well as contributing small sums to cover funeral expenses. This service provides much needed and appreciated comfort and support to the centre’s patients and their families. This year we hope to provide blankets , mosquito nets and maize to alleviate the social, economic and nutritional burdens that accompany chronic and terminal illness.

Life for local Malawians has become increasingly difficult with the devaluation of the local currency by more than 60% and poverty continues to be prevalent. For local people who earn their income in Kwacha this has had a staggering impact as of course people have not seen subsequent salary increases of 60%, nor have their salaries accounted for a 15% inflation rate. The cost of a litre of gas has increased by more than 90%, and the cost of transportation on mini-buses has skyrocketed. In essence the poor of Malawi have become poorer.

Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Centre has also struggled as the global economic downturn has dramatically affected donations received. In order to provide the necessary pain medications and other needs of their patients reaching the end of life $9000 monthly is required. SOLID will continue to raise awareness and funds for this important project and your generosity and participation in this fun event is most appreciated.

For more information – see Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Center in our Projects in Africa section.

Rocksalt Shoutout to Meron Moroz

July 2, 2012 by  
Filed under News

The Rocksalt Restaurant & Cafe blog sent a shoutout to long-time SOLID board member and volunteer Meron Moroz, nominating her as an outstanding citizen in the community.

Check out the Rocksalt rave for Meron on their website.

SOLID/Kenya Partnership – 2012

April 14, 2012 by  
Filed under News, SOLID Newsletters

On April 23rd  Karen Siu of West Vancouver and Rita Burbulevicius of Salt Spring Island depart the comforts of home, and arrive as ambassadors for SOLID in Kenya,  East Africa. Although these volunteers are providing for their own travel expenses, they will be delivering an impressive collection of donated goods, and making available considerable funds, all generous donations from the Salt Spring community which will benefit a number of projects.

A top priority is the delivery of another 200 goats to HIV+ mothers that have been purchased by islanders since the last goat delivery was completed before Christmas. SOLID has raised enough to provide goats to over 300 women in Kenya since we started partnering on this incredible project. These goats were bought primarily through the SOLID Exchange, which now has a new home in Gasoline Alley, at Unit 100 – 149  Fulford-Ganges Road.

The goats will offer Kenyan women and their families a better quality of life by providing for highly nutritious milk to drink and sell. Also the women can sell the dung or use it to fertilize their own gardens. This initiative gives these women a means of financially sustaining their families, and offers great benefits to their communities. Karen and Rita are thrilled to be delivering these goats at special “Goat–giving Ceremonies’ in Kenya.

The women are also providing over 300 school uniforms, using money raised at a Mother’s Day dinner at All Saints’ by-the-Sea. The reality is that in Kenya no uniform = no education, an equation faced by far too many children.

With additional funds from SOLID and other Salt Spring sources over 600 sanitary kits will be handed out to school girls. These basic but essential kits enable the girls to attend every day of school, despite their monthly menses, which assists them in attaining a much coveted formal education.

Items lovingly made by the Knitwits of Meadowbrook will be handed out to new mothers in 20-30 layettes, and the maternity and pediatric wards of the Kakamega hospital will welcome knitted dolls and toques as they take their new babies home.

Using money raised by the Anglican Parish of Salt Spring and donations from SOLID, they will also ensure the installation of a modern rain collection system in a local Kenyan school, a desperate need in such a water deprived region.

Finally the volunteers will be providing bags of maize and beans to Grace Orphanage in Kakamega to get the children through the annual famine season.  These varied, yet inter-connected projects will surely keep Karen and Rita busy, and provide for a life altering experience before they return home on May 27th, bringing with them all sorts of unique African crafts for sale at the SOLID Exchange.

SOLID welcomes all interest, volunteers and donations for our partnerships, and we encourage you to come and visit our new SOLID Exchange location for a delightful collection of fair trade and non-profit products. Open Mon – Fri 11-3 and Sat 8-4.

 

 

 

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