Thursday, 11 February 2016

Why we will not be shipping sea-containers after 2016

A thank you from Go Rwanda and the community of Muhanga
Our first 40' shipping container was sent to Muhanga in Rwanda in 2010. It was the biggest and most impactful donation the area had ever received.  

We subsequently sent three containers to Kahama, Tanzania and will ship our fourth this year. Again, even just our first shipment was the most impactful ever received. Below is a sample of the medical and educational resources donated to us and shipped by us in 2013: 

A large ultrasound scanner, 15 hospital beds & 13 mattresses & 1 pressure mattress, an operating table overhead cover, a microscope, 2 physiotherapy tables, a birthing  table, a medication cart, 67 boxes of medical supplies, 20 boxes of medical text books, 80 boxes of operating room drape, a defibrillator, a blood pressure cuff, 6 walkers, 20 crutches,3 wheelchairs & accessories, 4 commodes,1 box of eye glasses, 17 boxes pediatric ward toys, 15 boxes of bedding & towels, 1 box of scrubs, 1 whiteboard and 4 boxes of soap and educational and other resources.

150 boxes of library/text books, 23 boxes of teacher resources, 49 boxes of school supplies, 49 units chalk board, notice boards, chairs with fold down desks, 4 boxes of sports equipment and 57 boxes of sports uniforms

Plus almost a third of the container was filled with sewing machines for cooperatives and small business, resources for the Amani Children's Clinic & the Faraja Orphanage, tools for a men's woodworking cooperative and much more!

As you can see, by raising around $20,000 to purchase and ship a container we can send hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of resources. But we are aware that it would not be helpful to the community of Kahama to just keep sending items for the sake of it. 

Having strengthened the medical and educational systems we now plan to concentrate on providing scholarships for further education, and partnering with entrepreneurs. The citizens of Kahama do not need outsiders coming in to fix them or give them handouts. They are very capable people who simply do not have the means to pay for education/vocational training or to set up a business. 

We are not ruling out shipping in the future, though truth be told it will be blissful to take a break from spending thousands of man-hours soliciting, collecting, sorting, itemizing, packing and loading the resources and equipment! Not to mention Brenda's (One Person co-founder and President) time spent on paperwork and dealing with logistics of getting the containers from point A to B via the rest of the alphabet!  (Remember we are a volunteer organization - no one gets paid and everyone pays their own way - even on our trips to Tanzania and Rwanda.)

We are extremely grateful to everyone who has donated resources, volunteered their time at 'crate-days' or helped us to raise funds to purchase and ship the containers. 

You can donate on line or at the Summerland Credit Union or mail to The One Person Project 10108 Julia Street, Summerland, V0H 1Z5 

Asante Sana!

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