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!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Why should I help Africa when there are people in-need here?

Each person on our Board & Committee supports local and Canadian causes, whether it is donating funds or volunteering our time. Canada is a relatively rich country but there are still short-falls in the system and we all want to do our bit to help. It is natural and commendable to look after your own family first and then the community around you. But luckily it’s not an either/or choice. Each of us has the capacity to balance our acts of kindness between local and international causes.  

Advantages of donating towards our programs in Kahama

1. You can help meet more basic needs with fewer dollars. A donation of $10 will have more impact in an African country than it will in a developed one.  
  •  $10 will provide meals for 20 children at Kahama’s Amani HIV/AIDS Clinic. The toxic life-saving drugs cause painful side-effects and are less effective if taken without adequate nutrition.
  • $100 will send a child to school for a year; this includes fees, school supplies and text books.
  •   A child in Kahama can die of diarrhea for the lack of a 10-cent packet of nutrients.

2.  You will get to see your donated dollars at work. We will email you photographs of the actual child, family or organization that benefited from your donation.  You can follow our progress on facebook and in this blog.

3. In addition to helping break the cycle of poverty, you are also investing in a better, more equitable future for the children in Kahama.

4. Poverty is relative. According to the United Nations:
  • Of 6.2 billion living in the world today, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day.
  • Over 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799 million of them are from the developing world. More than 153 million of them are under the age of 5.
  • Every day, 34,000 children under five die of hunger or other hunger-related diseases. This results in 6 million deaths a year.
  • 1.2 billion people lack access to clean water; 2.4 billion live without decent sanitation; and 4 billion without waste-water disposal.
  • 12 million people die each year from lack of water, including 3 million children from waterborne disease. More than 113 million children in the developing world are without access to basic education; 60 percent of them are girls.

'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.'
Margaret Mead

For more information, to volunteer, to sponsor a child or to make a donation contact me , mail to The One Person Project, 10108 Julia Street, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z5  donate on-line or make a payment into our account at the Summerland Credit Union (Summerland, British Columbia).