24 Jul 2014

Glasses around the world.

In the summer of 2011 I was very lucky to get the chance to travel to Rwanda with my classmates. The first thing we were told was that we would take two 30 kg bags each on the flight and that most of it would be filled up with gifts and essentials for the school we support over there. I immediately though back to Dr. Stoma's huge collection of glasses and managed to take about two hundred pairs with me. I didn't think the school would want them so on our second day in the little town of Gisenyi on the shores of lake Kivu I set out with a classmate to find the nearest hospital. With our poor French we managed to find it and as soon as they knew what we had with us they took us straight to the hospitals manager. It was an incredible experience as they were overwhelmed with the amount of glasses. It was also very lucky we had stumbled upon one of the only hospitals in the area who had a unit specialized in ophthalmology and were able to find out the prescription of the 200 pairs. They were so kind and gave us a tour of the hospital as a thanks, which we were overjoyed by being two aspiring medical students. Being able to make aid from our little island of Mallorca reach so far and wide makes you realize how special an organization Mediterranea is. I will always cherish this eye-opening and heartwarming experience.

20 Jul 2014

A little big street.

We are very pleased to inform you the at last the street leading from the main road (west of the Abugida School) and leading in to the neighbourhood  has finally been  been resurfaced with cobbles.

Cobbles will last longer than other surfaces and cobble roads are easy to repair and do not require large machines. 

We started this project over two years ago and it, like many other projects, it has not been easy.  This project was done with the cooperation of the local
municipality and Mediterranea funded it. One of the important things  of projects of this sort is that the benefit to the local community will go on for decades.

When the rain comes it will wash away the top lair of sand that has been placed on the cobbles and so it will show all the splendour of the road.
Thank you all for your help. 

6 May 2014

Aids for Rainbow House

We have started to design and make low cost, simple,  mobility apparatus for handicapped children in Rainbow House. 

The idea is to not only produce the instruments that will aid them in their every day life but to  then involve the local Handicapped People's association in the production of them for their use by their members.
Walking Frame for children 6-9yrs. (May 2014)
PVC piping.
Weight: less than 1kg

If you would like to help us in this program feel free to get in contact with us.

4 May 2014

In Mediterranea, right now.

Some times  as we talk about things going on in Mediterranea with members and volunteers, we get a surprised look, followed by a comment like "I did not know we were doing that!". It is not surprising that some people do not know all the different aspects and areas of our work and we ought to make a greater effort to keep people up to date with what is happening in Mediterranea in a given moment. So here we go.

What is happening in Mediterranea right now?

1)We are handing out over 14000 litres of milk, a month to children in need in Mallorca (4th world). This requires a mighty effort to accumulate the milk and a masterful logistics operation to distribute it.
2)We are making prescription glasses for children in  need in Mallorca.
3))We are giving Baby food and clothes for babies in 4th world.
4)We are accumulating used/old computers, repairing them, installing software, and giving them to children in sheltered homes in Mallorca.
5)We provide clothing to hundreds of children on the island.
6)We are working on trying to get businesses, clubs and schools to help us accumulate milk to hand out for children in families going through hard times.
7)We are providing books for school children whose parents can not afford to buy them.
8)We are helping to feed between 200 and 350 roofless people in Palma.
9)We provide Dignipacks for the roofless people once a month.
10)We are accumulating towels for the roofless people.
11)We will soon be repatriating Martha whom we have bought over from Ethiopia 4 times for spinal surgery. She seems to be doing well and is loving her stay in Mallorca.
12)We are feeding over 1200 children in Ethiopia
13)We run a school for 250 very poor children in the Akaki area south of Addis Ababa. It is considered one of the best schools in the country. The children are fed (up to 3 times a day depending on on age group), given uniforms, treated when ill, and are educated in a happy environment.
14)We have a nursery in Akaki
15)We run a day centre for severely handicapped children in Sebeta west of Addis. It is called Rainbow House and it has been a great success.
16)We run a stimulation centre for blind children in the Sebeta Blind Children's school.
17)We, in collaboration with the University of the Balearic Islands, have teams of Physiotherapists and teachers going down to Ghana to the department we set up in the Dangme East Hospital in Ada, and cooperating with the training of Physiotherapists in Ghana.
18)We are sponsoring orphaned children in Akaki.
19)We are teaching women in Akaki to read and write.
20)We do positive discrimination in favour of women and children who are HIV positive in Akaki providing them with jobs and a place in our school.
21)We continue to collect glasses which we send out all over the world.
22)We are collaborating with a sister organization sending clothes, books, and medical supplies to Senegal where we will help them with a medical centre they run.
23)We have helped to equip and refurbish a maternity centre in the north of Senegal.
24)We are designing low cost, no maintenance transport systems for severely handicapped children in Ethiopia.
25)We are developing a Park project for the Akaki municipality. It will be 14000sq.m big and will be the biggest public park in the country. Parks stimulate intelligence.
26)We are finishing a street we have restored in Akaki. Good access is a way of helping the local economy.
27)We are maintaining a centre in Portals Nous, open mornings and afternoons where meetings are held, supplies are stored and things can be dropped of. We need help manning it.
28)We try to keep our friends and members informed through the Facebook, Blog and Web Page. We need help on translations.
29)We have a considerable amount of administrative work and we have been re awarded the "de utilidad Publica" status by the government.
30)We employ over 60 people in Ethiopia. For every person employed it is estimated that 10 others on average are helped in their families. The umbrella is large.
31)We are providing dental treatment to children in need in Mallorca
32)Behind the scenes are a wonderful team of people working hard so that all of this may continue.

......and we try to create membership and raise funds so that all of these very important projects can keep on going. 

                      You do not know just how much your kind help counts.

30 Mar 2014

I can’t help but be amazed.

Every time I think back about how Mediterránea developed into such an effective organization with so few resources, I can’t help but be amazed.

There were 6 of us at the outset with just a bit of money that each of us had paid into the account to start things moving, whereas now we are helping more than 2,500 children in 2 continents. It wasn’t easy; at times, as many of you know, it was even dangerous just keeping the programmes going. We had to deal with corruption, mafia-like behavior, blatant threats of physical violence as well as veiled threats and general harassment. Over the years Mediterránea has been supported and helped by scores of wonderful people, some of whom have left the organization as their lives led them in different directions, while others have continued to build and nurture our various programmes.

Month after month, in spite of the crisis, we have been able to honour our commitments. The crisis has not stopped us but has hampered us operationally and reduced our ability to expand. It has also given us many a sleepless night. We have on occasions had to adjust this or that programme or sub-programme in order to safeguard their continuity- much to our dislike, but where we had no choice.

One good thing to have come out of the crisis is the fact that NGOs are now working together more and more, helping one another and sharing material, know-how and volunteers. The role of schools, from nurseries right through to secondary schools, is becoming more important by the day for organizations such as ours. In cooperating with Mediterránea, many of these schools use this as an opportunity to teach their pupils solidarity, organizational skills, team-work and even how to make video spots and other advertising techniques. I know children who have grown up with Mediterránea. They see it as something that is always there ready to help the needy and which is helped in turn by their parents and also by themselves at school. I feel proud to think that we have helped to “normalize” solidarity as an integral part of the daily lives of so many “first world” boys and girls.

As is well known, all of us who make up Mediterránea’s driving force are volunteers. All our active members devote the time they can to the organization. Mediterránea pays no salaries in the “first world”, which has allowed us to dedicate all our funds to our programmes but which also has a downside- that of not always having the manpower we needed when we needed it, which meant that at times a huge load was placed on a limited number of shoulders. But even then we were able to keep things moving and now, with greater sensitivity and motivation at large in society as a whole, we are drawing in many marvelous new volunteers to help with our programmes.

I should like to thank you all for helping us to realize our dream of human companionship and for giving us the hope that we shall be able to continue growing, helping more and more children. The future belongs to them and the little help we can give them, particularly in their moments of greatest vulnerability and need, will make all the difference.

Michael Stoma

28 Feb 2014


Being a member of The Foggies Golf Society based in Mallorca (probably the worst golf society in the world) gives me the opportunity to, not only spoil a nice walk on a Saturday morning, but also to go home and kick the dog after yet another excruciatingly bad round of golf.

Just occasionally (very occasionally) the gods of golf smile down on you and you get close to a par round. On such days needless to say the dog doesn’t get kicked and I am almost civil to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” instead of the grumpy monosyllabic ogre that normally confronts her.
Deciding that the happier days were obviously much more conducive to a long and happy marriage, I needed to come up with a cunning plan to enjoy (cope) with my Saturday Soirees to the course.
Realizing that the obvious solution of knuckling down and practising more just wasn’t going to happen I eventually came up with the following idea.
If I couldn’t improve my moods by playing better golf I was determined to make my fellow members rounds more painful than mine therefore by comparison making my round almost enjoyable (not great logic I understand, but sometimes you find yourself clutching at straws)
So racking my limited mental capacity to its fullest I came up with the following idea
(Remember at the time I was the society’s captain so I was hopeful of pushing my idea through). Any member with a handicap from scratch (some chance!) to 10 paid €1 for every double bogey achieved on their Saturday round.
Members with handicaps from 11 to 19 paid €1 for every triple bogey achieved per round and the “Buzz Lightyears”(Infinity and Beyond) 20+ of the society had to stump up a €1 for every quadruple achieved.
All monies collected would at the end of the year be donated to the captains charity of choice, in my case Mediterranea.
You can imagine my surprise when the guys voted in my scheme, you should have also seen my surprise when they told me of the one proviso to the scheme they had added.
The reigning captain didn’t have to pay for his bogies (fantastic) but had to match all the members fines each week (not so fantastic)
Realizing that I couldn’t now back down without losing all credibility I accepted the new proposal ( I guess you could say justice had well and truly been done)
On the bright side however, the society eventually raised in the region of €1500 that year which was duly donated to Mediterranea.(as I said probably the worst golf society in the world).
Happily all the proceeding captains have upheld the tradition and we have continued our support of Mediterranea.
The upshot being my fellow members may be bad golfers, but they are all good guys and at least some people are benefiting from our inability to hit that little white ball!

Mike Adams
K&M Maritime Mallorca