10 Dec 2009

Up until now, Mediterranea have not been involved in any.........

Up until now, Mediterranea have not been involved in any individual fostering initiatives but the precarious situation of some of the families with children attending our schools and the invaluable help being offered by Ana, one of our members, has made our involvement a necessity,(bearing in mind that we are an organisation totally dependent on volunteers).

Our battlefront is one of poverty. A battle, to prevent situations of such extreme poverty, that sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren are wrenched from the arms of families and friends, and condemned them to a life of  abandonment and - for the over fives, a life fighting for survival on the streets.

We want these children to continue living with their biological or adoptive  families wherever possible. Where their entire families have died, we want them to be fostered, to continue to live in the same neighbourhood, to attend the same school, to enjoy the company of their own friends, and to grow up in their own culture. We want them to have a chance in life.

In Addis alone, there are 90,000 children living on the streets. There are only two possibilities for these unfortunate children, and we do not want them to end up in an orphanage or on the streets. Our fostering program has taken off now with the first 8 applications received by Mediterranea. We thank directly from this page our first 8 pioneers in this new humanitarian venture. We need 13 more sponsors for pupils who attend our school in Abugida and more willing sponsors

to help pupils in the Birhan school. Every case has been chosen by the Edir and by the school itself. In both schools it is the Edir ( the neighbourhood association which controls the schools and with whom we have a signed contract, in this case with Akaki and in Yeka) who choose the children and families because, evidently, they see and work with them daily, know them personally and are completely up-to-date with their plight.

All of the children selected in Abugida as part of this program attend or were attending our schools last year. Those pupils who are no longer able to attend our centres now go to public school but come daily to have breakfast and lunch in Abugida. Not all of the children who come to eat take part in the fostering project since we have only been able to accommodate the most desperate cases. All of the children to be chosen are currently attending the Birhan centre. They are all orphans or almost orphans being looked after by single mothers, biological or adoptive grandparents, adoptive mothers, sisters, aunts, or in one of the cases in Abugida, by a foster family - because all of the child's family is dead. All of these families have little or no income. Some of the children are HIV positive. Almost all of them have a terrible story to tell, of tremendous difficulties and misery but they all help each other. We watch them, under these extreme circumstances, attending school, trying to  live a normal, routine life and we hope that they can continue to do so for a long time to come.

During our last trip too we met the families selected by the Edir and the school in Abugida. We witnessed their lives first hand.

The Mediterranea charity would like to make it very clear that we are not involved in the selection of the children. We feel that by "sitting on the fence" in the selection process that we are seen to be totally neutral and cannot be accused, at any time of favouritism or manipulation. We endeavour to  be transparent in all of our work, to be guides and not judges.

We only become directly involved in cases of extreme health problems and in the arrangement, if necessary, of paying for treatment in Ethiopia or organising trips to Spain in cases of dire medical need.

Our prime concerns are food, health care and education. We have over 400 children in our 2 schools and we have 46 employees working in these centres paid by Mediterranea. The children who attend our schools all have access to health care provided and paid for by our charity.

All of those members who come forward to sponsor a child will be put in contact with the children, can visit them if they so wish, and will be able to receive photos and communications from the children. The foster families have given permission for all sponsors to have access to the entire history and information about the background and experiences of the children they are sponsoring.

To sponsor a child, please contact apadrinamediterranea@gmail.com, and/or linda.a.spratt@gmail.com

9 Dec 2009

Calvia Christmas Fair 2009

The Christmas Fair held in Puerto Portals has been a great success this year. The Medettes (Mediterranea volunteers) had worked very hard and the Mediterranea stall was amongst the best. Over 900€ were raised and fun was had by all. Not only was a lot of money raised that will help with our various programs but awareness was created and we hope to reap few new members to our swelling ranks.
If you wish to see the snap shots click---> HERE

100% genuine.

Mediterranea is a direct help NGO. This means that not only does 100% of the money go directly to the projects but we also start working immediately when we discover a problem we can act upon without having to go through long tedious procedures to get a subsidy.

Mediterranea does not receive neither state nor municipal aid. We are a pure, 100% independent Non Governmental Organisation.

All the economical and logistical support we receive is private, which allows us to act as flexibly and promptly as we do. We are also non political and non religious.

In Mallorca we have at present the following programs:

Zaqueo Collective:
The Zaqueo Colective supplies food on a daily base to hundreds of people in need in Palma. We from Mediterranea help out with food, clothes and voluntary work.

Can Gaza and Casa Llarga:
These are two homes which shelter senior men rejected by  society. The good spirit, and the motor of these two homes is the one and only Jaume Santandreu. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of some volunteers, we have helped to improve the infrastructure of the two places (including central heating, hot water, electricity, paint jobs etc), provided them with clothes, TVs  HIFI, electrical appliances, furniture  medical supplies, linen and food.

All this didn’t cost Mediterranea anything because it was all donated and organised by members and friends of the NGO.

Programs sustained by our 4th World charity fund

People from Mali:
The people from Mali  that we attend number around 150 people. We provide them on a weekly base with food in sufficient quantity for them to be able to cover their basic needs for that week. This includes:, pasta, oil, milk, sugar, cocoa, pepper, onions, garlic, flour, salt and clothes. None of them receive institutional support.

The “Son Dameto” neighbours’ association where we have distributed the food in the first two weeks have refused to help us any more. So we had to find another distribution point, which we did. Here we have not had any problems so far. We have already  handed out more than 2 ½ tons of food for them. This project costs us every week between 380 EUR and 440 EUR. The rest of the costs are covered by donations from collaborators.

We are expecting the help of schools from the islands, which have volunteered to donate food to the project. This way we will not have to spend so much money from our funds which are desperately needed for the continuity of our long term projects in Ethopia.

People from Senegal:
In collaboration with Father Eugenio of the Palmanova church, as remarkable a priest as you can find, we have started to hand out food to the Senegalese of Calvia. These are also people without any institutional help. The church attends all sorts of people in need. We are concentrating on the Senegalese as the Subsaharians are the weakest link in the immigration chain. The first contact that we made was while they were looking for food in the rubbish bins of a supermarket in Calvia.

Working with homogeneous groups makes our work easier, because they know each other which helps a lot logistically.

We deal with 100 Senegalese, which makes it 2100 meals a week.

At the Senegalese request Mediterranea will start giving classes in Spanish and English. The classes will be given by volunteers.

We need computer screens, computers, mice and keyboards to start with IT classes.

We will maintain those two programs throughout the winter.

A big thank you from here to all of you who make Mediterranea possible

English lessons for the Senegalese in Magaluf

This week,Heidrun gave her first English lesson to members of the Senegalese population that we are helping in Calvia.

There is a slight problem and that is that quite a few of the members of this community can not read or write. So we are having to start right at the beginning.
Nothing is impossible.

7 Dec 2009

Murphy’s law


It is Murphy’s law. Martha, the little girl with the eternal smile, has to come back to Mallorca in order to have hospital treatment again because of her ESCOLOSIS…

Her dream is to come back. Even if it is in order to got to hospital again

My reasons for sponsoring Sponsorship:

My reasons for sponsoring Sponsorship: why now, what are our motives?
Long ago, someone asked me why Mediterranea did not take on sponsorship of children - something very common in other NGOs. There were many reasons: Firstly, Mediterranea is an organization of volunteers and do not have the numbers of staff necessary to deal with taking pictures, managing correspondence etc. in situations that require individual monitoring many children. For another, we always believed it was not fair to "discriminate" against some children by choosing others. How could we select some and not others? But now we are proposing the sponsorship of African children: 22 in Abugida school and 10 in school Birhan, and in the future, probably more. Why? Because of the life these children suffer, the most vulnerable children in our schools:

Children whose parents are sick, or in the care of a grandmother, or of another family relative, often with income of less than 5 Euros per month.
Children who take over the care of their siblings, although often 17 years of age and younger, and have become involuntarily the head of households where parents have died or have left. Children who are welcomed by a loving, caring woman who loves them with all her heart and soul, but who has already four children of her own and whose own husband does not understand why he has to feed another mouth, when his resources are already stretched to breaking point. Dependent children of a parent with AIDS that has not stopped going to work for a single day and raises his children in an exemplary manner, but knows his days are numbered.
Children raised by mothers with HIV, infected by a husband who passed it and has already died. Children who find themselves in especially difficult circumstances in a situation which is already difficult enough - the children in our schools are already among the most disadvantaged of their country.

These are children who need more help, and yes they are different, they are special and they deserve it, deserve the opportunity to partake of a better life. No child deserves to live in extreme poverty, to be forced to beg in the streets for their very existence. Loving, caring parents who are sick and dying deserve to know that even if something happens to them, their children will be cared for. I am not impartial. I know many of these children. I know many of these parents. And I promised the very sick mother of one of them that I would help. I'm proud of Mediterranea, proud that we really are going to make a difference - not with some magic wand that can cure all ills, but together, people like you and me. I have sponsored for these reasons, please, think about joining me. I am lucky enough that if something happened to me, my daughter would not be left helpless, and I want this for those African parents too.
Stefanie Milla