31 Mar 2011

What's Going On in Mediterranea this April?

Below we give an overview of the projects that we are currently working on. We
run solely on volunteer power so if you would like to find out more or help out
with any of these projects you are very welcome, simply call the project leader.


Dignipacks (Leader Nicky Horner tel: 666271872This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Packs of essential items such as soap, shampoo, underpants etc collected, packed and distributed to the roofless of Mallorca.
We're planning the next Dignipacks distribution for Monday 11th April.  All donations of soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, deodorant, razors, ladies' panties and socks, men's underpants and socks, toilet rolls and wet wipes can be dropped off at Dr Stoma's surgery or at Planet Space in Son Bugadelles. Any small bottles of shampoo, etc. picked up on your travels would also be very useful.  Adding just a few extra items to your weekly shopping basket can make a huge difference to the homeless of Mallorca.
Some younger members are also planning an initiative in local schools to encourage donations.
Nicky can always make use of more pairs of hands, please call her if you have any time to help in April.

Fruit Picking (Leader: Natalie Elfers tel 699614307)
Volunteers meet, have a chat and coffee and then drive together to an orchard to
pick fruit for 4th world programme
Meeting: every Wed 0900 hrs in Café Amadipesment, next to the new medical centre in Palmanova, just after you turn off the motorway.
Please call Natalie or just turn up to the meeting if you want to find out more, have a chat with other volunteers and enjoy the beautiful Mallorcan countryside.

Fourth World (Leader: Fernanda Canoura Guerra Tel: 659952334)
Volunteers distribute food, using the office space of the Association of Mali in Palma, to people who have somewhere to live but are at risk because they have no source of income. The programme also offers English and Spanish lessons. In another initiative volunteers distribute food to the homeless at Zaqueo.
The Spanish classes for April until June are looking doubtful.  Anyone willing to teach Spanish for these months would be very welcome and very much appreciated by those learning.
Fernanda is always looking for additional help, please call her if you have time in April or would like to help out with the Spanish lessons.

Palma Warehouse (Leader: Jill Witkamp  jill@witkamp-mallorca.com)
Jill does a great job in managing Mediterranea’s storage space at Extraspace in Palma.  We store clothes, toys, learning materials and much more.
Jill is looking for a couple of volunteers to help her for one morning to reorganise the storeroom and make a stock list.
Jill would like to hear from other Mediterranea projects to see if she has anything in store that could be of help.
Anyone who wants to leave things in the storeroom can go to the Extraspace warehouse during office hours and ask them to open  our lock up 3024 and place items in the middle (as the sign says), otherwise please contact Jill to arrange a time to meet her there.

Race Night at Papi’s Bar, Palmanova 2 Apr 19.30 hrs, opposite Banco Santander (Leader: Pat Shawcross tel:616781190 pmshawxes@yahoo.co.uk)
Guaranteed to be a great night, all welcome.  Raising funds for Mediterranea.  Pat still needs some raffle prizes; the help of volunteers for the night would be great also.

QUIZ NIGHT AND RAFFLE DRAW at SUNDOWNERS on the 7th of April, in Puerto Portals. 7:30pm.  Leader: Karl Duerden  620104673
Sponsors: Dunns, Wellies, O'Neals, Nice Price, Lady Telecom, The French Coffee Shop, Nauti Parts, B29, Advance Car Hire, Ooh La La, Pickabilly, Kariba, The Venue, Mallorca Clothing Company, Crompton Opticians, Sundowners, Bodhanna, Real Homes, K&M Maritime, Express Lube, Kompas, La Opera, E3, World of Wine, etc, etc

30th April Golf Tournament at Son Vida & Award Dinner Moods Contact Mr Dan Marsh tel: 616529111 dan@wgehorses.co.uk We have been approached by Mr Dan Marsh, a newcomer to the island, who is organising this Golf Tournament and has kindly offered to raise money for Mediterranea.  If you would like more information about this event or would like to join the golf tournament please visit the website www.handofhussain.com  or contact Dan.  Interesting note: Hussain is referring to the famous English cricketer who donated his glove to the association which was made into a trophy and used as an award for the tournaments

Europe Day (Leader: Diane Oatley tel 971 138190 / 667498955 vitalforce2000@gmail.com)
Calvia Fair, sea front Palmanova to celebrate 1957 Treaty of Rome that brought
what is now European Union into being. Over 100 stores.
Meeting: 14 Apr 1030 in La Colmena/Beehive,Palmanova
To discuss Mediterranea stall, goods to sell, sponsorships, membership table etc.  Volunteers welcome, please call Diane.

BIS Pirates Party 28 May (Leader: Jackie Evans tel 609421073)
This party will be held at the school in order to raise funds for Mediterranea.
Although this is a May event we publish it now as Jackie will be looking for volunteers in April to assist with the preparation of a stall for the event.

Ethiopia (Leader Victoria Baldo email: haldala@yahoo.es)
Supporting schools in Akaki region of Ethiopia
Current project in need of support:
Learning Toys for the Blind
Volunteers needed for handicraft work

Ghana (Leader Michael Stoma email: mediterranea.ong@gmail.com)
Supporting small regional hospital
Current project in need of support:
Physiotherapists needed to set up new physio dept.


Sponsorships (Leader: Ana Calvo tel: 616686577  Email:apadrinamediterranea@gmail.com)
Desperately poor children in need of personal sponsorship to provide small but
long term financial support.

Michael on English Radio Mallorca

Click on this Youtube link to hear Michael's interview on English Radio Mallorca.
A big thank you to Laura Penn and her team for their continuing support of Mediterranea.

Michael's March Review

March has been a very active month for Mediterranea.  We have made a lot of progress and have started a lot of programmes and activities that without doubt will mark the future of our young and active organisation.

One of the things that come to mind was the first meeting of volunteers and potential volunteers that was held in Mallorca and was a big success.  Some of our members on the peninsular have asked when we shall hold a meeting for them.  Mediterranea works in independent teams and this was the first time that people had the chance to put faces to names and mix with members of other teams.  It has been proposed to continue with these meetings in order to facilitate cooperation between members, the sharing of knowledge and to have open discussions.  Natalie’s group, who collect fresh food (fruit and veg) for the 4th World Programme, meet regularly and set a good precedent for us to follow.

In this month we successfully launched Dignipack and we continue to develop this project.  It would be ideal if we could arrange for some schools to take on the responsibility of collecting items through their pupils.  In this way we could create the packs without having to dip into our funds.  The initiative was so well received that this programme could be set up in any area where there is a homeless population and where there are no rivers or public showers.  As you will see in the ‘What’s on in Mediterranea’ bulletin we are continuing with our commitment to the unemployed and to the people who are socially excluded, bringing them food, clothes, medication and education.

Ethiopia, sorry I mean the Independent Republic of Abugida and its teams are running at full steam.  Various groups are preparing to go to work and where possible to improve the operation of the school.  At the same time we are starting off an educational programme for blind children.  We have never done this before but are counting on caring volunteers with talent who undoubtedly will take an effective direction and hopefully create a model that other schools in Ethiopia can follow.  We are also continuing to help the aged of Akaki and with our very successful sponsorship programme that is supporting desperate children in need.

Meanwhile, our understanding of the world of the internet and its use for the sharing of information and recruitment of volunteers is growing daily.  It is fascinating and stimulating.  There’s no doubt that if it wouldn’t be for the internet, we would never be able to do the many things that we are doing in our free time so that Mediterranea can help so many people in so many places.

In March our fundraising teams have been very busy preparing a number of events for April and May.  We shall keep you informed on all of these events.  As you know our monthly income from our members is 7300 euros.  Our fundraising events give us injections of funds that allow us to take on specific and extraordinary projects and also provide us with the security we need to overcome the challenges we meet along the way.

Mikias, the 15 year old boy who we brought over from Ethiopia to operate on his arm is nearing the end of his treatment and if everything goes well he will have his final operation in two weeks time.  Providing there are no complications he will very soon be back with his family in Ethiopia.  In the year that he has spent in Mallorca he has learnt Spanish, English and a little German and French.  As a result of this he will be able to lead a good life back in his country as a guide or translator.  Working one day for foreigners in Ethiopia he will be able to earn more than his father in a whole month.  The Baleares International College has organised fund raising activities to collect money to support Mikias’ further education for when he returns to Ethiopia.

I am happy to say that we have seven new members in March, one from Ibiza, two from Mallorca, two from Elda and one each from Ferrol and Madrid.  Thank you for joining us and helping us to do what’s necessary to try and make this world a little better.

There are many things that I have not mentioned in this brief note, for example the many members all over who are making and collecting toys for the blind and disabled children.  I hope that you will write to us telling us what you are making for Mediterranea so as to serve as a stimulus and learning opportunity for other members and other NGO’s.

Every one of these projects is important.  We have much to learn and very much still to do.  Thank you for being with us.

A big hug.

Michael (President)  

30 Mar 2011

Items Desperately Needed for the Next Dignipack Distribution

Our dedicated and hardworking team of Dignipackers (packs of essential supplies that Mediterranea supply to the roofless of Mallorca) have been collecting, collating and counting items in preparation for the next Dignipack distribution planned for 11 April.
We greatly appreciate donations of any of the following items:- soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, deodorant, razors, toilet rolls, wet wipes, ladies' panties and socks and men's underpants and socks. 
It would be great if anyone travelling and staying in hotels could collect and donate the small bottles of shampoo, soaps etc.
Also, adding just a little extra to your weekly shopping basket can make a huge difference – toothbrushes at only €1 for 3 (Mercadona),deodorant at €0.85 (also Mercadona) or multiple packs of underpants (Carrefour) are just a few examples.
Please drop off any donations to the surgery in Portal Nous, or to Planet Space, C/Illes Baleares 48, Poligono Son Bugadelles, Santa Ponsa.
Anyone interested in joining the Dignipack team, or who has donations requiring collection, please contact Nicky Horner tel 666 271 872
email: nicky@e3s.com 

The Independent Republic of Abugida

Dear Followers of Mediterranea

After months of vicissitude, confrontation and dispute…that started last summer when we confronted the Edir Behibret, the neighbourhood organisation to whom the local government had given the DISadministration of Abugida school, which was subsequently terminated by the subcity as a result of our ultimatum; the mess continued with the committee that was then appointed by the subcity to take over the DISadministration of Abugida and eventually stopped by them after we again denounced their severe DISadministration.

At last we are moving into what we hope is a new era for the school: one that permits us to take direct control over the money that we send out.

We are still in the process of becoming a registered NGO in Ethiopia, a process that we believe will take a couple more months, but the fact that they are permitting this step is an indication:
-         of the persistence of our ideas and ideals
-         of our clear and consistent rejection of corruption
-         that Mediterranea’s projects in Akaki are important for the Ethiopian administration and of course the people of Akaki.

So today we are content, because we have taken giant steps since our beginnings in Ethiopia, a country that is certainly very complex in its own way but one that hooks you and captures you as only it can.

29 Mar 2011

Yes I Can. The Story of E.


My name is E and I’m a little girl 22 months old.  I have been going to the Abugida kindergarten since it started in June of last year.  My life until then was sad, as is the case with many of the children who live here.

I was born with the evil illness of Africa, we can only whisper the name of this illness, an illness that stigmatises and marginalises all who have it.  In fact I even had to overcome the prejudice of some of my carers because we all know that babies are little pigs and that there is a lot of physical contact in a kindergarten.  Some carers were immediately shown the door because they were insisting that children like me must use different cups and plates to the others.

In April of last year, all the children who were going to start at the new kindergarten were given a medical examination.  The foreigner who examined me thought that I wouldn’t be able to attend the start of the kindergarten; such was the distressing state of my health.  Without food my body couldn’t take the medication necessary to treat my illness and rejected it.  The foreigner bought my mother a lot of baby food and milk.  She told my mother to stop breast feeding me so as to avoid re-infecting me (there wasn’t much breast milk coming anyway) and to fatten me up as much as possible.  My mother did as instructed and my health started to improve.  Today I am big and strong as you can see from the video.

I am not a miracle.  I am not a work of charity.  I am not a poor sick little girl.  I am a happy and healthy girl, yes, healthy because I am leading a normal life.  The same as the other children in my school who have the same as me.  We are all well and all happy.  We are like all the children of the world should be: loved, properly fed and stimulated.  It is no fault of ours that we have been born in one of the poorest parts of the world.

They told me that in July my favourite foreigner will be returning to the kindergarten.  She will see how much I have changed, my foreigner member of Mediterranea.