6 May 2011

Another Little Med Flag

Today a new Defibrillator we had been given from one of the Super Yachts in Palma, and which was upgrading its equipment, started its long journey to a hospital in Sierra Leona. It is in pristine condition and the hospital hasn't got one. This hospital is attended by a sister NGO (Scottish surgeons). More on this when the photos and report arrive. Another little Med flag goes up in another corner of the earth.

In the end there are 44

In the end there will be forty-four new children in the nursery at Abugida.  Forty-two aged between ten months and two years and two a little older: one of nearly three and the other five, both having cerebral paralysis.  Dagem, the three year old and the two pairs of twins have already started, as a matter of urgency, and are already well integrated into the nursery.

The two pairs of twins are eating very well and are already gaining in weight.  The lightest of the four babies is a little girl aged 11 months and weighs less than a three month old.  It was for this reason that we decided to accept them immediately into the nursery.

Half the children who will start in July will be given milk and solids now already as they weigh less than half of what they should for their age.  For those children less than a year old, the milk and solids will be given to their mothers to eat.  The first year of life is critical for a child but their mothers are so undernourished that they cannot produce sufficient breast milk.  In this way they will be able to properly feed their children.

Through these actions we hope that all children will enter the kindergarten in July in a better physical condition.

Europe Day, this Sunday 8th May from 1200 - 2200 in Palmanova

Don't forget to come and support Dr Michael Stoma who will be presented Calvia's most treasured 'Citizen of the Year' award this Sunday 8 May at 1300. Dr Stoma will be receiving the reward on behalf of all the members and volunteers of Mediterranea.

Mediterranea will also have a stand at the event which is due to run from 1200 - 2200 on Es Carregador beach promenade in Palmanova.

Europe Day celebrates the Treaty of Rome which was signed in 1957 and brought the European Economic Community (EEC) into existence. It will be a day full of events with more than a hundred stands which will offer typical food, drink and handicrafts from different countries. There will be musical performances throughout the day. Also a playing and entertainment area for children, with bouncy castles, a ball pond and other funfair rides.

So no excuse not to come and support your compatriots in Mediterranea. Also a good opportunity to introduce friends to Mediterranea...you can be sure there will be volunteers at the stand only too pleased to provide information and sign them up as members. Many members giving a small amount every month is what allows us to help feed, educate and support those in need.

3 May 2011

What's Going on at Mediterranea this May?


Dignipacs (Leader Nicky Horner tel: 666271872)
Packs of essential items such as soap, shampoo, underpants etc collected, packed and distributed to the homeless of Mallorca.
We're planning another Dignipacs distribution for May. 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.
Two younger members made short presentations to each class at IES Bendiinat about Dignipac and other work at Mediterranea. From this we had a great response. In May, we hope to extend this to include some more schools, and would be delighted to hear from any teenagers who have contacts in the other schools.
We would like to arrange a collection centre in or near Club de Mar in order to collect donations from the boats. Please contact Nicky if you have any contacts that could help.
Nicky can always make use of more pairs of hands, please call her if you have any spare time in May.

Fruit Picking (Leader: Natalie Elfers tel 699614307)
Volunteers meet weekly, have a chat and coffee and then drive together to an orchard to pick fruit for 4th world programme.
As the orange season is now over we have hands without anything to pick. So if anyone knows of any orchards or growers who have excess crops that they would let us pick for the homeless of Mallorca then please call Natalie.

Fourth World (Leader: Fernanda Canoura Guerra Tel: 659952334)
Volunteers purchase and 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.
Food is distributed at 1400hrs every Friday
Fernanda is always looking for additional help to purchase and distribute, please call her if you have any spare time in May 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.

Europe Day – Sun 8th May (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.
Our preparations are ready for this event we just need members to turn up and support the event and Dr Stoma who will be receiving the European Citizen of the Year Award on behalf of Mediterranea !!

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.
Please call Jackie if you have time on your hands and can assist.

Digame Relaunch, Marchica 19 May (Leader: Robin Griffith tel 600425647 rgrif367@gmail.com)
Digame, who are members, are a magazine aimed at English speaking residents and visitors. They are relaunching the magazine and raising funds for Mediterranea. Dr Stoma will be speaking at the event. We need a couple of volunteers to man a small stand, mingle with those attending and try to recruit new members. Event starts 8pm and will last a couple of hours. Please call Robin if you can help.

Ethiopia (Leader Victoria Baldo email: haldala@yahoo.es)
Supporting schools in Akaki region of Ethiopia
Please call Victoria to find out how you can help.

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.

1 May 2011

Finally Happy

Finally happy – but for a long time it didn’t seem as though it would finish well.  Amanuel is one of the sponsored children of Abugida.  His mother was HIV+ and had breast cancer in an advanced state.  As with other mothers who are ill and have no family support we were paying, over months, for a lady to do the domestic work and bring Amanuel to school.

Amanuel’s mother died three weeks ago.  One of her aunts came to the burial and we asked her what would happen to Amanuel, whether she would take him with her to the countryside where she lived.  For some weeks we have been waiting on news, as the prospects for Amanuel didn’t look good.

Then, a big surprise, his father appeared and has taken charge of Amanuel.  Amanuel’s mother and father had had many problems between them but when the mother died his father appeared and decided to live in Akaki.  So this time there has been a happy ending because Amanuel loves his father, they are very happy together and because Amanuel will continue at Abugida School and in the community that he knows.

We are finding it increasingly difficult to find families that will accept and look after children who become orphaned, despite paying them monthly to do so.  This fact clashes with the idea of the big African family, the spirit of family and solidarity.

A father who is HIV+ spoke with the families of Abugida.  Not for himself, as he has arranged for his children to live with his brother should he die.  He spoke on behalf of the rest, for those who dare not ask, for those who are suffering because of the uncertain future of their children.  He spoke with families to encourage them to welcome in children who were not theirs.  But unfortunately he spoke in vain.  None of the families of Abugida wanted to act as surrogate parents.

As we have a spare room with two beds at the school, we shall at least be able to temporarily look after any newly orphaned children until we can resolve their situations.  We are not able to do anything else but the truth is that this situation this subject always leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

At least today Amanuel is happy.  He doesn’t have his mother anymore but he has his father…one more child rescued from an uncertain future.