27 Aug 2011

2011 Mediterranea NGO AGM

Dear members:

I should like to invite you all to the next General Meeting on Friday
2nd September. The first session will be at 18.30 h and the second at
19.00 h. It will be held at the Mediterranea headquarters in Plaza de
Portals 3, local 5, Portals Nous, Calvia. Mallorca

This has been a very important and productive year for Mediterránea.
Together we have managed to achieve a better existence for the people
we help and we are creating a better future for so many children.
Mediterránea is and should continue to be an active charity, loyal to
its principles, participative, transparent and with the capacity to
respond quickly to the problems and situations of injustice we are
faced with on a daily basis.

At this meeting the members will be given the opportunity to vote in
the members of the Board.
We hope that the meeting produces a very participative Board. All
members will have the possibility of becoming a member of the Board.
Anybody who feels that they can rise to the challenge and contribute
something to the charity, who is prepared to be an active member of
the Board should present their plan of action at the meeting which
will subsequently be brought to a vote. We hope that nobody will be
too embarrassed or shy at coming forward with their suggestions and
ideas for collaborating on the Board. We are all there to help those
who are most in need and each one of us is just a small part within
the whole mechanism of solidarity.

The Board members must participate actively in the charity.

Those who adopt attitudes or behavior which opposes the principles,
values and spirit of the charity, i.e. disloyalty, abuse of trust and
attitudes which could damage the social status of the organization,
will not be allowed to become members of the Board or they will have
to discontinue their duties.

The members who attend the General Meeting can:
> • Participate in the designation and removal of the members of the Board of Directors and evaluate its management.
> • Be selected as and select members of the Board of Directors.
> • Participate and vote in the Members General Meetings.
> • Propose items to discuss at the Meeting or before the Board of Directors.
> • Examine at a given time the balance sheets and accounts of the charity.
> • Reaffirm or rectify the actions of the Board of Directors.
> • Evaluate and approve the statutory reforms.

Functions of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of active members. Its legality and
legitimacy are determined by the statutes and its election is carried
out at the General Meeting. For legal purposes it must be registered
at the premises of the charity, after the acceptance of responsibility
of the each of the chosen members has been recorded in writing.

Just like the functions of the General Meeting, the functions of the
Board of Directors are recorded in the charity's statutes, the most
important being to:
a. Define the policies of the organisation in accordance with the
statues and the mandates of the General Meeting.
b. Elect the President of the Board of Directors, the Vicepresident
and Secretary for the period of time set in the statutes.
c. Appoint people as required and assign them duties to ensure an
efficient administration and running of the projects.
d. Create ad-hoc and/or permanent work groups. Establish the number of
members, their duties and make the respective appointments.
e. Study and take decisions on any matters presented to them for their
consideration by the different work groups.
f. Present the annual financial and social reports at the General Meeting.
g. Present projects for reforming the statutes at the General Meeting.
h. Approve the annual expenses budget and keep an eye on the expenditure.
l. Dictate rules and regulations for fulfilling the objectives of the
j. Comply with own regulations.
k. Evaluate own performance and that of the work groups.
l. Choose who is authorised to sign the bank accounts.
m. Others (we hope that in the course of the Meeting more points to be
included in this list will be raised).

If you wish to delegate your right to vote to somebody else then
please let us know in writing (email) before 2nd September.

1)General summary of the charity's development in 2010
2)Summary by sections/programmes given by the people who were in
charge of the same in 2010
3)Financial summary of the year 2010 given by the accountant.
4)Discussion, requests and questions.
5)Presentation and election of candidates for the board.
6)Summary and conclusions.

I stress that the Board of Directors is the most important body of any
association and for this reason, you can all present yourselves as
suitable candidates for election.
To put yourselves forward as candidates, all you have to do is present
your project at the members General Meeting, being aware of your
responsibilities as members of the Board and your duties within that
Board. We look forward to the creation of a very active and ambitious

Many thanks,
Kind regards
Michael Stoma

NB Please let us know if you will join us so that we can calculate the
number of members who will be present. We hope to have to email you
one or two days before the event to say that we are moving to bigger
premises due to the confirmed number of attendants. (our email is: mediterranea.ong@gmail.com)

25 Aug 2011

The August Group of Volunteers

Abugida is a happy place, rather damp and full of “chica” (mud). There is no time to stop, there is so much to do.  Zerihun had already told us that Akaki is the city where everyone says “hello”. But it was incredible to hear the “hellos” at 7.30 on Monday morning from the mothers who were already waiting at the door. We felt at home.
The little ones are having their milk and they have had a change of clothes (thanks to Carolina and Alejandra). They are born impersonators and the silly antics of little Addaé are enough to make them all go crazy.  The “melons” also have a change of clothes, nice and warm, which they have gone home in today.
The kitchen has now got more ventilation and light with a new window and the place is starting to get bigger. What’s more the cooks are provided with constant amusement and can’t stop laughing at Tacho without his shirt on.  
Dagem is enjoying himself, he laughs, moves his head and responds to stimulation as much as he is able to. Laura thinks he has possibilities and his carer is totally committed.  The big children are doing workshops and their teachers are learning new techniques.
In addition, almost all of the sponsored children have called in today to collect their monthly allowance and we have taken their photos. It’s amazing to see how nice they look, how well behaved they are as they arrive and the wonderful smiles on their faces. They are all darlings. The smallest ones hide behind their mums but they love seeing the photos of themselves and this brings out a smile.
We are also making an inventory of the sickbay, organisings and updating things.  Hugs and kisses are frequently exchanged and we see lots of teeth throughout the day! There is a feeling of love and gratitude within the whole educational environment.
Volunteers: Laura, Ivana, Tacho, Elena and Carolina.

Some of the “melons”, the former babies who have progressed to the “melons” class with their new fleece tops
Super Tacho making the new window

We will not get tired of saying how delighted we are with the progress of Dagem, our little boy from Abugida who has cerebral palsy, who seems to be making good progress and has a wonderful carer who loves and understands him, stimulates him and is very keen to learn. She is learning from Laura, a child psychomotor development specialist and one of the August volunteers at Abugida.  The fact that Dagem is the most “spoilt” child at Abugida and receives so much attention is not only beneficial for him but it’s a big step forward towards fighting for the rights of disabled people who sadly are scorned and rejected by society and the people close to them, not only in Ethiopia but in many other places.
Because of all our hard work and determination the poorest families in Akaki are now the envy of other people as their children attend Abugida; a woman who was raped and badly treated in her neighbourhood and labelled “crazy” has made a miraculous recovery since her son started at the nursery school and now has a job in Abugida and holds her head up high... and children with HIV are no longer looked upon as being abnormal and form part of the “normal daily life” of Abugida, etc etc...We are very happy. Thanks for helping us to achieve so many good things. 

24 Aug 2011

6 God Mothers/Fathers Needed for 6 Babies

To date we have had 51 children who have needed sponsorship and for all of these except for 6 little boys and girls we have godfathers or godmothers.  These 6, with the exception of one, form part of the new generation of one year olds who started at Abugida in July.  They are children of single mothers, some of whom are ill and the others servants (servants in Ethiopia and in the context of Akaki work all day and are given only a bed and the leftovers).  The situation of these mothers is very vulnerable.  If the owners of the house where they work decide to throw them out, not only do they not have work but they are also left without a home and have to live on the streets with their children.  Other mothers have had to give up their children because they have not been able to support them.  All of these mothers are trying to survive in extreme circumstances.

Sponsorship requires an emotional commitment on the part of the godfather or godmother and a monthly payment of 24 Euros.  This money not only secures the life of the child but also the life of his/her family, since a mother who is HIV+ that can eat is a much stronger mother.

23 Aug 2011

August Photos

Here are photos of some of the work done by our volunteers during August:

enlarging the kitchen...
handicraft workshop...

blowing soap bubbles.

There’s only a little time left for the super volunteers of August and from here we want to thank them for their involvement and excellent work.

Martha Continues Smiling

Martha is still in hospital; we believe that she will be there till the end of this week.  They have put her in a corset that she will have to wear for the next three months.  Our little champion is always in a good mood, always smiling.  What a fine lesson for life she gives us.  

Mesfin, her brother is showing himself to be a fine brother and a fine person.  He has not wanted to leave the hospital, not even for five minutes.  Since Martha was admitted he has been with her night and day.  He is without doubt a son worthy of his father.  Martha has a marvellous family.

22 Aug 2011

Milk Problems

Milk is a luxury in Ethiopia.  The great majority of children, not to mention adults, drink tea instead of milk.  The reason is purely economic; it has nothing to do with any type of intolerance to milk.  In our school Abugida (215 children including 73 babies on double rations), in Fitawrari school (310 children) and in Biru Tesfa (190 children), these last two where Mediterranea provide school feeding programmes, everyone drinks milk.

This represents 40 litres for the babies of Abugida and 40 litres for the rest, 70 litres for Fita and 50 in Biru, totalling 200 litres a day and 4000 litres per month.  This is a great business for the milkmen of the area.  Milkmen who have been increasing their prices at their convenience, because in Ethiopia they increase the price for buying a lot.  Price ceilings do not exist in Ethiopia.  To them it is natural to increase the price because you are a good business and of course they have to milk the cow well, which in this case is us…

The milkman who was supplying us invented a ‘mugging’ and disappeared with two weeks of milk money.  Since then we have been looking for a new milkman.  No one wants to supply us.  One came up with crazy excuses like he supplies the prison Monday to Sunday and with us it is only Mon to Friday.  What, the prisoners of Akaki drink milk?  Who in their right mind would believe this?  What he wanted was to charge us for milk on Saturdays and Sundays although the schools are closed.  The fact that the milk is for the poorest children in the area doesn’t bother them in the slightest.

The fact is that in one of the poorest countries on the planet, where milk is a luxury, they don’t want to sell it to us.  Can anyone understand this?  We can’t.

21 Aug 2011

In a Place Called Ethiopia...the Return

After a long weekend away from Sebeta, today we returned to the Mediterranea workshop.  From the welcome we received we imagined that they thought we had left for good and without saying goodbye.  We dedicated the morning to our labours, we had to adjust the clothes that we had bought since the majority of the children are sickly thin and we could only find extra large sized trousers.  At the end of the morning session we offered them a healthy breakfast, a banana and a piece of bread.  In the afternoon session we performed a funny sound based story that we had spent some time preparing.  When they finished the activity we surprised them with an energy giving new tea, a Nocilla sandwich.
We start the day with a good portion of potassium
Some eat the banana first and the bread afterwards
An energetic tea to end the afternoon session.  Who can resist a Nocilla sandwich?
 We have proof that shows that they liked it enormously
 Conclusive evidence!
 Will you give me a little of yours...?
 Others however have to postpone their enjoyment of tea until after the sun goes down
 Some don't like the idea so much
They are focused on reproducing the sound of the bell: sol..mi
Those in charge of making the sound of a cat
An entertaining story in which everyone has a part.  You have to be focused to make sure that you make your sound at the right moment.
I love music!