24 Dec 2012

A DANCE FOR THE HUNGRY

On 27th of December, in the Casal de Paguera at 7:30pm, the Maria Antonia Mas dance studio will put on a show in favour of children in need in Mallorca.
You and your children will love it.


20 Dec 2012

Toys

TOYS FOR EVERYONE
The collection of toys for the most underprivileged children of Sa Pobla, which was organised by the Juega y Educa shop, has turned out to be a success. In spite of everything, the children in this Mallorcan town will probably receive more than one present. Today for instance, some friends of Mediterránea, Sunsi Sillero and her husband Tim, have donated 157 toys, dolls and games. Today Kate, another Mediterránea collaborator, has delivered the 200 toys donated by the Captain and crew of the yacht Aglaia, along with the 2.800€ raised at the Christmas party recently celebrated by this wonderful and caring group of people. Really fantastic!
Tomorrow, the secretaries of Father Christmas, Cristina Moragues and Isabel Roselló, who are in the photo along with Tim and Sunsi, will continue collecting and wrapping up new donated gifts which will be delivered to the children on the 22nd. María Dolores Aguiló, the nurse in Sa Pobla and alma mater of the project which Mediterránea launched in this town, will begin informing the families so that all the boys and girls can attend the gift-giving party. What excitement!

27 Nov 2012

Mediterranea and Christmas

Forthcoming Mediterránea Events:

Up until 21st December Mediterránea is collecting toys, new and second hand in good condition, at the toy shop Juega y Educa in C/Jesús, 13. They will be distributed to children from our programme "No more Hungry Children in Sa Pobla" at Christmas...

Between 29th November and 1st December Mediterránea will have a stand together with Mallorca Sense Fam (Mallorca without Hunger) at the Casal Solleric. There will be books, calendars and raffle tickets (see below) on sale. There will also be a welcome ceremony for the Christmas festivities with the switching on of the Christmas lights in the city. The ceremony will be well worth while seeing for the whole family.

1st December. Sale of the solidarity book Recetas Contra el Hambre (Recipes Against Hunger) at the Christmas Fayre of the international schools Queen's College, The Academy and Baleares International College. The profit from the sale of these four books, which are full of recipies and drawings by the school children, will go towards buying food for the families with undernourished children in Sa Pobla. Price, 10€

9th December, Mediterránea will be at the Santa Ponsa Christmas Market, C/ Riu Sil

27th December, “Dance against Hunger”, a solidarity performance by the Mª Antonia Mas ballet company in the Paguera auditorium, at 7.30pm. Donation: 5€, which will be used to buy food for the needy.

4/1/2013 Raffle to raise money to buy textbooks for poor schoolchildren in Palma. Prizes: trip to Berlin for 2 people, including flight and hotel, lunch/dinner for 2 people at Sa Cranca, YHI Spa water therapy. Tickets can be bought at most of the above mentioned events.

26 Nov 2012

Recipes against hunger


Books for a good cause: Recipes against hunger 

Four of the international schools in Mallorca have put together this series of solidarity books, which contain recipes and drawings created by the children.  

Queen's College, The Academy, Baleares International College and Bellver College have taken part in this joint activity in order to raise funds to buy food for the large number of underprivileged families in Sa Pobla. 

"Recipes against hunger" costs just 10€ and is on sale at the above schools or at the Mediterránea headquarters in Portals. They will also be available in Casal Solleric, Palma, on 29th and 30th of this month and on 1st December. 



24 Nov 2012

TOY CAMPAIGN


Thinking of the little ones we have started a Christmas campaign to accumulate new or near to new toys as we believe no child should go without a Christmas present.  If you would like to help us, the Juega y Educa toy shop in Calle Jesus 13 in Palma is one of the drop off points. Toys can be left there till the 21st of December.  Our volunteers will collect  them , sort them, and wrap them.
The toys will be handed out a couple of days before Christmas to the children we feed in Sa Pobla. As you probably know, we now help feed over 320 children in that town. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

For more information call 659952434 or send an email to mediterranea.ong@gmail.com .


18 Nov 2012

Roofless folk in Paradise.

As we all know, there are millions of homeless people in the world.
But did you know that there are hundreds without shelter right here on our doorstep, in Palma de Mallorca?

In  Mediterranea  ONG/NGO we are searching for sleeping bags for these unfortunate souls, especially now that the cold in settling in.

Do you have a used sleeping bag you do not use? If not you might like to donate a new one?  Either way please let us know and we will
deliver it to people who do not get to sleep on a bed in Mallorca.

If you wish to drop a sleeping bag our drop off points are:
ExtraSpace in Palma (Puigpunient turn off on the Ma20)
Planet Space in Son Bugadelles Sta.Ponsa
The Medical Centre in Portals Nous (9am-1:30pm and 3pm till 6pm)

Please do not break this chain of favours and pass this post on to  everyone  you can.

Many thanks from the bottom of our hearts

8 Nov 2012

PEOPLE INTERESTED IN A BETTER WORLD.

Our Blog has recently been visited by folk from: 

Qatar, Spain, India, Serbia, France, China, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Japan, Canada, USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Singapore, Jordan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Uganda.
 

Thank you all for visiting us and showing interest in Mediterranea.

CLOSE COLLABORATION BETWEEN ORGANISATIONS.



This week a sister organisation called MALLORCA SENSE FAM donated the following for our program in Sa Pobla:

300 liters of milk
30 kg of rice
20 kg of Spaghetti
10 kg of noodles
10 kg of macaroni
39 kg of biscuits
4 large bags of potatoes
24 cans of tinned tomatoes.

In Sa Pobla we help feed 320 undernourished poor children. Many families with 3 to 11 members live on 400€/month. With this they have to pay rent, electricity and feed themselves.

6 Nov 2012

AGM 2012 (Letter sent to members)

Dear Members,

On Saturday 6th October we held the Annual General Meeting of Mediterranea at our headquarters. Very few members attended although those who did were very willing. We analysed the work we carried out in 2011 on our various fronts, Africa and Spain, and came to the conclusion that the coffers are being depleted through all the needs we have to attend to, but that we are going to continue working with our usual enthusiasm. We are going to try and obtain free or very cheap premises in the Calviá region so that our medical centre can return to its former function and appearance, without food and other donated objects piled up on the chairs and the floor at the entrance and the storeroom which is supposed to be for medicines, taken up by boxes to be shipped out in the next container, etc. At the suggestion of one of the members, we will consider the possibility of organising a “charity shop” at the new premises from where we would distribute clothing and food to the most needy and where we could possibly sell Ethiopian handicrafts.
We will also take appropriate measures in Sa Pobla, where we have been looking for months for a place where the pediatrics nurse at the health centre can carry out her work in better conditions, to prevent malnutrition and supply food to families with children at risk of malnutrition, the total now being 320. The premises would also have a room where the immigrant population could receive education in diverse practical areas, to help them to improve their integration into society.
With regards to Ethiopia, we have informed those present of the difficult circumstances we have been working in over the last few months, having to fight against serious and continuous problems resulting from the greed of the same people, who couldn’t care less about the paramount importance of Abugida in the lives of nearly 200 desperately needy children who have little or nothing to cover their most basic needs, in the lives of the 51 extremely vulnerable sponsored families and in the lives of the 47 employees who currently work at the school.

On the 18th there will be a court case to decide if Abugida passes into the hands of the undesirable individuals who have been making claims for some time now in order to privatise it and put an end to the Abugida we all know, or if it is officially given to the woreda (district authority). The woreda is on our side and if the woreda wins it means that Abugida will continue as it always has been until now. They intend to transfer the school to us once we are fully legalised.
This court case happens to coincide with our stay in Ethiopia so we will be living it first hand.
As always we will fight to the very end for the children and families of Abugida. We will keep you updated.

Together with the letter please find attached the 2011 report which we will post onto the web as soon as we can.

We would like to thank you all very much for your support.



O.N.G./N.G.O. Mediterranea

7 Oct 2012

A park and sports ground for the children of Akaki




Going back to the subject of the Mediterránea park and sports ground in Akaki, Ethiopia.

As you may remember, we came up with the idea for this project several months ago. The idea was to build a park and sports ground for the children and young people of Akaki, as there are no facilities of this kind in the area.

In fact, there are no playgrounds for children in the whole country, only a beautiful park in front of the Hilton which children are not allowed to use because, according to some people, there is a risk of terrorism due to its proximity to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other people say that a small part of the park can be used if paid for in advance, although we have never seen any children playing there.

Akaki is the poorest sub-city of Addis and we launched the idea of the park and sports ground several months ago and we were incredibly lucky to find Marc in Valencia who was more than willing to get involved with the project.
We were also very lucky in that the Woreda (the local authority) have given us permission to use a plot of land of around 16000 square metres which is mostly flat and surrounded by trees – an ideal place.

Marc has really got himself involved and this is not going to be the ordinary standard European park we initially had in mind, but it’s going to be a thematic park based on the story of the Kebra Nagast, book of The Glory of the Kings of Ethiopia.

The Kebra Nagast is considered to be a sacred book, not only by the Orthodox Christians in Africa, but also by the Rastafarians in the Caribbean and all over the world.


In the Amharic language ‘Kebra Nagast’ means ‘The Glory of the Kings’, due to the fact that this ‘Secret Bible’ narrates the love story between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba: they had a child named Menelik I, destined to be proclaimed the Emperor, but above all he was said to have brought the Ark of the Covenant [called ‘Zion’] from Jerusalem to Ethiopia, where it is still believed to be guarded in Aksum.


The Kebra Nagast is a compendium of diverse transcriptions of sacred Zionist writings based on the Old Testament, along with Rabbinic texts, traditional legends (mainly Ethiopian and Coptic, and also from Ancient Egypt), and commentaries from the Koran and stories from Arabic traditions (from Palestine and Syria in particular).


It therefore reunites the three leading religions of Ethiopia which is a profoundly religious country.

Thanks to the creative genius of Marc – with contributions from his wife Leoni – the park will consist of a zigurat (temple of Mesopotamia, kingdom of Solomon), the castle of Solomon (where the meeting between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon took place, the fruit of which was their son Menelik!) and the Ark of the Covenant, which will all be converted into playground attractions.

Further attractions will include a crocodile pit with a hanging bridge, a maze, the nomadic “blue men” of the desert, singing birds...There will also be a sports area for young people with a football ground, athletics track of more than 800 metres, warming up and stretching area, and an area with fixed board games. And benches so that the mothers or teachers can sit down, and whatever other exciting ideas Marc has for the land.

Marc traveled out on 14th September for a stay of possibly 3 months.


The park is a beautiful project which without a doubt will change the daily lives of the children and youth of Akaki.

4 Oct 2012

Hooley in the Sun, Children`s Charity

We wish to thank the  kind folk at the Hooley in the Sun Children's Charity that have  generously donated 499.5€ to our programs. 



27 Sep 2012

Milk for children thanks to the Lions

We would like to thank the Calvia Lions for their donation of 1000€ for baby powdered milk and cereals which was handed out this week in Sa Pobla for the feeding of the undernourished children that we are trying to help in the area.

Most of the children we help to feed have started school and many have no school books as their parents can not afford to buy them.




26 Sep 2012

A proposition from the Sebeta



Kefale has sent us a proposition from the Sebeta Blind Children's School in Oromia (Ethiopia). He and the teachers of the Mesi room have an idea to better the quality of life of the children this new academic year that has just started. Asside from all they do they propose to:

1)Teach the students Mobility and Orientation again.
2)Teach Braille to those that are blind and teach how to read and write those with partial vision.
3)Teach hygiene measures to the under 10 year olds.
4)Teach the children how to cook for themselves and how to get about in and outside the school.
5)Give them academic extra tuition.
6)Create a Special Education Club.
7)At the end of the week they want to dedicate some hours to creating a theater group, and to reading stories and poems to the children.
8)They want to create a collaboration with the teachers in the government school to share experiences and knowledge.
9)They want to create a local Visual Handicapped peoples association.

It is clear that when people have vocation and interest then miracles can become a reality.



22 Sep 2012

The Mason report. Solidarity in action.

The Mason family visited Uganda this summer  and they kindly delivered some glasses for Mediterrenea. Here is Stephenie's report.
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Dr. Stoma is not known for being backward at coming forward with regard to helping some of the world’s most impoverished people, so after merrily jabbing five of us with an array of tropical diseases he didn’t hesitate to suggest we take a couple of bag-fulls of spectacles with us to Africa to distribute among those most in need.
“Beware the village Big Man,” he cautioned. “If in doubt give them to nuns.”
Many of the glasses had been collected by students from Agora International College last term, others were donated by patients at Dr. Stoma’s surgery in Portals, yet more found their way into our luggage from random sources until when we left there were more than 70 pairs, allowing my daughter to observe that there would be “plenty of space for purchases …” on the way home.
I had spent months planning our journey around Uganda, trying to mingle exotic safaris with excursions into areas that would show us the true nature of life there. (For full details of the trip and planning see my ebook out on Amazon in November).
Known as the Pearl of Africa for its lush greenery, this landlocked nation has suffered both from wars in neighbouring Rwanda, Sudan and Congo and from Joseph Kony’s civil war in the north of the country. These troubles have stunted development so that only 4% of the population have electricity, but the intense emphasis placed on education shows the Ugandans intend to rectify this, fast.
The journey from the capital, Kampala, to Queen Elizabeth National Park took us through Kichwamba where I had found an orphanage called the House of Love. Many of the children there have HIV, others are from parents killed in Kony’s war. I had been emailing the administrator, Lillian, who asked us to bring toothbrushes as they did not have any. Initially we had only intended to leave the children’s glasses there, but Lillian asked if we would leave some adult ones too because of the number of people in the area who needed them. As we had already arranged to leave glasses with the Little Sisters of Assisi in Jinja, we decided to split our cache between the two places.
When we arrived Lillian had unfortunately been delayed – the roads are manic so this is not unusual. Two of the older residents showed us round and gave us fabulous fresh pineapple from their allotment, informing us that they produce most of their own food. We unpacked the school supplies, toothbrushes and glasses, conscious that we could not linger too long because of getting stuck behind elephants leaving their watering holes at sunset – wildlife has right of way.
Local people had begun swarming into the grounds, “they’ve heard about the glasses,” our young guide explained, “but they need to wait for Lillian,” she added, a strangely imploring look in her eyes.
By this time people were trying on glasses all over the place and to be honest it was a bit of a bun fight. A wizened lady with eyes so opaque she must have struggled to see even rough outlines appeared before us, insect-like in enormous spectacles. She grasped Pete’s arm fiercely, “I can see!” she cried. “God bless you!”
However, our hosts were looking increasingly perturbed and we noticed three plastic chairs had been placed under the only shady tree. There was no doubt, the Big Man had arrived with his two henchmen.
“Sorry,” I said loudly, “We have to wait for Lillian to ensure you’ve got the best glasses for each of you, pop them back in the box and she’ll let you know when she’s ready for you to come.” Everyone, apart from the enthroned trio, began smiling again and putting the glasses back in the box.
“Keep these for me,” whispered the elderly lady, folding her vision away for another day.
At the beginning of September Lillian emailed to say the medical glasses had been distributed to those who needed them, also there was a “special thank you from the bodaboda cyclists to whom we gave the sunglasses,” she wrote. “They were so happy more of them are still coming in from the countryside to ask if we are giving out more.”
Bodaboda cyclists take two or three passengers on the back of their bicycles – no gears and often no brakes – the more affluent ones provide the same service on motorbikes. They work incredibly hard and earn less than 2 euros a day. Today some of them have their eyes protected from the flying stones on the dirt roads by Mallorca’s cast-off Prada and Gucci!
After our safari we continued on to Jinja with the aim of giving the remaining glasses to the resident nuns. However, after a white water rafting accident we left abruptly and never made it to the nunnery.
As luck would have it, we got chatting to a Scottish missionary called Fiona. I was confiding in her that I would like to do something to balance the opulence we were about to experience at the annual Goat Ascot held at the luxurious Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo.
“Get John to take you up to the shanty town,” she said hastily scrawling a phone number on a piece of paper while ignoring her husband’s calls that their bus was about to depart. “The women are widows from Kony’s war, they make jewellery out of magazine paper to pay for their children’s education,” she shouted as she dashed for her bus.
John is Rwandan; all his brothers were killed in the 1990 genocide while he was studying at Liverpool University. He meets us on a teeming street corner and, somehow, our battered mini-van does not shake itself into complete oblivion on the way up to the town.
There are hundreds of children and, like everywhere in this country, they all have huge smiles. No TV, play station or computer, not even a ball, running water or electric light, but these kids are completely happy. We enter the only concrete building. Outside the grey wall is emblazoned with rainbow letters announcing: “Project Have Hope”. Inside, women with babies strapped to their backs are making beads and have laid out heaps of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and bags they have created from them.
John has recently opened a medical centre for this town of women and children. He gets Dutch students to come and work there so they learn how to care for people with only the most basic supplies. We leave the remaining glasses here.
This holiday was so special we are going back next year – something we have never done before. If we had just booked a couple of safaris, some white water rafting and a posh day at the races would we have felt this way? Probably not. In the end it was the stuff we didn’t pay a fortune for that really touched us; the people we met, their individual stories. We owe a massive debt of gratitude to Dr. Stoma and the students from Agora for furnishing us with the idea and the tools needed to truly experience this wonderful country.
Thank you.


21 Sep 2012

Article published in the Yo Dona El Mundo supplement


It has been clear for a long time that Spanish children are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Now they suffer the injustice of being born into a world made up of social, medical, educational and salary cutbacks and unemployment affecting more than four and a half million people.
It is hard to accept that there are 2,200,000 children under the age of 18 in Spain who, according to UNICEF, live below the poverty line. A harsh reality, children with names and surnames and in circumstances they should never have to face, such as the daily worry of their parents as to how they are going to make the money to feed them, pay for school supplies or the rent... The most worrying thing is the quality and quantity of food these little ones eat, high in calories with virtually no vitamins, minerals and proteins; this could have a negative effect on their future development. The study on Pediatric Hospital Malnutrition which was carried out in 2010 by the Hero Baby Institute of Child Nutrition together with the Spanish Pediatrics Association is decisive: 5% of our children suffer from malnutrition and nearly 30% is at risk of suffering from it. The investigation, carried out in more than 60 hospitals, considers a child to be undernourished when their normal development slows down and they do not put on weight over a four week period. According to nutrition specialist Luisa Ayala, the health consequences, particularly in the first two years of life, are terrible: «When children use up more nutrients than they take in, their growth is affected along with the functioning of organs and tissues and there is more danger of them developing infectious illnesses and suffering from reduced intellectual performance and physical ability». The key to detecting childhood anemia lies in regular check-ups of the Primary Care Childhood Health Programme, which include weight and height control and talks about a healthy diet.
The pediatrics nurse María Dolores Aguiló, with more than 35 years of experience in pediatrics, the head area nurse of the medical centre in Sa Pobla, a Mallorcan agricultural town with 13.000 inhabitants, used to assist families whose children showed signs of malnutrition. She would stress the importance of a healthy diet but she also understood the situations the families were in. «You can give the parents advice on how to enrich baby foods but if they don’t have the money to buy the ingredients, what can they do?», she says. María Dolores began to observe a familiar situation at the homes of her small patients around the beginning of this year. The parents – a few Spanish, the large majority immigrants from the Maghreb and some from Senegal – shared the same profile: they were unemployed, they had no or very low income and gave their children meals based on pasta, bread and potatoes, no fruit, meat, fish or dairy products. A monotonous, cheap but filling diet. «One day the mother of an eight month old baby came to see me. Her husband had been unemployed for three years, she couldn’t pay the rent and had to manage with just 425 euros to feed her five children. 'Where am I going to get the chicken from to make my son’s baby puree?', she asked me».
Aguiló began to check the heights and weights of the children and soon put two and two together. Along with her pediatrics and nursing colleagues they counted 29 children in the town who were malnourished or at risk of becoming so. By April the number had risen to 117, by May 193, and by July, 310. Just one of the cases involves a three year old boy with anemia who fights with his sister for the biscuits we give them and then chucks the little pieces away because «I don’t like those bits». His mother, S.M.A, a Moroccan immigrant with no papers, is pregnant and looks for food in the rubbish bins because her husband is out of work and they don’t receive any benefits. When she is told about the possibility of her children having to go into a foster home she categorically refuses. «If they take them away, my life won’t be worth living», she says, crying.
It is difficult to imagine such a cruel reality, such extreme contrast, hunger and misery on an island associated with luxury lifestyles, idyllic beaches and glamorous celebrities. María Dolores told the social services of the town council about the problems and spoke to the leaders of the main local association, Pa i Mel, which for the past 15 years has been providing training courses to immigrants, giving out food and looking after their children during the school holidays. She also had an interview with the leaders of Cáritas, who in addition to the monthly distribution of food to the poorest families, provide clothing at 50 cents per garment. She witnessed first hand the donations of spices between some of the families and realised that more fresh products and non-perishable foods were required. With the lack of funds from the local council and huge cuts in social expenditure, it was clear that she was going to have to look elsewhere for support. «I contacted the Balearic NGO Mediterránea, I had heard about them and knew that they provided aid to the neediest people in Mallorca as well as their international programmes for educating and feeding children in Ethiopia, with schools and orphanages, including for disabled and blind children.» The founders of Mediterránea, Doctor Michael Stoma and his wife, Doctor Victoria Baldó, both specialists in family medicine, like to refer to the programme which helps people who are unemployed, excluded from society and have no health care as the Fourth World. People who, once upon a time, inhabited our First World and worked their fingers to the bone cultivating the land and building our houses. «We were horrified by the situation that María Dolores described to us», assures Doctor Stoma. «I realised that those children in Sa Pobla were getting less milk than what we give to the children in Ethiopia. The youngest children need animal protein for growth and muscle development, along with fruit and vegetables. So we started to help right away.»
Every month Fernanda Canoura, the coordinator of the Fourth World Programme, hands over 2,000 Euros to Maria Dolores for her to buy food and other basic items. Fruit and vegetables are provided by another association, the Calvia Lions Club, thanks to donations from a number of supermarkets. Pure solidarity. From Caritas too, which has let them use part of its premises to make up the food parcels they distribute once a month, pending the provision of a room and refrigerator by the local council. 95 families depend on these deliveries of 800 litres of milk, 100 chickens, 300 kilos of biscuits, 1,550 kilos of vegetables, 10 tubs of mother’s milk powder and 10 tubs of baby cereal, as well as fruit, which cannot be distributed at the moment because of the heat. Other local associations provide further contributions. However, as Llucia Segura, a social worker with Pa i Mel, remarks “without institutional subsidies it will be difficult for us to survive”. It was precisely because NGO Mediterránea does not depend on such help that it has been able to keep its head above water during the crisis, which they cope with by avoiding unnecessary costs and by investing the money contributed by their 300 members in direct aid to the needy.

Yet, in spite of all the good intentions of various parties and the involvement of professional doctors and nurses way beyond their normal working hours, there are cases where little can be done, such as that of the little girl being hugged by nurse Maria Dolores. Vomiting and running a high temperature the little girl pushes aside the water she is offered and asks tearfully for a yoghourt…but there aren’t any in the fridge and they can’t afford them. As of tomorrow there’ll be even more of them to share out her parents’ meager supplies. Her uncle, who suffers from squizophrenia, together with her aunt and their three small children have been evicted for not paying the rent and are seeking refuge with the rest of the family, who can’t really say no. Also living with them is Laila, a friend who arrived in Mallorca two years ago hoping to find the promised land and instead finding hell, ironing clothes for four Euros an hour, with no papers and pregnant by a man who will recognize the baby but won’t marry her - a family dishonour unpardonable in Morocco.

Maria Dolores and her colleagues felt they had to react to situations like this. After all, these children were born in Spain and have the same rights as the children of R.M., a forty year-old from Seville, divorced for eight years without any maintenance payments and abused by her ex-partner. The 699 Euros she earns per month as a waitress is barely enough to pay the rent for the garage where they live and the baby-sitter who looks after her two children while she works until midnight. Her eyes are like fountains, she can’t stop crying as she smoothes out her sodden handkerchief between her worn fingers, the skin cracked from too much washing by hand. “I’m grateful for the help given by the Social Services and Mediterránea, but what they give me doesn’t go very far. I need a job - any job - for the mornings. If you know of anything…”, she asks with a sigh.
These and more dramatic stories come to life when you enter these houses, as broken and damp as the eyes of their adult inhabitants, unable and unwilling to return to a country or city where their children would be immigrants just as much as they are here. Jasmine has no tears left to cry; her husband left her a few months ago leaving her on her own with four daughters, blaming her for not being able to give her a boy. Now they live at her brother’s place. He earns 1,200 Euros a month and has nine children, three of whom- seriously mentally-handicapped- he is trying to get into a home. And what will happen to them when she loses her 426 Euros a month allowance in a year’s time? For her it doesn’t bear thinking about. As we talk, nurse Maria Dolores is sitting on the floor playing and singing with the children; there are so many of them that it seems like a nursery. When we leave they fight with each other to give her a package, a piece of home-made sponge cake, a present from those who share the little they have.



TOGETHER WE CAN

A few kilos of fruit, meat or fish make the difference between a child growing normally or not. More and more families in need are turning to NGO Mediterránea to feed their children. Increasing the number of volunteers helping to deliver food parcels and make home visits is one of its priorities. Any help is welcome. The NGO is also appealing to the general public (those who can afford to) to donate non-perishable food and also to the spirit of solidarity of those in charge of supermarkets and large stores in Mallorca, calling on them not to throw away products that can still be put to good use. More info.: www.ongmediterranea.com
Tel. 971 67 63 34.

To make a donation: 0075 6893 29 0600289658; Banco de Crédito Balear.

9 Sep 2012

RECREATION AND SPORTS GROUND


THE FUTURE RECREATION AND SPORTS GROUND IN AKAKI
Click on the link to see the location of the plot of land the Akaki authorities have given us permission to use for the creation of a recreation and sports ground for local children and young people. The land is so much better than we thought it would be!!


Click here to see the plot of land.


The authorities of Akaki consider this to be an extremely important project and they are being very obliging, making it as easy as possible for us to create the park since nothing else like it exists in the local area.
Akaki is the poorest sub-city of Addis, so much so that it is situated in one of the areas of the country which receives help from other areas.  


If you are interested in finding out more you can visit the website of Marc who is developing his ideas here which he will then put into practice over there. The more ideas we have the better!


Click here to see Marc's web


Mark stars his trip on Tuesday.  He will be on his own initially but in October Arturo from Son Ferrer will be joining him to help out. Arturo hopes to take a few friends of his with him, the more the better, the quicker things will be done.

If you would like to help do not doubt in getting in touch with us.



3 Sep 2012

Back to Cuba

MEDITERRÁNEA RETURNS TO CUBA

Mediterránea was founded in the year 1999 so that we could continue with our projects in Cuba, which we had previously been working on in collaboration with other NGOs.
Cuba was a large part of our lives from 1997 up until 2007. Bureaucratic complications then forced us to put our collaboration on “stand by” after we sent out a container in 2009. In Cuba we were collaborating primarily in the health sector, supplying medication and medical equipment to various hospitals, mainly the Pediatrics department at the Institute of Oncology in Havana and in 10 de Octubre, although we also collaborated with schools and day centres for the elderly.
Over the last few years Cuba has always remained close to our heart and in our thoughts. If everything goes to plan we will travel out in December to try to resume our collaboration and we really hope it works out.
We thought you would like to see this video from Havana featuring two of our favorite people: Jordi Évole from the TV programme "Salvados" who is always interesting to watch and Yotuel Romero, for obvious reasons. We hope you enjoy the trip around Havana with Yotuel and Jordi : (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivJ2iqIRQL4&feature=related)
Mediterránea does not get involved in political judgments in any of the countries where we work. Our commitment is to the people.
The lady in the photo was lucky to get some bifocal glasses from amongst the 400 pairs we took out. They were just perfect for her and she was virtually groping her way around before!

1 Sep 2012

Mikias update.


Mikias Dejene is one of the Ethiopian children  we have brought over to be operated by Dr.Sanpera. He spent more than a year here and he needed many operations till his arm, and life was saved. During that time he lived with a few wonderful and generous families who took him in as one of their own. The Baleares International College kindly had him, free of charge, as a student at the school , where he made many friends and kept up with his academic obligations.  Since his return to Ethiopia Mikias has been going to one of the best schools in Addis Ababa thanks to the students, their parents and the staff from the Baleares International College  who fund his schooling.
Here are his last term reports.

Thank you all for your help.
A better world is possible.

27 Aug 2012

CHAPTER 5. FITAWARARI SCHOOL


CHAPTER 5. FITAWARARI SCHOOL, AKAKI, ETHIOPIA

At this school we have been running a dining room since 2010 for 174 primary children selected from amongst the poorest, orphans or those with HIV.  
These children have breakfast and lunch, just as we provide breakfast for the 290 pre-school children. Breakfast for all the children is made up of bread and milk. 
We have kept the dining room going this summer. Unfortunately due to some irregularities with the accounts at the present time we have had to stop sending the money we had been sending since our last visit. We hope to resume this in September when the accounts are sorted out. 

Photos: some of the children who attend the summer dining room

CHAPTER 4 : BIRU TESFA


BIRU TESFA, PRESCHOOL BUILDING

At the end of 2010, as part of our "Schools in Akaki" project we started providing breakfast of bread and milk to 190 infant pupils aged 3 to 7, which we continue to do throughout the summer to ensure the children are better fed (our summer is their cold and wet season).
We had a meeting with the management and requested them to give us better information on the accounts. We believe that this has been a case of neglect and slackness rather than bad intention, in addition they were buying the milk from small local farmers to save money but the farmers didn’t always provide the right amount and they kept changing the price. From now on they will buy the milk from the local dairy cooperative which will mean better quality and control of the milk. 
As far as everything else is concened the Biru school is like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – we’d never get round to finishing the repair works to the building. There is a complete lack of maintenance and lots of neglect even though some of things could be sorted out easily. But we can’t assume responsibility for everything so we will concentrate on the breakfasts and paying the wages of the kitchen staff.

15 Aug 2012

CHAPTER 3. ABUGIDA SCHOOL, AKAKI

One chapter doesn't do justice to Abugida, it deserves a whole TV series. 
For those who are not familiar with the story, here is a quick summary. 
We arrived in Abugida in the year 2007, (we will soon be starting the 6th school year). At the time it was a small school with around 40 children and very few teachers because the Edir (the neighbourhood association which managed the school) were paying them very low salaries, and they still charged for children to attend, it wasn't a charitable organisation. Many of the children had left because their parents didn't want them sharing a school with HIV positive children. Over the years we have managed to break down this barrier and we have integrated children with HIV simply by raising the standard of living for everyone and now they all want their children to attend Abugida, without being at all bothered about them mixing with other children carrying the virus. We have encouraged parents and staff to break the taboo surrounding this disease.

The first thing we did when we went to Abugida was build a provisional kitchen so we could start feeding the children. We firmly believe that schools in Africa should start with a dining room. Many of the children ate virtually nothing all day and they carried empty bags to school. Afterwards we built the current kitchen. 
We extended and renovated practically the whole school, including the roof. We built the outdoor dining area, the new classrooms and the nursery. We installed the water tank and made a room underneath to accommodate volunteer helpers (if there are too many of them to fit into the living quarters for volunteers) as well as abused women who can shelter there on a temporary basis whilst their children are at school and to whom we give interest free credit to help them start a new life away from their abusers. 

We increased the intake of children from the very first year - there are presently around 200 - and for the last 3 years we have been admitting children aged 1 and 2. There is nowhere quite like it in the entire subcity of Akaki Kaliti or even in the whole of Addis.
We would even go as far as saying the entire country because there are no schools in Ethiopia, public or private, with dining rooms for the children. There are many schools subsidized by charities but their projects do not normally include dining room facilities. Some children take a packed lunch from home but the ones who don't have anything don't eat anything. There are no nursery schools for 1 and 2 year olds either, not like the ones here in Spain. The rich employ nannies and the poor have nothing. Mothers with babies find it very difficult to work and because there are so many single mothers, many children end up being abandoned due to poverty. 

This is what we fight for at Mediterránea; to prevent children being abandoned through poverty - as much as we possibly can within our capabilities - and because children have the right to eat and be happy wherever they are in the world. 

We practise solidarity, not charity. For us it's just a question of justice. Children are the future of their countries and even though it may seem such a small scale, it is obvious that a baby who is well fed and receives stimulation from the age of one will have a better brain.
Abugida is unique because it's a paradise for society's poorest families, and the nursery is even more unique because it's a beautiful place, the children are well looked after, we integrate disabled and special needs children (no other place does this) and a huge amount of work has gone into raising the standards of education as well as the infrastructure and facilities. For more than 4 years we have been providing literacy classes to adult women and some men, and we have celebrated various graduations of pupils who have left the school much better equipped to face the hardships of daily life. 

But this idyllic school, and for precisely this reason, because it's so ideal and is destined for the poorest people, has been the object of greed by unscrupulous people on successive occasions.   
Every now and then we have to prune the rotten branches and every now and then we are also surprised at how easily other branches go rotten. From our first representative to the last but one, they have all wanted to take their share of the school, in one way or another, some of them being tainted by their greed in really surrealistic ways. 
We have always made the rotten branches grow healthily again. Using our emergency fund to replace the money stolen from the poor with no qualms whatsoever. We carry out extensive follow-ups and we now have plenty of experience so we know exactly when things start to turn sour. 

If Abugida was a school made out of logs or mud and didn't have a monthly budget of more than 6000 euros, it wouldn't be quite so well known. We now have the full support of the "woreda" local district but because of vested interests, the constant lies and deceit and situation continues to be complicated to this day. And we've been like this for 6 years. And all of us here at Mediterránea are planning on keeping things going as long as we possibly can, because the best incentive to carry on fighting is to see the children growing strong and happy, children who would otherwise be condemned to a life of being "nobodies" and their families predestined to break up. 

2/ SOCIAL CENTRE FOR THE ELDERLY IN THE RAILWAY QUARTER

The centre was offically opened in May this year. The results are not as we had anticipated, not through lack of users but because the leaders of the local Edir which runs the centre have not made any effort to get it up and running. They were also annoyed because last year some Mediterránea volunteers - at their own accord and risk and without consulting us or considering the expenses involved - started to make them ridiculous promises including repair work at some of the pensioner's  houses.

We take this opportunity to inform all our future volunteers that they must never make any promises because they create false expectations and then we end up having to take responsibility for the consequences.
We have seen that the only way to get the centre up and running is to employ somebody to liven things up so we are employing a lady to open and close the place each day and who seems to have the resources and willingness to make it work. Let's see what happens.

We had a meeting with the 15 elderly people we sponsor and gave them their monthly allowance. We are happy to be able to say that they are all alive and in relatively good health at the moment.

REPORT OF THE VISIT IN CHAPTERS: 1/ SEBETA BLIND CHILDREN’S SCHOOL AND MESSI ROOM.

We can emphatically and happily state that the teachers employed for the Messi are wonderful.
They themselves – there is nobody supervising them – open the doors to the Messi room and the gym for the 100 children who have spent their summer there as they had nowhere else to go.

Before the Messi room was set up these children would vegetate in their homes or neighbourhood whereas now they take turns to attend the stimulative workshop and gym activities in the mornings and afternoons from Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings.

Kefale, Abdeta, Adugna and Kidist interact with the children in a way that is so moving to watch, because we know that unfortunately this is not normally the case in Ethiopia, especially when working with disabled children.

Every day a little boy of 6 with visual, motor and psychic disability attends the Messi. He plays and is happy there. We give his mother financial help so that she can take a few hours off work in order to take her son to the Messi.

All the children in the Messi room are happy and the best thing of all is that their teachers are happy with them. The four of them are always smiling. If only we could export them from the Messi and take them to all the schools for blind children, to all the schools in the country.

Thanks to Abdeta, Kefale, Kidist and Adugna for being as they are.
You are the pride of your profession.
They are in the photo with Laura, Cristina and Bea, who visited the Messi to supervise very recently, and they came away very pleased with what they saw, just as we did.





6 Aug 2012

Back home again



Hello, friends of Mediterránea!
We
have just returned from another trip to Ethiopia, tough but necessary (as always).
The
projects are never easy and if they look like they are then we are either giving you the wrong impression of reality or it is being disguised.
Of course its not all negative and we will keep you informed of the good things and the not so good things.
Thank
you very much to Conchi, a great travelling companion and now a soulmate.
We
thought youd like to see this lovely photo which reflects what we achieved in spite of the difficulties.