31 Dec 2013

What we are worth is not what we have but just how much we are willing to do for others.

As we come to the end of a difficult and cruel year for many, I would like to thank those marvellous people we call volunteers.  It is thanks to their efforts and dedication that we have been able to help as many children as we have, both here in Mallorca and in the third world.

Mediterranea is not an end in itself, it is a means where by people, mainly children, get the help they need, firstly to help them survive and secondly to help them develop and grow as they deserve. We are at present helping over 2000 children in all our projects. 

The next few years are going to be very challenging. The way things have gone in our society makes it very unlikely that families struggling through great hardship are going to be able to climb easily out of the pit of misery. We have two options, either we as a society get organized and help those we can, as best we can, or we just turn our backs on them and  leave them to their destiny. These situations challenge us a species and as a society. What we are worth is not what we have but just how much we are willing to do for others. 

Europe over the last 400 years has had civil wars, revolutions, social movements, political unrest, wars and world wars in its struggle to obtain a better quality of life, social justice, well being, and even peace. Now with the crisis all of that, that was obtained with so much sacrifice, is being destroyed bit by bit, plucked like the petals of a daisy. 
 Society has been tested to see just how much it will tolerate before erupting and we are sadly becoming accustomed to accepting the suffering of others. In Mediterranea  we feel that as humans we have the ability and right to decide and we have the chance to get up and work for a better and more just society. We refuse to stand and watch the suffering of others and we do not accept injustice as a natural part of our social make up. 

It is an honour to help in a just cause with people who do not take in to account race, colour, political ideology or creed and who just work for the love of mankind. 

So as to be able to keep up our projects, and even expand them we are going to need the help of our fortunate, like ourselves, members of our society. Volunteering or becoming a  member, or even better, becoming both things is a sure way of being able to become a part of the solution.
So if you too want to help make our society a better place and help give children a better future then do not hesitate to become a member of Mediterranea, and if you have some time on your hands then become a volunteer too. It will help change other peoples lives, and it will very likely change and enrich yours too.

Happy New Year.

Michael Stoma

25 Dec 2013

Truth.


These pictures of our programs in Africa are real. No Photoshop. They might look idyllic but that is the reality we have in the little microworld we have created. Often we have been asked if the pictures are touched up. The answer is “No”.
We also try to avoid the pictures that underline the miseries of those in need and that show the “superiority” of the north. In Mediterranea we strive to better the quality of life of those we are trying to help, and this is obtainable. Because of this we do not flaunt pictures of misery and poverty, there are plenty of those about.
We also do not want to build buildings out of bits of wood and call them schools. We do not believe in giving the minimum and saying that what they now have is better than what they had before. We believe that all children are equal and deserve the same opportunities, love and help all over the world. Children are the future, and how we treat them and how we educate them conditions the future of humanity.

6 Oct 2013

FUTURE VISION

FUTURE VISION IN CONJUNCTION WITH MULTIOPTICAS

The visual health programme we set up this summer is gradually taking shape, thanks to the help of the optometrist Margarita Canyellas and- through her- the company she works for, Multiopticas.
So far 16 people from Sa Pobla have had their eyes tested under the coordination of volunteer Maria Dolores Aguiló. 7 of them needed glasses, which were donated by the Multiopticas Foundation.
We are sure you’ll agree that actions like this, however small they might seem, have a tremendous effect on people whose financial situation determines something as basic as their eyesight. It was when the son of an elderly lady told us about his mother that we started thinking about whether the people we are supplying with food and clothing can see the blackboard at school or the television properly or whether they can read a book without the letters or pictures jumping all over the place. His account of how she never went out because of her poor eyesight which meant that she was afraid of tripping over and breaking something, being old and frail, was a real eye-opener for us and subsequently for volunteers and professionals in the eye care sector. Now there are still one or two links missing to complete the chain of solidarity: someone prepared to drive those next in line to have their eyes tested from Sa Pobla to Palma, since none of them drives or has a car. We would also need funding to cover the volunteer’s petrol and parking expenses. Any suggestions or contributions would be welcome.
Before signing off, however, we should like to once again thank Marga and Multiopticas for their generous help, little gestures that go a long way to make our world a better place.


RAINBOW HOUSE

In Rainbow we have children and young people with cerebral palsy, serious undiagnosed mental retardation, behavioural problems, two deaf children not admitted to the village school but who are having a great time at Rainbow, where they are being taught to read and write and can thus make headway even though they are not receiving a regular education. We also have a girl with congenital hydrocephalus who even if she can be operated on still cannot even sit down because her head is too big…we carried out a brain scan on her and on a severely mentally and physically handicapped boy…but we couldn’t with another boy because although they sedated him with Diazepam it had no effect on him..however, we did manage to carry out an electroencephalogram on him, because he suffers from epilepsy as well as cerebral palsy, and we’re now waiting to see the results.

IMAN


Do you remember Eman or Iman, the little girl who was operated on for spina bifida? WELL, DURING THIS TRIP I WAS DELIGHTED TO SEE HER WALKING! Her chances of walking were not rated at all high, but there she is demonstrating that in medicine like in maths 2 plus 2 doesn’t always make 4. We embarked on the scanning trail with her too, a bit like the Santiago trail but a lot less fun. She needed a cranial scan to check that she didn’t have hydrocephalus plus a lumbar scan. She went first to the centre where the Rainbow children went but they didn’t want to sedate her (as they had with the others). Instead they gave her a shower saying that this would help her go to sleep???? but of course that made her even more lively, they then told her mother to get her to sleep as if that were easy with a super-active child just two and a half years old (the terrible twos)- in short, a wasted trip. We were told that Enmanuel hospital did scans, so off we set, but nothing doing..it’s a psychiatric hospital just keeping its head above water; we then went to a higher clinic that’s got everything, they gave her Diazepam orally which seemed to perk her up rather than make her sleepy, they tried to inject it intravenously but again to no avail, poor thing- all this lasting 7 hours. The radiologist then told us to take her to Bethel hospital where there are anesthetists who can sedate her, so off we go: And she fell asleep! They put her in the tube, completed the cranial scan and were just about to start the lumbar scan when the little rascal woke up! Oh dear! So they’ll have to go back and do it when she’s sleeping..But Eman is walking!! That’ll change her life..everything else is just incidental..

27 Sep 2013

Our milk program continues to grow in response to the demand.

We have started operating in another area of Palma. In this case we are colaborating with the " Asociación de vecinos de Sa Gerreria", they form part of the  Aliments en Xarxa solidarity network . Every Friday they are sent families in need from the Palma Social Services. At present they are helping to feed 80 children between the ages of 2 and 14. These children will be, as from now, receiving 15 litres of milk a month from the milk we buy or are donated by kind folk from around Mallorca.
If you would like to collaborate please do not doubt in getting in touch with us.

In the photo you can see Alejandra an Carmen collecting the first 500 litres from our centre in Portals Nous


17 Aug 2013

Wonderful news from Addis Ababa

W​e are very proud to inform that we have been legalized by the​ ​Ethiopian Government.​

​We have faith that  this will enable us to go on to greater projects and collaboration with our friends in Ethiopia. ​


15 Aug 2013

Even in a crisis, we can make a difference


What is happening in Mediterranea right now?

1)We are handing out near to 10000 litres of milk a month  to children in 4th World (Mallorca)
2)We are making prescription glasses for children in 4th world
3​)We are giving Baby food and clothes  for children in 4th world
4)Refurbished computers are being accumulated, repaired and software installed for children in sheltered homes,
5)Teenagers are training with us to be able to teach computer skills to the children who will use the computers.
6)We are running and expanding a milk program in order to get businesses, clubs and schools to help us accumulate milk to hand out for children in families going through hard times.​
7​)We are providing books for school children whose parents can not afford to buy them.
8)We are helping to feed between 200 and 300 roofless people in Palma.
9)We provide Dignipacks for the roofless people once a month.
10)We are accumulating towels for the roofless people.
11)We are preparing the legal documents and handling the red tape,  so as to bring two children form Africa to be operated in Son Espasas.
12)We re feeding near to 1000 children in Ethiopia
13)We run a school for 250 very poor children in the Akaki area south of Addis Ababa. It is considered one of the best school in the country.
14)We have a nursery in Akaki
15)We have just inaugurated a day centre for severely handicapped children in Sebeta west of Addis. It is called Rainbow House.
16)We run a stimulation centre for blind children in the Sebeta Blind Children's school.
17)We, in collaboration with the University of the Balearic Islands, have teams of Physiotherapists and teachers going down to Ghana to the department we set up in the Dangme East Hospital in Ada.
18)We are sponsoring orphaned children in Akaki.
19)We are teaching women in Akaki to read and write.
20)We do positive discrimination in favour of women and children who are HIV positive in Akaki.
21)We continue to collect glasses which we send out to the third world.
22)We ara collaborating with a sister organisation sending clothes, books, and medical supplies to Senegal where we will help them with a medical centre they run.

......and we try to create membership and raise funds so that all of these wonderful projects can keep on going.



One of our many teams working on a program.

16 Jul 2013

Sports and Humanitarian Aid


We are very please to be able to inform you that the Royal Mallorca (football) Foundation has joined us in our Milk for Kids program  "Esto es la Leche".  More....

10 Jul 2013

The Academy School's donation of milk

MILK FOR CHILDREN IN SA POBLA


 On the 6th of July the volunteers from the Academy School handed over 153 litres of milk to Maria Dolores which was the final load of milk accumulated in the school over the last few weeks.
We wish to thank the staff, parents, volunteers and the children from the Academy that helped in this program in aid of children in need.


 We hope that in the new term we can continue counting on your support. Have a wonderful summer holiday !


2 Jul 2013

Container for Senegal

Last week we loaded up another van full of school supplies, clothes and medical supplies which will be sent to Senegal.
The two van loads will help fill up the container which will soon set off for Dakar.
Follow the news on Facebook.



11 Jun 2013

Hopefully through Mediterranea we can open peoples eyes......

A big hello from the Dignipac team to all the Mediterranea contributors. Tonight we drove into Zaquero for our monthly distribution with Angel, who is the beating heart of this soup kitchen in Palma. Armed with 200 Dignipacs, 150 for the men and 50 for the women, a table, a banner and loads of smiles....

What strikes me about these homeless folk is how grateful they are, but also how humbled, and how embarrassed some of them are.  Many will look us with a grin on their face and give thanks to us and God. Others, shyly come forward, accept the Dignipac, eyes downcast and hurry off.  Many want to tell us their stories, one man tonight had tears in his eyes as he spoke of the sadness of his situation ´I have no home, no family, no friends`.  Another
 wizened old lady, received her bag and returned shortly after with photos to show us.  Photos of her children and a black and white one of herself as a child of about 10 years old dressed in a flamenco outfit.  She was so happy to share this with us and told us that she was 71 and had lived in Palma for over 50 years. I think that there is so much loneliness out there and my heart goes out to them, times are tough enough financially and economically - but they also feel deeply the absence of friends and family. 

Two young men approached the table, they must have been only in their early 20´s. Both looked really dreadful - I hate to admit.  Undernourished, so thin and wasted.  When we asked Angel about them he told us that one was ´mal en la cabeza` but had extremely wealthy parents living on the island.  Drugs?  We asked, and Angel replied, si y no, this boy has serious problems - `una pena´. His companion could hardly open his Dignipac.

I was so happy to have our regular clown let me take his photo - I have seen him many times busking in Palma´s streets riding a tricycle. 

We were lucky enough to have received a large donation from a boat of small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap which is fantastic for the coffers of Mediterranea - we try to give a lot whilst being very aware of the cost to our Mediterranea members.  But we have had endless giggles over the 150 odd bottles of donated bath salts.  Something for your more up market roofless person maybe?  But most appreciated!  I also have to add a huge thank you to the Hotel Porixol who donates all their spa flip flops every year.  We handed out probably 150 pairs of them tonight amidst great excitement.  Nicky has really missed her career opportunity as a shoe saleswoman - she was just brilliant.
So, again, we get our monthly dose of reality on this beautiful, rich island that we are so lucky to live on.  It is very easy to focus on the amazing beaches, the superyachts moored in the wealthy marinas, designer shops in uptown Palma and not feel the malaise that insidiously is creeping though our society in the form of poverty and despair.  Hopefully through Mediterranea we can open peoples eyes, help people of all nationalities, and make a difference.

9 Jun 2013

Ways of being disabled.

WAYS OF BEING DISABLED.

There are a lot of ways of being disabled… yet the only dangerous one is to have no heart.

· Blessed are those who understand my rare walk and my clumsy hands.

· Blessed are those who know that my ears must make an effort to hear what they hear.

· Blessed are those who understand that although my eyes shine, my mind is slow.

· Blessed are those who look but do not see the food that I let fall off the plate.

· Blessed are those who, with a smile upon their faces, encourage me to try again.

· Blessed are those who never remind me that I asked them twice.

· Blessed are those who understand that it is hard for me to express my thoughts as words.

· Blessed are those who know what my heart feels, although I cannot express it.

· Blessed are those who respect me and love me as I am, just as I am, and not as they would wish me to be.

Because they derserve it.

We want to inaugurate the new centre for people with multiple disabilities on the upcoming 12th of July. We would like it to be a very special centre. We are extremely lucky to have the all the human help necessary but we would also like to provide it with the right kind and amount of equipment.
There is nothing like this centre in the area, and it is very important that it acts as a role model, not only because all eyes will be upon it, but because it is a way of vindicating the dignity of those disabled in a country where having a disability is still considered to be a divine chastisement.

It will be our little Abiguda in Sebeta. Abiguda is the best school for children in need and this will be the best centre for people with disabilities. 

Because they are worth it.


28 Apr 2013

SailAid



ImageOn Saturday 6th of July 2013, Nick Mason (15) and Sebastian Page Franklin (16) aim to set sail in their open dinghy, Rocky, and circumnavigate Mallorca to  raise money for the charity Mediterranea.
The trip of 160 nautical miles is expected to take us between 10 to 14 days. At night we will either attempt to sleep in the bottom of the boat, or on a beach.
Every morning we will get a weather forecast and, if we are unable to sail, we will spend the day cleaning local beaches and telling people about our trip in the hope of securing a few last minute sponsors.
Mediterranea runs programmes on Mallorca and in Africa. Here they are instrumental in providing books and milk for junior school children and have organised a number of food stations throughout the island during the time of Spain’s economic crisis.
Whilst on our voyage we will......CONT.

24 Apr 2013

Mediterranea's tentacles

We were given a defibrillator from a large yacht in Palma, and we have passed it on to a sister organisation that also works in Africa called Resurge Africa and is specialized in re constructive surgery. We are please to inform our friends in the nautical world that the help get to where it has to and to where it is most needed. Thank you all for your solidarity and compassion.


15 Apr 2013

Milk program

Our milk program for children in Mallorca is growing.

Last week we sent 600 litres of milk to the handout point in Palmanova and on Tuesday over 400 will be delivered to Santa Maria, aside from that the 505 children in Sa Pobla will be getting their 15 litres a month as recommended by the world health authorities. Needless to say, the roofless people we help in Palma, over 330, also will be getting their supplies as usual.
Thank you all for your support. We hope to continue growing and helping more and more people, and specially children, going through difficult times.

13 Apr 2013

Educational program for Sa Pobla

The objective of the program is to reduce the academic failure in the children that are receiving help from Mediterranea NGO, so that they may finish their compulsory education  and so as to encourage them to carry on studying with the aim to get higher qualifications and training. This will help them to have a better future when they become adults. The crisis has shown us that people with qualifications are four times more likely to get a job than those without.
Our objective is to strengthen their maths, reading and writing skills in the two official languages. This will make the studying of other subjects easier for them.
We also intend to stimulate the habit of reading by creating a lending library with books for children and teenagers.
We are also trying to convince the parents about the importance of studying and completing the basic educational requirements.

We will give a total of one and a half hours tuition a week and the kids will get a snack after the lessons.


9 Apr 2013

Special children, special needs.

As most of you know we now have 5 children with special needs in Abugida. The new children have been evaluated by our team of Specialists in Child Psychomotricity, and the first children to be accepted in our program have been reassessed. Various case specific apparatus have been made to help the children in their mobility and in the training of it. Some of our volunteers discovered a hidden carpenter and engineer inside of them and those things that they could not build were made by the local carpenter.
In this picture we observe Besurikade, quite a character, one of the newcomers, happy as punch with his new walker.


 Laura, our senior Occupational Therapist, sent us this picture of Habtamu. He is a little boy form la Sebeta that comes to the Messi room every day for stimulation therapy.     This picture is impressive, it shows how Habtamu has learnt to crawl, he had not been able to do so before in all of his five years of life.
Laura informed us that the teacher and monitor of the Messi, Kedist, works very well, and that Laura often writes to her giving her advice as to how to continue with the good work and developing her skills.
Kedist's professional abilities are evident by the results obtained in the stimulation and therapy carried out on little Habtamu.
The work carried out by the monitors in the Messi with the children that go to the Sebeta for help and are not children form the actual Sebeta Blind Children's school, is 100% volunteer work, which is admirable and heart-warming.


2 Apr 2013

Easter Charity Party




In the Superyacht industry, we all enjoy a very privileged and sheltered lifestyle compared to so many around us. We get to enjoy the very best of many lovely locations without necessarily seeing the abject poverty and deprivation which exists all around.

Mallorca is no exception and the wonderful crew of S/Y Aglaia took note of this situation and decided to do something to help, to give back to the island. They joined forces with Complete Marine Freight with the aim of, not only throwing the best dock parties in town, but also using these events to raise funds and supplies for underprivileged families and deprived children. Local charity Mediterranea feed and distribute much needed supplies to hundreds of these families every day. STP also became involved providing a safe and controlled location for these parties in the shipyard and the first event last year raised almost 3,000€ and over 200 Christmas presents for kids were donated, not to mention clothing, blankets etc.

We are pleased to invite you to the second Party for the Kids to be held in STP on April 5th 2013 - there will be a beer and wine bar, cocktail bar with a professional mixologist, BBQ and Salads, great music and great company!

All food and drink is donated (please feel free to contribute) bar staff, mixology team, DJ etc are all volunteering and all monies raised will go directly to the charity. We are also requesting a donation of either kids clothing or food supplies, baby food or supplies which can be dropped off as you enter at the Mediterranea table.


forward to a friend

CONTACT US

Complete Marine Freight SPAIN
Tel: +34 971 432 600
Fax: + 34 971 432 190
Email: info@completemarinefreight.com

Complete Marine Freight UK
Tel: +44 (0) 23 80381951
Fax: +44 (0) 23 8038 1921
E-mail: uk@completemarinefreight.com

19 Mar 2013

News and thoughts from Dignipac program.



As Dignipac celebrates its second year running (YAY, we are two years old!)  Nicky and I  thought it appropriate to share some of the experiences that we have encountered in Mediteranea´s  endeavour to make life more dignified for those who are more unfortunate than everyone. 

From the sometimes embarrassing bulk shopping - bumping into a distant friends husband in Mercadona with a shopping trolley overflowing with toilet paper, or worse,  sanitary products, and him NOT asking why........and you know that he has noticed!

 Or loading up the trolley with 110 litre bottles of shampoo,(half of which we each buy)  which is a lot, pushing the damn thing in a hurry to get to that one check out lane that has a lone elderly woman buying some galletas and leche.... then panicking when the trolley reaches an uncontrollable speed and there is a very real danger of mowing down someone´s beloved abulea.

 Or my absolute favourite.....buying all the Dignipac hygiene products and then at the check out, usually at Mercadona, I need to buy bags to make up our Dignipacs.  We have found, with good reason, people are happier carrying a bag that displays a supermarket logo as opposed to a rubbish bag or something similar.  Anyway, month after month I assure the lovely ladies at the check out that Mercadona packs their plastic bags in groups of 100.......and I  would like to purchase 3 packs - or 300 bolsas de plastico.  All this I say in my bad Spanish, and  then, I look them in the eye, very closely, and just smile......... big cheesy one actually.......well, no, the bigger one comes after they have finished counting.  I must learn how to say ´told you so´in Spanish.

What we have to mention is the help that our young people have contributed over the past two years.......Alice, Katy, Matilde, Sebastian, Lucy, Tomas and others.  Of course these jovens cannot contribute with the shopping but the hard work is also in the packing of the bags.  We set up in my garage in Costa den Blanes and have like a chain gang type of system.  But of course, all these products need to be sorted out, toothbrushes need to be separated, razors need to be put on one bag, the dreaded loo rolls and pads in their own places.  70 Dignipacs are made up for the women and 150 for the men.  Everyone takes two bags and goes down the procession of goods, then each bag is tied up.  Nicky and I, looking after our poor old backs have been known to take a break, cuppa tea whilst these young people make a contribution that is so very much appreciated.

Which brings me around to our distribution - firstly, Angel, who runs Zaqueo ( the soup kitchen in Palma) is the most amazing person and along with the unseen volunteers, deserve a round of applause.  We have been at Zaqueo in the summer, and these good souls are working in a local about 45 sq metres, no fans, no air conditioning  in stifling temperatures, shirts opaque with sweat....  Maybe we should find fans?


But, Dignipac, most importantly  is about our homeless people, they exist in all shapes, sizes, colours and languages.  We try in the summer to provide footwear (anyone who has size 43 and upwards, we want your flip-flops, shoes, sandals (NOW) as there are so many lovely African men with feet the size of ironing boards.) and the winter we find specials in Carrefour and include socks and underwear.  We also always need blankets, warm jackets and socks!  Socks! Our last distribution was in  mid February and by chance we had in the van a few boxes of clothes, jackets and a big bag of socks.  Well, we were practically mobbed for the socks, so please keep this in mind.  There was a very humble man that came up to us and told us that he is a poet and that he had gotten into a fight with some gypsies  (gitantos) who had beaten him up, stolen his money and most of his clothes.  He had found an ill fitting jacket and someone had given him a pair of trousers.  He was worried, as are most of our homeless that the Dignipac pack will run out before he is finished and he will not be able to have one.  We assured him that we would keep a Dignipac aside for him and that he should have his meal in peace, no problems. Our homeless have to eat at the soup kitchen before they get the Dignipac-  Anyway, we rummaged through this box in the van and we found him a big, warm fleecy jacket.  Upon his return, we gave him his Dignipac and the jacket - and, hand on my heart.............hairs on my arm raising here ........ this amazing guy gave us all, slowly and with a lot of thought , a poem, each of us in turn -  me - I´m Fee, Nicky and Soren ...........right there, right then. His eyes glistening, heart open, smile upon his face.  Awesome, bloody awesome experience.....


A very wonderful person, she knows who I am talking about ......   donated clothes, blankets  and a big warm, fleecy  jacket last distribution.  And, I have to share this...........I was standing by the car, there was a feeding frenzy with the socks, Nicky was manning the Dignipac table, I had a man who told me that he was a sailor, probably an ex sailor, but he needed warm clothing.  An African boy of about 23 years old was also peering over his back. Interestingly,  there  were two people standing next to him - we had run out of socks by then :-)  I rummaged about the box and all I could find for this ex sailor was a hoody in bizarre colors......which he was very happy for. We were so amazed when I found a Slam jacket, light blue that fitted this young African boy so well and warm..  Big smiles all around.  In the box were three blankets.......next to Zaqueo about 5 to 10 people live on the street, under some amazing arches, I grabbed the blankets, walked over and in my crap Spanish, said, do you want these?  There were whoops of joy..............my heart feels good that we can help, if even a small way.


When all was said and done, Soren and I were going endlessly through the box of clothes..........we only had one........there was a man who looked at me beseechingly...........I did tell him in my embarrassingly bad  Spanish that there were no clothes left for blokes.........and, sorry, sweetie, I will make a note for next time.  As a joke I pulled out a poncho that was made by the very wonderful woman whom I was talking about....This poncho isn´t your bog standard poncho. Aila made it ............and it is classy, brown and turquoise!

Well, what a hit with this homeless man..........his first reaction was ä mi encanta!! - and then I gave him the matching scarf. - mi encanta....again............such a happy man...............

My message to everyone - do you self a favour - do someone else a favour x

Fiona

21 Feb 2013

A Sight for Sore Eyes !


Monkey mountain, south Thailand, January 2013.

It was here on Monkey Mountain carrying an orange bag full of donated sunglasses and prescription glasses from Dr.Michael Stoma, Mallorca, that I encountered a Buddhist monk (dodging hundreds of wild monkeys) who were very interested in the orange bag.

In my pigeon English I tried to explain why? Where? and how? I think he eventually understood and even tried several pairs on.


It gave me a great sense of fulfilment in doing this, and wish for some people they will benefit from the glasses, and maybe one day they shall remember a foreign lady who came from nowhere with a bag of glasses.


Caron Long. Mallorca, Spain.

16 Feb 2013

Hana

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HANA, A VERY SPECIAL LADY

I would like to pay tribute here to a very special lady. Her name is Hana and she is blind. She studied at Sebeta school. She is a single mother with two daughters. Life has thrown many trials and tribulations her way but she has come through these with incredible strength and positivity which cannot be expressed in words.
Mekdes, Hana’s youngest daughter is sponsored. She goes to the nursery at Abugida. Her older sister acts like a guide dog for her mother and accompanies her everywhere when she’s not at school. She attends Fita school. Whilst her daughter was at school Hana had the idea of investing some of the sponsorship money in a sweet stall at the school entrance. This is exactly what she did and she increased her income. With the profits, along with the sponsorship and a loan we gave her, she was able to get one of the homes built by the state for the poor, which has clearly made her very happy since she used to live in sub-standard housing of the kebele.
Hana is very clever. At the small party we held for the sponsored families they asked us about Spain, some of them had heard that Spain was at war, others were aware of the crisis but they were not really sure about anything (neither are we really sure about things...).
Hana asked us if she could give us some ideas to improve the situation of our country.
We are sure that if there were more people like her and less corrupt people here, things would be a lot better for us...

14 Feb 2013

CHAIN OF SOLIDARITY


Chain of Solidarity in Solleric

Although quite some time has passed since this event we wanted to let you know that Mediterránea and its young volunteers took part in the Nit del Born activities, along with the association Mallorca Without Hunger. We used the structure especially created for this event by Susy Gómez in the Casal Solleric palace and staged the chain of solidarity on the scaffold framework, from where we distributed the food which we give to the most needy. Young people from Agora and BIC schools passed food items from one to another along the line until they filled the bags laid out on the last level of the structure, each bag featuring the words: “Yes, you can help us with your solidarity to fill these bags with food to deliver to the needy”.
The activity was applauded by the public who had gathered to watch and was well received.

The event was rounded off by the reading of a letter to the Three Kings:

The Three Kings and Father Christmas, this year is complicated here in Spain and we know that you will really have your work cut out.

At Mediterránea we are helping you so that all the children in a town just a few kilometres away from here, Sa Pobla, will get at least one present. We are collecting them in the Juega y Educa shop which is in Calle Jesús, 13. Maybe some of you here listening to us have a toy at home you could donate – you will be rewarded with a child’s smile.

We are also helping, together with Mallorca Sense Fam, to collect food and distribute it in lots of places, but with the children being a priority. It seems really unfair to us that according to María Dolores, the nurse at the Sa Pobla Medical Centre, there are 320 children who are undernourished.

If they don’t eat well they won’t grow properly and they will face severe consequences. We have created for them the Book of Recipes Against Hunger which you could perhaps add to your list as a practical, supportive gift which has been made by children who are much more privileged.

They are children from Queen’s College, The Academy, Bellver College and Baleares International College, who have put together a book featuring their 30 favourite meals. All money raised from the sale will be turned into food, so perhaps you could take note and leave one in our shoes on Three Kings Day or in our sack, dear Father Christmas.

We would like you to know that Mediterránea distributes 2000 kilos of food each month to a total of 900 needy people. In 2011 Mallorca Sense Fam delivered a total of 111.857 kilos of food to 752 families, from which a total of 1.305 people benefited. 

We can try to beat the crisis with solidarity. There will be better times ahead but right now we must help those who have hardly anything.


11 Feb 2013

Recipes Against Hunger



THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS OF MALLORCA SHOW THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH MEDITERRÁNEA

This afternoon the directors and representatives of Bellver International College, Queens College, The Academy School and Baleares International College have presented the president of Mediterránea NGO, Dr Michael Stoma, with the money they raised from two charitable iniciatives. One being the sale of the solidarity books ‘Recipes Against Hunger’, edited and illustrated by the pupils at these four international schools; and the other, the performance of a fundraising ballet show by the María Antonia Màs dance studio, which took place in Paguera on 27th December.
The money from this Christmas campaign, 4,364€, will be used to purchase food for the most deprived families in Sa Pobla, a project which our organisation has been running since 2012.

In the photo are Mr Albert Loddo and Mrs Browen Griffiths, director and teacher from Bellver College, the director of the primary section at Queens College, Debbie Eaves, the president of Mediterránea NGO, Dr Michael Stoma, the director of The Academy, Clare Mooney, and Gema Izquierdo, representative of the Baleares International College.

HUNGER FOR JUSTICE

Letter from sister organisations :

HUNGER FOR JUSTICE
The solidarity shown over the last few years by the Mallorcan people towards those who are deprived of the basic means of survival has been extraordinary. However, the generosity shown this past Christmas has grown to heroic proportions as so many people have shared with the poor and given them things they desperately need.
We would like to speak on behalf of the needy people to whom we distribute food, who suffer from hunger in their own homes, expressing our thanks to all those of you who make this human kindness possible. If the extreme needs of many of the people who live in Mallorca were the result of a natural disaster then we could speak proudly of such generosity. However the reality is that the desperate situation of this new poverty is caused by the perverse society we live in and the cynicism of people who abuse economic, social and political power. There are reasons and guilty people behind our crisis.
We want to continue helping the hungry by collecting and distributing food but we cannot give up our rights and our dignity. For us, silence would be worse than ignoring the misery.
We, the poor and needy refuse to be used to reinforce the system. In addition to our hunger for food we are suffering from hunger for justice.
We are not talking about a Utopian justice as a synonym of revolution, for which we have long given up hope. We demand a justice which is palpable and real as in the classic sense of the word. In other words, equality of rights, opportunities and responsibilities for everybody.
Justice means that the public money grabbers give us back everything they have stolen from us. Justice means that astronomical differences in wages are suppressed. Justice demands that public and private funds that have gone missing and have been hidden away are invested in the creation of jobs. While there continue to be around one hundred thousand people out of work in Mallorca, our society will be drowned in misery.
We can only dispel the stench of charity which is given off by our good deeds by complaints, criticism and self-criticism. We can only bear the pain of helplessness by shouting aloud about our hunger and thirst for justice.

Can Gazà
Fundació Minyones
Parròquia de sant Francesc de Paula
Caputxins, “Pa de sant Antoni”
Associació altruista El Refugi
Associació Zaqueo
Ciutat, gener 2013

------------------> We are in agreement with them.(MS)

9 Feb 2013

Food hand out in the center of the island


4th World Volunteers

Following our first experiences as volunteers at the Sa Pobla base, we have seen for ourselves how necessary it is to help those people who are being severely punished by the current situation in Spain. When we arrive in the morning we are infected by the cheerfulness and enthusiasm of María Dolores and Javier and we are so keen to collaborate and learn from them. From what we have seen these two
people are completely dedicated to this project. Our role begins with collecting food supplies, clothes, toys.. etc. We then take them to the base, put things in order and prepare the supplies for each family which will then be delivered afterwards. We distribute basic food items for everybody but especially products for babies, both food and hygiene care products. 

We are delighted to be able to form part of the team and we encourage you to take part and donate food and clothing because these things are really necessary more than anything. Today for instance a lady was telling us that over the last 2 weeks her children had only eaten biscuits because she had nothing else available...... 



Finally, a big thank you to those of you who are already helping.





































23 Jan 2013

BALI


On our recent holiday to Bali, We had an excursion to a remote village.
While we were there, we mentioned to our guide that we had glasses, given to us by our doctor ( Dr Stoma ) in Mallorca. To be given to people who need them. 
With in minutes of this being mentioned, we were surrounded by locals, keen to find glasses which would help their sight. One gentlemen brought a small piece of card with writing on it, so he could try on the glasses and read.


Here is a photo of one of our happy recipients. Being able to help a few  people in Bali with there sight, was one of the high lights of our holiday.

Jamie & Charlotte Painter

14 Jan 2013

SCHOOL BOOKS, THE FUTURE

In our endeavor to try to supply school children who may not receive all the nourishment they need at home with cartons of milk, we discovered that there are other essentials lacking in schools in Mallorca. Many students lack scholastic materials but even more shocking, many children do not have the books that are so necessary for them to continue with their studies. As we believe that the key to the future is education, we decided to take action. We organized a raffle with the help and support of Meliá, restaurante Sa Cranca, and, of course, all the volunteers involved. Through this effort we manged to raise 2,700 euros for a school in Palma, which covered the cost of all of the books that were needed  with plenty left for extra school materials. Dr Michael Stoma was more than pleased with the results as he was dubious as to whether or not we would be successful. But with the help of so many generous people, we  managed to achieve our goal. 

With so many families suffering economically at this moment in time, we have only succeeded in helping  one school but this is just the beginning!!"

Jeanette

11 Jan 2013

LETTER OF THANKS


2012 has been an exceptional year for Mediterranea. There had never been so many of us doing volunteer work, we had never had so many fund raising events, we had never put in so much effort, and we had never helped so many people on a continual basis.

This letter is to express my thanks to all those people who have helped us in so many ways over the last year. People like young volunteers who are becoming more and more important in the world of solidarity, the schools, teachers and the pupils who have raised funds and donated food, the volunteers who buy and distribute food to the needy, the volunteers who transport the food and supplies, the volunteers who help with their knowledge to make Mediterranea progress and evolve, the professionals in the media, the people who work at pharmacies and help us, doctors, architects, interpreters, photographers, teachers, staff from the University of the Balearic Islands, people from the world of aviation, physiotherapists, engineers, people from the yachting industry, the tourist industry, the elderly lady who crochets beautiful warm clothes for babies, the couple of pensioners who gave their Christmas bonus money to needy children, people who have gone to work for our programmes in the third world, the sister organizations with whom we are very pleased to collaborate, translators, graphic designers, members who contribute with their monthly subscriptions and encouraging friends and family to join, the housewife who brings us children's clothing for the little ones in deprived families and coats for the homeless, the shopkeeper who brings us food he cannot sell but doesn't want to throw away because he wants to help feed the needy, sports clubs that hold events to raise money and collect items which we can distribute amongst those in need, the groups of friends, people in other countries who have sent us items to hand out, people who have travelled to all four corners of the world to distribute glasses to people who are unable to buy them, people who give us computers so we can fight against digital illiteracy, and above all I want to thank those people who I have forgotten to mention in this letter but without whom we wouldn't be what we are. 


Thank you,


 
Michael 





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1 Jan 2013

YACHT CREWS HELP LOCAL CHILDREN

YACHT CREW AND LOCAL MARINE BUSINESSES JOIN FORCES FOR LOCAL CHILDREN

On Wednesday December 12th the Captain and Crew of the Sailing Yacht Aglaia organized a Charity Christmas Party in aid of several local children´s charities. A staggering €2,831 was raised through donations and over 200 children´s gifts were collected for Christmas presents. The party was held in the STP shipyard where Aglaia had prepared a bar, barbecue and a spectacular spread of food for all the other yacht crew´s currently in the yard as well as all the local marine businesses. Despite the cold and rain the party still managed to get off with a swing and thanks to so many generous donations of both gifts and cash, many, many Majorcan children can enjoy a little surprise this Christmas.


Dr Stoma, representing the charity Mediterranea gratefully accepted the funds raised and was overwhelmed by the gifts and donations, ¨This year more than ever before there is a desperate need for basic items for children of all ages living here in Mallorca. From babies to teenagers there are so many children who suffer daily from hunger, cold and the lack of every day goods. The money collected will help buy baby milk and cereals, nappy´s, simple staple foods and items such as soap and tooth paste, items that these children often have to live without. The gifts people have donated too will make a very special difference to many children living in extreme poverty or in care, so a huge thank you to everyone for their support and generosity.¨



The Captain of Aglaia Mark Stevens added ¨Hundreds of yachts visit Mallorca and the Balearic islands each year, some staying for long periods undertaking refit work or during down time over winter. We hope this party has made a few of the visiting crew more aware of the needs of many children on the Island and we really want to build on this success and continue to make a difference. We are hoping to have another fund raising event in the spring time and hopefully with a little sunshine will set the target even higher!´





Complete Marine Freight and Planet Space are kindly helping with storage and an area to sort the goods before their distribution during the next few days to children around the island.

PS Keep an eye on the Facebook and Blog for the updates.