Mexico: thatch-roofed buildings in two villages near Veracruz, used by women as a workplace for their crafts
Ghana: construction of an adult learning center in Whuti
Haiti: two fresh water wells in Lavanou
Under the direct supervision of Council member Dr. William Cribbs, who travels frequently to Haiti on medical missions, we have dug two wells in the southern village of Lavanou. The wells now supply clean water to the local schools, and also the population from nearby villages.
Outside their school, the kids have brought their empty water containers to fill.
The wells were built for a combined cost of $4,500. A small sum to us, but an unimaginable amount to a family which lives in a house like this:
A woman patiently waits her turn at the well:
For the first time in their history, the Lavanou kids can wash their dishes and bowls in clean, fresh water.
The miracle of clean, fresh water. How good it is!
Village writes its gratitude in French:
Tanzania: bicycles for orphans in the Kagera region to attend secondary school
South Africa: frames and lenses for the Eye Clinic on the Phelophepa Mobile Health Care Train
Thank you note: (Click to download .pdf)
This mobile 18 coach train is 1115 ft. long and weighs over 600 tons, makes a total of 37 stops a year, staying for 5 days of medical service at each stop. The train has touched the lives of millions of people since its inception in 1994, including women and children who previously have never had access to basic health care.
The train has a special team of 19 resident staff living on the train for its annual operational period. These dedicated healthcare professionals and support staff, together with the Transnet Foundation Office in Johannesburg, manage the logistics and supervise the continuous stream of final year students from leading academic institutions all over South Africa. Approximately 1,200 final year student interns live and practice on board Phelophepa annually, preparing for careers in a variety of health-related fields. They each do 14 days of volunteer service and gain invaluable practical experience.
Upgrading of the Health Care Clinic in 2010
Earlier this year, the health care clinic was up-graded to better meet the health needs of the rural communities. Among other improvements, the refurbished health clinic now boasts a wider door to accommodate wheel-chair bound patients, a fully equipped consulting room for the medical doctors and five expanded examination cubicles providing general healthcare as well as cancer, diabetes and hypertension screening.
The Eye Clinic
The Eye Clinic consists of a pre-screening area outside the train. Inside the train are refraction rooms, fully equipped with phoroptors, projection charts and biomicroscopes, and a workshop where patients' custom made spectacles are prepared. Ready made readers are also available. The Eye Clinic offers a same-day service - patients' custom made spectacles are made up while they wait.
"It is always a pure pleasure to not only meet but in the short two weeks, get to know surprisingly well, the groups of each year's Class of Optometry students. It usually is a fairly mixed group, professionally, socially, religiously, culturally and racially, which adds to the realization that we all belong to such a wonderful mixture or the "Rainbow" nation of People." - Dr. Terence Giles - Eye Clinic Manager - Phelophepa.
One of the additional services offered by the Eye Clinic is an Outreach Program which has evolved over the years. The resident optometrist, together with final year optometry students, visits surrounding primary schools which have been identified by the community. The children with suspected eye problems are transported to the train for further testing and to receive the needed spectacles. Transport costs are sponsored by various individual contributions.
Naples Council World Affairs' Contribution
The annual costs for eyeglasses (lenses and frames) are $30,000. This year the NCWA contribution of $3,000 granted to the Phelophepa Eye Clinic was used provide an additional 600 individuals with spectacles. A major contribution indeed, especially for these 600 individuals.
The Phelophepa train is empowered to deliver the gift of sight to people living in marginalized and disadvantaged rural communities by forming partnerships with multinationals and receiving grants from trusts, such as the NCWA.
We are very proud of the positive impact this initiative has on people's lives. The Eye Clinic forms an integral part of Phelophepa, or 'miracle train' as it is often referred to, so we hope that the NCWA will feel proud to have contributed to this initiative.
On behalf of the people we serve we once again thank the Board of the NCWA for their generous contribution in 2010.
Executive Vice President
American Friends of Phelophepa Train
Tanzania: solar lamps donated by NCWA to orphans in the Kagera region, attending secondary school
Haiti: establishment of a sewing center in Borgne
Guatemala: three new class rooms for school in Las Camelias, Patzun area