Our 2016 Review & Challenges for 2017
Happy Xmas/Chanukah/Diwali, etc, to one and all and best wishes for a
happy and fulfilled 2017…
Welcome to fhn UK’s winter news, on the auspicious 15th anniversary of foundation human nature.
Many thanks to everyone for their loyal and continued support of the work that we do in Ecuador and Ghana.
We work very hard to make sure all your donations go to where they should do and we are aware that there are many other worthwhile causes to support - we thank you for supporting our work.
2016 has been another interesting year punctuated by successes and the usual village politics. Elections in Ghana have taken place recently and things are ‘hotting’ up. The rural vote is particularly important and thus impacts on our
Thanks to a German donation in 2006, we were able to power our health
centre with solar energy. The batteries and panels have come to the end of
their life and have been replaced. Furthermore, our large accommodation
extension also needed power and that is also now powered by the sun. This
includes some luxuries such as fans in every room and the occasional fridge! We
are now looking at smaller solar alternatives for the communities such as solar
2017 is going to be the year of schools and water. An Australian ex-doctor volunteer Claire made massive inroads into our water issue. There are still several communities that use contaminated streamwater for drinking use and even this is threatened in the dry season. Plus children are unable to go to school if their parents need to send them out to collect water from several miles away. Clare has made some strong links with various rotary clubs and we will look at those links to carry on with our water coverage.
Our school provision has been very stop start, after we carried out a census in 2006 which showed poor attendance by teachers and pupils, poor grades and literacy, etc. We have been focused on other areas of development until now and there are several options for improving the situation. fhn does not like to build new structures from scratch, but would rather support those already in place. Some of these schools are falling to pieces and may need some investment.
The two subsequent actions are to make sure that the teachers who are paid (if they get paid) an almost token government salary go to work to teach. fhn may need to top their salaries up. Secondly, use our community health volunteers as local ‘muscle’ and make sure the kids attend. With that recipe in place we will start to improve the poor education in the region and hope in a few years many of the kids may be able to attend higher education, so they can be like David, our wonderful co-ordinator!
David got married earlier in the year which was an incredible experience to attend the sweaty ceremonies with Sena and Nadia. We are not quite sure what happened (!), but in a few weeks David and Portia are expecting their first child, and I am very much looking forward to returning to Ghana to help with the celebrations.
Our midwife is a little old and we are lacking someone with energy who can not only provide a good 24/7 service at the health centre with deliveries/antenatal/contraception, but is also fit enough to go into the communities and do mother/baby checks. We sent Efriyie to school almost 3 years ago and she is due to return this year. We cannot wait to have such a vital and strong person back at the clinic, especially since Mabel has been sent to nursing college paid for by fhn.
Our health services are improving with the employment of a full time, 24/7 medical assistant. We still cannot provide surgical procedures at the clinic therefore a medical assistant is what we need. A doctor gives you the option of caesarean sections or appendectomies which we can currently easily refer to the local hospital. Therefore, for now, we will remain a clinic, not a hospital!
The village politics go on unabated. Mostly led by our unhelpful local chief who sees this whole community health
development as a game to try and position himself in a more powerful role. This has not changed and we are used to this.
Our illustrious ex-nurse volunteer Maria is back from her year of traveling with her husband and has thrown herself into her fhn work. Please check out one of the things she has done by looking at our new look website f-h-n.org. Great to have you back Maria.
supporting, editing, emailing, listening etc. Basically everything that was ever asked of him over the last 15 years, for free. It is impossible to thank him enough for all his charitable work, and he is not leaving but going to be stepping down a little bit. So you will now be getting emails/reminders from Maria instead. Thank you Paul so much from everyone
involved, we would not be here without your help.
And finally, after 15 years and much deliberation, we are thinking about
another project. We have had links with some Nepali clinics for a while and are
seriously looking at options at assisting. This is largely due to the fact that
fhn Ecuador runs semi-autonomously and also that we have the experience and
expertise to help.
Seasons greetings from fhn UK
Ed, Paul, Sophie, Sena, Ana, Nadia and Nick
Old set of solar panels are faulty
Thanks to their London to Lisbon cycle ride 2 years ago, our NGO members Maria, Nadia and some friends raised almost 7000£ to install more solar power at our clinic and staff's accommodation area. The so called Ride for Ashanti.
Since then, we've had free energy and finally no power outages. Obviously keeping vaccinations and other medicines at the right temperature is crucial, and giving birth with a proper light source (not a torch!) is a safer experience for both patients and medical staff. Also having cooling fans on the wards is also much better for patients suffering from fever.
The newer equipment continues providing efficient lightingt! However, the older set of panels, the first ever installed, got faulty. So we need 6 new panels (300€/panel). Do you want to see the continuity of this (solar) energy?
Donate what you can, here!
Our jamboree has been one of our most successful Fundraising Events! We gathered approximately 150 people for a night of live music, magic, dancing and a photography exhibition. Delicious food, drinks and a cosy garden were available at The Russet. Thanks to the generosity of our guests, our friends who volunteered and all the astonishing performers, over £1200 were fundraised to go straight to medical supplies and training of the staff at our clinic in rural Ashanti/Ghana.
New water bore in Boamadumase
Claire is one of our FHN previous medical volunteers. She has been developing, with incredible persistence, a water project to install more water pumps in the 8 villages covered by our clinic. Here's the result (Facebook > Menu > Videos)!
Fundraising project Ride for Ashanti
16/9/2014 to 11/10/2014
Two of our volunteers cycled 2400 km's from London to Lisbon, to fundraise for new solar power devices at our medical center in Ghana. The £7000 were also enough to pay for the training of one of our local staff. FHN, in the name of the population of Ashanti/Ghana, is truly thankful to all the family, friends and donors involved in this project.
Articles London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine / Green Savers / Bike Magazine
TV Portuguese News Channel / Portuguese News video