Newsletter December 2014.
Our main news since our newsletter in March has been the follow up of our meeting with the area Health Director and the proposal that we should work together in providing the Nyofelleh area with a maternity unit. The project involves the Health Authority, ourselves the DBF and the people of the community of Nyofelleh.
Without knowing how we could really afford it we launched ourselves into obtaining plans for a 3 roomed building, drawing up a contract between all the parties concerned, putting in an application to The British Embassy for a grant from their special fund and a frantic scrabble to organise various fund raising events locally. It has been a very busy time for us – at the same time wondering if we had all gone a little mad!
As can be imagined everything did not go entirely to plan or as smoothly as we would have liked but we now have a building contractor who is working hard with the aim of completing the maternity wing by late February 2015. The DBF is covering the cost of the building – around £16.000. We have been supported by The British Embassy with a grant of £5.000. We have also had valuable support from many of you, through your contributions as donors or by your regular support at one or another or all of our fund raising events. We are still short of our target but it doesn’t look quite so far away now.
The British Ambassador Colin Crorkin attended a ceremony in the village for the laying of the Foundation Stone on 4th December and building has gone ahead at quite a pace since.
The Health Authority have already placed 2 community workers at our clinic. Our midwife will graduate in January and will come with an assistant. The Health Authority will pay the salary of the midwife and her assistant and provide her equipment.
The VDC – village development committee – has supplied the land and a steady supply of volunteer workers who have made all the bricks. It really is a joint project.
We continue to pay the salaries for the staff at the clinic. They have just about emerged from the seasonal malaria period – always a very busy time for them. The Health Authority continues to provide medication for the treatment of malaria but all other medication and related medical equipment is covered by ourselves and the small payments made by patients. A Dutch charity provided the clinic with a newer (not new!) ambulance in April and somehow we have become responsible for the maintenance of this vehicle!
The school continues to be equally successful. There are now 602 pupils enrolled at the school – an increase of 15 more pupils since March – almost another class full! It’s a good thing we had completed the new toilets earlier this year as well as replacing the broken water pump. The salaries of the teachers are paid by the state but supplies of teaching aids are minimal – pencils and paper etc. are always needed.
Most of the trustees have visited the village this year with one or two friends and most of us plan to be there at the opening ceremony of the maternity unit in late Feb/March next year. All our trips are at our own expense. If any of you feel you would like to join us at the opening ceremony we could facilitate your travel to the village and you would be made most welcome.
All the trustees wish to thank you for your continuing support which is so important and has enabled the DBF to do so much in Nyofelleh.
Season’s greetings to you all and for the coming New Year.
Pauline Payne; trustee.
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