Poverty Alleviation Projects
$2,050 was given to Food for Life to support the Gokulam-Bhaktivedanta
Children"s Home in Sri Lanka. The funds were used to purchase new beds,
mattresses, and cupboards for up to 40 children, many of whom were displaced
by the tsunami. The tsunami that struck Sri Lanka in December 2004 left many
new orphans in its wake, compounding an already desperate situation. In
response to this growing need, Gokulam resolved to construct additional
buildings, with a goal of one day providing shelter for 250 children. Beyond
providing basic necessities, Gokulam"s dedicated staff help the children
achieve the self confidence, determination, and integrity to grow into
adulthood as productive and successful world citizens. The staff attends to
the children"s health providing three meals a day and regular exercise; the
staff provides unconditional love to the children, many of whom have no
family or have seen their families devastated by civil war, poverty, or
natural disasters; and the staff provides education including technical and
vocational training and the arts.
$3,100 was given to the Poorna Health Care Trust to provide clean drinking water and special sanitary kits to mothers with infants in Sri Lanka as these poor souls recover from the dreaded tsunami disaster. Part of the money was used to supply water from a central water purification source to 3 camps for internally displaced people. These camps have a total of 4,007 people. As the camps are wide spread over vacant land and there are no water facilities on tap, it is very important that they have the equipment to ensure that water tanks around the camps are filled. Further, there are 280 mothers who were bottle feeding their babies. The $10 Club provided 53 kits to these women. Each kit included: 2 Bottle Brushes, 1 Feeding cup & plate, 1 Bowl & spoon, 1 Flask for hot water, 1 Container for milk powder, 2 Cakes Baby Soap, 2 Teats, and 1- 11 Ltr. Plastic Bucket with lid. The Poorna Health Care Trust was was established in 1996 to formalize social service activities for impoverished people in Sri Lanka, including support through a clinic at Ratnam’s Hospital in Colombo.
$2,100 was given to the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation to create a gymnasium in the Children’s Prison in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Through the Foundation’s work in Mongolia, specifically in the prison, they provide children with an education that most of them would not otherwise receive, while giving them the support, dignity, and respect that all children deserve. With our grant, we bring some relief to these children, assisting in their physical and psychological development. In this facility there is little stimulation for the children and, therefore, little to aid their rehabilitation. Now, they will have physical exercise despite the harsh Mongolian climate, health education classes, and exercise programs. The $10 Club provides renovation costs for the exercise room as well as a wall mirror, shelves, posters, multi-way exercise machine, two stomach muscle machines, stationary bike, treadmill, bench press, weights, power twister, sports shoes, socks, sweatbands, and towels. The children will renovate the room and build the gym, providing them with activity and instilling a sense of pride. They will also be responsible for gym maintenance. The 120 boys at the prison are there because of poverty related crimes. They lived in small, overcrowded, and unhealthy conditions, often lacking basic sanitation. Some had to live in underground manholes just to survive.
$2,140 was given to Engineers Without Borders to implement a rainwater catchment system in the Muramba community of Rwanda. Our funds were used to provide a 10,000 liter prefabricated tank, corrugated sheet metal, plastic, roofing tiles, nails, tar/caulk, wire screen mesh, cement, sand and gravel, locally made bricks, two by fours, taps, and pipes. Now up and running, the tank allows water to be collected for drinking, bathing, and irrigation. Muramba suffered greatly by the violent Rwandan conflict of the early 1990s between the Hutus and Tutsis. The community"s water system was among the most damaged aspects of the area"s infrastructure, leaving contaminated water with a high risk of E. coli and other diseases. The $10 Club has provided this community with a safe water supply.
$2,150 was given to the Melissa Cosgrove Children’s Foundation to assist in the renovation of a Burmese orphanage to include a library and school program. Our contribution funded 2 sets of school uniforms for each of the 18 children there; school bags with stationary, writing books, pens, and pencils; and a generator to provide power to the facility. This orphanage in Burma is located in the small city of Letpadan, a three-hour drive from Rangoon. Most of the children there are poor, uneducated, and lacking in self-esteem. The Burmese government supported the home when it was initially built in 1962, but quickly removed support leaving the school without wages for staff. The children there have never had new clothes or items for schooling. Burma is one of the poorest countries in Asia. According to an October 2004 report by the United Kingdom government’s Department for International Development, “Public investment in education and healthcare combined is less than $1 per person each year—one of the lowest levels in the world.” Further, the report notes, “Only 40% of children complete five years of primary education,” and the quality of schooling is “undermined by under-investment in the crumbling public education system.”
$2,150 was given to the Karuna Trust to provide blankets and medicines to 200 street children living on the platforms at the Gaya Station in India. They survive by begging, scavenging, and trash-collecting, and are at great risk from violence and abuse, including child-prostitution and trade in organs for transplants. We will help provide the children with antibiotics, bandages, antiseptic soaps, scabies medicine, skin cream for sores, anti-lice shampoo, stomach medicines, and blood tests. According to Dryan Kitchener of the Karuna Trust, “There is little or no government help for these children because Bihar is India’s poorest and most lawless state and civil administration has almost completely broken down. Furthermore most aid agencies have pulled out of Bihar because conditions are so dangerous.” This again shows the importance of our work, as we reach out to the most desperate and often forgotten members of the global community.
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$2,200 was given to CEDESOL Foundation (Center for Development with Solar Energy) in La Paz, Bolivia to assist in their implementation of a solar cooker and efficient wood cooking program. Their experience suggests that this will relieve significant burdens among the most economically disadvantaged Bolivians. Part of the grant will be used in a revolving micro-credit fund helping folks purchase solar box cookers in such a way that the monthly fuel savings will about equal their payments. Initially, we will provide 20 box cookers at about $50 each, which can then be purchased for $10 down and about $6 a month. This will make additional cookers available for purchase each month in the same fashion as payments roll in. Another $828 of our grant will provide 6 solar cookers and 6 wood cookers (at $38 each) as donations to people of the indigenous Guarani Indian nation in southern Bolivia (which further includes $300 for transportation costs for the delivery team). They will be taught to use the wood cookers when they can not use the solar cookers, as a system, instead of the traditional 3 stone fire that uses considerable wood and causes dangerous respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation. Lastly, our grant will also be used to publish educational “how to” materials on the use of the different cooker types to increase public awareness and enhance the successful implementation and expansion of the project.
$2,230 was given to Noor Ajab Khan and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme to train traditional birth attendants in the northwest Pakistani region of Chitral. Our donation will train twenty local women in a six-day midwifery training session including transportation, housing, food, and training materials; fund two doctor trainers; and provide each of the women with a basic medical kit including vitamins, medicines, rehydration tablets, and appropriate medical instruments to facilitate childbirth. Leftover funds will supplement the kits when vitamins or medicines run out. In rural Pakistan, the conservative culture keeps women shielded from public view. Some men refuse to let their wives or other female relatives go outside the home for medical care, including during pregnancy and childbirth. As a result, one in 38 Pakistani women dies from pregnancy-related causes; almost one half of women there are anemic throughout their pregnancies; and 83 babies die per thousand births in Pakistan.
$2,260 was given to Educare Africa to fund the continuing education of 28 students in Cameroon. These eager kids range in age from 12 to 22 and without our support would likely miss the year completely and perhaps be permanently derailed in their education. Our funds will be used to buy textbooks, kerosene, school shoes, and food. For students who come from distant villages we will pay rent at a house in the town where the school is located. The students in our project this month come from various rural villages in Cameroon, where one-third of the nation (over 15 years old) is illiterate, and only 64% of the children reach grade 5. Each family lives in a compound, which often includes grandparents, uncles, cousins, and other relatives. Most of their houses are built from sun-dried bricks with a zinc roof. There is no electricity or running water.
$2,250 was given to Direct Help to Eastern Europe to provide all 150
children at the Verbskaya Home & Boarding School for Orphans in Verba,
Ukraine with insulated winter boots to help keep their feet warm and
prevent them from being exposed to the cold. Direct Help to Eastern Europe
is one organization working to alleviate some of the conditions in which
these Ukrainian orphans live. These children will have come from other
orphanages or directly from the streets. Olena Ivanova Baran, for
instance, is finishing the 11th grade there. She and her siblings went
into the orphanage five years ago when their parents died. Winters in
Ukraine are very cold, of course, and one of the greatest current needs is
to be able to provide the children with winter clothing. Ukraine is one
of 18 countries that experienced a decline in its Human Development Index
between 1990 and 2003, in large part as a result of the economic changes
that resulted after the break-up of the former Soviet Union. According to
UNICEF, children often bear the brunt of the poverty: "some mothers cannot
cope and either abandon their children or give them up to orphanages. More
than 100,000 children in Ukraine currently live in such institutions." In
fact, many of these mothers themselves were abandoned as children.
$2,220 was given to the Batsiranai Craft Project, an organization in Oregon
working to support the Epworth Group. The Epworth Zimbabwe Parents of
Disabled Children Group is made up of 34 mothers and their children.
Currently the Epworth members do not have a successful income generation
scheme. Last year the members attempted to create a garden project, but
since there is no city water supplied to the property the project was
unsuccessful. Water must be obtained by hand dug shallow wells or
boreholes. Most of the hand dug wells are non-functional during the summer
season as the water drops below well level. Our funds will be used to
drill a bore hole with pump and piping to allow the Epworth Group to
introduce several projects for the benefit of the women, their children
and extended families. The Epworth community is made up of unemployed and
marginally employed families living under extremely harsh and challenging
circumstances. The Epworth members come together to act as a support
group, to assist with the care of their severely disabled children, and to
work together on income generation projects. All of the families are poor
and struggling to make ends meet. Having a disabled child is considered
evidence of evil actions and reflects badly on the mother in particular,
and on the family in general.
In addition to managing the medical and
educational needs of the disabled children, the families have a daily
struggle for basic needs of food, housing and clothing. Our grant will
enable the Epworth Group to:
- Plant, cultivate, harvest, and process
Moringa trees. Moringa is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals
especially Calcium and Vitamin A. The leaves, green pods and flowers can
be cooked as vegetables. The leaves may be dried and made into a powder to
sprinkle into soups and stews. Moringa products can be sold locally for
- Plant Jatropa trees around the perimeter of the
property. Jatropa seeds are used in soap production which will create yet
another income project. Jatropa trees are also nitrogen fixers, thus
synergistic with permaculture gardening.
- Establish a permaculture
vegetable garden which is enhanced when grown in a Moringa and Jatropa
orchard. Vegetables cultivated can be used by the group as well as sold
$2,550 was given to the Women Prisoners Support Organization to provide
women and children with insecticide-treated bednets in Uganda. The nets
cost $5 each and will be treated twice in the coming year at a cost of $3
per treatment. Thus, roughly 230 people will have a potentially
life-saving net to sleep under. "Malaria is a leading killer of children
under five and a major contributor to adult morbidity in sub-Saharan
Africa," according to the Global Health Council, and it
"disproportionately affects people living in poverty." In Uganda
specifically, the most recent Human Development Report reveals that more
than half of all people who fell sick in the county did so as a result of
malaria. The Uganda Ministry of Health appears determined to fight
malaria within the country, and has set a goal of at least having all
children under five and pregnant women sleeping under insecticide-treated
bednets. These nets are one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid the
mosquito bites that transmit the disease. This grant to provide the nets
is so important in Uganda, where the percentage of pregnant women with
malaria infection in prisons can be as high as 65%. According to WPSO,
"pregnant women offenders in malaria endemic areas such as Uganda often do
not receive adequate preventative and curative care contributing to
avoidable and unacceptably high numbers of maternal and infant deaths in