The Rooster Report ! Where we stand entering the new year !


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www.rosecharities.info/reports/rose-internat-report2016.pdf (click)

Nepal Earthquake Assistance

nepal-quake3Rose Charities Canada in conjunction with AMDA Canada has commenced an assistance progam for yesterdays major Nepal (and region) earthquake. AMDA International is a major partner of Rose Charities and is one of the most respected world leading emergency relief organizations having sent hundreds of worldwide emergency medical missions for over 20 years. AMDA’s Nepal chapter is highly active in medical assistance of every type and is already at work.  Rose and AMDA have worked closely together for emergency situations.   The relief efforts will be coordinated by medical relief expert  Dr Collin Yong of AMDA and Rose Canada, who also planned similar assistance both in the Philippines ( Haiyan and earlier disasters).   Assistance is now very urgently needed.

Donations will go to relief without any administration feess. A tax receipt (usable by Canadian taxpayers) will be given immediately by email. Please donate here  (Canada Helps) and select Nepal relief in the donation field 

Rose Charities International 2014 End of Year Review

Rose Charities International Network:
2014 End of Year Review.

2014 for Rose Charities has been marked both by consolidation in which the well established projects have steadily moved forwards with new initiatives, plans and their implementation, and a considerable delivery of emergency relief for the Philippines. The moves towards increased self sustainability have made progress in a number of areas, notably with the Sri Lanka Medicare program including now a specialised Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Centre, Cambodia, where Drs Vra and Natalia Heng’s Rose Charities Eye Centre now operates also from their newly built clinic and caters for both the paying, to cover costs, and the poor. Projecto San Gerado Costa Rica’s community programs incorporating tourist and local produce are, now as part of Rose Charities Canada an impressive example of what can be achieved.

Sri Lanka was very active in 2014, continuing to lead the way in microcredit initiatives. It has had to reduce its preschool program due to lack of funding but still manages to run the new cut-down program in this hugely essential area. ( www.rosesrilanka.info )

Rose Charities Sri Lanka wonderfully hosted the 2014 Rose VI International Conference which was a huge success allowing international delegates (UK, Canada, USA, NZ, Cambodia, Japan) and Sri Lanka guests to network, discuss and witness the excellent programs in their area. In addition many of the children in the area worked hard to give delegates marvellous entertainment of dancing and singing which was hugely appreciated by all.

2014 was actually the 10th year after the terrible Asian tsunami of 2004 and it is a true tribute to the energy, charity and dedication of Anthony Richard and his team that so much has been achieved in that time. Over these years, programs have included child and adult health care, post traumatic child counselling, sports for peace and education for all ages, from pre-school to higher education. Poverty reduction through micro-credit and vocational training are now noteworthy as well as special development programs for women.

One of the most notable achievements of 2014 was the re-birth of the Rose Cambodia Rehab Centre (RCRC) ( www.roserehab.org ) which was in final stages of closure though lack of funds. This was also one of the major successes of the Sri Lanka Rose VI conference when Ms Sophak Chim (RCRC Cambodia) discussed issues with a very supportive Rose Charities USA team (Rachel Greene, Arnold Sanchez, Dianne Johnston). Ms Sophak showed that despite the difficulties of physiotherapy being well accepted in Cambodia, the demand for the clinic’s services were on the increase. Rose USA agreed to continue and expand support assisted by Canada and the UK. Previously the main support had come from Rose Australia (the main original founder of RCRC) but this organisation has had to go into a reorganisation phase (possibly with a view to disbanding) due to lack of funding and director base. RCRC has now continued to be successful under new Director Ms Chhouen Putheary. (Ms Sophak continues to advise),

Informal linkage of RCRC with Professor Nous Saroms’s Rehabilitation Surgery department in the PPSC medical centre ( www.cambodiasurgery.info ) continues both in cross-referrals and consultations. In addition PPSC takes many elective medical students who often write to Rose Charities asking for placements.

The Hillman Fund of Rose Charities Canada has also continued its support for physiotherapy treatment and training in Cambodia through assistance to the Cambodia Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) , as well as assisting in eye surgeon training at the Rose Eye Clinic. ( www.rose-eye.info ) . The Eye clinic has now treated some two hundred thousand patients which will rise to close to a quarter of a million within the next year and a half. It carries out both treatment and training and runs a peripheral outreach program. It is amazing to see where this project has gone from both its origin in 1997 as well as its disaster of 2003 when it was 99% looted of all equipment and gutted by thieves. A huge amount of success has been due to the input and assistance, material, teaching, and consultative assistance of Rose Charities New Zealand, ( www.rose-charities.org ) notably Mike Webber and John Veale. Also of great assistance in the development of the clinic and earlier outreach program(s) with IRIS Cambodia (founded by same founder(s) of Rose ) has been Dr Basant Raj Sharma. ‘Basant’ has taken the past few years to open now his own surgical eye clinic in South Nepal which will include a charity treatment component. Rose NZ will be assisting with this program.

Rose Charities Malaysia ( www.myrosecharity.org ) and Rose Charities Singapore ( www.rosesingapore.info ) have continued their impressive programs of local assistance with health clinics, assisting seniors and children’s programs and delivering health services (Rose Malaysia ) to the indigenous ‘Orang Asli’ people in rural areas. Both organisations set wonderful examples of organisations very well integrated to directly helping those in need in their own regions and have impressive memberships of many volunteers prepared to give their time and efforts for others. Rose Charities in Vietnam with its outstanding history of aid programs both with community development and blind home assistance in the Hue area and orphanage support through Rose Charities UK ( www.rosecharities.org.uk ). Rose Vietnam is currently undergoing restructuring but has potential to carry on its work into the future.

The typhoon Haiyan disaster, although in Nov 2013, carried on its effects into 2014 as did Rose Charities efforts to provide assistance. This was achieved on a considerable scale for Rose Charities with direct assistance (medical team lead by Dr Collin Yong in Negros), and indirect though support to partners such as AMDA medical team(s). All phases of the disaster were assisted from immediate health issues through provision of emergency water purification and solar lighting. The work also included rebuilding the health clinic, the walkway access and a number of fishing boats. The island of Negros, Cebu and Leyete were assisted and this has continued to the present time now with support for a newly designed, typhoon-proof home building program with the ‘Movement for Liveable Cebu’ organisation. These homes have now proved their worth by withstanding the much more recent typhoon Haguput. To support this work considerable funds were raised in Vancouver and Richmond working in conjunction with several groups and charitable individuals, one of the most noteworthy being Mr Alan Yong, cousin of Dr Collin Yong.

While Rose Charities is not primarily an emergency relief organisation we have nevertheless been able to provide considerable assistance over the years during major catastrophes, invariably working on advice and in conjunction with local groups on the ground who have requested assistance. With no budget for advertising and promotion it is probable that well over a million dollars has been raised for the disasters we have been involved with, but more importantly, programs continue to this day in Haiti (sports and community assistance) Tohoku (Japan) (AMDA Health Clinic) and, Sri Lanka (see above) and (as mentioned above) the Philippines. What is more, these assistance programs have been invariably without large, expensive infrastructure and working at grassroots level with virtually all donated funds being spent on crucial basic needs.

One area which illustrates this approach is Rose’s assistance to the current ‘Ebola’ crisis. While the current epidemic is in West Africa the disease is endemic in other parts of Africa and has the potential to spread seriously. Early diagnosis, case handling and treatment is essential to increase survival chances and Rose Charities through the Hillman Fund is now supporting a Ebola health training program in Uganda together with Makere University, both in rural and urban Ugandan areas. Dr Andrew Macnab (Brighter Smiles) and the Hillman Fund, with the HEADA Organisation has also initiated a schoolchild early malaria diagnosis program run by the schools themselves. Early results indicate a considerable reduction in school absentee time generated traditionally by the disease.

The problem of safe birthing and motherhood world-wide is a huge one. The want of education, hygiene, medications and trained helpers claims a heavy toll in mortality. In some countries, such as Afghanistan, a maternal and/or neonatal child death occurs every few minutes. Rose Charities Canada is focusing on this challenge with the formation of its Safe Motherhood and Birthing committee which is partly supported by the Hillman Fund and linking with Rose Charities UK ( www.rosecharities.org.uk ) . Programs now include the impressive Guatemala Safe Motherhood ( www.safemotherhoodproject.org ) training project for local Comadronas (birth attendants) founded by Annette Borkent and Dr Ruth Brighouse. There is also a joint initiative in Pakistan with the Frontier Primary Health Organization and a linked program in Afghanistan with Tabish Health and Community Organisation. In this last case recent progress has now resulted in the first two trained community nurses working in one of the main refugee and displaced persons camps near Kabul. One possible future linkage of this committee is to assist with a new RCRC (Cambodia) incipient birth assistance program.

It would be impossible to end this brief review of the Rose Charities International Network programs, without mention of one of its largest areas: education. World Rose groups support primary schools in Madagascar (Rose Madagascar), Zambia (Malambo Grassroots), Uganda (4 schools – Stand Tall Education ( www.standtalleducation.org ) , Volset, and Brighter Smiles (2), ( www.brightersmilesafrica.ca ), Guatemala (Mayan Project of Dr Ellen Coburn www.mayanproject.org ) and Sri Lanka. In addition there are child education support programs in Uganda (Smiles Uganda founded by Mr Galib Kara), Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and a pre-school program in Sri Lanka also. There is higher education support in Uganda, Zambia and Sri Lanka. In the case of Sri Lanka, these programs have produced many graduates including those in medicine, engineering and law. Advanced training programs are sponsored by the Hillman Fund in Uganda and have included ETATS (Emergency Medicine Training program) as well as advanced GP training. In Cambodia students were assisted in accountancy training and now at the Rose Charities Eye clinic there is training of eye surgeons (assisted by Rose NZ and the Hillman Fund). The full title of the Hillman Fund is the ‘Hillman Medical Education Fund’ and this indicates the importance which is put on training by this Rose group. Many special ‘Hillman scholars’ have been supported over the years for advanced and/or postgraduate training. Earlier mentioned too has been the training of midwives and birth attendants. Vocational training programs in Sri Lanka and Uganda (Brighter Smiles) have helped many to find employment in all areas and there is in-house training in the Rose Sri Lanka head office in the management of programs including micro-credit and business planning. A novel peer-to-peer training program is also supported in Uganda.

Left to the end, but perhaps the most important element of all is fund-raising. None of the spectrum of great Rose projects mentioned could exist without the funding. Once again Rose persons continue to show themselves to be stars holding a panoply of the most varied, enjoyable and energetic fund-raising initiatives. New Zealand to New York, Cambodia to Costa Rica, Uganda to Guatemala, Zambia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines -all have, and continue to hold, events and occasions to raise funds. Rose’s very close partner organisation AMDA, in conjunction with Rose, has for the last 3 years held emergency relief fundraisers in Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver bringing in incredible virtuosos from Japan to play alongside local experts. Athletes ride for funds in the international Vancouver-Whistler Granfondo bicycle race. Events have included sponsored walks in Malaysia, musical evenings in New Zealand, ‘bling’ sales in Vancouver, street hockey tournaments in New York city, a ‘Bollywood dance training and performance evening in Vancouver and sponsored scrabble evenings. Rose Charities Australia even at one stage held a paper aeroplane- making and distance flying competition (one of the events I had a great personal enjoyment in attending) . For all these initiatives and also to our accounting teams who year after year assist with the so important baseline work to keep the organizations going – Bravo !… and a huge thank you.

It is very difficult in a limited ‘thumbnail’ report to present anywhere near enough information of the scale, achievements and diversity of the full Rose network. The above is really only a glimpse over its surface. The bottom line however is that all the programs and achievement are due to one overriding factor. That is the amazing people that Rose Charities is fortunate to be associated with. The network is not a centralised unit; it is, in fact simply a vehicle to help move forward the amazing work of individuals and their own groups of project supporters. The ‘Charity Rose’ award is, every year, awarded to one recipient only. There is no mandate for the awardees to be kept within Rose Charities, yet every year to date, this happens. The reason for this is that when it comes to assessment and vote for the recipient, the achievement and dedication of Rose persons invariably are simply the most outstanding proposed within and without the organisation !

No doubt 2015 will have its ups and downs. In an increasingly wealth-polarised world, however, the need for aid and assistance will not be diminishing. Rose programs will be needed more than ever. In addition the environmental changes of global warming may sadly mean increased natural disaster frequency and severity. Rose Charities now has a track record and experience level generated over its 15 years in formal existence. We are an organisation focused on the most direct assistance we can possibly give with the absolute minimum spent on admin costs. Every time disaster strikes we see many big charity organisations taking up large tracts of expensive media coverage, and most carry out excellent (though often very expensive) programs. Yet time and again, such as in Sri Lanka, Haiti and Tohoku, a year or more after the event, the smaller, grassroots Rose supported programs remain and continue to tend to those who have been affected by the event.

The 7th Rose Charities International Meeting 2015 will be held in the Proyecto San Gerado Costa Rica program site. (March 8 – 10 2015) – see ( www.rosecharities.info/events/rose7-info-pack.zip ) As with all meetings it is a huge opportunity to witness the projects and initiatives and speak to those who run them. In addition there are often amazing presentations of local culture that the average person will simply never witness. No donor money is ever spent on these meetings (unless specifically requested for that use) and delegates all pay their own transport and accommodation. They are informal and always prove a superb forum for networking and exchange of ideas. The meetings are not restricted to Rose personnel and anyone genuinely interested is invited to attend.
Rose Charities People and Programs span many ‘New Years’ – Lunar, Khmer, Hindu, Gregorian etc. The last of these however is now. So for this Gregorian New Year 2014/2015 let me take the opportunity to say ‘Bravo’ to all and everyone, givers, receivers (invariably the same thing), whatever involvement level. Its you that makes everything happen. You are magnificent and have my unparalleled praise and unreserved thanks.

me-abby-13Will Grut MD
Vancouver, Canada
31 December 2014

Sri Lanka landslide directly in Rose Charities Sri Lanka project area. Rose Lanka team rush to help..

sri-landslide14Rose Lanka Micro credit and Rose Charities Sri Lanka have been working on a Project  in Hopton Village, Lunugala, Badulla District since the beginning of this year 2014.  The above Koslanda  land slide happened  near our  project area in the same District.

On 29.10.2014 at 7.30 am,   the above Land slide happened after heavy monsoon rains, engulfed about 140 houses in Badulla District. 302 bodies  were found up to now and believed more than 100 people missing as per information given by the Disaster Management Ministry, Srilanka.

Bad weather is also hampering the rescue operations. Also there is still  a threat of further land slide and a group of 500 Army and Air force personal are assisting  with rescue operations.

More that100 people are still missing.   Some school children were in the school during this time and they are safe but  many children became orphans. Some husbands lost their wives, children and family members.  Most of the houses  and Temples have been buried in   09 Meter(30’) in Mud. Affected  people are in School Refugee camps and urgently  in need of   cloth,food,water,milk food for infants etc.

Rose Lanka Micro Credit Managing Director and staff had an urgent meeting with all staff of Rose Charities Srilanka and decided to collect some  cloth, food items etc. from our members and public to help the Land slide refugees.

Donations gratefully accepted (Donations page)  (please write ‘Srilanka landslide’ in the comments box on the donation page)

 

Rose Charities – Ebola screening and control training program

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Ebola  .. Rose-HMEF- Dept Family Medicine, Makerere University, Uganda local level infection now underway The program aims to keep train community health workers in rural Uganda to identify and, most importantly manage infection control of Ebola and other potentially lethal infectious diseases, such as Marburg. Ebola has long been known in Uganda and the risk now is extreme. The program is coordinated through close partner Dept Family Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, and directed by Dr Innocent Besigye

One of the main problems which has been responsible for the recent catastrophic epidemic in Africa has been the lack specialized training in community health personnel both in identification as well as in the proper control measures to be taken if the disease is suspected. This course fills this need.

 DONATE to this program via our Justgiving site. Please indicate for Ebola program in messages window

Light, clean water, boats and a health clinic… Philippines work continues

kopernik-water-filter-kidsOne of Rose Charities most fundamental principles is linkage and coordination with reliable partners to generate synergy to increase impact where needed.  Notable major Rose partners in the Philippines Hiayan disaster for assistance in the Negros area have been the Bacolod North Rotary Club and  Kopernik Technology Organization in Indonesia.  Rose Charities linked these two organizations during our first response mission to Negros a few days after the disaster had struck and the synergy has continued with outstanding work from all.
3,820 survivors have been reached in the latest phase of operations with the supply by Kopernik of solar lights and water filter systems. Distribution has been carried out by the Bacolod  Rotary with significant funding coming from Rose Charities USA and Canada.  The solar light systems not only provide bright light at night but also enable mobiles phones to be charged.
kopernik-giftingThe North Bacolod Rotary club distributed  the technologies over one month in Northern Iloilo; President Roxas Town, Northern Panay; Loguinot Island, Northern Iloilo Province; as well as in the cities of Cadiz, Sagay and Bacolod in Northern Negros. They managed very difficult logistics to ensure the water filters and solar lights reached those who needed them the most.
Even now though,  four months after the typhoon struck there are still many areas where people are struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives.  Bacolod North Rotary is being supported by Rose Charities to build boats for fishing families, to re-construct a major health clinic and other structural needs
Kopernik Technologies is a social-enterprise oriented community technology initiative which supplies appropriate and much needed technology to developing countries. Their support and speed of response in the Philippine Haiyan disaster has been outstanding.   Kopernik has also been coordinating with major Rose Charities partner AMDA International .   An informal, but highly functional network thus formed very early on in the course of the disaster which has generated a considerable synergy in the delivery of assistance to many areas of the Philippines  and many many thousands in need.

Building boats for Philippines Families

Banca 2Many fishermen lost their boats in the Haiyan Typhoon and have been unable to return to fishing and support their families.

Our contact in the Philippines ‘Jun Jun ” has come up with a solution. He writes

Building of Small outrigger boats made of fiberglass hull.  I had talked with Mayor Escario of Bantayan and a friend of mine in Northern Panay Island , that we do this together with the local fishermen who lost their livelihood due to the typhoon. I might be able to help in Cadiz and Sagay Citites in Negros Occidental, Negros Island as well. We supply the fishermen with  the fiberglass hull for the boat, which would cost around $400 each. And they in turn provide  the wood or bamboo outriggers and the labor for the attachment of these parts.  They get to participate  in the construction of the boats and will take good care of them.

Rose Charities Canada has sent funds for an initial 40 boats , which will be completed in a few weeks time.   Jun Jun and his team have created criteria to ensure fairness and transparency in the selection of fishermen. They plan to give priority to fishermen providing for families and children.

Rose Charities Haiyan log…

The Nimbleness of small NGOs

Timeline of what we have accomplished in our Emergency Response to Hurricane Haiyan:

Nov 8, 2013: (Tacloban) Albert Mulles, his mother and sister grasped the kitchen water cistern and held on for dear life as Typhoon Haiyan winds reached 310 kilometers per hour. They yelled prayers to each other as the storm howled through their wood-framed house, tearing off the roof and shredding the wallboards like matchsticks.

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, a typhoon of unprecedented power, made landfall among the islands of the Philippines causing massive devastation. The storm affected 4 provinces and 10,436 villages in 575 municipalities with sustained winds of 196mph and even stronger gusts, which ripped off roofs, collapsed buildings and shattered windows. Coastal regions were hit with an incredible storm surge, which destroyed boats and fishing gear and left the majority of homes either completely destroyed or uninhabitable.

At last count (Jan 11), there were 6183 dead, 1785 missing and 1.1 million homes destroyed leaving 4.1 million homeless.

Nov 12: (Okayama, Japan) Rose partner AMDA (Asia Medical Doctors Association*) reports that a nurse/coordinator from HQ is already in the Philippines, following up the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that had struck nearby Bohol on October 15. Contact has been made with Philippines Army and Navy to arrange for AMDA teams to join relief missions to the islands of Samar and Leyte.

Nov 13: (Vancouver) Rose Emergency Response expert, Dr. Collin Yong, advises that his Rotary Club contacts are planning food and medical supply missions to the devastated north coast of Negros. He will fly over to join the mission.

Nov 14: (Ubud, Bali) Former Rose Australia Director Sarah Wilson advises that her new employer, Kopernik, is looking for local partners to distribute solar lights and water filtration units for disaster victims. A crowd-funding campaign is launched by Kopernik on their website to cover costs.  Rose Canada puts Sarah in touch with AMDA and the Rotary Club of Bacolod North who agree to undertake distribution in conjunction with other local partners and municipality offices.

Nov 14: (Vancouver) Rose Charities partner AMDA Canada announces a shiatsu and mini-concert fund raising initiative targeting the Japanese Canadian community to support AMDA Japan missions in Tacloban and Samar.

Nov 16: Dr. Collin Yong departs for Bacolod, Negros to join teams there.

Nov 20: First report from Dr. Yong: “Working with local nurses and doctors. They are incredible. Missions are successful as it is locals helping locals.”

NOV 23: (Richmond BC) Walkathon fundraiser organized by Alan Yong raises $30,000.

Nov 24 : (Richmond) “Love Without Borders” Concert organized by Colin Yong raises over $7000 for Rose Charities (and the Canadian Red Cross).

Nov 28: (Vancouver) “A Moment for the Philippines” concert and silent auction at Shangri-la Hotel organized by Adam Hurstfield, Shangi-La Hotel and Juan TV raises $21,000.

Nov 28: (Penang) Rose Charities Malaysia launches Haiyan appeal

Dec 5: (Vancouver) “A Night With Philippines” (ANWP), organized by Francis Arevalo, presents 4 ½ hours of entertainment and raises over $9000

Dec 11: (Cebu City) “Cebu Cares, Cebu Shares” (CCCS) founder Marc Canton launches appeal for donations and support for tent city to open later in month for Haiyan victims.

Dec 24: (New York) Rose USA holds a fundraiser and raises $10k that is donated to Phase 6 of Kopernik’s Philippines Typhoon Emergency Response to support additional delivery of solar lights and filtration units to stricken areas.

Dec 28: (Cebu City) CCCS delivers freezer to tent city paid for by “A Night With Philippines” funds

Jan 3: (Cebu City) Jan and Bill Johnston arrive to coordinate with local partners on tent city operations and priority allocation of relief funds

Jan 5-6: (Cebu City) Basic supplies bought and delivered to tent city (60 tents with 237 individuals)

Jan 7: (Daanbantayan) Jan and Bill Johnston, with CCCS partners, visit devastated north of Cebu where most homes were destroyed or seriously damaged.

Jan 9: (Cebu City) Second supply of food and basic needs provided to tent city.

Jan 10: (Ubud, Bali) Sarah Wilson organises for 60 solar lights from Kopernik’s Phase 6 project to be allocated to the tent city (which is still reliant on part-time generators for power).

Jan 10: (Vancouver) Rose and ANWP organizers agree on allocation of remaining funds between shelter kits for the north and basic needs for tent city

Jan 10: (Cebu City) Bill and Jan meet Albert Mulles whose house was destroyed in Tacloban (see Nov 8). He is in Cebu with Junior Chamber International to buy a generator for Tacloban as there is still only 3% electricity supply there. Albert says only private initiatives are working to relieve victims. The Philippines national government was slow to arrive, slower to deliver any assistance. Thus far, no new funds had flowed via the International or Philippines Red Cross to local chapters.

Jan 10: (Cebu City) Bill Johnston (Rose Director) and Marc Canton (CCCS) meet with representatives of Red Cross Philippines (national and regional) to determine when promised support for the tent city will materialize. (As of this writing nothing has been forthcoming).

Jan 18: (Daanbantayan) CCCS delivers 100 more shelter kits to families who have lost their homes. The kits are becoming even more urgent given the incessant rain and threats of storms that are expected to last for most of the month.

Jan 23: (Bacolod) $25,000 approved to supply over 60 fiberglass hulls for fishermen on Bantayan Island whose boats (thus livelihoods) were lost in the storm. (Additional projects identified for the next tranche of funding include repairing Bantayan’s health centre which serves 3400 islanders and repairing a main connecting boardwalk which provides a vital link for several villages).

To Sum up:

The combined efforts with Rose Charities’ partners have and are providing food, clean water and medical care to many people. Around $80,000 has been raised, and spent. As additional funds come in they are allocated to help with reconstruction of lives and livelihoods. Best of all, the implementation has been through an excellent team effort involving ground level support in the Philippines and organization and fund-raising in Canada and the USA.

Rose Charities would like to acknowledge and thank our many donors, organizers and volunteers for their efforts. There is still a long way to go of course, but ‘so far so good’. (It would be interesting to know where the Canadian and BC governments’ matching funds went and what impact they have had to date).

*Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) conducted AMDA Multi National Medical Missions (AMMM) and relief activities around the affected areas from the day after the disaster. AMDA covered wider areas of Samar, Tacloban to Cebu, Bantayan Island and further to the island of Panay with medical and volunteer teams from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal and the Philippines.

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Why Rose Charities ?

a4On the Vancouver CBC morning program hosted by Rick Cluff today (20 Nov 2013) there was a discussion on what to look for in an aid organization helping now in relief activities. A representative from the excellent Canadian ‘Charities Watch’ organization gave three criteria. They could have taken directly from Rose Charities and were as follows

1) Local network: Look for organizations with local involvments and networks prior to the crisis. Rose Charities was founded for work in S.E. Asia. Contacts and local networks within the Philippines have been present for years, especially through Rose Charities Director Dr Collin Yong, who has carried out multiple medical missions there prior to the crisis and has many local contacts. Within days of the current crisis occurring food was being delivered (while the media in Vancouver were continuing to discuss that ‘food was not getting through’ in north Negros Island, one of the worst hit areas, organized by Rose partners in the North Bacolod Rotary Club. . In addition local networking in S.E.Asia resulted in a hugely generous donation by an Indonesian Alternative Community Technology organization (Kopernik) of 100 large water filtration units which were directly send to the area. Now, Dr Yong himself is there working again with local counterparts, on a combined Rose Charities / Bacolod Rotary Medical missions, travelling by boat to the many outlying islands which to date have been almost untouched by assistance.

pakquake-pirzada (2)2) Experience: Look for organizations with experience in a specific area; Rose Charities volunteers have huge experience in overseas assistance. The whole organization was founded predominantly by field workers disillusioned with the waste, inefficiency and sadly, often frank dishonesty in the ‘aid industry;’ Rose Charities Canada’s volunteers include nurses, doctors, and other health professionals, engineers, accountants, financial managers, lawyers etc. Members from all walks of life and the majority with experience of work overseas in the whole spectrum of activities from immediate emergency to long term. Rose Charities is particularly strong with medical and health care, especially paediatric as many of its members work in this field, several a with the B.C. Children’s Hospital. Unlike some other organizations the organizers of Rose Charities see little demarcation as to what constitutes emergency relief. Millions of children and adults dying from treatable disease, poverty, conflict is equally an emergency to natural environmental disaster. The aim of Rose Charities is simply to help all to whatever degree it is able.

3) Look for track record. Look for organizations with a good track record in humanitarian relief: Rose Charities has a noteworthy track record in humanitarian assistance. These include assistance to Sri Lanka and Indonesia (Tsunami 2004), Pakistan (Earthquake Kashmir 2005), Hurricane Katrina USA 2005, Indonesia Volcano 2009), Sichuan katrina1Earthquake and Myanmar typhoon 2008, Haiti Earthquake 2010 Japan Tohoku Tsunami 2011, Pakistan flood 2012. The common denominator with Rose involvement has been policy of immediately, on the disaster occurring, activating, linking, co-ordinating, or finding local networks which can be supported to provide immediate assistance. This policy allows also the flexibility which can ensure assistance can actually get to areas which may be politically or logistically difficult for other organizations. Only secondarily, and if requested, suggested by the local counterpart is a team directly sent. Where teams have been sent however it has been with the policy of not simply rushing in and out in a matter of months, but staying, funding permitting to help the long-term rebuilding of the area. In Sri Lanka 2005 for example, in the weeks after the tsunami there were dozens of organizations who arrived after Rose Charities team to work in the same area. However, 6 month later around 80 percent of them had departed, a year almost all of them and now, 10 years later Rose remains the only one. In the 10 years however, multiple community support programs have been carried out, including education, medical, poverty reduction etc. In Haiti, program support continues in the area of paediatric nursing training (the nursing training facilities having been destroyed by the earthquake). In Tohoku, work continues through close partners AMDA Japan and the medical center this group has established.

The ‘Charities Watch’ criteria fit Rose exactly. However Rose Charities organizers would add two more

4) Length of mission. As discussed above, many organizations seem to rush in (often with great expense ) distribute a lot of materials (much of which often is not needed, cannot get to the area through logistics difficulties etc. ) stay for a short while then depart very quickly. This can result in actually generating more hardship when supplies and medical services which the community start to depend on, are simply cut off again. Rose Charities aims wherever possible to ‘stay the course’  and help communities rebuild.  Two years after the 2004 Asian Tsuanmi, there were still people in some areas living in tents.  The effects of disaster don’t just to away in a few months.

5) Cost effectiveness. In Sri Lanka 2005 whole hotel floors were being hired by organizations in Colombo. Huge amounts were spent on logistics, salaries of ‘experts’, special transport (rented aircraft etc.). Rose Charities volunteers, are just that, volunteers. They are unpaid donating their time and expertise. While some airfares and some living costs (at local cost levels) are paid for rapid emergency missions, in general Rose Charities operations they are not (volunteers pay their own). Admin. costs are minimal. There are some bank transfer charges, and some low bookkeeping costs (though other accounting is generously donated). In short, Rose Charities is incredibly cost effective. It is no exaggeration, and easily demonstrable that Rose Charities has achieved in emergency situations an equivalent or more than many other organizations spending 10 or 20 times more

6) Credibility   There are  many ways to convey information and it is natural for all organizations to want to put the best mary-er-sllight on their work possible.  However sometimes this means that the information is presented about what is actually being carried out in the field may not correlate with reality. This is not necessarily deliberate, it can be hard for information to get back through various channels and way-stations and remain in its natural form.  In addition there  is great pressure to  ‘get first’ on air and put over a good picture.   There are no simple ways to know whether what is being said is really true or not but it is a very good idea to ask questions where possible.    Rose Charities tries to get publicity too, because it does help to promote our work and elicit donations.  In Rose however if we are assisting an emergency we know that (as outlined above) we already have our delivery mechanism in the field with a local network,  so that whatever donors kindly give, big or small,  will be fed directly into that mechanism to be implemented cost-effectively, where it is needed.