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.

Philippines relief update: Rose Charities medical missions to north Negros Island and isolated outlying islands

montage-haiyan

 

Rose Charities Dr Collin Yong, currently carrying out medical relief along the north coast of Negros Island.  Missions carried out to Cadiz City as well as some of the small isolated islands which to date have had almost no relief.  Images above include Lakawon Island

DONATIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED

Neonatal Resuscitation Course Haiti: March 2013.. … Linda and Andrew Warner write…

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.



Linda-Hard to believe I am back in Port-au-Prince for the fourth time since the big earthquake in January of 2010. I am grateful to be part of a Rose Charities sustainable project to facilitate a neonatal resuscitation course, as previously requested by many health care professionals in Haiti. On my trip last year I saw firsthand the need for neonatal support, as 5 babies died on my unit in a week at the hospital. Even though the care there was excellent, financial resources are limited, and the staff can benefit from supportive education, equipment and facilitation of resources. Rose Charities is building upon several other trips of surveying Haitian doctors and nurses, networking and teaching certification classes to now offer another day of certifying several trainers, and two full days of teaching a standardized neonatal resuscitation course to approximately 70 nurses and doctors from various hospitals in Haiti to improve care for infants and neonates in Haiti.  I am thrilled to have my 15 year old son Andrew with me filming a documentary about this project, and he is very excited to be here (it is great he speaks French!).  My heart was warm as we flew in today, and I was pleased to see that the airport has been completely renovated since I was here last April, further evidence that positive change is possible and it is real.

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Andrew – Today was “preparation day” for the big week ahead. I have to say it feels weird staying in an almost resort-looking type of place, when there’s so much else outside these gates that I am blind to. I was expecting to arrive at a dirt airport, then drive over to some small house to sleep on the floors. As  per usual in life, nothing is as expected. First of all the airport had a baggage system similar to ours with air-conditioned rooms and even a duty-free store, and considering I was expecting rubble, this was a huge difference. My mom said there have been huge renovations since she was here last, which seems like a good thing. Living in this… Resort/Hotel/Lodge… When there is so much poverty outside, feels wrong. I would feel so much better if I wasn’t so secluded from everyone, I wish I could live with the people rather than safely here. I have to say today was very relaxing though, it gave me a chance to rest from travel before the interviews ahead. I am so relieved to finally be able to stay in this beautiful country of Haiti, however even here, I am still facing first world problems and sometimes don’t realize that I am making them. Things like ” no wifi ” and ” uncharged electronics” really make me feel bad when I see people who have hardly anything living in tiny tents and sheds. I am excited for the week ahead and can’t wait to see and explore more of this amazing country.

 

Wed, March 13, 2013

Linda-the teaching has begun and we are bursting at the seams, having had to turn away many doctors and nurses from this neonatal resuscitation course. The first day was “training the trainers”,  11 doctors and nurses who are assisting with two full days of teaching fresh students! This was a crazy day…on a break we were getting a tour of the hospital and happened upon a 27 week old premie that was blue and in severe distress. Our team sprang  into action and got that baby’s little heart beating again!  Sadly, the baby will not likely make it as there are many other complications, but it was a good team effort, and reminder of what is possible with adequate education and equipment.
Today was a full day of teaching doctors and nurses the NRP course, and we put to good use the trainers we taught on the first day.  The students are so keen and appreciative of the course it is a joy to facilitate!  Andrew and Michael interviewed the head of Pediatrics along with a nurse and 2 pediatric residents, who they had very distinct and insightful observations about health care in Haiti and how best to support it (stay tuned!).
Tonight I ate giraumon (pumpkin) soup, a Haitian specialty dish, and it was delicious! Although I am not a beer fan, I am loving the Haitian beer Prestige in the heat after a long day! My sister and nephew tried to order the Haitian delicacy of cabrite, or goat, but alas they were out :).  We also met up with Einstein Albert, who brought his beautiful Haitian bowls to sell. My new friends Doctors Marie-Josee and Genevieve from Montreal have been amazing instructors of the NRP course, and on top of keeping me in stitches have improved my French immensely!

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Andrew– this week was great. Tuesday, started us off filming at Dr. Lerebours’ office at Hopital Communaute Haitienne, where my mother worked right after the earthquake. Had a great interview with her and it was awesome to see her perspective. She also brought in a family with a Down’s syndrome child for me to interview. After about an hour we went with Jackie LeBrom on a tour around the city. Having lived in Haiti for around 15 years as a tour guide, she really knows her stuff. It was really awesome to see how much history that the country has, and yet very few realize it or even appreciate it. Haiti really is more beautiful than people realize. It is also a country with so any opposites, like poverty and beauty, people in desperation and people with hope. The sights, smells and sounds are also very intense and contradictory, like the smell of delicious food at the same time as rotting garbage piled high on the sidewalk. I kept thinking there was a fire outside every day until I realized it was the coal they cook with as so many of them do not have ovens, let alone homes. I watched a group burn tires as an act of protest. I thought that in a country with a culture so unique to the rest, even the protesters were different from any I have ever heard of. I had a good interview later with Jackie, especially with her outside perspectives.
     The next day we spent filming RoseCharities’ neonatal resuscitation program interviewing students and doctors all around. It was an experience unlike any other to be able to feel progress almost as if it were tangible, mainly because the impact is so lasting, and the students in theclass were so appreciative. I am also so thankful for our healthcare here in Canada. I have to say it is crazy to be able to watch this develop as we are educating future pediatricians and doctors to actually be able to save babies’ lives when it wasn’t always possible before.
     Now we are in Wahoo Bay, enjoying the ocean’s wind and the marvellous sunset, here is truly one of the places where Haitian beauty is easily seen.
Sincerely,
     -Andrew Warner

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Linda-well, we took the weekend off to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of Haiti and the turquoise sea at Wahoo Bay! Beautiful gardens, fresh seafood, friendly people, Haitian music and lots of time to relax! Unfortunately, Andrew had gastro for half of the weekend, but my little filmmaker has been a real trooper! Wahoo Bay is about an hour from Port-au-Prince, and the resort is part of a rebranding program for emphasizing the positive facets of Haiti, for which there are many. As we have traveled through the streets, I am thrilled to see so much improvement and development since I was here following the earthquake three years ago! Many foreign countries have been frustrated with not seeing immediate change in response to a lot of donations, but in a country with little infrastructure one needs to have patience, and more importantly, faith. The people here have such a desire to participate in change, but it takes time, money, education, facilitation of skills and equipment, and above all, it is important to ask the Haitians themselves their priorities and needs, instead of a multitude of well meaning NGOs storming in with contradictory ideas and assumptions. It’s all about empowerment. The philosophy with Rose Charities has been focused on “a hand up, not a hand out” and “teaching a man to fish”, based on a needs assessment survey to the Haitians themselves, and that is why I am proud to be part of this project.
 
      

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013-Lespwa

Linda-these are the faces, the hearts that haunt my soul…the reason I come back to Haiti…again, and again, and again, and again. Since visiting the beauty of the sea on the weekend, we have traveled to film at several hospitals in Port-au-Prince. We interviewed nurses, pediatricians and medical directors, along with families whose children have conditions that are usually treatable, fixable, or preventable in Canada. We wanted to assess the greatest needs for health care according to the people of Haiti, and to gain insight as to how we can best support that as a country, as a charity organization, and as fortunate human beings that are blessed to have just been born in a different place.
As much as my friends back home have nicknamed me “the Icewoman” for rarely shedding a tear back home, I cannot say the same is true in Haiti. It broke my heart to see children with hydrocephalus (swelling on the brain) that could have been easily prevented with access to a neurosurgeon, to see babies with disease related to malnutrition simply because they were starving, children with typhoid or other vaccine preventable diseases, and babies that didn’t survive simply because the doctors and nurses who are keen to learn do not have the training or the equipment to save these lives. The little baby I hold in the photo above has spina bifida, and his surgery was delayed for over a month because Haiti has no pediatric neurosurgeons. The worried mom was overjoyed when I told her my beautiful 17 year old niece Katie also has spina bifida, and has a wonderful life, playing sports and doing well at school with a gazillion friends, and that she even just got her driver’s license with an adapted car! Our discussion gave this mom hope, which in Creole is “lespwa”, and that is the basis of survival for this nation.

Makenai-zou: “The resolute Elephant”

Makenai-zou is the the small towel you see in the image. It is made by the survivors of the 2011 Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami as well as previous natural disasters, such as the Hanshin-Awaji 1995, and Niigata -Chuetsu earthquakes of 2004. “Makenai-zou” means “We will carry on” in Japanese. The Zou in the compound word also means Elephant, so it rounds out the pun and resolute, yet friendly, image of the elephant moving forwards, despite all.

AMDA Canada has obtained some of these Makenai-zou towels and they will be on sale at the upcoming fundraising Rutsuko Yamagishi Concert in Vancouver Cathedral on 25th April 2012

For ordering such towels please contact ngo@pure.ne.jp or see www.pure.ne.jp/~ngo/

Vancouver Spring Cathedral Concert for Tohoku-Japan…

Vancouver is known for its cherry blossoms and late-April is when they get going ! Come and see them and come to our wonderful concert. Rutsuku Yamagishi is one of the worlds great pianists. One of Rutsukos beliefs is that performances should be live only – thus she rarely (if ever) will perform for recordings in studios..

Tribute, one year on, to to those who helped Tohoku

11th March 2011:  Around 3.30 pm tsunami hits the Tohoku region of Japan.  20,000 people die; the region is utterly devastated..

The directors of Rose Charities and AMDA Canada pay tribute to…

The AMDA Japan emergency relief teams who were in the region within hours of the disaster.  Day by day more AMDA personnel, nurses, physicians, logisticians, counselor teams were sent to the area who fanned out into all the affected regions to provide emergency relief, shelter and support.  At the same time tons of materials, supplies from all over Japan were shipped in by the truckload

The AMDA relief work still continues, now more in the form of community rehabilitation, school assistance and health clinics

The people of Vancouver, Steveston, and Richmond BC. who, through two fundraisers partly  assisted by Rose Charities Canada and AMDA Canada, as well as a general appeal contributed some $85000 to the AMDA relief efforts. These included  $10,000 from the Johrei Fellowship, Richmond, and over $19,000 from Aero Trading Co. Ltd. (aerovan@aerotrading.ca). A fundraising dinner put on by CIEAF, Stevesdon Community Center, Steveston Buddhist Temple and Kayama Enterprises Ltd, raised $35000 (see photo right).  A second fundraiser,  including sales of photographs donated of the Tohoku region,  put on my Ms’s Mari Myiasaka and Tsuneko Ishii and sponsored by the Fraser Magazine (www.thefraser.com) raised around $15,000


The people of Sechelt and Sunshine Coast .B.C. who, though a beautifully organized fundraiser partly by the renowned Garden Bay artist Motoko  (www.motokoart.com ) raised around $15000  for both the Red Cross and AMDA relief efforts

The UK Shiatsu groups (many) and  Shiatsu Society UK  who donated generously via Rose Charities UK to the AMDA relief effort

To all you people who rose to assistance of the suffering of the people of the Tohoku region in Japan, we thank you. Your generosity will not be forgotten.


And to the people of Tohoku:  we salute your quiet bravery and your dignity.  It is almost impossible to imagine  your losses, but we are with you and will remain with you in our thoughts.  You are inspirational in the visage that you have shown to the world in this terrible time. 







International Womens Day !

Rose Charities Celebrates International Womens Day.. !


Sri Lanka:   Young Women’s Clubs –  8 villages,   Girls sports programs ,  Women’s University Scholarship Program,  Women’s Livelihood Groups (Women’s Support and Women’s Vocational Training.     www.rosesrilanka.info

Pakistan:   Frontier Primary Health Care support of  Traditional Birth Attendant training program   www.hmef.info

Cambodia: ‘Access for All’  program for disabled womens education, support and vocational training   http://rosecambodia.org

Afghanistan:  Tabish-Rose Charities Training Women’s Health and Computer training program’s  www.hmef.info

Guatemala:  Safe Motherhood women’s birth attendant and women’s health programs   www.safemotherhoodproject.org

Zambia:  Womens income generation programs   http://malambograssroots.ca

Haiti:  Women’s neonatal nursing training  www.rosehaiti.info

World Birth aid pack
saves countless lives

We also wish to laud the women’s programs Rose  has been privileged to have supported, partnered  or planned with, in the past (and perhaps the future too!)  including  the Lumbini Program for training of Women Village Eye Screeners  www.lei.org.np   and the remarkable  ‘WBDI’ Organization in Samoa,  www.womeninbusiness.ws  the One in Three Women Organization (Seattle)  www.oneinthreewomen.com and  World Birth Aid (Seattle)  www.worldbirthaid.org

 

Haiti Cholera Relief 2010.
Dr Amy Osborne

The organizers of Rose Charities also pay tribute and gratitude to the professional women volunteers (nurses, physicians, counselors, logisticians etc) who have contributed over 50% of involvement, organization and sustainability of emergency relief and ‘post-relief’ operations Rose Charities and close partners AMDA have played over the years.  Their magnificent work has helped tens of thousands of victims in many parts of the globe.

Hurricane Katrina 2005
R.N.Kirsten Reems
2004 Asian Tsunami Sri Lanka
R.N.Mary Spencer
Japan Eathquake/Tsunami 2011