Friends of Humanity

Friends of Humanity SA is a Geneva-based non-profit organization supporting initiatives and projects in five essential areas: - Human rights and dignity - Education and training - Healthcare and medicine (including alternative medicine) - Environmental protection and conservation - Microfinance
Sep 23, 2013

A Soup Kitchen To Feed The Homeless

The spring and the summer has been a very busy period of fixing all external fixtures of windows, walls, gates and the face lift of painting these areas as well to further preserve them. The extreme winters of Mongolia, with Ulaanbaatar earmarked as one of the coldest city of this world is very hard on any property.

Before we can take a break from these activities, the season is upon us to make the yearly preparations of the heating system for this winter. It is my hope and prayer that it will not be as extreme as the last one, which many of us have come to identiy as one of the coldest winters.

The central heating system of the city of Ulaanbaatar is already on but our soup kitchen located on the outskirts of the city and in the much poorer districts, lacks the access to the central heating system. We have to make provisions for our own heating and so we are abiding a time for it to get colder before we incur the costs of heating.

The spring time labour of planting our own vegetable garden with some of the more expensive varieties of vegetables has saved us from purchasing a huge amount of vegetables and also to relish in the taste of a variety of vegetables that are usually beyond our budget. The planting of the traditional medicinal tree of Sea Buckthorn on the property has been a source of great satisfaction and pride. It will be a few years before we get to pick any berries because of the very short growing season that prevails Mongolia.

By the end of August, 2013 we have served over 12,250 hot meals. The meals served during the spring and the summer have been all vegetarian, except on those occassions when people have donated meat specially for the soup kitchen.

The month of August 2013 also oversaw a huge preventive medical check-up for the homeless beneficiaries of the Soup Kitchen. This was done by the Enerel Hospital.

  • 33 of these people underwent biochemical test for liver function and joint ailment diagnostics.
  • Finger stick blood testing was performed and
  • Ultra-sound scan of internal organs and women's reproductive organs was done on 26 people.

The check-up revealed the following:

  • Chronic kidney conditions found in 20 persons
  • Cardiovascular conditions in 24 persons
  • Digestive tract conditions in 33 persons
  • Psychiatric or nervous system conditions in 25 persons
  • Joints ailments in 10 persons
  • Eye diseases in 2 persons
  • STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in 9 persons
  • Systemic disorders of 2 and more organs in 23 persons

Of these people 15 were prescribed hospitalization, 9 of them have been hospitalized, 6 are waiting due to Enerel Hospital's carrying capacity.

In the month of August the Soup Kitchen was blessed by the visit of Lama Zopa Rinpoche who is not only our major donar but also instrumental for the inception and inspiration of the soup kitchen in Mongolia. Rinpoche has left us with instructions for further improvements in the way we do things at the soup kitchen, which we hope to implement in the near future.

Jul 18, 2013

Description of the project activities and expected outcomes

To achieve its objective of accommodating 450 students in 2016, Maison Shalom must be supported by outside investments. The International School receives no public funding, just the help of the parents. The Maison Shalom France and the Bridderlech Deelen Foundation of Luxembourg have designated funds for the construction of new classroom buildings.

Friends of Humanity will support the development and expansion of the school through the following activities:

  • The development recreational activities: in tandem with traditional education, it is imperative that students participate in recreational and athletic activities, which encourages community dynamics. We will support the construction of a playground for elementary students, including the construction of a basketball court and a volleyball court 
  • The development of new classrooms: the purchase of 135 bench desks for nine new primary classrooms in anticipation of the 2013 school year and increases in staff and students. The desks are constructed by local artisans 
  • Access to technological tools: the purchase of 37 computers for a computer room for student and staff use, which will allow students to become familiar with technology in order to prepare for their futures. The computers will be used by students in grades 4 through 8 
  • Books for learning and teaching: the purchase of 195 books will include books for teachers, textbooks, and reading books. Currently, books are printed and photocopied by hand at the St. Paul Library in Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital city. The new books will be imported.These actions will complete the action of other partners, who have taken charge of the construction of new classrooms.

Expected Outcomes by 2016

  1. The education of 450 each year who are well-prepared for secondary education 
  2. 12 classrooms built and well-equipped with furniture and learning materials 
  3. A recreational space for 450 children

In addition to the education of children, the prosperity of the school will have other positive effects:

  • Creating employment for at least 30 teachers and other persons 
  • Stimulation of the local economy: creating demand for furniture, school supplies, office supplies, and other items from local artisans and merchants 
  • Stabilization of families, who will no longer need to live separately in order to send their children to good schools 
  • Stabilization of the Maison Shalom staff ,who will be motivated to work in a place where their children receive an excellent education

Long-term Impacts

  1. Increased success rates in national examinations for children from rural and semi-urban areas 
  2. Increased number of young people who complete primary education with an intellectual background enabling them to succeed in secondary education. Currently, the average age of a new university graduate is 30 years due to repetition. This age may go down to 25 if children are correctly trained from the beginning of their education 
  3. Increase in the number of families willing to work and stay in Ruyigi.

We hope that this report will show you how your generous donations will be spent.

Thank you again for your support !!

Friends of Humanity Team

Jul 8, 2013

Meeting with Alex Zahnd

Friends of Humanity (FOH) met (via skype) with Alex Zahnd, director of RIDS-Nepal in order to follow the implementation of the project.

We are pleased to share with you the content of the interview.

FOH: How many Family of 4 Projects do you currently have up and running?

Alex: I have been in Nepal for 28 years, my goal is to participate in the development of the poorest of the poor…the people of Nepal have seen many ‘white elephant’ projects, they’re finished reports are written pictures of smiling faces but by two years later there isn’t development…Rural Integrated Development Services began in 2005 (2002 in Nepal, different calander)…approaches are skewed towards immediate impact—short term, their approach is long term, holistic issues and needs to be met

Alex: Current villages we are working in are 17 days by foot or a one hour flight then 1-2 days walk…Nepal Gange (google earth video should be up and running in the next few days)

Implementation of Family of Four

-Pit latrine, always the first element of the family of four, is about 200 CHF including transport, cement and installation (per home)

-Smokeless metal stove is roughly 200 CHF (per home)

-Solar home system 450 CHF (solar photovoltaic and LED lights) (per home)

-Drinking water system depends very much on village size, water spring source, how high the source is above the village

-Selects two members of the community to become experts on the projects so they know what to do if something goes wrong in the future…entire community is encouraged to participate as much as possible, required to do much of the manual labor

Latest Projects

2011 planned Araporie Village 60,000 CHF for 15 homes covers air transport and installation

Average cost of water systems is anywhere between 900 CHF-13,000 CHF per household

AVERAGE TOTAL BUDGET: 1950 PER HOUSEHOLD

Final Thoughts

RIDS really needs funds for follow up projects, has donors pretty much set for 2011…has no partners for 2012 onward, really looking for committed 5 year partners.

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