East Tibet. I got out of our 4x4, in the thin air by the side of the rutted muddy road near Rijie. About 10 Surmang Foundation Community Health Workers (CHWs) were waiting. No training program, no money, no pregnant women. Just us. Khampa Tibetans are very straightforward so I asked them, “If you could change anything about our work, what would it be?”
One, Palmo, stepped forward and spoke, shouting, almost crying. “You should have started 10 years earlier! So many mothers and babies who died, would be walking the earth with their loved ones now!”
I was speechless. We started a program in an area that had among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. 1 in 15 pregnant women would die before or during delivery, 3x more dangerous than being a US soldier in Afghanistan. 1 in 5 babies would die before their second birthday. These are women and children who otherwise have no access to hospitals or doctors.
Now in our Surmang area, your support has resulted in our 40 CHWs having reduced maternal mortality to zero and drastically reducing infant mortality. This is because of your help; please continue.
Maybe you’ve read the stories in the newspapers about Tibet and you feel helpless. Here is something you can do to save lives. Your contributions, no matter what size, have a big impact. Please make a year-end gift so that we can continue to support the life-saving work of Palmo and 39 others like her in Tibet.
Please visit http://surmang.org/get_involved/donate.html and help out, make a donation via groundspring.
We are small, with no big marketing budget. Every dollar, every yuan Renminbi, every euro counts. Yet we’ve delivered great value – our cost/birth is $130, which is about ½ of similar organizations in Africa. A gift of $130 pays for one birth. A gift of $50 supports a well-baby exam. $25 purchases a clean delivery kit.
Make your tax-deductible donation now:
through Globalgiving; Groundspring; or Paypal.
Thanks for your attention.
You can contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or at home in China:
+8610 6456 7767, via my Chinese cell phone +86138 0138 8266, leave a message in the USA: (888) 439 9991or write Julie Carpenter: Juliet@indra.com
The 3 Modi Schools are located in the Yushu Prefecture, a 100% ethnic Khampa Tibetan region of China. This place is part of the ultra-poor region of China, where the farmers and nomads earn less than US14¢/day. We had thought about extending health education to the children of Modi, but when we first saw the condition of the schools, we realized that it was impossible to teach the children hygiene when there are mud floors and walls; when they sit on tree stumps instead of chairs; where windows have no glass.
As a result of the generosity of the patrons of Globalgiving, as well as the PTA Charity Bazaar of the Western Academy of Beijing, and Nike (China) in one year we were able to:
+put in wood floors, ceilings
+add desks and chairs
+add double-paned windows
+contribute new down jackets
+give pencils, notebooks, crayons
+feed the 10 or so children who don't have enough to eat
+tile the outside of the buildings
+give each child toothpaste, and a toothbrush
+add a new yak-dung burning stove
The result is that the children are proud and energetic learners. In fact the three schools have become the pride of their communities. In the future we plan on adding a shower and toilet as well as a football (soccer) pitches.
With the help of donors from Globalgiving.org, we have made a giant step in our model project at the Modie Schools. These are the schools of: Modi, Tsokey, Dulong and Seche.
--installed wooden flooring
--put in walls and ceilings
--put stoves in every room
--replaced the tree stumps with chairs and desks
--provided notebooks and pencils to every student
--provided meals to 6 children who don't have enough food
--provided clothing for the Tibetan winter
--installed double-paned windows
--painted the outside of the buildings
Surmang Foundation has also created a written curriculum and textbook for teaching hygiene and pubic health in the Modi schools. These will be taught by SF community health workers -- local women (and men) who act as an invaluable outreach arm of the clinic.
In addition Dr. Phuntsok Dongdrup, Clinic Director, makes regular visits to the schools to assist in health promotion and primary care.
The assessment for the Public School Health Education Project was completed about a month ago --we decided that it was impossible to teach students to brush their teeth, wash their hands before eating, wear clean clothing, when they had no clean clothing, and they learned in a dirt-floored one-room classroom with tree stumps for chairs and windows that have no glass.
We also decided to create a football pitch and with the help of Nike, will provide them with soccer balls, shoes and uniforms.
It seems that we have to raise the whole sea to move this little boat. When we've done that, in July we can begin to train the Community Health Workers to teach health education. This whole project has definite parameters --unlike our other clinic projects-- and we should be able to see results this year.
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