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Jan 31, 2019

Surgeries and Support Groups

Since our last report our Community Based Rehabilitation team has been focused on preparing and caring for our clients who received surgeries in January through a partner and moving towards more community involvement and support in this project.

22 of our clients were able to get surgeries this month and we are now walking with each of them and their families to make sure they recover well and stay on the path towards full rehabilitation.   They were incredibly thankful for the procedures offered as well as the loving care they were given during the whole process.

We are also working to implement a family and peer group curriculum that will give our clients and their families the tools and empowerment they need for ongoing care and for supporting others in their community.  Our hope is that this will build stronger relationships and increase the capacity of our clients to also serve others where they live who have needs.  When we first brought this phase of the project up with our clients, they didn't seem very excited about it.  However, as our team visited each family, many more than expected expressed their desire to be involved, some stating that it is because of the trust they have in us that has been built over a long period of sincere, consistent care for them.

Jan 16, 2019

What happened? What's next?

 

 

As the snow begins to pile up in the Pamirs (nearly 1m now) it is a good time to reflect on the last three months and how your donations have been put to work:

 

High Altitude Agriculture

Racing against the oncoming snow, the greenhouse project team have been very busy. Since the last report they have held training on vegetable preservation for the schools that we have supported in building greenhouses. This year our existing partners preserved more than 468 KG of vegetables between them. Next year we hope that the four schools we work with will be able to add to this total, providing vegetables to children throughout the winter.

 

They were also busy collecting the results of this year’s harvest. In total, more that 3,200 KG of produce was harvested across the 19 greenhouses. Some of these greenhouses were only completed half way through the growing season, so the harvest of any vegetables at all is a huge triumph.

 

The greenhouse guys teamed up with the fruit project to carry out a pruning training for greenhouse partners and their neighbours who were interested. This came from a request by one of our partners who has used money earned from his greenhouse to plant an orchard.

 

Orchard Improvement and Fruit Processing

When they weren’t helping out their friends on the greenhouse project, the fruit team spent the majority of their time meeting up with partners, who are juicing, in order to get a count of how much was made in 2018.  They also discussed goals, what went well, and what could be improved.

 

They followed up with groups who have been pruning this year and/or have been experimenting with managing pests. 

 

Community Health

The health team have completed a block of fourteen lessons with village women helping the health workers learn the techniques and topics needed for them to do this independently of Operation Mercy in the future. They also held one-off sessions for nurses they previously worked with on pre-eclampsia, a much misunderstood condition; and sessions for mother-in-laws, who are the gatekeepers of knowledge and change in the family, on issues they have raised as being important.

 

2019

There is much excitement over what 2019 holds. The health project, amongst many other things, is excited about the opportunities to train health workers in regional hospitals on the basic topics they have been covering in villages and instilling in them the value of health education. The High Altitude Agricultural project is excited about the new composting and soil care component they are planning, that could begin to revolutionise the way waste organic matter is dealt with from the bazaar in Khorog. The fruit project is excited about extending the benefits of juicing to new and more remote communities and seeing the ‘Tree for Tree’ programme increasing the number of fruit trees in the Pamirs.

 

We couldn’t do any of this without your support!

Dec 20, 2018

End of year 2018. Looking back, looking ahead.

2018 has been a year full of visits, learning, and serving our clients with all our hearts.  Some days are difficult but we press forward and are encouraged when we see improvement in a client's condition because it gives them and their family great joy and hope to stay on the path to greater rehabilitation and involvment in community life.  We have had several health professionals partner with us to serve clients including a new foreign staff member join our team long term.  We are looking forward to next year, continuing to serve 120+ families and we will be working to train them to care for each other and building community and support among families facing similar situations, and are currently preparing for a surgical team that will be coming in January to treat at least 10 of our clients which we look forward to reporting on!

A recent success story:

On our first visit with Rahma, who we knew had disability in her lower extremities, we found her unable to move, stand up, or perform any daily activities. Her father said that he has always been impacted whenever he sees a disable person. “God gave me two disabled persons in my family; my daughter and my mother” he said, as his is mother is also not able to walk or speak. A doctor taught us how to help her through physical therapy and we have followed her case and visited her twice a week. Initially we were doing the exercises for her as she had no ability to do the exercises by herself because her body was cramped and heavy. Rahma was completely depressed with no hope in life or even desire to improve. We added to the encouragement of her loving father and supportive mother to try to give her hope to move forward.

We taught the family how to do the exercises with Rahma and told them that the exercises should be done three times every day and identified long and short-term objectives which we shared with her mother and sister. We encouraged them and communicated the importance of their role in Rahma’s progress and we soon began to notice gradual physical and emotional improvement.

After a while her legs became strong and flexible enough for her to walk using a walker. Her mother was elated when she saw her daughter’s progress and was encouraged to start taking even better care of Rahma. Her mother told us that Rahma loves us so much and she can’t wait for the days when we go and visit her. “I don’t want you to leave and I feel sad when I don’t see you” Rahma said.

As her flexibility and strength improved enough, we taught her how to do the exercises by herself without any help. At first she complained that it was too difficult for her to do them on her own. However, we explained to her that doing them on her own would produce even more flexibility and strength. Rahma welcomed our encouragement to persevere and we coached her to use a rope to help pull her feet and legs during the exercises. After consistent attempts she was soon able to do the exercises on her own. Though it was difficult initially, with persistent effort and encouragement over the course of a month Rahma was able to walk one step which was fabulous! It was a joy to watch her reach this target. We knew it was important to focus on strengthening and stretching her legs and back so that she could walk more easily. The doctor recommended making two pillows filled with sand the help stretch her legs and gave us helpful exercises for her back. Her mother had the pillows made on her own and we were able to get to work right away, thanks to her mother’s care and persistence.

One day during a visit, she enthusiastically said, “I have a surprise for you guys!” The surprise was wonderful! She stood up on her own and took three steps without any support or help! Her parents exclaimed: “If you guys hadn’t come into our life and followed up on her her condition she would not have reached this point.” It brought us all great joy that we could work together to help this precious girl move from being laid flat on her bed, hopeless and disabled to walking, learning to read and write, and helping her mom wash the dishes! We will continue to visit and work with her and her family to see even greater progress.

Thank you for your partnership in changing lives like Rahma's! 

 

 
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