Why we do what we do
Hello and Happy Fall!
We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the gorgeous October weather. We have a lot to share with you all, but first and foremost, we'd like to thank you for continuing to follow our project, even if you just stop by to take a peek at new pictures or reports every now and then. We really appreciate it and are so excited to share our project and our partnership with you!
We also have some HUGE NEWS - we've been discussing with RVCP members about holding a Winter Initiative in addition to our usual initiative in the summer. Holding a Winter Initiative would mean that we would double the number of mothers that would receive goats and plots of land to farm for profit, feed their families, and propel the sustainability of the project. The total cost for funding the Winter Initiative is $3,781 and we've been brainstorming ways to make this happen.
So here's the big news: a donor has agreed to completely fund our Winter Initiative!!! This is so exciting and we are extremely grateful for your generosity. For those of you who may be new supporters of our project, the Winter Initiative consists of hosting about 12 education sessions for mothers at the Huye Health Clinic about nutrition, education, hygiene, etc. that the women can apply to themselves and their families (especially their children). The women who attend a majority of these sessions are eligible to receive one goat and one plot of land for a year with which they can feed their children and sell excess crops and milk for a profit. At the end of one year, the women return one goat from the original goat's litter and a portion of their profits from farming to the clinic. This serves as their health insurance for the clinic and helps the sustainability of the program by helping to pay for the next group of women. GlobeMed at GW started working on this program with RVCP two years ago and have since called the program the Maternal Health Education Program.
Because we now have the funding to sponsor the Winter Initiative, we can now focus on our partner's most immediate need and purpose all of our energy towards accomplishing our next goal. The clinic is in desperate need of two new delivery rooms. As of now, there is one delivery room and one maternity ward at the Huye Health Clinic. The delivery room has only one bed while the maternity ward has three beds. Because this maternity ward supports on average 50 births per month, women often end up delivering on the beds in the maternity ward. Eliphaz, the Head Coordinator at RVCP, has even told us many times about situations where as many as five women come to the clinic in labor at once. The addition of two new delivery rooms will provide the much needed space to support the needs of expecting mothers who come to the clinic.
Building these rooms will cost about $12,000 as they are being built from the ground up. We're excited about getting to work on meeting our fundraising goals to make this dream a reality, but we could use some guidance in terms of contacts - who would be willing to donate medical supplies to the clinic, or who would be able to point us in the right direction.
Our last bit of RVCP-related news is that we've made some additions to our GlobalGiving Page! Pacifique and Emmanuel have created pages for their own projects within the realm of RVCP. These projects are HIV/AIDS avoidance in 150 Village Young People and Strengthen Hand Washing to 800 Children in Rwanda. Please click through these pages to learn a bit more about their projects and support their cause!
As far as news of our chapter at GW goes, we have had several successful events so far this year! We've had our RwandArt Sale, a bake sale, and our Hydrate for Humanity campaign. To promote team building, we also had our first all-staff retreat last weekend at Summit Lake in Emmittsburg, Maryland where we learned about our partner, new marketing strategies, and each other. Coming up, we are hosting a bar night at Rugby in Georgetown and are currently working on a new awareness event where we will be exhibiting a photo gallery of 6-8 Rwandan mothers who have participated in MHEP and tell their stories through pictures and accounts that our GROW team learned over the summer. The photo gallery exhibit will take place on November 18th from 9am-4pm in Kogan Plaza and admission is free so come learn about our beneficiaries in greater detail!
That's all of the updates we have for now but thanks for reading and as always, we are truly truly grateful for your support. We'll write again soon and stay posted for our Global Giving Holiday Campaign (where we will also be partnering with Beth Springer Hand Bags)! As always, feel free to email us =)
Much GlobeMed Love,
Eliza Mette and Melissa Wong