With volunteers Larry and Alex helping Soda since January, the visits have included getting a cherished, but old TV repaired, meeting new people referred from various Phrao sub-districts, and driving to get people to doctor's visits in Phrao and Chiang Mai. The Chiang Mai visits take a whole day, but Soda is helping a family get a boy with a rare disease into the government care system for financial and medical support.
Over the past few months, Lary, Alex, and Soda, our Community Care Manager, have been reviewing and streamlining daily processes and improving data collection. This puts us in a position to expand the program to additional elders and people with homebound disabilities.
We started the process of reviewing the program using the data we had accumulated over the last several years. Which data was useful in providing care, and which data do we need for basic demographics? What steps in the process slow down care and data collection? We cleaned up the historical records and started new surveys and data collection templates. Volunteer, Judith, set up the new database with a phone-accessible web form for data entry. Larry and Alex were able to give an outside perspective and help Soda think through where the team could be more efficient, leveraging volunteers and other staff members to add visits that did not require Soda. The team of volunteers and Soda have completed over fifty baseline surveys of current clients to update their data annually and focus the data collected on each visit.
We're now working in four sub-districts and Soda has a cohort of peers to review those needs and identify the best care. She is working with the heads of public health at the subdistrict level to review the people identified in need of regular visits. She can request visits from Public Health Caregivers to get physical therapy help where needed. Soda and the volunteers cover the unmet needs during regular visits to give cheer and bring supplies, like adult diapers and nutritious food to supplement the meager government pensions.
The Brother Trust has given us a grant to add an assistant for Soda this year. With your gifts to support Soda and the supplies and petrol to run the daily program, we will be able to visit and support the growing elder population in our District.
Thank you for making this possible!
Dana, Michael, Evelind, and the Warm Heart Team
Our Project Access Coordinator, Soda, is out visiting with limited COVID restrictions. Our elders have been enjoying the company of volunteers, after a long pandemic-related hiatus. Our current volunteers are from Canada and Columbia.
We are very grateful to The Brothers Trust for funding a new vehicle (only 10 years old, with low mileage). We found a truck with a covered back, so we can transport our elders and their wheelchairs to doctors' appointments. Our old Suzuki sedan kept going but was in the shop every week and we look forward to reduced repair bills.
The heavy rains drowned our first batch of seedlings to share in the community gardens, but we have more on the way. Our elders and their helpers are starting to get better yields from their kitchen gardens.
Our friends from the mountain village of Siplan came to visit and picked up reading glasses for the hill tribe women who sew traditional embroidered bags. The bags bring them some extra income when they are sold to artisan organizations.
Thank you for making this possible! Your gifts have provided the means to keep this program running. You bring sanitary supplies, food, and smiles to our isolated elders and disabled neighbors.
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Dana, Evelind, Michael, and the Project Access Team
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The villages have opened up again and taken down the COVID checkpoints. People are still catching COVID, but most cases are mild, as the vaccination rate is high in Phrao. Our Project Access Coordinator, Soda, is very careful and stays on top of the local public health network case reporting. With careful protocols, she has been able to maintain her schedule of visits and make sure her constituents are isolated if there are nearby cases. With the easing of travel restrictions we have had a few more volunteers and they have all gone to visit and bring smiles to our neighbors.
The Warm Heart staff and one of our university graduates have been working with Spencer, an organic farming advocate, to assess the Warm Heart farm garden, test new methods, and develop a comprehensive plan. The vision is to improve the soil and use the land more efficiently and intensively. Part of the plan is to share the training and ideas with other farmers in our community. Soda has started a survey of the elders and disabled people that we visit to see if they would like to start their own garden plots. Some already have small gardens that are not producing well and would like our assistance to make the gardens more accessible and improve their yields.
On another note, we were able to refurbish our sedan last year and it has been staying on the road many more days than its predecessor. It has been in the shop for a variety of ailments, not unusual in a car that is 20 years old. Brothers Trust has given us the grant to find a newer vehicle and we think we will have one shortly - Stay tuned!
Thank you for making this possible. Your gifts go to food, hygiene supplies, and the petrol to take these elders to their doctors' appointments.
Best wishes from Dana, Michael, Evelind, Soda,.and our Project Access Community
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