We began the month with a 2-day neo-natal resusitation training by a wonderful Doctor named Arthur Ngoy. He has a passion for NRT and volunteers his free time, along with his Doctor wife, to train nurses and doctors from various clinics around this area. We (LDS Humanitarian Services) provide the registration, all the kits, dolls, booklets, snacks, lunches, and pens, clipboards, etc. At the end of each day we print out a special certificate for each participant. Certificates are very important here. In the picture to the right, Dr. Ngoy is the man in the blue shirt in the foreground demonstrating the procedure. I wish I had the figures to share with you of how many newborns who weren't breathing have survived because of this simple procedure, taught to Dr. Ngoy by US doctors at a training several years ago. It is a perfect project because it is self-pertpetuating. The trainers go back to their clinics and train others, who then train even more individuals. We loved the experience!
Far right is just an awesome tree in a botanical garden.
This is going to be an official sewing project for the 6 stakes in Kinshasa. We provide 20 sewing machines and some notions and fabric for each stake. A volunteer teaches the women to sew so they can have a marketable skill. This is for both LDS and non-LDS student.s Note that the machines are hand-crank and tredle. No electricity.
Below is a Christmas Day parade! Some church here observes the holiday on May 25 each year and goes all out with the green dresses and whistles and bells.
Above is a typical Kinshasa river. We have seen people do laundry and collect drinking water from such places. See why our Clean Water Projects are our favorites?
Here are two men carrying a load of foam mattresses on their backs. A common sight. These people work very hard doing what has to be done without a murmur!
When we first passed by this man below, he was sound asleep with his arm out, begging for money. When we came back, he had awakened.
Below is a little bit of the insect life in Kinshasa. Luckily we did not find Mr. Big Beetle in our apartment, but outside one of our Church buildings. Thought the grandsons would enjoy this!
Some of my favorite guys: Elder B, with Brother Bekele (remember his story?), Dede standing behind him interpreting for us, and the engineer for Bro. Bekele's water project, Alain. We were discussing how to implement their project and actually increase it from 6 wells to 9 plus a rainwater catchment system at a local school and 10 new latrines. (toilets). It will be a great project and we are about ready to submit it. Wish us luck! We reward ourselves with chocolate when a project is approved. Sure could use some chocolate soon!
Brother Bekele and his adorable wife. He always brings her with him when we have a meeting. She is the mom of 6 children and looks like she's about 20. We communicate with smiles. Isn't hers a great one?
Here are the existing latrines at a school of 650 students. Only 4, and they are not toilets, they are primitive holes in the ground. And no water at the school. We are proposing to build 8 or 10 more latrines and provide water by adding a gutter along the lower edge of a roof and collect rainwater into tanks, to be used for handwashing. Also included in the project will be some Health and Hygiene training.
One other project we have already had approved is to provide funds to the Operation Smile organization so the patients at the hospital here where they receive their cleft palate or lip surgery can have meals. (The hospitals here do not provide food for their patients). Operation Smile came to us because another organization had been giving them the money for these meals in the past, but cancelled out this year at the last minute. We thought this would never be approved because it is a "give away", which does not fit the criteria for Humanitarian Services. But the Area wanted us to do it, so the criteria gets bybassed and we get to give $5000 for those meals.
Another project we are working madly on right now is the Wheelchair Initiative. We find a partner (in this case the Minister of Health) who agrees to our US people coming in and doing a 4-day training on teaching the selected PTs here on how to assess the needs of a poor person with a spinal cord injury and then write a prescription for the correct wheelchair. There are also US wheelchair technicians who will train the Congolese technicians on how to adjust and fit those chairs to the recipient. Then he/she is given the wheelchair. About 300 special wheelchairs are being shipped in from China or Vietnam. Unfortunately, our little wheelchair business here can't build the type of chairs we need. Elder B and I will be in charge of the logistics for the training, as well as writing up the project.
So you can see we have lots of projects in various stages of completion, and finally feel we almost know what we are doing, thanks to a lot of wonderful people who have trained us and are constantly answering our phone calls and e-mails.
And finally, another look at a major highway in Kinshasa, and the cheap way to get from one place to another. As Elder Richardson, our Area Welfare Specialist, said when he was visiting here with us last week from Johannesburg to train us, "Kinshasa has 14 million people, and at any given time there are 7 million people crossing the street in front of you." True true. Sorry there are no goats on top of this one, but that is not uncommon.
We love it here!!! Have a wonderful week............