"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
The community came out to participate in our 3rd Sanitation Clean Up Project. This year we purchased more wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, and brooms. During the year members from neighbouring areas borrow the supplies to client up their neighborhoods.
While in Senegal, we had to conduct the business part of our work. This was a meeting with the Deputy Mayor at the Mayor's Office. We were discussing the land that the Mayor has donated for the building of the Japplante Women's Skill/Community Center. After the meeting with the Deputy Mayor, the Mayor called us back to his office to meet with him in person. We are so elated by his generous donation. Following the meeting we visited the site of the future Japplante Women's Skill Center.
Sometimes THANK YOU just does not seem enough! I am so grateful for the support of those that partnered with use this year to execute another successful mission trip to Senegal, West Africa. Each time I am told "Thank you," I make sure that it is understood that I am only an ambassador for those who love the people of Senegal and believe in the work that God has called us to do there. Here are just a few ways that the people of Senegal/Gambia say "Thank You."
Mosquito bed nets save lives! Thank you for helping us save lives. Over 21,500 mosquito bed nets delivered in Senegal and the Gambia.
Stopped by to check on the hen house . Three years ago we gave the Japlante Women a micro loan in the amount of $1,000. Since then, they have had 12 cycles of raising chickens. They now provide micro loans to members of their association. To date, 28 of the 40 women have received loan. They are now starting to raise egg laying chickens. The next step for these women is to have build a skill/community center where they will continue to flourish as they demonstrate the mission of PSN
“Creating and providing resources that offer a sustainable support system for citizens of developing communities, through education, health, and economic development”
Seven years ago, with the help of a grant from Rotary International, we were able to establish a maternity ward at the Diokoul Kher Medical Center in Rufisque. Prior to this, the maternity ward building sat empty for many years. This allowed families to give birth in their local community, which lowered the infant mortality rate as well as employed local residents. The center operates 24 hours a day and has two additional nurses on staff, aiding in the birth of 30-40 babies monthly.
One of the biggest need of the Diokoul Kher Medical Center was to have a sterilizer. The one that we gave in 2010 has been well worked and is no longer functional. With the help of our partners, we were able to purchase and deliver a 30 liter sterilizer to the medical center, which will be shared with the maternity ward. The director and staff were overjoyed, reporting that they are relieved to be able to provide a more sterile environment.
Something so simple we would say. But, for the people of Senegal who struggle to make a daily living, having corrective lens is a luxury. Prior to leaving on this year's trip, we collected and shipped close to 1,500 pairs of used eyeglasses. Some days I would return home from work to find bags of glasses at my door.
One of the distributions that were held this week was at the Diokoul Kher Medical Center. Mme Diajaugna reported that there were over 200 people gathered at the Medical Center before 7:00 a.m. in order to receive eye glasses. At this one event we distributed between 500-600 pairs of glasses. Men and women from all over the community and from all walks of life, including, Imams, community leaders, teachers, nurses, etc. came out to be benefactors of this gift.
What a great day we had today! Before leaving town, we stopped at the pharmacy to purchase antiparasitic medicine for the children at Citi Radio School and those at the Fulani Village. We also purchased rice, soap and biscuits for the Village. We had the opportunity to stop at the Pink Lake (Lac Rose) on our way to the Fulani Village at Bonaba. It was so great to find the lake looking pink.
The members of the community expressed their gratitude for all the tokens that were delivered. They especially were grateful for the mosquito bed nets. My only regret at the Village today is that I did not see my Senegalese daughter Aby Ba.
We went exploring a bit and found that there were opportunities to ride camels. I think I'll past this time. We then visited Calvin's orphanage. It was a pleasure to deliver his fundraising money to this orphanage. We found out that there are currently 72 children from ages 0-1 year old, currently there being serviced by 9 staff members, youth staff, and volunteers. There most pressing needs are: paying staff, bills, milk, soap, a washing machine, and paying medical bills for the children.
Today was a great day. One of the many highlights of our trip has always been fellowshipping with the lepers. Laverne and I packed Bags of Hope the evening before. These bags were donated by Visionworks of Crystal, MN. Items in the bags included: antacid, aspirin, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washcloth, vitamins, shampoo, lotion, and candy. The lepers are considered to be the outcast members of society.
This is the second year that we have provided an authentic Senegalese meal for our brothers and sisters. This year our team wore our #RESET t-shirts to promote and show appreciation for the support that has been given to us by Bishop Richard D. Howell, Jr., Pastor Bettye Howell, and the entire Shiloh Temple International Ministries family.
Days for Girls Senegal (DFGS)! Today, through our partnership with the Japplante Women, DFGS was established with 50 young ladies. Issatou Mar coordinated and led the inauguration program along with Bissenty Gomis, the Youth Mayor. The ceremony was well attended by local dignitaries who are strong advocates for girls' empowerment and education.
The girls were selected from 10 local elementary and high schools. During the ceremony, one of the attending dignitaries shared about how when he was a teacher, a young lady started her menstrual cycle during class. This caused her so much embarrassment that she quit school forever. He also shared that having access to something like this hygiene kit could have changed the course of her life. The girls were encouraged by LaVerne Campbell to see this as a tool to eliminate barriers to success.
In addition to the hygiene kit, which included (2 pairs of panties, a washcloth, a bar of soap, 2 waterproof shields, and 8 flannel pads), the girls were also given a mosquito bed net, and a small care package, which included (comb, lip gloss, nail polish, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Clean Environment Combats Malaria
The Japplante women explain how having trash cans in their community can help decrease malaria and keep the community clean.