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Charity transforms hospital in Cameroon – thanks to you

Sparkol has provided life-saving solar panels to Edith's Dream, a charity that takes medical equipment out to poor, rural areas of Cameroon in Africa. Thank you to all VideoScribe users for making this possible. Read on to find out about the wonderful impact the charity is having. 

Edith is a Cameroonian nurse who came to the UK ten years ago, looking for work to support her family and community. She left behind a husband and five children, settling in Weston-Super-Mare to work as a nurse.

She was followed by her family many years later. With them beside her, Edith turned her sights to supporting the community back home.

As I saw my needs being met and my life blessed, a powerful dream developed within me to spread this provision even further to those in the village I grew up in, along with its surrounding, poor communities in urban cities in Cameroon.

 

[caption id="attachment_624" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Edith Focho in Cameroon Edith Focho in Cameroon[/caption]

Edith comes from the Metta Clan area in central Cameroon, a group of 29 villages spread over 30 square kilometres. The area is lush forest and the roads between villages are often rough and difficult to travel – it can take an hour to cover just a few kilometres. Individual villages can be highly isolated, with villagers often turning to witch doctors in place of medical professionals in times of need.

Minor illnesses, which are easily preventable or curable, cut lives short as people do not have the money or correct understanding to deal with them. As a result many young adults die, leaving their children to the care of elder siblings or grandparents. This in turn, cuts education short for siblings who are burdened with the role of early parenthood, a lack of education leads to a lack of knowledge leading to ignorance regarding their health issues, and so continues the vicious cycle.

Edith began to give whatever she could save to establish a central medical centre in her home land the Metta Clan, based in Mbengwi. She established the Grace Foundation Trust in 2010 to maintain and develop the medical centre, and founded Edith's Dream back in the UK to provide support to the trust.

 

[caption id="attachment_522" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Welcome banner, medical centre Welcome banner at the newly renovated Grace Foundation Trust Health Centre[/caption]

When we heard that power problems were putting the hospital's equipment in jeopardy, we knew that we had to help. Intermittent electricity and power shortages have been a big problem for the hospital in the past year. Costly equipment couldn't be used or, even worse, got blown up in a power surge. Sparkol contributed towards the purchase and installation of solar panels, to make the hospital self-sufficient and protected against unreliable electricity.

 

[caption id="attachment_525" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Solar panels, Grace Foundation Trust The first solar panels are laid out on the roof[/caption]

Penny Hynds, a trustee of Edith's Dream, travelled to Cameroon last month with her husband David, Tim (another trustee) and Tim's wife Gerry.

Penny was overwhelmed by how generous and welcoming everyone was – from medical staff to schoolchildren and villagers. Everyone they met greeted them with a song and the trustees were very well fed throughout their trip. She has kindly allowed us to use her photographs to show you what is being achieved through the charity.

With the donations they have received this year, Edith's Dream has:

  • developed the infrastructure of the hospital
  • established separate men's and women's wards, a maternity wing and a modest laboratory
  • employed their first full-time doctor
  • begun installing solar panels to make the hospital as self-sufficient as possible
  • set up an outreach programme to educate those in remote regions
  • begun work tiling the floors for hygiene purposes, and offering privacy with curtained areas

There is still a lot to be done. The charity's ambition is to have the hospital fully functional and robust by 2014, with plan for an outreach programme from 2015 onwards. In the long term, Edith's Dream is hoping to help build up roads and pathways so they can reach the people in the most remote regions.

To make a donation, or to find out more about their work in Cameroon, please visit Edith's Dream.

Penny and the other trustees wish to thank all the wonderful people that they met on their journey, many of whom follow the charity on Facebook.

A massive thank you from the Sparkol team – we couldn't have done it without you.

 

[caption id="attachment_627" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Mother receives baby clothes Mother receiving baby clothes from a nurse[/caption] [caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Young boy recovering A young boy recovering from malaria[/caption]
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