Davinder’s update from South Africa

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Our wonderful volunteers have been busy in South Africa and sending us updates when they can via email and text. The photos are all from previous trips to Lily in South Africa but we’ll be posting new photos soon.

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So I’m sat at the airport heading home … so sad to be going. I’ve had the most amazing time here. The children are an absolute delight and all the medicine is so interesting and it genuinely feels like we are doing something to help here. Just thought I’d drop an email about the very hard work everyone has done!

We’ve completed over 450 school checks in total so far. It takes a while to do especially now the children are younger so can’t speak much English and increasingly need a translator to help. We’re currently up to class 5C with new school checks and working our way to the younger ones.

We’ve done a fair few smears on the Lily house mums but still more to do. On Thursdays we went to 1000 Hills clinic, which was just an absolute pleasure to be at. Very interesting, and the whole set up was so organised and supportive to all staff. It was one of my personal highlights of the whole time here and we would have loved to spend longer there.

We’ve completed the pharmacy stocktake at Lily clinic and the two-week house boxes inventory has also been completed.

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Jess’ update from South Africa

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Our wonderful volunteers have been busy in South Africa and sending us updates when they can via email and text. The photos are all from previous trips to Lily in South Africa but we’ll be posting new photos soon.

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Collected Dav from the airport and she’s fine. I hired a little car (surprising how it manages the dirt tracks!) It’s been essential, just for more freedom. Last week we did school checks mainly. This week we’ve reviewed the Lily children and a couple of community cases, we’ve undertaken smear for house mums and helped out at the 1000 Hills clinic as they were short on two doctors and very appreciative for the help. Next week we’re doing health talks with the mums at Makaphutu and school health checks. So a lot of work to be done!

1000 Hills clinic is great and very busy so we saw a lot of patients. Kirsty, the GP, only works there on a Thursday so they would love doctors being there more frequently. They loved Ellie and Emma and were sad to see them go so I think it’s a really great place for volunteers to go.

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Alice’s update from South Africa

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

 

Our wonderful volunteers have been busy in South Africa and sending us updates when they can via email and text. The photos are all from previous trips to Lily in South Africa but we’ll be posting new photos soon.

 

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Thought I’d give you an update from Team B at Bushwillow. Having SUCH a brilliant time. These two weeks have gone too quickly and we wish we weren’t leaving next week. We have just come back from dishing out 120+ ice creams in the village with Mbali – as it’s Sabina’s last day tomorrow (we went a bit crazy in Pick ‘n’ Pay and bought a lot!). Those 5L tubs of ice cream vanilla, choc and neapolitan (with sprinkles and choc sauce in a cone) went down a treat. Some of the kids looked like they’d never seen an ice cream before and didn’t know what to do with it! We made sure all the house mums got a big share and they seemed very happy!

All going well here otherwise. The Health Visitor at 1000 Hills clinic has been on holiday for two weeks so I ran the baby clinic with Ellie, which has been amazing. They were such cuties and bonny babies. It is a lovely clinic and all hopefully doing well. They give out formula and clothes and they come every week for the first three months.

Sankotshe School has been great. Grade 7, 6 and half of 5 have been completed. We made good progress last week; lots of reviews, follow-ups, tineas sprayed and improved, URTIs that have picked up and lots of waxy ears syringed! This week however, they have Government exams so understandably the principal said its appropriate that we don’t come in this week so we have been seeing patients in the Lily clinic, did a stocktake for the WHOLE pharmacy (so many bottles of cough syrup and theophylline!), been to Makaphuto, on community visits and Sabina’s been doing her daily yoga lessons which has been so popular! Today we also did basic health reviews on the children at the crèche at 1000 Hills, which was really interesting.

Had a great time in Tala. Sean picked us up in a truck, and saw a couple of white rhino, which were amazing, lot of giraffe, wildebeest and zebra.

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Phoebe and Eleanor’s TWOWEEKS update from South Africa

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

 

Our wonderful volunteers have been busy in South Africa and sending us updates when they can via email and text. The photos are all from previous trips to Lily in South Africa but we’ll be posting new photos soon.

 

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We thought we would write you an email to let you know our progress and give you a couple of tips to help make things a little easier when you get here!

We have been doing a range of things and as we expected there is a lot to do here. We spent some time at the Lily clinic doing health checks on the Lily children as Dr Volker was away and we also saw some community patients, which is very different to being a GP at home in the UK! We have also been doing health checks on the children at Sankontshe School. Flexibility is key. You often end up doing things you hadn’t planned for!

For the health checks, a translator is essential as the children are too young to be able to speak good English. Staff in the clinic have been helping with this duty but it needs to be arranged daily and be aware this can sometimes be difficult as by coming with us they do not have time to do their usual daily duties.

The school bus goes from the village at 6.30am which we have taken but unfortunately the interpreters were unable to get to Lily for this time so sometimes we had to get a lift, however we always got the school bus home which is great fun.
We (Phoebe and Eleanor) will be going to Makaphutu today and staying for the remainder of the time we are here. We are sad to leave Lily as it has been such an amazing experience and we have already become very fond of lots of the children, but we are excited to take on a new challenge at Makaphutu.

On a side note there is a lot to do at the weekend (although not medical)! We have been holding sessions for the kids and also assisting Helen with her budgeting exercise with the teens. All the kids love one to one attention so reading, playing on the trampoline or even a chat is very appreciated and beneficial to the children.

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Christine’s update from South Africa

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Our wonderful volunteers have been busy in South Africa and sending us updates when they can via email and text. The photos are all from previous trips to Lily in South Africa but we’ll be posting new photos soon.

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The budgeting program we are doing has been really great so far for us! Helen and I are working together to pilot the program of having the older houses do their own food shopping. We have finalised a good plan and have been working with the teenagers to assess their money skills. She has been so great, so helpful and so on top of things. We are finding out a lot of details about our teens too, in terms of where they are at with their money. So this has been helpful! It will definitely be great for another person to continue later.

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TWOWEEKS 2013 Trip to SKIP

October 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

SKIP and TWOWEEKS have established a partnership and are working together to provide healthcare to children and families that so desperately need it in El Povenir, Peru. Our volunteers are there right now and are sending updates of their progress and the wonderful work they’re doing so we will be sharing that on the blog across the course of their trip.

For those of you who don’t know about our relationship with SKIP – you can read about our partnership with them here. In brief, SKIP is a non-profit organisation that works in one of the poorest areas in Trujillo called El Povenir. Education services in Peru are not free and as a result the poorest families and communities cannot afford to send their children to school. SKIP act to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged children and their families through providing education and helping families to find ways to improve their economic situation, which in turn can enable them to afford the cost of their children’s education. 

*Photos included are from previous trips to SKIP. We will update recent 2013 images soon.

Image from TWOWEEKS trip to SKIP in 2011.

Image from TWOWEEKS 2011 trip to SKIP.

UPDATE FROM DHRU

Our first day has gone well we think. We are all settled into the hotel now. It’s nice, clean, has Wi-Fi and friendly staff along with good distance to SKIP house and town. A few rooms were a little noisy on the main street side but that’s now sorted and is an issue all Peruvians and locals seem to deal with. The food so far has been great and we cannot complain on the portion sizes. There’s some Trujillo Spring Festival Stuff on too, which keeps the whole town lively most evenings.

We met Silvia the volunteer co-ordinator at SKIP today and then met Liz Wilson, Director at SKIP, who told us more about the day-to-day workings of SKIP and our current role and the needs they have at present and the they anticipate us helping.

First clinic session today was Fareed and Joan as ‘The A Team’ and they did health checks and saw two families: a mother and two children and another family. And me, as Team B, saw another two families with lots of kids – most of them healthy.

Team Steph took one look at the medicines and store cupboard and decided to give it a once over and stock it more like a sensible hospital pharmacy. So tomorrow we will have a very well functioning treatment centre type of thing going on.

So far. So good.

UPDATE FROM JOAN

I thought I would send a brief addendum and update to Dhru’s postings (I’m operating somewhere between UK and Peruvian time so tend to be awake from about 4am in the morning).

This morning may be our first opportunity to see some of the older children as it will be the first day of the week so far that will coincide with us being at the SKIP office and the secondary school kids being in class. Stephanie and I (thanks to Silvia interpreting) made contact with the local pharmacist as we felt it was important to do so and it was very useful to find out information about stocks held in the pharmacy and costs of medication.

We are really enjoying the experience and the hotel has worked out really well, comfortable, free Wi-Fi in the rooms is SO useful, and the coffee in the morning is such a treat. We have been invited to the ‘family’ meal at SKIP house this evening and booked a tour to Chan Chan on Saturday.

Image from TWOWEEKS 2011 trip to SKIP.

Image from TWOWEEKS 2011 trip to SKIP.

2013 Fundraising: Nick and Becky Boulton’s London to Brighton bike ride

August 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

TWOWEEKS fundraising

In June, Nick and Becky Boulton kindly donned their cycling shoes and took to the road on their bikes for the London to Brighton bike ride to raise money for TWOWEEKS. Inspired by the superhuman accomplishments of the amazing athletes at the Paralympics (including gold medallists Hannah Cockcroft, Divid Weir and Johnny Peacock), Nick, a public servant, and Becky, a pharmacist,  wanted to tackle a challenge in the name of a good cause. We asked them to tell us about their experience and fundraising effort. For those who would like to add to their wonderful fundraising effort – you can visit the Virgin Giving site here.

Tell us about yourselves – what do you enjoy doing?

Becky: I love baking, and crafts such as sewing and quilting. I now have a great love of cycling (although it’s much more enjoyable on a fine sunny day). I also enjoy Kickboxing, street dance, yoga and Judo although most of the time I can be found bimbling around my home, cooking and reading or going to the cinema.

Nick: I like to practice martial arts, read, watch films and train in the gym.

Why did you choose to fundraise for TWOWEEKS?

Becky: I have always wanted to get involved in aid work but as I have always had a full time job throughout my adult life I have never had the chance to pursue this dream. I love the fact that with TWOWEEKS, professionals can volunteer on a short-term basis, meaning that I can help out with a worthy project across the globe without having to take a sabbatical from work. So when I decided that I wanted to do the London to Brighton bike ride there was no question as to what charity I would raise money for.

Nick: I like the idea of going abroad and directly helping people in need and getting the satisfaction of knowing you will make a difference rather than just giving money to a charity.

How did you train for the bike ride?

Becky: I started training in March and I could have started earlier if it wasn’t for all the snow! Starting was slow and initially I started just by cycling to and from work although, as I live on Reigate Hill on the North Downs, the 4-mile ride to work and back again was a rather good start. I then went into full swing with training by cycling to work on weekdays and taking time on the weekends to go on long cycles in the Surrey Hills or along the Brighton coast.  As the training progressed I got fitter and could go faster and longer. It now only takes me 8 minutes to cycle the 2 miles to work in the morning and only 12 minutes to get back in the evening (give me a break – it’s mostly uphill on the way back!). I was also able to increase the length, difficulty and distance of my weekend rides. Going from just 10 miles along the Brighton prom to a 23-mile ride around the Surrey Hills including part of the route that the cyclist did at the Olympics. Although I did have to stop for a breather a couple of times on the zigzag road on Box Hill (but who can blame me?).

What were the highs of training?

Becky: The feeling of achievement after having done a long ride or beating my personal best for my morning ride to work or evening ride back. I’m a very competitive person so any time I beat my husband is also a high point. However, he has always been a lot fitter than I am so this doesn’t happen very often.

Nick: Resting and relaxing afterwards…

Tell us about the ride itself.

Becky: We set out from Clapham Common at 9.30am, filled with excitement and apprehension. There was a lot of queuing to get out of London but we didn’t mind much as the atmosphere of the people around us was great and frankly it forced us to take it slowly. The hills were a bit bothersome for many reasons; one because there was a lot of up and little down, and two because almost everyone got off and pushed on them so it was impossible to get up them quickly. There was a few times that were well worth the hard work though. This included the really steep downhill bits where I could go as fast as I would brave (hit 35mph on one of the hills in Brighton!) and the support from cyclists and spectators alike.

Why do you think fundraising for charity matters?

Becky: We are very lucky to live in a country where we get free, good-quality healthcare, schools and other public services and live to a very high standard of living compared to a lot of places in the world. I therefore think it’s only fair that we help and support countries and communities that are not so lucky. I would love to think that by getting on my bike, getting fit, and having a fabulous and memorable day, I may have helped to change somebody’s life for the better.