Month: May 2021

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News From Gujarat

We’ve recently heard from our friends at the Jay Ambe hospital in Chaparda and share this news…

The first wave of Covid-19 was relatively benign in India, however, as we have all seen on the news, the second wave ‘Indian variant’ has been devastating with medical services across the country unable to cope and desperately short of oxygen supplies.

Picture2Two weeks ago, WM responded to a call to help fund an oxygen generator for the Jay Ambe hospital at Chaparda.  While we are always very careful how charity funds are used, the WM team were very motivated to help the community hospital which has hosted so many acupuncture camps over the years.  Because of covid, we were not able to travel to India last January so we decided to donate the funds we would have used as a way of helping the same people we would normally have seen from local villages.

The oxygen generator is now installed, working, and supplying oxygen to the hospital and the isolated covid wards that have been set up adjacent to the hospital.

Government attempts to roll out a vaccination programme has been severely affected as Cyclone Tauktae hit the west coast wreaking havoc with many lives lost.  The 120 mile/hr winds damaged 16,000 houses in Gujarat alone, ripping up trees and downing power lines. A second cyclone is expected to follow hitting the east coast of the country within the next few days.

In the wake of this there are additional worries: there is a growing awareness that many post covid patients, particularly diabetics and others with immunosuppressed conditions are very susceptible to Mucormycosis, referred to as ‘black fungus’ which can have fatal consequences if not treated promptly.

India is indeed suffering – with the poorest suffering the most, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

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Refugee Community Kitchen

World Medicine will soon begin a new project supporting refugees in London. To mark this new venture for us, our Guest Blog today is written by Sasiki Hubberstey, who, in 2017 was one of hundreds of volunteers who served meals to refugees in the infamous ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais. Sasiki recently made a ‘virtual’ return visit to Calais as part of our team of ‘Chaparda Challenge‘ walkers covering the distance from York to Chaparda in India, so we asked her to recall her time working in the Refugee Community Kitchen.

Refugee Community Kitchen, Calais, 2017

351bc05e2976a7a81e51cdfccfe82c8760a0c0a12,750 meals each day.

That was the provision for the refugees stranded in the forest squats around Calais and Dunkirk when I volunteered several times in the RCK kitchen that year. Huge platefuls of rice and curry, salads, condiments, freshly cooked twice a day – with a good dollop of love and singing thrown in – by a team of volunteers, some long term, others, like me, for a week/weekend/month at a time.

Lone teenagers, families with babies, lone men, and a few lone women, from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan…. Dispersed across France when ‘The Jungle’ had been destroyed the year before, gradually making their way back, to restore their hope to reach family/friends in UK.

76% of the refugees that RCK asked had had their meagre belongings destroyed by a branch of the police twice every week, at night, since their arrival. Tents destroyed, shoes removed, pepper sprayed. Many had been there for months.

war_and_poverty_misc-5255RCK provided food. No judgement, no questions. (Others provided tents, shoes, jackets, chargers for mobiles, medical aid etc). A wonderfully heartfelt, positive, committed, well-organised, daily operation of a scale I’d never seen before! Twelve hour days of prepping vast pots of veg and taking out to the forest squats twice a day, to the long long queues, surrounded by police. And washing up, cleansing floors and work surfaces, doing laundry. And starting again early the next day.

In such extremities, such warmth, such gentleness, gratitude, love, humility. One of the most moving places to be, ever. Thank you RCK x

Click below to watch a video on the work of the Refugee Community Kitchen.

 

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Super Skater Steph!

By Emma Vaughan

downloadKeeping it in the family, Rafe’s Aunty Steph has also been busy!

She recently skated 26 miles during the virtual kiltwalk weekend and raised £809 which means with the extra Hunter foundation contribution an amazing total of £1213.

This is fabulous fundraising and again we are hugely grateful. This fundraising effort has come at a time when India is facing a devastating crisis and indeed our own friends and colleagues at Jay Ambe hospital are facing mounting pressure as the local community suffer from a second wave of Covid infections.

This week we have been able to make a contribution to a direct appeal from the hospital for life saving oxygen and so the commitment of our volunteers and their families has been particularly poignant and welcome.

Our collective kiltwalk efforts have raised £2577, giving us £3865 in total once Sir Tom Hunter has bolstered our own efforts.

Brilliant achievement, thank you everyone who has supported our efforts either by participating , cheerleading our team or contributing directly to the fundraising!

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Remarkable Rafe!

By Emma Vaughan

a894f606-5459-4929-89c2-fbbc91df288fRafe is the 6 year old grandson of Barbara and Dave, with the former being a World Medicine trustee and volunteer.

He is indeed a remarkable boy as this is now his second year dedicated to helping fundraise for our charity, and both years he has done it with some style! Considering the size of his legs, we are all amazed at his stamina and his commitment. Together with his parents he has been a prolific fundraiser and this year alone he raised an incredible £890. With the Hunter foundation contribution this means that Rafe’s efforts will have generated £1335. This is a massive achievement and we are hugely grateful to him and all his generous sponsors.

Thank you Rafe!

Barbara recently interviewed Rafe before the kiltwalk to get some tips and motivation!

Enjoy our wee video..