Mercy Ships – New mission in Benin – Hospital opening
On 18 August 2016, the Africa Mercy and its crew docked in their new home country for the next 10 months – Benin, in West Africa.
Mercy Ships chose Benin because of its very limited access to medical care – the country has only 10 hospital beds and 1 doctor for every 20,000 inhabitants. The country’s health care system is in crisis.
During its mission in Benin, more than 1,700 operations will be performed on more than 835 adults and children, around 8,000 people will be treated at a land-based dental clinic, and holistic health care training will be provided to local health professionals.
The first few weeks were given over to meeting potential patients at the patient screening centre set up in Cotonou. The five operating theatres on board the Africa Mercy opened their doors on 12 September to welcome the first patients.
Mercy Ships can’t wait to see all the lives transformed by surgery and training during its mission in Benin!
AN EDUCATIONAL PROJECT THAT SHAPES INDIVIDUALS FROM CHILDHOOD TO THE VERGE OF ADULTHOOD
This project supports underprivileged parents, mostly from foreign backgrounds, in the education of their children (aged from 6 to 15) by providing learning support, sporting and recreational activities and holiday camps. It aims to help parents facing various social integration problems (limited understanding of French, precarious employment, unemployment, single parent families) in their educational role.
To prevent the risk of marginalisation and the development of risk behaviour (dropping out of school, addiction, violence, breaking family ties …).
To foster a thirst for knowledge and love of learning.
To impart a taste for school work though an educational approach that focuses less on the academic performance of homework and more on the acquisition of knowledge and know-how through fun activities.
To instil values such as commitment, respect for rules and other people, and the value of hard work.
To grow and mature by sharing and building relationships of friendship and trust.
The beneficiaries are supported by an educational professional and a team of volunteers. Les Enfants du Parc places great emphasis on volunteering, particularly by its previously idle older students, who are now mobilised and trained to mentor younger students. La Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil invested in this project because it reflects its values:
In education, no situation is hopeless: young people who regain confidence in themselves and in adults can express their potential and embark on a successful educational and career path.
Whatever their path in life, all children have potential, abilities and skills. It is up to the people around the child to enable him or her to express them.
Play is a powerful educational tool. Too many children do not know or have forgotten how to play, because their imagination has been suppressed. Les Enfants du Parc is working to rekindle children’s imagination and their ability to dream and create.
From September 2015, the Albatros Foundation will support the french association “Toutes à l’école” which, since 2006, freely send to school the most underprivileged girls from the peri-urban areas of Phnom Penh in it’s school Happy Chandara.
The founder, Mrs Tina Kieffer, has decided to give priority to girls education, willing to bring her contribution to the still important cambodian gender inequality: only 36% of the children going to school in Cambodia are girls.
The Albatros Foundation, will support 2 classes of 25 girls.
Currently, Happy Chandara welcomes 1000 girls from 6 to 14 years old. Every year, 100 girls start their education there.
The girls from the poorest families are accepted in priority (monthly income lower than 100 US$).
In addition to the khmer national programme, the schoolgirls study english, french and computer science.
A hairdressing vocational centre opened in September 2013.
The first class of high school students will start in September 2015.
With these two orientations (high school and vocational training), Happy Chandara gives the opportunity to choose between third education or a professional course. In this way, the young girls are accompanied until their admission at university or their first employment.
Fondation As’trame is active in Switzerland, in the cantons of Vaud and Geneva. Its mission consists in supporting families in crisis situations where family relationships have been broken down due to sickness, parental separation or death, since all break downs are dangerous to the physical and/or psychological health of children and adults.
As’trame offers a psychosocial non-medicalised approach to address the troubles resulting from the breakdown of family ties.
As’trame accompanies families, more specifically children, through individual and group therapies built around siblings or children of the same age.
Objectives of the therapeutic work:
Lay the foundations of a healthy process of dealing with family breakdowns
Avoid the negative and potentially pathologic consequences of the breakdown of family relationships for the lives of children or adults.
Support adults or families going through difficult situations due to marital separation, serious illness or death of a close relative.
In parallel, through training modules, As’trame puts its experience to the service of professionals facing this type of situation within the framework of their practice.
The foundation has created a specific tool allowing it to offer a brief and mentored therapeutic support to relief suffering and prevent the risks triggered by family relationships’ breakdowns: the reliance path. Through 6 sessions including an assessment session, it allows to lay the foundations necessary for a healthy grief process to take place and to start it during the path through the stimulation of the resilience capacity.
Fondation Albatros has been supporting Fondation As’trame since 2015.
to provide a system of early detection of mental disease* and early intervention in order to improve the quality of life and social integration of mentally handicapped children irrespective of their economic situation**.
to enable parents and the community to become aware of the abilities of mentally disabled children.
*MSC makes a diagnosis and takes care of children with mental and physical handicaps, as well as given psychiatric pathologies (Down syndrome, autism, attention deficit…). **Clinic fees are adapted to the family’s income. Most parents only pay 50% of the effective cost of the treatment.
In a country where mental illness is still a taboo, MSC enables handicapped children and children with learning disabilities to come out of their isolation and develop at their own pace, surrounded by teams of specialised therapists.
After 2 to 3 years of support, approximately 30% of the children are able to attend the regular public school system.
Fondation Albatros supported Morning Star Center from 2009 to 2014.
Mission statement: to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of disadvantaged children and their parents in Bucarest, through educational and psychological support, social and medical assistance.
The Foundation’s main areas of activity are:
to facilitate the children’s integration in the school system
to prevent school drop-out
to improve parental education
to prevent family abandonment and child institutionalisation
Fondation Albatros supports Philip House Foundation since 2012.
Mission statement: to support underprivileged children and their families to help them lead a better life.
Inocenti Foundation supports children in the following areas: school integration, health, mental and/or motor disabilities. In order to maximize the impact of its work, the Foundation involves parents as much as possible in its work.
Fondation Albatros supported Inocenti Foundation from 2012 to 2014.
Hopes and Homes for Children-Romania (HHC) works in Romania.
Mission statement: to be the catalyst enabling the complete eradication of institutional* care for children in Romania
*For HHC, this type of care means that a child becomes part of a very large institution (several hundreds of children), which does not leave room for creating the significant loving bonds essential to the healthy development of a child. During communist times in Romania, many such institutions were created, leading many children to develop severe psychological and psychiatric disorders.
HHC works simultaneously in three areas:
prevention of institutionalisation
reintegration of children coming from closed structures into their birth or extended family, a foster family, an adoptive family, a small family home
HHC has succeeded in considerably reducing the number of institutionalised children by facing the problem from all angles.
Fondation Albatros supports Hopes and Homes for Children-Romania since 2013.
by using access to education and culture as a tool against isolation and marginalisation bred by poverty
by providing educational and psychological support programmes to the most underprivileged and vulnerable children and their families in Bucharest, empowering them to become an active part of the solution to the problems that make them vulnerable
Fondation St. Dimitri does not fight directly against poverty, but against its more destructive effects on children: ignorance, exclusion, carelessness, emotional and mental suffering.
The “Social Centre for Children” welcomes 35 to 50 children daily. The Centre provides them with love, education, moral and psychological support.
Fondation Albatros supported Fondation Saint Dimitri from 2012 to 2014.
Mission statement: to provide children living in highly precarious situations with a safe environment enabling them to attend school and learn a trade.
“PSE started in 1995 on the day we saw children eat rubbish in the Stung Meanchey rubbish dump in Phnom Penh. It was horrendous! We could not have carried on with our lives as usual after witnessing this. We had to do something about it.” Christian and Marie-France des Pallières.
Today, PSE helps more than 6,000 children every day and counts 4,000 Alumni in the workforce.
Auteuil Suisse to support its after school care and extracurricular activities in the Plainpalais area of Geneva. The centre, which is situated in the St François parish premises, is for children and adolescents from underprivileged immigrant families. It provides learning support and leisure activities.
This project is hosted by the St François parish and is non-denominational.
Women are still too often victims of gender discrimination.
Discrimination begins in the womb: many women – influenced by the culture and rituals of their country and subjected to strong pressure from their husbands – have an abortion when they know they are pregnant with a girl. If the pregnancy is carried to term, some baby girls will be killed at birth by their parents, who consider the birth of a girl to be a significant barrier to their economic advancement (infanticide is much less widespread than foeticide).
More worryingly, wealth and economic development do not reduce the preference for a male child.