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8th June 2011
Bolingbroke Reader works in the Phillipines
In February 2011, a small group of English nurses with an anaesthetist from Boston joined a multi ethnic group of health professionals as volunteers to work in the Philippines.
These volunteers, along with the host country, work collaboratively surgically to correct the deformity of Harelip / Cleft Palate . The team work under the guidance of the leader, Dr. Mimi Wong from Colorado. The group’s aim is to make a difference ‘ Mending Faces’ has been born.
Unfortunately in the Philippines there is a high incidence of facial deformity, and Smile Train is unable to visit this locality.
Eight years or so ago I was asked to join the team and as a nurse I was able to offer expertise in patient post operative care. I was helped in the patients care by local nurses, and they were invaluable acting as translators and caring for the children and families. They too were working as volunteers. Bearing this in mind the local nurses who assisted our team were rewarded with
vouchers and fob watches, which were proudly worn. The were donated from my local church groups in the deanery of Bolingbroke.
The Spilsby Group of people alongside the Rotary have been very supportive in the past, helping financially towards travel expenses but also contributing towards the refurbishment of two paediatric wards in Kalibo hospital. The Spilsby Rotary were able to achieve matching grants internationally, which enabled my last project to achieve fruition after three difficult years of seeking international financial assistance. The local population also benefited from the donations, as twenty new cribs and other equipment now replace the dilapidated and rusty beds which had been there.
The outward mission that the local and deanery churches have contributed to has been really valuable in making changes not only for the children ‘one face at a time’ but also to the local handicapped centre ($250 contributed towards the running costs of a meeting place for the handicapped under the guidance of the local Rotarian group) All the children, with siblings receive a teddy bear, these children have very little as treats so will treated as great gifts. The donated teddy bears, with gifts of money go to the children in my suitcase, and the money is donated towards the children’s work with a little towards my travel.
I feel very blessed that I am able to be part of such a worthwhile team, trying to make a difference in the future for these youngsters.