GREAT stuff! Check out the Timmy Foundation today, and stop by again for some great stories from the Timmy Foundation this month here at Blogidarity.
OK so here it goes. This is my first blog ever. I joined the IU Timmy chapter after seeing a chalked message on the sidewalk and looking it up on-line. I really liked the mission so I started to attend meetings. IU Timmy was stared in 2002 with a Spring break trip to Honduras to work with Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos. Timmy quickly grew to have two trips every spring break and now has over 250 members. We have local service projects and fundraisers, we help at the local soup kitchen, have health fairs at the local elementary schools, have car washes to raise money for our trips and do many other things around the area. I really became involved during the summer when the group was much smaller. We were having a book club once and week and having meetings once every couple of weeks and it was a great environment to learn and grow. I learned a lot about malaria , while reading the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, and what people were doing to help control it in third world countries, while it wasn't as much of a problem in the U.S. it was an epidemic in some parts of the world. The people leading our discussions made it OK to ask questions, even if they were naive they were patient and always found answers or told us how to find them. At the end of the summer one of the people running the summer Timmy group started getting people together to research where we could help in the U.S. I was paired with another student that had been participating in the book groups, and we found that in eastern KY there is a large population without health care and they have a huge problem with diabetes. He and I started to arrange a small group of people to go down and have a health fair with the local medical school, Pikeville College, School of Osteopathic Medicine. It was a challenge getting everything planned and organized but in the end we had a wonderful time going down there and helping people to better understand their disease and getting them started on the right track to living with it. I have not had the pleasure to go on one of the international trips, although the experience that I had in KY has gotten me excited to get more involved with Timmy in the future.
At the Timmy Foundation, we envision a world where all children have access to quality healthcare and education. Our mission is about children, but interestingly, it is as much about those who serve as it is about those we serve.
We work to engage as many American students as possible in our outreach to developing communities. Student volunteers serve on our board, organize medical service trips, spread the word about our needs in the world and conduct fundraisers and supply drives. They recruit physicians, collect medicine and train the next group of student volunteer leaders. It has been my privilege to work with many of these dynamic, powerful students in my 5-year tenure at the Foundation, and it is in them that I put much hope.
Hope not just for what they are doing, but for how they are doing it. Short-term service trips can make many people cringe, due to the many pitfalls into which many groups can fall. I am somewhat biased, but I believe our trips are different. Our volunteers serve in a way that maintains the dignity of those served. They are respectful of the patients who come through for health screenings and of their fellow team members. They are curious about the lives of the people they meet and they make every effort to speak the local language (mostly Spanish). They stay in community with the people they are serving. They do not play Santa Claus and give hand-outs of candy, toys or pens. They return year after year to the same partner organization in order to build relationships and build on successes, learn from failures. They blend action and contemplation, hosting almost nightly group reflection sessions. They work long, difficult days. They are not bashful about telling their stories when they go home.
Dr. Chuck, if asked to sum up the Foundation in one word, prefers the word 'Firestarter'. That is what we are doing with our young volunteers. They have such power to reach out to those in need and all that is required of us is a reminder of that power. They do not have to wait until they are out of school to make a difference. "We were not all born to be doctors or nurses, but we were all born to be healers," says Dr. Chuck. How true.
By the way, our official mission statement is: Building healthy futures worldwide, one child at a time. We accomplish this by strengthening community-based health and education initiatives and empowering young people to share their energy and compassion.
Our guest organization from May 10th to June 10th is The Timmy Foundation.
The Timmy Foundation began in 1997 as a deep personal commitment of Dr. Charles Dietzen (better known as Dr. Chuck) to assist the medically underserved children he met while conducting medical missions in Haiti and India. Named after his brother, Timmy, the Foundation’s work is dedicated as a living legacy to all of Dr.Chuck’s pediatric hospice patients. Since its humble beginnings, the Foundation has served thousands of children, and the communities in which they live, in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
One thing Blogidarity shares with the Timmy Foundation is that we believe in small changes.
While working in India in 1997, Dr. Chuck had the great blessing of meeting Mother Teresa. She stressed the importance of giving hope to the people we could not cure. “We can do no great things, only simple things with great love.”
I think we will enjoy with our friend´s stories.
Yesterday we could remember two very important moments in the history of solidary causes.
In 1937 the nazi bombers annihilated the town of Gernika. Picasso illustrated the fact in his famous Guernica painting. Now it is highly recognized as a symbol of peace worldwide.
In 1986 the nuclear plant of Chernobyl exploded condemning huge masses of people in Ukrania to death and illness. Children from Ukrania still visit other countries taking advantage of the summer holidays in order to be healthy.
Let's remember these dates with hope in the future and memory of the past.
This is Chi from Clear Path International. Felix asked me about school here.
Well, let me give you a brief on schooling in Vietnam.
Kids here started their schooling at 6 (this don’t count kindergarten which starts when children are three years old). And primary school lasts five years (from 1st thru 5th grade). Major subjects in these years includes: Vietnamese, math and some auxiliary subjects. Then the next four year of secondary school (6th thru 9th grade). All commons subjects are taught in these years: math, literature, geography, history, physics, English and so on.
A graduate examination is required in the end of the 9th grade. After this students can enter a junior vocational school and become a worker of some sort. However, the majority would go on to high school for another 3 years which would ends at the 12th grade.
Then a big split occurs here as a majority of students in Vietnam would find themselves a vocational school or return home with agriculture works while the minority part would enter higher education for their life time career: colleges, universities or even studying abroad Now let’s go details with schooling in rural areas in Vietnam.
First, it is only half day study here for:
a. the curriculum was designed for this; and
b. with half day study, the number of students can be doubled for the fixed number of classrooms (in some remote areas, this still a problem); and the final reason is that students need to stay at home the other half to do their home works and help their parents.
Transportation: There is no school bus here. Thus kids would utilize every means of transportation possible to get to and from school: walk, riding bicycles… A primary school is built for a cluster of villages and the distance for kids to go is ranging from 500 meters to 5 Km (3miles). We visited one of our beneficiary whose son travel 25Km (15.6 miles) everyday to and from school on his bicycle (a school year lasts 9 months and high school student study 6days/week).ld for kids to go to school is re. thus other half to do their home works and help their parentsof classroomdesigned f He usually gets up at 4, finishes his big breakfast at 4.30 and start riding so that he will be at school at 7. Then the next 4 ½ hours studying, followed by the return round. He usually gets back home at 3p.m (no lunches between). And that was one of his smooth days (no flat tire, no monsoon…).
The picture I sent you before tells you how kids go to school when the water level is low. In monsoon season, they would ferry back and fort by boat. The attached photos would tell you more that most students go to school on foot.
James has asked me to add a video here of the Clear Path school. This is a schol we built in Dong Ha 2 years ago.
James Hathaway told us in his last post that,
In countries where five dollars can pay for a week's worth of school for a child... a dollar can change a life.
I think most possibilities of development for countries like Vietnam are based on the schooling of their children. And we can really do something for them. Chi also showed us a photo of children going to school and the big obstacles they have to save day after day for the lack of basic structures.
I really would like Chi to tell us more about these difficult conditions.
What we see in the photo is it really that they have to cross a river on foot?
We would like to tell you about two slight aesthetic changes in our blog:
1. Last week an anonymous friend told us we should change our header to "1$ can save a life". We have already changed it. If you still read "Cause 1$ can save a life" perhaps it is a matter of the browser you are currently working with. It happens sometimes with updates made in Typepad blogs when using Mozilla Firefox as browser.
2. From now on, any post at Blogidarity will be signed by its author. This can be a good way to identify the ideas with the faces.
Following the intelligent advices of some friends we have made some changes in our fund raising system. We would like to offer the highest degree of safety for all donators, NGOs and for Blogidarity, too. That is why we have decided to adress you directly to the website of the NGO we are trying to help.
You can make the donation to Clear Path here.
James Hathaway has told us in his last post that little contributions for us can really make a difference for other people. That is the spirit of Blogidarity.
Be bold, be Blogidary!