11 October, 2016 13:37

I don’t believe my eyes! http://buy.veterwiki.com/Denise_Rosca_PAper_Micro_ClassDenise Isn’t it amazing?

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14 June, 2016 10:47


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from: Denise Rosca PAper Micro ClassDenise

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from: Denise Rosca PAper Micro ClassDenise

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Denise Rosca PAper Micro ClassDenise


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GAIA: An impact so easy to see even a French beginner can understand it

When originally planning for the trip to West Africa I was at first a bit apprehensive of site visits in French. I’ve only studied the language for a year and I feared I might not be able to understand the organization’s work or get a good sense of their impact if the visit was entirely in French.

Meeting with GAIA Foundation however quickly put these fears aside.  Understanding the amazing work of GAIA does not require nuance or subtlety.  Their work is clear, direct and entails the truly praiseworthy work of literally saving lives on a daily basis. Over a number days in Bamako, Mali I had the opportunity to learn about this work both on “official” and “unofficial” site visits with the organization.

Though the “official” site visit occurred on July 12th, I would say the unofficial portion of the visit began when Lorraine and I moved into the GAIA guesthouse and were greeted by two enthusiastic and passionate GAIA volunteers, Tonyu and Emily. I don’t think GAIA could have found two better representatives or endorsements than these two. Not only did they spend long nights explaining the difficult situation of health in Mali, but they also detailed the innovate approach GAIA has undertaken along with providing us an introduction to the inspiring doctor we would meet the following day, the local director of GAIA Dr. Tounkara.  He would not disappoint. We learned that the organization works in the Sinkoro area, a part of Bamako that has been traditionally undeserved by health services with approximately 1 doctor per 40,000 patients.  Devastating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis have had a profound effect on the community and continue to disrupt the lives of many throughout the area.

As for the “official” site visit Dr. Tounkara, or as many call him “Kara”, walked us through the Hope Clinic, greeting staff and patients alike along the way. He explained how GAIA is working in conjunction with the Malian government to make the clinic into a model that can be replicated throughout the country. The clinic takes a holistic approach to health, but has been greatly aided by GAIA’s support in fighting HIV/AIDS and Tubrcolosis through both treatment and outreach.

Sitting down with the head of the Hope clinic, we learned how GAIA has additionally been instrumental in stepping in where the Malian government funds leave off.  GAIA has been able to raise funds for advanced medical equipment and facilities, when the government of Mali is unable to provide the funding.  What is truly unique is the way GAIA does not direct the improvements but responds to the needs of the community and its leaders.

Donating money can sometimes be a tricky business and it can be difficult to understand the impact of your donation. Furthermore, development models have proven complicated and often produce ambiguous results. These doubts are not necessary with GAIA. Their impact is so clear that even a French beginner can understand them. GAIA’s projects transform lives and represent a glimpse at the future of health in Mali.

…and if you’re still not convinced they also speak English.

If you you would like more information about GAIA please click on one of their four project links:

Facilitating Access to Tuberculosis Care in Mali: www.globalgiving.org/3036

Born Free of HIV in West Africa: www.globalgiving.org/5753

HIV and TB Care at the Village Level in Mali: www.globalgiving.org/2754

Nutrition and Peer Support for HIV+ Patients: www.globalgiving.org/4874

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A Creative Solution to Health Care in Mali

Postcard 7/12: 

As you glance around Bamako, Mali, it is easy to be struck by the numerous ways in which it is

A community health worked documents a child's temperature via text

different  from cities in the United States—the women selling bananas off the tops of their heads, the children running barefoot down the road, chasing tires, and the goats standing lazily in the middle of the street chewing on discarded corn. What is harder, and often much more important, is to be reminded of the ways in which it is similar. The cost of health care, for example, is an issue of similar importance in Bamako, New York, Washington, DC, and other cities throughout the world. And while my country, the United States, was fighting a political battle over health care last year, the organization, Mali Health Organizing Project (MHOP), was developing an innovative, community-based solution to children’s health care in several communities in Bamako, Mali. The program, entitled Action for Health, aims to provide free health care for children in Bamako in exchange for “community action” or days of volunteering on part of children’s parents. 

A community health worker measuring the width of a child's arm


As one MHOP volunteer explained, “people want to invest in their children’s health care; they just don’t have the cash.” So MHOP has given them a free alternative. By enrolling in MHOP’s health care program, children are insured against the five leading causes of children’s death in Mali including malnutrition, malaria, and measles. The organization has even gone so far as to develop a monitoring system in which community health workers conduct monthly house visits for children enrolled in the program, using innovative mobile phone technology to track the growth and health of children ages 5 and under.   

By working closely with the Ghanaian government’s health services, and collaborating directly with the local community, MHOP has developed an exciting and impactful program that already serves 385 children and 245 women! Although the organization has hopes of expansion, they are grounded in a desire for sustainability that is refreshing and important. The success that the program has experienced after just 4 ½ months of operations can only be seen as a predictor of even greater accomplishments to come!

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