Sunday, 9 August 2015
Friday 7th August was a day of miracles for Friends of Chitambo. Jo and Richard Vallis travelled to Dundee to collect 2 fine laptops from Mr. Winston Flynn, who lives near Dundee and works at Perth College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Winston is a Technical Officer there and is skilled in all aspects of computing work. As his young son, Winston Jnr, said, "There's nothing he can't fix"!
Winston has very thoughtfully prepared the two used laptops for use in Zambia and has also thrown in 7 used Nokia Smartphone handsets. This brings us to a total of 5 used laptops and, with 3 existing ones, 10 used Smartphone handsets...only 2 short of the 12 needed to provide one to each of the Chitambo Rural Health Clinics. All this will go a long ways to improving emergency care communications in the Chitambo District and will help to save lives.
Natotela sana mukwai (THANK YOU) Ba Winston and everyone else who has helped...Professor Jean Kerr, University of Dundee, and Drs. Geoff and Chris Vallis (University of Exeter, and Newcastle respectively), for their very generous donations.
Winston was at work when we called at his home on Friday. However, his wife, Cecilia (a nurse), handed over the donations...aided by their 2 delightful young sons, Winston Jnr. and Jason. These children are a tribute to Zambian upbringing...charming, polite and welcoming. The presence of this Zambian family in the Dundee area is certainly an asset.
Winston and Cecilia have big hearts and are keen to help their native Zambia in any way they can. They have already made generous donations to disability and education projects in Central Province. With their combined (nursing and IT skills) they have much to offer. However, with a growing young family they are short on time. That is our gain since they have expressed willing to help us in any way they can and I am delighted to say that they are joining Friends of Chitambo. Mwaiseni mukwai! We welcome you aboard.
After visiting the Flynn family, Richard and I pressed on to the University of Dundee to collect our second consignment of donations from the Clinical Skills Centre at the Medical School. Centre Manager, Gill Keith, was on holiday but had arranged for collection of medical and nursing textbooks from Dr. George Hogg, a lecturer in the department, and some teaching models, mainly of an obstetric nature. These are great gifts thank you and thanks also to Mr. Richard Barnes, a technician in the Centre, who assisted with transporting a packed trolley to our waiting car.
Mr. Richard Barnes helps with a barrow load!
On return home, another box of books was waiting in our woodpile! They were from Ruth Aird, a local Community Nurse, who runs an organisation called Holding Hands with Charities, which collects surplus medical stock and makes it available for redistribution through charities like ours. The books included 6 recent British National Formularies (BNF), which are bound to be useful at Chitambo.
BNF from 'Holding Hands with Charities', Edinburgh (read about what they do here:
Thank you very much indeed Ruth, especially when you are so busy preparing for a humanitarian trip to Romania.
Our world is full of miracles and angels!