Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A very successful event

A surprising amount of work goes into organising a simple lunchtime talk!

However, it more than paid off and our Elephant & Baby talk on Saturday 25th June, was a great success. 

Held in Edinburgh's busy Grassmarket area, at the height of the tourist season, it attracted an audience of around 25 varied and interesting people. 

Our aim was fundraising for emergency radios for Chitambo District's hardest to reach  Rural Health Clinics.  These are Mpelembe, Gibson and Chipundu, in the Bangwelu Swamps, where Dr. David Livingstone died: CHITAMBO CLINICS

These clinics have no mobile phone connectivity and rely on faulty old radios to make contact with Chitambo Hospital,  in case of medical emergency.  The multiple delays involved cost lives.

Providing  a high quality digital radio to any one of these clinics will cost around £2,000.  This may see a lot but will be worth the cost because the clinics will then be able to call the hospital direct, rather than going through several intermediary routes.

Batteries and voltage regulators for the digital radios cost an additional £186. 

The Grassmarket Community Centre (CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION)
is the perfect venue for an event, with a sizeable, modern hall and very helpful staff to help the event to run smoothly.  As a charity, we qualified for a substantial reduction in hire fees. 

Refreshments: Our own highly talented and capable Friends of Chitambo (Foch) members and Trustees met our guests and pointed them to tea and coffee.  2 huge boxes of elephant biscuits, donated by Edinburgh Old Town cafĂ© Elephants & Bagels (ELEPHANTS & BAGELS), slipped down very nicely too. 

Biscuits, biscuits!

Information: Trustees pointed guests to a table full of information, books and a sign-up sheet for our mailing list.  The books included copies of Julie's 'Looking for Mrs. Livingstone' and r. Marion Taylor's 'Livingstone's Hospital: the story of Chitambo', which chronicles the history of Chitambo Hospital.

Raffle tickets: Another Foch Trustee plied the guests with raffle tickets and the chance to win a range of prizes, including one whole box of elephant biscuits; a signed copy of our Patron , Julie Davidson's book,  'Looking for Mrs. Livngstone (CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION);  bottle of champagne; and many more options.

Zambian crafts:  We were immensely privileged to have a table full of exquisite Zambia crafts provided, for sale, by our Trustee Agnes Ngulube Holmes.   These attracted a lot of attention. 

Talks: Our main event was Dr. Bridget Innes's talk on her medical work in urban and rural Zambia, and her baby elephant conservation work.  This was enthralling, and was supported by a mass of delightful photographs.  It included an account of her trip to Chitambo, where she accompanied a local health partner on a visit to the remote Chipundu RHC and the David Livingstone monument.
Dr. Bridget  Innes shows a slide of the Chitambo Centenary Ambulance

Bridget's talk was followed by a reading by Julie Davidson reading from her above book, and giving the vote of thanks.  Julie is always an engaging and inspiring speaker and we are so privileged to have her as our Patron.

Julie reads to us
Networking:  This event also provided very rich networking.  A major surprise was that a young Grassmarket centre employee has direct link with Chitambo.  His grandfather was married there!    Hopefully we have a  potential recruit here?

Although buying a compete new radio was beyond our reach last Saturday, we did raised more than enough for a battery and voltage regulator for one clinic.  It's a good start and we are following other routes for the full radio upgrade.

Thank you very much to all who made this possible!