An opportunity to do good - Campaigning for Aimes-Afrique
by Faisal Mooraby on April 26, 2012 15:41
Imagine tomorrow you wake up in a town with no doctor. Imagine that you will not find a nurse or chemist either. In fact, this town does not have any health care facility in any form. Imagine that you discovered that you have aquired an infection on one of your toes.
This infection can spread to your whole leg, which can become yellow or black and become fatal. Or it could be that you have a tumour on your neck or nose as big as your head. How would you cope?
The above scenario is very real in rural parts of Africa. A lot of men and women of villages in the world’s second largest and second most populous continent die without having seen a doctor or nurse in their lifetime. The problem being they live in areas so disconnected from urban areas.
Aimes-Afrique is a non-governmental organisation which is helping these people by bringing health care and awareness to remote and impoverished communities in Africa for free. To demonstrate this institution’s work, to date, Dr. Kodom, the founder of Aimes-Afrique, and his team , has conducted over 10,000 operations since 2007. Clearly, Aimes-Afrique is doing a great job. But more help is needed!
I intend to launch an awareness campaign to encourage doctors, nurses and other health care to signup to Aimes-Afrique and help people in need of medical support in remote areas of Africa. The campaign objective is to get a celebrity doctor to write about Aimes-Afrique in a medical journal, thus mobilising more health care professionals to the cause.
It means a lot to me to see people achieve a better life, especially in terms of health. My grandfather, uncles and aunties have fought against diabetes, heart diseases or cancer during their life-time. It’s a scenario all too common to many of us. The battle of my relatives was not easy and what about those without appropriate facilities around them?
I invite you to join me to get more health care professionals to help people in need in rural Africa. I invite you to join me in getting a celebrity doctor to write on Aimes-Afrique. Wouldn’t it be rewarding to do something good and bring a smile to someone in need!
So Let’s get a Celebrity Doctor to write about Aimes-Afrique!
Image attribution in order: "Village life in Somaliland" by Charles Roffey, "infection" by daniel, "Fluoroscope" by Cindy B, and "Regard" by DeGust. All images in this post are under Creative Commons license BY-NC-ND.
Guide Dogs for the Blind project continues
by Clare Franklin on April 22, 2012 17:52
It was a busy week for our Guide Dog project this last week as the next events began to take shape. I'm really pleased that our newest member, Lynda, who moved to Reading from Glasgow to take up a job at Guide Dogs for the Blind, quite separate from our JCI Reading project, has chosen to get involved witht he community project currently being run by JCI Reading to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind and awareness for its campaigns.
Whilst the aim of JCI Reading to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind continues to go well, we have now put in place plans for a Blind Awareness Evening, aimed at raising awareness - which will be open to all, not just JCI Reading members, but members from all JCI chambers and non members also.
Whilst all of us can imagine what it might be like to be blind, none of us can truly say we totally understand without experiencing it for ourselves. Having an understanding of the difficulties blind people might face and how we can assist with campaigning, fundraising or even just helping a blind person we meet on the street, can help us to become more aware and more knowledgeable in today's community where people with visual impairment and other such difficulties have the right to play a full part of society.
Lynda and I both feel very strongly about these aims and we are working together to put together an awareness evening which we hope will be educational, challenging, interactive and enjoyable, and cover a whole range of issues faced by those who are visually impaired. We also hope to have at the evening individuals who are visually impaired, those who work with such individuals, for the Guide Dogs for the Blind organisation and evn we hope, Guide Dogs and/or puppies!!!!
The proposed date for the evening will be 10th May 2012 and the location, Reading town centre. Please check back to our website for updates and arrangements.
How to make a difference - make a choice to do it
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on April 17, 2012 22:12
I (Steve Wells) recived this email today and thought it worth sharing as it poses a question and makes a very serious point.
What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its
dedicated staff, he offered a question:
'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?'
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'
Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!
Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!
Shay, run to third!'
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team
'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.
May your day, be a Shay Day.
In JCI Terms - Choose to make a difference, what are you going to do this week?
Blind Awareness Evening - In Planning
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on April 13, 2012 10:07
By Clare Franklin:
What a great JCI Reading board meeting last night. There was real positivity in the room, ideas being thrown around and lots of tasks being taken up that will all develop into a great few months of JCI Reading programme.
For me it was really good to have linked up with our newest member Lynda who has joined us from JCI Glasgow having moved here for work. The world is full of coincidences, one of the biggest being that having chosen Guide Dogs for the Blind as our charity for the year, Lynda recently contacted us prior to her move down from Scotland to Reading, in readiness to take up her new employment at.....yes you've guessed it...Guide Dogs for the Blind!!!!!
Obviously, Lynda as an employee of Guide Dogs for the Blind and I as the JCI Reading Charity Projects Director, share our interest of Guide Dogs for the Blind and wanting to raise awareness of the issues that come with blindness and impaired vision. Having shared my idea of a Blind Awareness Evening with the meeting and bouncing ideas around, Lynda and I agreed to work jointly on the idea, even carrying on our chat after the meeting whilst we waited for our bus and train home.
As a result we're hoping to hold the evening in early May, which will be open to non JCI members, as well as JCI Reading and other JCI members as all events are. The early plans are to invite representatives from Guide Dogs for the Blind to tell us of their work, the effects of blindness and how the Guide Dogs really help. Nothing is better than to actually experience something if you are truly to understand it, so we're going to be arranging for there to be all sorts of aids that are available for the visually impaired to assist them with daily tasks, such as making a cup of tea - tasks that can easily be taken for granted. Ideas are building but interactive activities explaining how to guide a blind person will also be included we hope.
Keep an eye here as I'll blog as Lynda and I work together to complete our plans for the evening if you want to get involved and help feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding the basics of photography - Workshop Review
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on April 9, 2012 14:46
Review by Lynda Harwood
I would just like to say a massive 'thank you' to Marco for taking the time to prepare and present a great photography workshop for us at JCI Reading.
I've always loved taking photographs with my digital camera but never knew exactly how I should be taking them, in order to create the best photograph. From Marco's workshop, I learned about the 'essentials of photography' such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed and the rule of thirds.
In addition, what I will also take away from the training is Marco's advice for capturing a great photograph...trust yourself. He told us that, "If it's interesting enough to catch your attention, it will most likely make a great photograph". Very true, indeed!