ALFA: Affordable Limbs for All, Kenya
Why did we set up ALFA?
Most Kenyan prosthetic workshops are not actively fitting quality, modern limbs that local people can afford to buy.
The few centres that do make prostheses, such as PCEA in Nairobi offer ICRC( Red Cross) limbs at $500 US per Above Knee limb ( AK), and $350 US for Below Knee limb ( BK). We knew MEND could do better!
A New Workshop in Nairobi:
In August 2018 a house was rented in Matasia, outer Nairobi and a simple prosthetics workshop/ hostel was set up. ALFA had started! A prosthetist and housekeeper were employed. Limb parts were imported from China and socket fabrication materials sourced locally.
Who Runs ALFA?
ALFA (Affordable Limbs for All) is staffed and run totally by local Kenyans, to provide modern, lightweight and affordable prostheses to amputees for about $200 per AK limb and $150 per BK limb.
Subsidies will be arranged for those who are poorer, or free, as we get sponsors!
ALFA MISSION STATEMENT:
To mobilise neglected Kenyan amputees and fit them with low- cost, quality limbs for a better life of mobility and opportunity.
The Challenges of Building a New Hospital at Necha in the Remote Everest Region of Nepal!
About 80,000 people from 12,000 families live in this wild, remote district in Solokhumbu, about 70 kms from Mt Everest. The view from the hospital is spectacular and looks straight up to the peak.
Monsoons, landslides, earthquakes and falling trees have not stopped the Necha community from pitching in and working on the construction. The hospital is being built in stages, building by building. Land for the new hospital was kindly donated by the nearby Rai and Bhujel families with some community members’ support.
Wood was donated and cut by the Forestry Committee. Sand was carried by porters from the river bed 1000 metres below the site! Stone was cut out of the mountainside and carried up the steep hill. After the foundations and retaining wall were constructed the outer walls were erected in February 2015.
Amazingly the community built the floors by hand, stone by stone!
Early in the building process Rob realised just in time that work was to begin on one of the buildings with only 3 columns rather than the 15 in the original design!
Today the hospital is serving the local community and many babies have been born safely at this wonderful facility.
Here’s how two UK guys raised money to start the Necha Hospital project:
Charlie Crossley & Roger Taylor walked 200kms from Lords’ Cricket Ground in London to the Close Cricket Ground in Bristol, England.
They raised a fantastic 1.6 million rupees ($17,000 US) to start construction on Necha hospital. Charlie has Parkinsons so this walk was a huge accomplishment for him.
Other Generous Donors:
- Shanti Rai, Moti Maya and the NRN Hong Kong (Non-Resident Nepalis) raised 600,000 rupees (3700 UK pounds)
- Mr Rai of Dharan donated 617 UK pounds (100,000 rupees) to build the road to the hospital.
- Stiching Heritage Foundation, Netherlands donated 8023 euros (963,000 rupees)
- ALS in Australia donated A$6000 / 2800 UK pounds
- Lee Say Kow, Lee Phoy Yin, Tam Yoke Chow, Lee Kooi Lean, Lee Yean Ching donated $5000 NZ / 2150 UK pounds
After the Nepal Earthquake MEND build a Hope Special School for Hearing Impaired Kids
The school for deaf children in Gulmi was destroyed by the Nepal earthquake. With no government funding available MEND took action. Rob, our Director, put his thinking cap on and designed a safe and simple low cost building based on the New Zealand ‘half round barn’. This new and safe school is also home to 32 hearing-impaired children. They will learn downstairs and live upstairs.
The school is made of sheet metal and pipe frames which should be flexible for any future earthquakes. The materials are easy and cheap to source in Nepal and light for porters to carry in this mountainous area. These shelters are also quick to build so we are considering this as a possible business opportunity for some of our members.
The generous Bundeena community in New South Wales, Australia spent months fundraising to pay for the school and a local family donated new uniforms.
Update: A meeting was held recently with local government officials to get their support for completing the school with a security fence and modern toilet.
This initiative by MEND is a really Kool, fun way to link teachers and disadvantaged students in developing countries. Do you have teaching skills and some time on your hands? These children desperately need help with their maths, science, chemistry, physics, music, geography, English, and general knowledge.
Some of our students are in hospital, rehabilitation centres, remote villages, or isolated at home and unable to go to school. So we love retired teachers, and anyone who cares about kids and youth who have had no opportunity to shine! KoolSkool is run by Volunteers only. Head to the KoolSkool Website>>
Limbs for Afghanistan Amputees
We were contacted by an Afghani Banker living and working in Sydney, Australia. He wanted to help the many needy amputees in Afghanistan, victims of hidden land mines, gain access to affordable, quality prosthetics.
We are now collecting limb parts from the Freemantle Orthotic Service in Western Australia, some of which will be sent to Afghanistan as we develop a partnership with this group helping the amputees.
Vanuatu Appliance and Limb Centre
Michael and Julie from Australia and New Zealand are setting up the Vanuatu Appliance and Limb Centre with help from MEND. We bring our extensive knowledge and networks with prosthetics and orthotics.
Vanuatu has an estimated 5400 amputees who need prosthetics and orthotics to live better lives. There is no workshop or technician in Vanuatu but our first crate load of prosthetics and equipment has landed at the port.
Vanuatu has the third highest diabetes rate in the world. Over time the local healthy diet disappeared and was replaced by processed foods high in sugar. Today 24% of the population is diabetic.The local translation for diabetes is sik sugar.
Rob also conducted hearing tests and donated hearing aids to many of the locals.
Hearts of Orphans and Disabled Children (HOADC), South West Kenya
MEND is helping HOADC rebuild the school with more modern facilities. Currently the school has 11 teachers, 73 students, 55 boarding and 28 with disabilities. The school’s kind neighbour, Mrs Marisa, donated land so now there is space for the new facilities and to grow food.
See the slideshow here:
Shepherds of Life (SOL), Samburu, Kenya
Our partner Shepherds Of Life in Northern Kenya is run by James Wachieni. They help 8000 children and families in this Maasai area with basic health and education care thru USAid.
MEND has joined with SOL and started a sustainable farming and crop growing programme. Our funds are not grants but seeding funds. We receive 100% returns twice yearly on our investment in onions, tomatoes and capsicums. We have also started managing dairy cows on the green slopes of Mt Kenya. Doreen looks after our first cow, Mrs Fresia! These funds will help SOL continue their amazing work with the Maasai and Samburu tribes.
See the Slideshow for photos of our sustainable projects with SOL: