Thursday, May 28, 2009

fundraiser update

Sunday, March 8, 2009. I organized a Fundraiser at Vancouver's Kayan Mediterranean Restaurant, for little Yessen to pay for both his exploratory surgery and surgery to remove the lump from his neck. I was hoping to raise enough money to pay for his surgery as well as help with some of the many needs in the bedouin village I live near, in the Sahara, Tunisia.

What an amazing success!!! The restaurant was completely booked, and $2,110.00 was raised! What an incredible community of dancers, social workers, family and friends I have...

YOU did this - and you should feel proud. I am.

It has now been over two months since the fundraiser. It has been difficult to find the right families to help. People are proud, and, although poor in
finances, these families are rich in love and hospitality. I have been given much more than I have given.

After Yessen's doctor examined the cyst, he said that the lump is not malignant, and that he will wait to do surgery to remove the lump in another two years when Yessen is a little older. Thank you. What a blessing to know he will be alright. Inshallah. So although I won't need to pay for surgery, the family is very poor I will buy them a lamb to raise.

Thanks to you, I have also been able to pay for eye surgery for Ammar, a Bedouin man who had almost gone blind by the years of sun from the Sahara. His surgery was a few weeks ago, and a success, but unfortunately since then infection set in, so he has needed more medication and more time in the hospital. I don't have a photo of him.

Then, I learned about a nine year old boy, Bahaa, who has a problem with his eyes, I went to visit the family, and I could see that it is quite significant.
I can't imagine how it must feel - he can't study, or even see very well. The family has had a prescription written by the doctor for special glasses to help strengthen his eyes, but they haven't been able to afford them. The average monthly wage here is between 15 and 30 dinars a month (roughly 12 to 25 dollars). Cost of living is cheap here, but that is not enough to even feed a family. So, very soon, Bahaa will be getting his glasses. As well, I will purchase a few goats and sheep for this family.

Rgaia is a middle aged woman who lives alone. Both her parents have died, she has no other family, and she is somewhat mentally handicapped. She lives in a spotless but very sparse one room home, with the 'kitchen' just a curtain behind her bed.
She works when she can, picking dates, or at whatever she can get. But there is always a shortage of work. She has no other means of income. With your donations, she will soon have three or four sheep to raise. I also gave her some cash to help with her immediate needs. As well, I will purchase some much needed supplies for her kitchen.

Kharia is a dear friend of mine. You may have seen photos of her and her children on my blog in earlier entries. Although their home is tiny and sparse, it is full of love and open to a constant stream of guests stopping by for tea or a meal. Because of you, they will soon have their own electricity.

Fatma is an older divorced woman who has been living with her brother and his family. However, she is an unwelcome guest, and has ended up being almost a servant. Her son, a young adult, wants so much to build a one room house for her. Your donations will pay for electricity for the home.

Thanks to your generosity, you have made a difference in many lives.

Love, Juanita

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