Posted by Barry Smith on Oct 05, 2018

Attendance: 18   

15 members (including new members Avrum Liederman and Anthony Lippa who will be inducted shortly)

and

3 guests (Dorothy Wengler, guest of Gerd Wengler; Carly Deschamps and Jonathan Gibson, guests of Barry Smith).  

Chair: President Donna  

Anthem: Peter Masson  

Grace: Jim Boyko  

Announcements:  

- Pres. Donna announced that our club raised a record $1,300 plus for the Foundation Walk.  

- Rocco announced that we are in full swing collecting items for our Live Video-Streamed Auction. We have over 30 items so far, but need an average of 8 items per member to reach the 200 items that we need for a successful auction. So, make your calls, collect your items, and get them to Rocco. We only have until the end of this month to get those items in.  

- Basil announced that the Scarborough Ribfest raised $41,000, and our club’s portion is $5,510.  

 

The Marbelous Draw was conducted by Alan Meredith and was won, and  lost, by Gerd.  

 

Sgt-at-Arms 

 Gerd levied fines and Happy Bucks:  

- There were fines for those who did not attend or contribute to the Foundation Walk, and new member Anthony Lippa tossed in $20.00, which was more contribution than fine.  

 

Happy Bucks:  

- Rocco, for Leafs being #1  

- Barry for having guests present and avoiding the Calgary snow that his son and granddaughter are trudging through.  

- Peter Masson won a golf prize  

- Basil was happy about his Winnipeg trip  

Program:

Gerd introduced Sue Simpson (Philips) who is a retired nurse who volunteers for a project in Ghana that was started 10 years ago by Ghana citizen David Mensah, who is also chief of the tribal chiefs of Ghana.

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His vision was based on the philosophy that if just 20 citizens of Ghana like him would study and train overseas and come back to Ghana to lend their expertise to solve the major issues of clean water, sanitation, food production, education and medical services, that they could truly make a difference to the country. Thus, The Northern Empowerment Association (NEA) was formed and after 10 years of operations is indeed making a real difference in Ghana. NEA works with the Ghana Rural Integrated Development (GRID) who supply volunteers from Canada as well as the UK.  

Sue shared some of the challenges that Ghana faced. The people had hunted their native animals, such as lions, into extinction. Therefore, new animals, such as chickens, turkeys, and pigs, and the farming of  tilapia were introduced in order to provide new sources of food for the people. The NEA created a 400 acre compound in order to develop this new food source.  

Sue is personally involved in the medical initiative of the NEA and GRID. Each year a medical/surgical/dental and eye team travels to Northern Ghana to offer clinics to 9000 patients who cannot afford medical care.  

Sue explained that, because of malnutrition coupled with possible genetic factors, hernias are more common in Ghana and can even develop in very young children. If left untreated, hernias can be fatal. The GRID teams perform 900 hernia operations in 9 days. The surgical conditions are very crude with the doctors and nurses having to operate using head lamps as opposed to proper overhead lighting. Patients are assessed a year in advance of their hernia operations and are very thankful to obtain this lifesaving surgery, allowing them to once again work to support their families. In addition to hernia surgery, a donor donated a $45,000 laser machine so that laser eye surgery can be used to restore eyesight to many people in Ghana.  

Sue also shared that some women in Ghana have up to 40 pregnancies. Thus, education and birth control, coupled with midwife services, will allow for less pregnancies per person and allow more women to join and remain in the work force.  

Sue explained that Ghanaians are hard workers and once impediments such as poor heath and renewed food, water and sanitation services are implemented, the Ghanaians will be able to become self-supporting. In addition, Ghanaians are being trained in the services being provided so that they can serve as medical staff and in other key roles in this ambitious and on-going project.  

Sue closed with an announcement of an exciting vision for the future. NEA and GRID are raising USD $10 million to build and establish a hospital in Ghana, so that rural Ghanaians can have access to quality health care.  

 

Gerd thanked Sue for a very interesting and informative presentation.  

The meeting was terminated.