Saturday, September 22, 2007

Engeye News!

Greetings Engeye Friends!

Welcome to our first-ever newsletter! We are excited to share with you our progress over the last several months.

Team Engeye members and volunteers have been putting in serious overtime of late, with the most urgent priority getting ready for our November trip. We are in a fundraising frenzy, to ensure the trip and all of its goals will be a great success. If we are able to meet our objectives, we will be one step closer to improving the unacceptable living and health conditions in rural Uganda. We have witnessed a need much greater than that on our own soil and are determined to make some noise. The daily suffering, easily preventable diseases, and unnecessary deaths cannot continue.

As always, our Ugandan connection/team member/ace-in-the-hole John Kalule has been working tirelessly to bring everything together on his end. As you can see below, construction of our vital on-site lab is well underway! Our goal is for construction to be complete by the time we arrive so we can begin to stock and equip it. We expect it to provide greatly enhanced diagnostic capabilities as well as extra income for the clinic.

Thanks to a 24 hour solo (yep, that's right, all alone!) run/walk-athon by Kenji Sasaki, who raised a total of $5,000, we’ve been able to make the progress that we have with construction of the laboratory in such a short time. His video on our site is a good watch!

Becky Thiebes, a business and litigation attorney from Foster Pepper in Portland, OR has joined the Engeye board of directors to assist in legal questions. We are so thankful and appreciative for Becky's generosity and selfless interest in our project. She continues to be an awesome support and resource.

Sadly, Dr. Bob (pictured below – under the solar panel) won’t be able to join us in November due to health concerns, and Stephanie and Brooke will have to remain behind as well. You’d think that that would be a problem…
But no!

Misty immediately stepped up to the plate and assured us she was ready to lead the team on her own. Also recently voted onto the board of directors, Misty's positive and enthusiastic dedication is a real inspiration. She has been and continues to be an integral part of why Engeye is a successful non-profit organization. What will Misty and the team tackle this November?

Thanks to help and guidance from Allison at the Uganda Village Project, the November team plans to carry out mass malaria testing with a malaria "quick test" AND treatment. We hope to begin to generate some accurate statistics in the region and curb a lot of unnecessary morbidity and mortality.

No surprise… our rock star of a supporter, Kenji Sasaki, will be installing solar panels! Yes! First time ever for the village to have electricity! We hope this is only the beginning of a major push to bring dependable electricity to Ddegeya village. With any luck our LED headlamps will be history. After solar has been installed, we have determined that our next step needs to be to raise the necessary $8,000 for the transformer so we can supplement our solar with the regional grid. As soon as we complete these electrical requirements, doors will open that we never thought possible . . .

Several musically inclined individuals from the November trip are going to provide music lessons free of charge to the village children! Another very exciting "first"-- music and instruments! With all the work the children have during their days, we can't wait to introduce a fun, creative outlet, and a break from carrying heavy jerry cans of water.

Through Misty's AMSA connection, we've been lucky enough to have befriended 5 awesome Rwandan senior medical students who will join us for the entire November stay. We’re so excited about all that we will learn from each other and hope this will be the beginning of a long friendship.

The continued generosity of Green Tangerine Media, our talented and gifted website designers, reminds us that random generous acts of kindness do exist! At no cost to us, they revamped our entire website. We added some long overdue pages, including a page dedicated to John Kalule, who leads all efforts in Uganda. He and the nurse continue to see an average of 40 patients every day. Check out the new site!

One step closer to raising the standard of living, now 40 village children are wearing shoes! With 5 boxes on the way, we hope this number will soon climb to our goal of 500! This project was inspired by and continues to be run exclusively by 4 dedicated women who decided to take this matter into their own hands. We will continue to update the site as new shipments arrive.

Out of the blue. . .
Two women at Northwoods Health System read an article about Engeye and are loading us up us with free, brand spankin' new supplies for the clinic. Now our only worry is whether we can tote them all down.

Dawna Heising, a marketing and public relations specialist, has been a continuous strong supporter of Engeye and is helping us spread the word about the suffering that continues in Uganda. Recently she nominated Engeye for the Point of Light award and the team has already received their autographed newsletter from Mr. George Bush! Pretty darn cool!

And finally . . .
We are considering the sponsorship of two of the most gifted Uganda men that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, giving them the opportunity to earn certification in mental health counseling. Dr. Joe will sponsor one, and Engeye the other.
After the two-year program, gaining life-enhancing skills for themselves, we have faith that their counseling skills will allow them to give back to the community – providing a service in mental health that is currently nonexistent in the region.

And there still is so much to do!

But we continue to bear in mind that "a man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive; and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."

John Kalule, wrote to us from Uganda today, "You might underestimate what you are doing, but let me assure you that you are doing what the government has failed for many years. Therefore your efforts are highly appreciated and cherished."

Thank you all for your continued support.
We ARE making a difference.
Your donations enable us to change the unacceptable living conditions in Ddegeya Village.

We hope you and your families are happy, healthy, and enjoying the small things in life.

Team Engeye

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