RPCVs-NENY Give Back: Freedom From Fistula

FistulaClinicThe RPCV NENY-sponsored Freedom From Fistula event on April 12th was a rousing success. The program included a speaker, film, patient testimonial, plus light food, and silent auction. The evening’s activities were well received and many of those who attended expressed how much they learned from the program and enjoyed the company. Through ticket sales and donations $6,362 was raised to prevent and treat obstetric fistula! The funds have been donated to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation (FFFF) to support the Fistula Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi.

RPCV-NENY’s original goal for this fundraiser was to sell fifty tickets and raise $1300. We underestimated the incredible generosity and heart of the greater northeastern New York region, and our families and friends across the country. We sold over seventy tickets and more than quadrupled our fundraising target donation. In addition, small businesses in the region and many individuals were contributors to our silent auction, which helped raise significant funds.

We wish to extend a special thanks to the congregation of Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland for the use of their facilities and their support.

The FFFF will use the funds for surgeries to restore a woman to health, life, and a future. Each surgery costs $500. They will also be used to support the Patient Ambassador Program at the Malawi Fistula Centre. The Patient Ambassador Program trains former fistula patients to be outreach ambassadors in remote areas of Malawi. The ambassadors identify women suffering from fistula and bring them into the center for surgery. The ambassadors also help prevent fistula by encouraging pregnant women to get to medical facilities in time to deliver with medical assistance. A portion of the funds will enable the Center to purchase bikes for the ambassadors, to further their outreach.

This event would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the steering committee that carried out the myriad required tasks over the course of several months. Quite a community was built in a short amount of time. We were also fortunate to have been able to use the blueprint of the successful 2014

RPCV NENY-sponsored Ebola event and the group now has significant “event” experience.

We are planning to create a package that documents our process and products so that other groups that want to undertake an awareness and fund raising event can be provided the tools and procedures that worked so well for us…without having to reinvent the wheel. We will distribute this how-to package to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation, and will also provide it to the National Peace Corps Association for the benefit of other RPCV groups.

~Courtesy of Becky Raymond

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The group received a thank you message from Margaret Moyo, Director of the Malawi Fistula Centre:

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Click the link above to view the video. Text can be found below:

“My name is Margaret Moyo, Director, Fistula Care Center, Malawi. As a center we repair more than 350 mothers every year. We don’t just concentrate on the physical repair. We rehabilitate, empower and reintegrate these women back into society.

Our patient ambassador program is a great success. On a monthly basis we admit more than 16 mothers brought in by the Patient Ambassadors. We are very grateful for the continuing support you are giving to us.

Thanks very much.”

2016 Peace Corps Connect Conference in DC.

The NPCA will be hosting its annual Peace Corps Connect Conference in Washington D.C. from September 21 – 25. If you’d like to see the schedule, register, or would like more general information, you can find it all on the website:http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/community/annual-gathering/.  
 
If any member or members would like access to the Augusta Field Memorial Lifelong Learning Fund, please see terms and conditions below in our bylaws. The amount we have allocated in our 2016 budget is $300. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to request access to the funds, please email rpcvneny@gmail.com.
 
 
“5.2: Augusta Field Memorial Lifelong Learning Fund: In memory of former group president Augusta Field, the group shall establish and annually fund  one or more current members’ participation in Peace Corps Connect annual conference or another Peace Corps related conference, seminar or event. This fund celebrates the memory and service of our beloved former president, Augusta Field. Augusta, who passed away in 2015, was a volunteer in Lesotho in 1988. She was a very active, passionate, and warmhearted part of our group for many years. Her friendly and collegial spirit added vitality and welcomed members new and old. This fund salutes her work in higher education, her many contributions to the group, and serves to keep her memory alive.
 
The support this fund, the group shall make available a minimum amount of money each year (up to $300). Current office holders should, after reviewing the group’s finances, propose a specific amount as part of the annual budget. Members may request some or all of this funding in writing to any of the group’s officers. The group’s officers should bring worthy funding requests as well as their recommendation on approval to the group for a vote. Members receiving funding will be responsible to present to the group about their experience at Peace Corps Connect or whichever event is funded by the group’s donation. Members accepting funds agree to attend the event in question or refund in total the amount granted. This amount shall not accumulate year upon year. A new amount shall be authorized by the group’s officers each year. The group’s officers should promote the availability of funds via email, on the group’s website, and through contact with members.”

RPCV-NENY Yard Sale

The Yard Sale will be held on FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH and SATURDAY, JUNE 18TH, rain or shine, from 9am to 3pm at Jeanette and Steve Gottlieb’s house located at 200 South Manning Blvd. in Albany.
All proceeds from this Sale will go directly into the group’s account and will allow us to continue fulfilling the 3rd Goal and to contribute to various international causes. If you’re available on either or both of these days, we could certainly use your help!
Here are some of the ways you can help us make this a successful fundraiser for our group:
1) You can contribute items. Take a look around and see if there are any items you would be willing to donate to the group. If you have items to donate and can drop them off the day of the sale at 8am, that would be ideal. If you’re unavailable the day of, the preference would be to drop the items off at the Gottliebs’ the week prior to the Sale. If that doesn’t work, we can arrange to pick up these items for you prior to June 17th(unless you’re able to bring them to the June 7th monthly meeting). If you have items, please coordinate with Jeanette to let her know what they are and whether or not we need to coordinate a pickup. We are hoping to have a good idea of what we are going to have prior to the Sale, so that we can advertise accordingly.
If you want a specific price for an item, make sure you mark it with a price tag prior to donating it. Otherwise, we are going to bargain with buyers the day of. Also, if your item does not sell and you want it to be returned to you, you need to pick it up after the Yard Sale is over. Otherwise, all leftover items are going to be donated to the Salvation Army or other charitable organization. For emphasis, donated items will not be returned unless the donor arranges for pick-up the day of the Sale.
2) You can volunteer to help out one or both days of the Sale. We are looking for people to help out in shifts. The shifts are:
8am – 11am*
11am – 2pm
1pm – 4pm
2pm – 4pm*
*We especially need help with the first and last shifts of the day, for set up/take down. Additionally, Jeanette has some larger items in her basement that would need to be moved for easier access. It would be particularly helpful to have people who are able to help carry large items to help do that the first shift of the day or Thursday night if unable to come the day of the Sale.
3) You can contribute tables or tents/shelters. We need a few more tables and especially some tents and shelters in case it rains. We could also use some clean boxes if you have them.
4) You can bake some items and pack them individually for sale on the day of.
5) You can donate cuttings of plants (these sold particularly well last year). If you need pots, talk to Jeanette. She’s got the hook up.
6) You can volunteer to help pick up items in your area if people are unable to drop them off.
If you can help out in any of these ways, please email Jeanette atjeanettegny@earthlink.net.
We’re presently working on a flier that I’ll send out to the group in a later email – if you can post around your area and help us publicize, that would be great!
Again, all proceeds from this Sale will go directly into the group’s account. Please note, there will not be a tax write off for donations to the group as we are not a 501(c)(3).
Let us know if you have any questions. Thank you all in advance, and here’s hoping that we can make this fundraiser as successful as the last!Yard Sale

RPCVs-NENY celebrate International Women’s Day

On Tuesday, March 8th, representatives from the RPCV-NENY group had the pleasure of staffing a table at the International Women’s Day event held at the Opalka Gallery in Albany, NY.   The theme for 2016, was “Pledge for Parity”.    The event was Co-sponsored by the International Women’s Day Committee, the Sage Colleges, ICCR and the Opalka Gallery.  Different food vendors offered samples of their specialties.  Many people enjoyed the edible delicacies.  Local organizations also participated.  The Keynote Speaker was Albany Mayor, Kathy Sheehan.   Journalist, Rosemary Armao presented the opening remarks.  This event was a perfect opportunity for people to come together, network, share their passions of altruism and food and celebrate women.  Below is a screenshot of the participants at the event.

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