Kayima 1 X 9 Challenge gets off to an excellent start

In just 10 days since launching the College's international outreach project, $1,290 has already been donated for the benefit of the desperately poor medical clinic situated in the small village of Kayima in the far north-east of Sierre Leone (West Africa).

College Members have been challenged to save $1 per week for 9 weeks and then donate the money to the Kayima Clinic. With donations of over $1,000 in just 10 days, it's clear that Members are getting right behind this big community service project. The wider College community - parents, caregivers, College Fellows and Staff - have also been incredibly generous so far.

The Kayima 1 X 9 Challenge was launched at a special Formal Dinner held at the College on Sunday evening, 13 May (see accompanying photos).  Guest speaker was College Fellow Professor Tony Binns of the Geography Department at the University of Otago. Prof Binns has a longstanding relationship with the Kayima community dating back to 1974 when he was conducting field research in the area as part of his PhD.

The Kitchen at St Margaret's prepared the most marvellous African-themed three-course meal (see accompanying menu)  for Members to enjoy at the Formal Dinner. During his presentation,  Prof Binns explained that health care among remote communities in Sierra Leone is in a very poor state. In Kayima (population about 2,000), the small clinic has only very basic resources, with two nurses and very few medicines and medical supplies. Despite this, the clinic is the only health facility for about 100,000 people in Kayima and surrounding villages, which in some cases are several hours walk from the clinic. Improving health care in such communities must be given top priority, but in such a poor country, remote communities are often badly neglected.

Why a challenge over nine weeks? Well, the College’s Mid-winter Christmas Dinner takes place on 15 July which is exactly nine weeks away from the launch date of the fundraising project, namely 13 May! We thought that as giving is part of the Christmas tradition, it would be wonderful to gift the money raised at our Mid-winter Christmas Dinner on 15 July.

If you would like to support the College's efforts in this fundraising initiative, making a donation is very straightforward. The College has set up a special give-a-little page on the web (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/kayima-clinic-outreach) so that anyone can make a donation easily and at any stage. We're aiming to raise approximately $5,000 by 15 July.

All funds raised will be presented to the Kayima Clinic through Prof Tony Binns for medicines and medical supplies.

(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)

Posted: Tuesday May 22, 2018