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Esperança and BeaVan Charities Partner to Collect Much-Needed Hygiene Supplies for People Affected By Ebola

PHOENIX, Ariz. (August 21, 2014)… Esperança, an international nonprofit committed to improving the health and well being of the world’s poor and BeaVan Charities, another local nonprofit that provides comprehensive solution to the grave problem of malnutrition in Sierra Leone, West Africa, have joined forces to collect much-needed hygiene supplies for the people of Sierra Leone.

 

“The Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and particularly the capital Freetown is getting worse,” said Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança. “The once commercial center of the country is being hit incredibly hard.  Basic hygiene supplies are desperately needed.  We’re coming together with BeaVan Charities to collect hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and basic cleaning supplies.  Our goal is to send care packages weekly to the areas hardest hit.”

 

As Esther Pratt with BeaVan Charities noted, “We’ve been told by our contacts in the area that they are lacking basic hygiene supplies.  There is no cure for Ebola and as it stands only these small protective measures will help.  We’re hoping the community will come together and help us collect supplies for the people in West Africa.”

 

For a complete list of items needed, visit:  http://www.esperanca.org/sanitize/.

 

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Esperanca’s office, located at 1911 W. Earll Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85015 or you can make a donation online at www.WeTransformLives.org and 100% of your donation will go directly to help those people in Sierra Leone.

 

About BeaVan Charities

BeaVan Charities is a non-profit organization incorporated in Phoenix Arizona to provide a comprehensive solution to the grave problem of malnutrition in Sierra Leone, West Africa since the end of a decade long civil war. Our mission is to create an environment where children, pregnant and lactating mothers have access to nutritious foods and initiate sustainable agricultural and economic programs to alleviate their poverty and improve food security.  To learn more, visit: http://www.beavancharities.com.

 

About Esperança

Since 1970, Esperança has been providing programs to improve the health and well being of the world’s poor.  Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., this international nonprofit provides volunteer surgical missions, health education, training of community health workers, home building, clean water projects, micro enterprise, agricultural development, dental treatment and prevention programs, and sends donated medical equipment and supplies to project sites around the world. Esperança’s goal is to build clean, sustainable and healthy communities worldwide.  To learn more, visit: www.weTransformLives.org.

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Hygiene Drive to Combat Ebola in Sierra Leone

Esperanca and BeaVan Charities, another local nonprofit that provides comprehensive solution to the grave problem of malnutrition in Sierra Leone, West Africa, have joined forces to collect much-needed hygiene supplies for the people of Sierra Leone. “The Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and particularly the capital Freetown is getting worse,” said Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança. “The once commercial center of the country is being hit incredibly hard.  Basic hygiene supplies are desperately needed.  We’re coming together with BeaVan Charities to collect hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and basic cleaning supplies.  Our goal is to send care packages weekly to the areas hardest hit.” As Esther Pratt with BeaVan Charities noted, “We’ve been told by our contacts in the area that they are lacking basic hygiene supplies.  There is no cure for Ebola and as it stands only these small protective measures will help.  We’re hoping the community will come together and help us collect supplies for the people in West Africa.” Here are the supplies that are greatly needed:

  • Anti-bacterial soap
  • Bleach based germicidal Clorox wipes
  • Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, 4oz flip-cap bottle
  • PURELL Premoistened Sanitizing Hand Wipes, 5 x 7, 100/Box
  • Baby Wipes
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • Plastic Gloves
  • donations to purchase Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (for children in quarantined communities that have already started experiencing food shortages)

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Esperanca’s office, located at 1911 W. Earll Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85015 or you can make a donation by clicking donate now Darling child on tree

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Golden Broccoli

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I’d like to introduce you to a man who grows gold. At least that’s what we hear. His name is Don Pedro. He lives in Bolivia, in the dry, cold, rocky
mountains. Used to be, Don Pedro couldn’t even grow enough food to feed farm animals — not even chickens.

So, just like everybody else in the area he and his family lived on a terrible diet of whatever wretched vegetation the rocky ground could provide.  Not enough protein … not enough Vitamin B. This meant children with stunted growth and learning disabilities.

But thanks to the generosity of friends like you, we had the joy of bringing Don Pedro a new idea: new crops, different plants, that thrive in the Bolivian climate:

• Quinoa (packed with protein)
• Spinach (packed with Vitamin B)
• Broccoli (packed with Vitamin E)
• Chard (packed with Vitamin K)
• Peas (packed with Vitamin A)

Foods you and I take for granted! But not in Bolivia. There, these foods are exotic!  We brought in seeds — and training — to help Don Pedro and his neighbors set up a drip irrigation system, made with local materials.

Don Pedro not only started feeding himself and his family better, but his harvests were soon three times as big as before! And here’s the bonus that makes me smile: Most Bolivians have never seen these types of vegetables before, so when Don Pedro takes his surplus to market, he is drastically improving his family’s income by selling these rare crops for a premium. Don Pedro also began teaching his neighbors what he had learned. Now they’re doing great, too.

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“It’s like we are selling gold at the marketplace!” one woman says, with a huge smile. “We’re eating things we’ve never seen or tasted before!”

Esperança also holds recipe contests — to encourage folks to find new ways to bring nutritious foods into their homes, and keep their families healthy.

But this story isn’t finished — because there are more families in need … more villages suffering … and they need us.

Your partnership helps stop the malnutrition … stop the stunted growth … stop the learning disabilities … Give children an opportunity to thrive and grow and learn … Give them the gift of a future.

Thank you for your support in giving hope to these families today. Maybe you could even help more. However you’ve been blessed in life, let me invite you to share some part of the bounty with people in need … in Bolivia, and beyond … through the proven work of Esperança.

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Dr. Retson Celebrates 40th Volunteer Medical Mission Trip

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Dr. Nicholas Retson is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from Indiana who gives freely of his time and talents to those in need.  He started volunteering with Esperança in 2009 but has been traveling on surgical missions since 1990 and this week marks his 40th medical mission trip! He and his team will be in Nicaragua from August 2-9th helping children and adults who otherwise would not have access to medical care.

He has traveled to Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador and India to conduct countless free surgeries on children and adults in need.

As Dr. Retson recalls, “Every trip is eye opening for me.  To see what being in the developing world really means and how they live on a daily basis puts everything in perspective.  When I return home, my perspective is always different.  I have met some of the nicest people in the world on these trips who are also some of the poorest people in the world.  They have almost nothing, but they are always willing to share whatever they do have with others and the love for their children and families is inspiring.”

Dr. Retson could share countless stories but the children always stick in his mind.  He remembers helping a 16 month old baby who was burned in an accident involving diesel fuel and many children born with cleft lips who would have never gone to school, without his help.

“You can’t turn away from that or forget their stories,” said Dr. Retson.  “You can’t not want to go back and try to help as many people as you can, because you know no one else will.”

Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança noted, “While in Nicaragua this week, Dr. Retson and his team will serve 40-50 patients.  Over the course of the last 14 years, Dr. Retson has provided an invaluable service. We are grateful for his dedication, commitment and continued service to our mission.  We couldn’t do the work we do without doctors like Dr. Retson on board.  Join us in congratulating him on a huge milestone and achievement!”

 

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Notes from the Road: Bob

Robin(my wife) and I(Bob) have been supporters of Esperanca for twenty years. Now we have the opportunity to see Esperanca’s contributions up close. For the next ten days I will join one of their most experienced surgical teams and the local community advocates that have devoted themselves to transforming lives in the important district of Jinotega, Nicaragua. I will also see community development projects funded by Esperanca’s donors that bring people clean water and improved sanitation. This important district encompasses dozens of rural communities and covers 250 square miles, producing 80% of the coffee in the country’s agricultural economy.

A few days after returning from this mission we will join Esperanca staff in Phoenix for a session of SSL (Salud con Sabor Latino) which addresses the most pressing health issues of our underserved communities. As a pharmacist I know only too well the enormous cost that unhealthy behaviors and products place on individuals, families, businesses, and public health resources.  The burden in human suffering and financial cost has been growing exponentially in the US, even becoming a measurable drag on productivity and economic growth. Rather than trying to “boil the ocean”, Esperanca targets our community where the need is most acute, and where transformation has the greatest payoff.

Esperanca embodies the best attributes of a nonprofit organization in the public health sphere. Its local and international programs are driven by committed volunteers, deeply experienced staff, and a legion of long-term donors, supporters, and health care suppliers that know their contributions go directly where they are needed most. Esperanca’s goals are realistic, measurable, sustainable, and proven. Like many donors before me, I will get to see how it all happens!

DSC_0023 Bob

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Supply Drive for Hope

Esperança is holding a summer drive to collect surgical equipment for our international programs and hygiene supplies for our domestic programs. This fall, Esperança will send an entire sea shipment container full of donated medical goods to its partners in Central and South America for use in their clinics and hospitals.  We accept both expired and non-expired materials and supplies. However, we are not able to accept medications or liquids of any sort (i.e. saline, iodine solution, ointments, pre-filled syringes, etc.). For a complete list of medical items we are seeking, visit http://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/.

We  are also collecting toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, dental floss, and lotion for our domestic program that helps low-income and underserved families in South Phoenix.

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Esperança’s office, located at 1911 W. Earll Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85015, or you can call Anna Ortiz, Surgical Program Coordinator, in regards to the international program donations at 602-252-7772 ext. 114. For donations designated to the domestic program please contact Jared Leslie, Development Director at 602-252-7772 ext. 101.

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Welcome to the Warm House

“Home is where the heart is.” This saying is true across all cultures and nations. In the Peruvian highlands south of Cusco this saying stands true, but there are real dangers for families in their homes. Traditional housing that has been used for hundreds of years has been the staple for sound construction for generations. But the traditions and materials were established out of available resources; the wind pierces through rock walls, rain penetrates straw roofs, soaking families; and openings in the walls allow vermin in. Not only were families exposed to the harsh elements of the high Andean mountains, but when they needed to bathe or go to the restroom they would have to walk across fields in the black of night, no matter if it was raining or cold. This lack of shelter from the elements exposes families to illness, and in remote areas this could mean your life.

Basilia saw these dangers and was tired of exposing her husband, Wilber, and their three daughters, Talia, Anna Lee, and Crisari, to the risks of constant disease. Recently she heard about a solution to all of her fears: the option of of joining a program to construct her very own acclimatized home that Esperança and CADEP, our partner in Peru, are bringing to the region. Basilia leapt at the chance to learn more and see if she could provide a better life than the one she had known.

When Basilia returned from the training she learned of the benefits of an acclimatized home. With thicker insulated walls, the wind would not reach the inside of their home. A tile roof would mean the rain would not wake them at night. A bathroom inside her home would end the long walks at night and would bring warm showers that the solar panels provided. With all of these great amenities there were two additional benefits that she never dreamed of. One was separate bedrooms for Basilia and Wilbur, and their children. The second was a greenhouse allowing her family to eat vegetables they never thought possible. Since the greenhouse is attached to the home, it serves not only as a way to grow vegetables but brings warm air into the home through a connecting window that can be opened and closed as needed. This option allows families to bring the temperature of their home up to 16 degrees warmer than ever possible.

This home came with the agreement of hard work. Basilia and her family committed to making the adobe bricks and learning the new ways of construction. They were not alone; the community rallied behind them and offered support. When the project was completed, Basillia offered her expertise to families who wanted homes like hers.
This tradition of sharing knowledge and labor originated with the Incas, but it helps to spread the work of Esperança, and is allowing us to transform communities.
Basilia wanted to share the following with Esperança supporters: “I am happier now, my family lives better, we are getting ahead. My children no longer get sick with colds, flus and diarrheal diseases. My house is more orderly and it is easier to keep clean. My children do their part to clean, but with more time they can now do their homework. This truly means a different life for my children.”

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This is a completed home.

 

 

 

 

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Typical Homes before they are improved.

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Your compassion gave them life.

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Thanks for nothing. I’m serious. “Nothing” is a beautiful gift.

When you’re desperately ill, and you have to go in for surgery, you urgently want to feel nothing … until it’s all over.

Anesthesia is the gift of “nothing” … and this past year this gift has been given to 82 people this year in Nicaragua.

With the strong support of friends like you, we had the joy of delivering a brand-new anesthesia machine — replacing one that was 30 years old and terribly defective — in Operating Room #1 in the clinic at San Rafael del Norte.

Without this extraordinary gift, 82 people wouldn’t have had the surgery they needed — or simply couldn’t have survived the pain.

Your compassion gave them life

On their behalf, I bring you my thanks.

We would like to share the news of the fact that we will be delivering a medical container with 10 tons of equipment and supplies — from a complicated anesthesia machine to simple things like sutures, bandages, antiseptic, and everything in between — to the people of northern Nicaragua this fall. Our supporters will ease the suffering of people trapped in poverty. They have given the gift of quality medical care to people who have nowhere else to turn. And in turn lives have been saved. Hundreds, even thousands of lives.

And because we gather donated equipment and supplies, every dollar of given to this program will EXPLODE into $211.50 worth of medical supplies!

It seems almost impossible, but it’s literally true. I don’t know of any way you could possibly make a bigger impact with a simple gift. And not just in dollars. This will make a life-changing impact on children and families.
A little boy, wracked by stomach pain and urgently in need of surgery, will finally get help and healing.

A terrified mother, after watching her daughter waste away week after week, will see that little girl miraculously begin to grow strong, and smile again.

In a house where all hope has been lost, where sickness has stolen all joy, the sound of laughter will be heard once more.

Your compassion will rewrite the future.

 

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New Ways to Transform Lives Like Luke

With yields on CD’s, savings accounts and money market funds near historic lows, it is no wonder that many savers are taking a serious look at the benefits of gift annuities. There are a number of advantages that gift annuities offer, indcluding:

Attractive Rates. Mary Jones is receiving a modest income from her Certificate of Deposit.
When the CD matures in one month, she plans on obtaining an Esperança gift annuity and will start receiving 5.8 percent. Gift annuity rates are very attractive for older friends of Esperança. Many folks in their retirement years are pleased when they compare their low investment yields with the current annuity rates offered by Esperança.

Tax-Free Payments. Part of each annuity payment is tax-free. For example, Mrs. Jones, age 75, contributed $50,000 towards a gift annuity. Every year, she will receive $2,900 (5.8%). Of this amount, approximately 70% will be excluded from income taxes. The tax-free portion of the annuity payment is considered “return of principle” and continues through estimated life expectancy.

Income Tax Deduction. Since a gift annuity is partially a gift and partially an investment in an annuity contract, the donor who itemizes is entitled to an income tax deduction for the gift portion of his or her annuity. With the example of Mrs. Jones above, her $50,000 gift annuity gave her a tax deduction of more than $22,000. The deduction is available for the tax year when the gift annuity is established. If the deduction cannot be used entirely that year, Mrs. Jones has up to five years to carry forward the unused amount. The tax advantages make the effective rate of the gift annuity even higher than the rate used to establish the annuity.

Fixed, Regular Payments. It’s nice to be able to count on a specific payment no matter what happens with fluctuating interest rates. Your annuity payments will not change from year to year.

Passing On A Legacy. Perhaps the greatest benefit of an Esperança gift annuity is the personal fulfillment you receive by helping Esperança as well as yourself. Your gift annuity helps Esperanҫa continue its important mission of transforming lives. People with highly appreciated stock and other assets can also benefit from a gift annuity. They particularly like the partial bypass of capital gains they receive.

You owe it to yourself to find out more about a gift annuity with Esperança. To obtain a personalized illustration, please contact Tom Egan at 602-252-7772 ext 103 or email

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No longer living in fear

Benito Herrera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its bite is painless. The red welt it leaves behind is almost unnoticeable and, because it strikes long after the lights go out, you’ll never see it coming. It’s called the vinchuca bug.

This tiny little bug was responsible for what they call “muerte subita” or rapid death. Officially known as Chagas, this deadly disease is caused by a blood-borne parasite carried by the vinchuca bug, and every year it claims more than 50,000 lives.

It attacks by slowly eating away at cardiac muscle until the heart ruptures. It can devour a host’s intestinal wall leading to toxicity and massive internal bleeding. In children it can also produce inflammation of the heart and brain causing immediate death.

Can you imagine what it would be like to hear about children dying in your neighborhood, suddenly and without explanation? As a parent, can you imagine the terror of wondering if your child is next?

These are sobering thoughts. But as horrifying as the vinchuca bug and Chagas are, there is really only one reason they are capable of so much destruction. Vinchuca bugs only strike while their victims are asleep and then retreat to hide in cracks and crevices during the day. This means vinchuca bugs are rarely seen by the villagers they infect.

The Chagas disease the bugs leave behind is also just as insidious. It only exhibits mild flu like symptoms for the first few days of infection. Then it can be a year, five years or even a decade before Chagas suddenly manifests itself in a variety of devastating and many times, deadly ways.

That’s why Esperança is doing everything it can to spread the word. Last year, we were able to educate 50,000 Bolivians on the dangers of the vinchuca bug. We taught them how to locate them, capture them and find out if they carry Chagas. We were also able to show them how to protect themselves from future infestation by cleaning and sanitizing their homes, repairing gaps in their roofs and walls and, in some areas, using specialized paint that contains insecticides. The villages we reach with this vital information see their infections rates dramatically drop – most to less than 3%!

Benita lives in Sunchal with her husband and four children. Located close to the border of Argentina, Sunchal has a high vinchuca infestation rate due to the mud and thatch they use in the construction of their homes. Benita has always been fearful of rapid death, so when Esperança promised to give her village a way to combat this mysterious disease, Benita jumped at the chance. She was chosen by her community to be trained in Chagas prevention and to relay her knowledge to the rest of the village.

“Because of the Chagas training, I’ve learned how this disease kills people and how we can prevent and eliminate the vinchuca bugs in our homes. Esperança gave me posters and cards which my husband and I have used to teach others about this disease and show them how to look for and capture the bugs. Within a week of our visits, many families have turned in small bags of captured vinchuca bugs, which we give to the community health center to determine if they are infected or not. Today my family and I do a search once a month to look for the vinchuca because we now know it keeps our family safe.”

 

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Esperança is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.