We have been working in Ghana since 2007, since when it has become one of our most important partners.
Within Ghana, our work can be divided into several categories;
We have been sending several containers each year of much urgently required medical supplies to various hospitals throughout the country, including hospitals in Accra, Tamale, Wa, Lawra and Nandom. Containers would include a combination of medicines, medical disposable products such as gloves, syringes, catheters, etc, equipment such as sterilisers, dental equipment, anaesthetic machines and even diasysis machines. We also work in partnership with the Ostomy society of Ghana, a national Ghanaian charity that provides colostomy supplies to people who might otherwise not be able to afford these products.
We have been working with the Queen of Peace school in Wa, in the upper west province of Ghana, sending books, school furnitureand other necessary school equipment. We also helped install a bore hole to provide the school with good quality drinking water which was not previously available.
We also work with King’s Village near Tamale which has a school and a hospital. We have sent containers of aid to the hospital and donated a tractor to help farm the land to raise crops to feed the school children. We have also planted a fruit tree orchard next to the school.
Jacob’s Well Appeal works with our partners in Northern Ghana on fruit tree projects, dry season farming projects and also the seed bank projects.
The Nasio Trust Orphanage in Western Kenya
Street Kids in Nairobi, Kenya
In Nov 2013, one of the deadliest typhoons ever recorded struck the Philippines. Jacob’s Well responded straight away by sending a container full of food, clothing and medical supplies. In response to urgent requests to help people rebuild their homes, we sent a second container shortly afterwards filled with building material, tools and machinery to help the local people rebuild their own homes. Our aid has been channelled through a Norwegian aid organisation based in Hernani, a city of around 10 000 people a few hours drive from Tacloban, the regional capital. Hernani was one of the worst affected towns, with hardly any buildings left standing.
Our first container of aid was delivered to the Adventist Hospital in Karachi in 1980. It had some valuable donation of equipment for the x ray department and much needed hospital furniture for the wards. This was followed by one load for the Marie Adelaide Hospital in Karachi and also one container for a Hospital in a town called Gilgit.
Our Pakistani contacts in both Karachi & Peshawar were very necessary in helping us move our Afghan containers, and so were our links with all the necessary government departments.
In 2002 we were approached by the Director of the Lady Dufferin Hospital in Karachi for help in fitting out their large new wing. This charitable obstetrics and gynaecology hospital was originally founded by the wife of a British ambassador in the 19th century when the city was small. It now has a population of 12 million. The contents of 5 full containers have furnished the new wing.
In the aftermath of the severe earthquake that badly affected parts of Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province Jacob’s Well sent two containers of medical aid, tents, food and warm clothing and bedding. Many problems were experienced in getting the army to release these containers from the port but eventually they did move up north and were distributed by the army.
In 2012 & 2013 containers have been delivered to the Karachi Lady Dufferin Hospital that also contained some clothing and bedding for the Convent Home for disabled children.
Romania was the second country we worked in, starting in 1987. During the Ceaucescu era we helped several hospitals in Bucharest, though we encountered many difficulties. By the end of 1988 we backed out as it was too dangerous to continue. On Christmas Eve of 1989 we helped the Red Cross fill the first plane of emergency aid for Bucharest. The revolution had just taken place. In March 1990 we sent supplies to a 450 bedded hospital for handicapped children in Siret on the Ukraine border. When Anneka Rice’s well-known TV show took up the challenge to give this ancient hospital a “make-over”, many hearts in Britain were touched by the plight of these children. By this time we had decided that the greatest need was for people to give some individual love and attention to these children. They were only taken out of their cots to play for half an hour each day! So these children craved the attention that our of gap year and other volunteers could give them.
Siret, Roumania: Our Day Centre and Rehabilitation Centre: The large Neuropsychiatric Hospital for handicapped children in Siret closed in 2001. The children under 18 were dispersed to small units in their home counties. Those over 18 who had been unable to achieve independence were placed in the dismal former town boys’ orphanage. Consequently, Jacob’s Well built a Rehabilitation Centre which is now the home for 11 young men who are need of supported social housing. With the help of the town’s social services and the local hospital activities are provided which teach them to care for themselves and to provide living and occupational skills. Jacob’s Well also built 4 houses to provide supported social housing for couples or families with special needs.
Moldova lies just east of Romania and is close to where we work in Siret. Thanks to the links of our Romanian leaders we have now been able to start work in this needy country. Our first container of medical aid was delivered to the Moldova charity ORA in August 2007. Their hospitals have requested beds and they are grateful for most hospital furniture and equipment. We have requests for help for old peoples’ homes, orphanages and dental clinics also. They are now way behind Romania and look with envy at their progress. We hope to be able to help their hospitals to update a little.
Our links with a hospice in Moldova have also proved very helpful. They requested colostomy bags and we gladly sent supplies. They are now acting as a centre for distribution for all stoma cases for the country and we deliver one load each year. Unfortunately we are unable to send them medicines since their bureaucracy is following the Romania system which now makes medical aid almost impossible.