A Letter To You

I was given an opportunity 10 years ago to support neurosurgery at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Today, we have an international team of experts in health care, finance, construction, etc., devoting their time and skills in partnership with Ghana to establish transformative contemporary health care for the West African region.

Much international aid work IS being done to help Africans; however, giving them a full tool kit to establish independence is simply not yet a reality.  A simple analogy goes like this. If you have nails, but not a hammer, and are trying to drive in a nail with your hand, eventually most would just give up believing it to be hopeless.  For decades, African doctors who deeply care about their people have been working with such limited resources, that it is next to impossible to provide anything beyond rudimentary care. Training an African as a neurosurgeon and then sending him home to practice with only a thermometer and tongue depressor for tools, well you get the picture. Consequently, the brightest students leave the continent to follow their dreams abroad. Autonomy will not be achieved in our lifetime. But . . .

What our Langley-based international team of volunteers and specialists are achieving is to provide a full tool kit, in full partnership with Ghana’s government, national hospital and university. This includes supporting the building of a new and sustainable contemporary hospital at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, an Emergency and Clinical Specialties Centre, teaching and training the nationals on their continent, and establishing a world class neuro-research centre for tropical disease studies affecting the brain and spinal cord. It is a mammoth undertaking, but it is being done.

Many Ghanaians are world-class specialists and we, in B.C., receive benefits from their superb skills.  Kofi Annan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, is one example of a world leader who has recently returned home to build stability and advance the cause of Africa for the region.

Would you join with us? You would be a part of a world-class project literally breaking new ground. Please give us the opportunity of meeting you on October 16th and sharing these and more exciting developments.

In gratitude for your time and attention,

Marjorie Ratel RN BSN

President

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation [B.C.] / Korle-Bu Foundation [Canada]


Fundraising Update

KBNF is going all out in October to fundraise in an innovative manner, with the help of Diamond Delivery. This is our first major fundraiser since the fall 2007 Table Tennis Tournament at Kwantlen University. The goal is to raise $30,000 to $50,000 (including corporate sponsorships). This is to give you an update (and advance warning that you are very much needed), so that you can mark your calendars and come prepared to put in a few hours, based on your abilities and availability. (You can also buy stuff at the sale!!!)

No. 1: Container shipment to Nigeria of medical supplies and equipment.

The 40 foot container will arrive Friday morning Oct 1st at the Diamond Delivery warehouse in Surrey (13350 Comber Way, Surrey, B.C. between King George Hwy and 132 St., just north of 72nd Ave).
 Strong people (aka men) are needed to load the beds upright into the container. Mattresses will be put between them. The skids will be loaded with the aid of DD forklift people, but the boxes will be piled to the ceiling, so a stepladder or two will be welcome (to work within the container).

It is planned to work on Friday till mid afternoon and to finish loading on Saturday morning Oct 2nd if necessary. (The container will be picked up and taken to the port on Monday Oct 4.)

The heavier boxes will be put in the bottom and the lighter ones on top, so some sorting of the boxes on the skids will be required. The boxes are labelled – white label with red border on the side of the box with an approximate weight to facilitate this.

The existing preliminary inventory of boxes etc. will require updating as items are packed.

Shipping the items stored at the DD warehouse is making room for the next event (in case it is indoors because of bad weather).

No. 2: Giant Garage Sale and Fair at the Diamond Delivery warehouse Sat Oct 16th.

Volunteers are required for many tasks over the next 3 weeks: Putting up posters, delivering flyers, collecting items for sale, manning the storage trailer at Westwood Lumber at times designated for drop off of items, sorting items in the 40 foot DD trailer (used to collect the sale items), etc. More info on this will be provided shortly.

On Friday, Oct 15th, volunteers will be needed to set up the tables and items for sale at the warehouse, to be ready to go the next morning.

Many volunteers will be needed on Saturday, Oct 16th (between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) to make sure all goes smoothly with the various activities and that sales are brisk and profitable for KBNF. Volunteers will also be needed at the end of the day to put the tables and left over items into a truck.

On Sunday, Oct 17th, a few volunteers will be needed to take (or accompany) the left over items in a truck for sale at the Abbotsford Flea market, thus tapping into new customers.

Volunteer Committee meetings and planning the events, are occuring every Saturday morning. The next one, on Sat, Sept 25th is to be in Richmond, location yet to be specified. I will keep you informed.

Vancouver people needing a ride on any of these dates can phone me for pick-up.

Plan to give a few hours of your time. Bring another helper along if you can.

Jocelyne Lapointe

KBNF Executive Committee Secretary


KBNF – Changing Lives in Africa

Being part of the KBNF family has been a dream come true for me. I joined the Foundation in 2003 as the Chair of Finance. That was the time that the organization needed financial direction and assistance in the registration of the two charitable organizations within the project, Korle-Bu Foundation and Excellence in Africa — Neuroscience and Health, Canada. With the help of our legal advisory and other executives, we were able to obtain registration within a year.

I am delighted in saying that with the little financial resources, the Foundation has been able to achieve great successes including several shipments to Ghana, sending a medical team on a medical mission to Ghana and Nigeria and also provide financial assistance in consulting projects in Ghana.

As one of the Ghanaian Executives on the Board of Directors and currently the Vice President of the Foundation and the President of Excellence in Africa, I can proudly say that KBNF is an answer to fervent prayers for God’s blessing for Africa and our health needs. We must be so thankful for such thoughtful foreign people who care.

It is my fervent prayer that God will continue to give Marj Ratel and the rest of my colleagues more strength and grace to live long to continue to support this project and to make all our goals and objectives come to fruition.


Welcome to the New KBNF Website

We are incredibly excited to launch this new online component of Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. This website is an opportunity for us to let you know what we are doing at KBNF — our plans, our successes, our challenges and how you can help.

We hope that you will participate here on this site, especially on this blog. We’d love to hear your feedback, input and comments on our blog posts. Tell us what you want to know about KBNF, how we can provide you with relevant and timely information, and how we can work with you to keep KBNF moving forward in our vision.

KBNF is a volunteer organization and the development of this website is no exception. This has been a collaborative effort from the start and I want to acknowledge the dedication and the effort of some of the key people involved in this site.

First off, I would like to thank Rick Diamond for providing the funding to have a professionally designed website. It was incredibly important to us that this site meet our needs — and more importantly — your needs. To do that, we engaged a professional web designer to assist us.

Ron Goyette spent a great deal of time defining the objectives of this site, keeping us on track and focused, and he reviewed a huge amount of content so that we could provide you with interesting, engaging and relevant information — and not so much of it that it’s overwhelming. Thanks Ron!

John Hestings Mwotassubi and Norman Glass were also an important part of the web team. Thank you for your help gentlemen!

And thank you for checking out our site. I hope that you will consider donating to KBNF or supporting us in another way. I also hope you will return often to hear what we have been up to. With what we have going on, I think we will have lots to tell you in the next few weeks and months!


Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation Charity Fair & Garage Sale

I am so excited to tell you about the KBNF Charity Fair & Garage Sale which will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 13350 Comber Way in Surrey from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This fun, family event is an amazing community fundraising fair that will include:

  • Huge garage sale
  • Silent auction
  • Balloon auction
  • Ghanaian specialty events
  • Live music
  • Table tennis competition
  • Bottle drop off
  • The opportunity to watch and learn the amazing skills of how to balance and carry items on your head like the people of Ghana.
  • Pony rides, face painting, music, food and a whole lot more.

This fundraising event supports Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation as we work to alleviate the suffering of those in Ghana and West Africa affected by diseases of the brain and spine.

Please come out, have some fun and help support KBNF!

See you there!

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation is now accepting donations for our garage sale. We are accepting: furniture, tools, jewelry, books, clothing, children’s toys, kitchen items, and household items. To donate, please call 1.877.468.6380.