Sunday, August 9, 2015

Visiting the Orphange, Eid/Summer 2015

So, 
Here is a little update on what we did in Sudan this summer.
We were very lucky to be able to visit the orphanage several times during our two-week stay in Sudan. The first trip was made by Abir and myself the day before Eid. This is a big holiday in Sudan (think Christmas) and we wanted to see what the boys needed.

The Orphange when entering
We meet the boys, who have all grown up so much since we last saw them. Most of them remembered us and some boys were new - but what they all had in common was how much they wanted our attention. They wanted us to play with them, show us their things and some of them just wanted to hold our hands and have us sit next to them.

When asked what they needed for Eid the boys, and the "moms" told us that they were all in need of shoes. It is tradition that one wears new cloths for Eid and most of them didn't even have a whole pair. They also needed linens for the beds.
The next day, Azaa had joined us in Sudan and we went out to but the shoes for the boys. We went to the local market were there is usually a big variety and prices are better. It was 40°C, the streets were full of last minute shopers for Eid and the streets were jammed. We tried the market and cheked a few stores, but the salesmen were stressed, it was crowded and we could not find the sizes we wanted in one place (we needed size 24-46). After a few tries, we decided to leave the market and found a shoe-store that was a little more expensive but our only choice.
After almost 2h, we had bought 34 pair of shoes and headed for the orphange so that the boys would have their shoes the day before Eid.

                 
Unfortunately all the boys did not find shoes that fit, so we promised we would return with shoes for the remaining 3 boys.

After Eid, we visited a few more times. Me and Azza bought shoes for the remaining boys, deos, pampers, some lotions and other small things that they needed.

The last visit to the orphanage was two days before leaving Sudan and we went to leave envelopes to the "moms" who work there. We decided last year that we would be helping them also by giving them 1/4 of the money collected at the events. Not all the working "moms" were there, and there was a confusion on who was going to get money and who was not (the moms we help are the once working directly with the boys and not the woman working in the offices).
We decided to give the ones that were there the "bonus", and they we so thankful.
They got around 200 SEK/ 23 $ (alot of money for someone making around half that amount in a month for such hard work).

The rest of the money we took back with us to Sweden because we have always promised to do the work ourselves and not leave money in the hand of anyone else. When asked what they needed as the last thing they told us they needed beds, chairs and big furnitures that we did not have time to get.

Next time we will have to sort out the actual number of "moms" and try to give them the bonus in a different way to avoid confusions and also try to call the orphanage in advance to know if they need bigger things that we cant get in short stays. 

Thats all for now.
/ Ehood

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update

Hi everyone! So last year we sent out the post bellow on our fb profile: 

"Dear members, we need your help!

We are about to make a crucial and important change in the I Care project, a change we don't want to make without hearing from you first! A few years back we received a very generous donation from Kista Folkh√∂gskola. The donation was made to help the nannies at the orphanage by giving them a bonus salary. These women come from very poor homes and do not always get paid for their work. 
We have now used up the money for them and have to make a difficult decision. Our philosophy has always been that 100% of the money we raise through our events are aimed to help the children and renovate the orphanage. We strongly believe that the wellbeing of the nannies affect the wellbeing of the kids and the maintenance of the orphanage. 
We want to make a change to be able to continue giving these women a bonus salary. This means that from now on 1/4 of the money we raise will go to the nannies and the rest to the kids and the orphanage. But before we make this change we want to hear from you! So let us know what you think. If we have no objections by the 7th of June we will make this change. Comment, email or send us a message if you have any objections. 

Thank you for all of your support
The I Care team"

As all of the members who responded were positive to this change, we are from now on giving a quarter of the donations to the mothers of the orphanage. We will be planning an upcoming event soon, and we would love to collect as much fundings as possible so that we can buy the things necessary at the orphanage, as well as give the mothers a well deserved bonus. 

Keep a look out for upcoming events and help us raise as much money as possible to meet all these needs. 

Best wishes, 
The I Care board


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Travel Story


Hello everyone!

It's been a while since our last update, so here is some catching up on what's been going on lately :)

On December 6th, I travelled to Khartoum, Sudan to stay for a month and check up on our boys in the orphanage. Due to circumstances, I was not able to see the boys last year, so I was very excited to reunite with them.

It was so overwhelming to meet with them again as they had all grown so big! There had also been an addition of boys during this time, which now adds the number of boys to 33. I brought them some treats and was surrounded at the door where I got the most warming welcome, and of course, within seconds, all the treats were gone! I caught up with them regarding how they'd been and how school had been going for those able to attend. As for the boys who are mainly restricted to their beds due to their physical and mental disabilities, it was an emotional encounter as I could see how their faces shined up as I walked into the room. I played with them and asked the nannies about the status of their health.

Sadly, these are the most sick boys, and what was visible on first glance was that many of them had fungal infections and rashes on their skin. The manager of the orphanage told me that they still have a supervising doctor who examines them and ordinates medication, which they are now getting on a regular basis. However, as these infections spread easily, particularly due to the suppressed immune system of many of them, they have a hard time getting rid of these conditions as they spread easily.

Before leaving the orphanage, I collected a written list from the manager of the things that they needed. And so for the following days, I went shopping for the things on the list. The following supplies were purchased:

Pampers
Washing powder
Dish soap
Hand soap
Pig Paf insecticide
Air freshners
Dettol disinfectant
Clothing bleach
Body lotion
Cleaning supplies
Plates
Food blender
Custard
Cheese
Sugar
Tomato sauce
Juice
Cooking oil
Powdered milk
Biscuits

On the last visit to the orphanage, I delivered the supplies and spent time with the boys before departing and heading back to Sweden. As always, it is difficult to part from the boys, but we will soon be preparing our next visit to Sudan!

There are some necessities that are still needed at the orphanage, in particular we would like to renovate their kitchen as they are in much need of new appliances such as a refrigerator and fridge, as well as a stove and oven. We hope that we will be able to collect the money needed for these things during the year, so they can be purchased during our next visit. Also, we will do our best to stay updated on their health and help out in all the ways we can.

As always, you can place your donation in the following way:

Send your contribution to postgiro 536575-4
and state the name: SSA YC

For international contributions outside of Sweden, state the following info when making a transaction:
Swift/Bic code: NDEASESS
IBAN: SE7295000099605365754

We wish you all a great 2015. Until next time,

Love, Mae Suliman
The I Care Board

Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest blogger - Amin Maaz

A few weeks ago, Amin from the company Flexibla traveled to Sudan and visited the orphanage. As we have previously informed you, Flexibla raised a generous amount of money to support I Care, and this is his story of the experience:

After a long day of shopping and buying diapers, powder milk, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soup, washing powder, rice and a lot of other things for the orphanage we finally arrive at the orphanage with a car filled with so many grocery bags, they were sticking out of the windows. We parked the car just outside the gates and as soon as the children saw me standing there with three footballs in my hands and all the things in the car behind me, their eyes lit up with happiness.






I felt an indescribable feeling of joy as the kids started running towards me and I let go off the footballs.

The children, being overwhelmed with excitement, all wanted to say hi and see what we brought. Their excitement was so intense that I even felt the need to close the gates a bit to keep them from running out into the streets.
The children proceeded to grab as many of the things we bought as they could cary and showed me the way into the orphanage. As I entered the orphanage I looked around and noted that the place was not in good condition. It felt extremely hot and everything inside was dark as the electricity was gone and there weren't any windows to let some light in.
As I walked around I noticed a few other children that were lying on the ground, they were too disabled to play with the other kids and I saw how they were stretching their necks out to see what was going on.
I walked passed one child who stretched his hand out and grabbed my ankle. I looked down at him and sat down on the ground next to him. With the biggest smile on his face he said "Mister, Mister... Thank you" over and over again.




I brought out my camera to capture this moment when suddenly one of the workers walked up to me and asked me to stop. I asked her why and she said " it doesn't look good that he's laying on the ground like that, Let me pick him up and wash him and put on some better close before you take a picture". I tried to explain that it was okay and that she didn't have to do that, but she insisted. As the day went on I noticed that she did the same thing with all the children. My intention was to capture reality with my camera and they wouldn't let me.I walked over to a friend who lives in Sudan and therefore knows the way things work. I asked him why they did that. He said that their mentality is like that. They see the kids as their own and don't want the rest of the world to see them in a compromising state, they feel embarrassed over it.After that I went around and played with the kids and they were just so happy to see a grown man there to see them and to play with them. All of them wanted to high five me and shake my hand and just wanted my attention. It felt like it was a real treat for them to receive all these gifts we brought them and to have an older "boy" there to play with them.We bought a lot of things and it felt good but leaving there I couldn't help to wish I could do more for them. I wanted to fix the whole place up, bring all the kids new clothes instead of the rags they were wearing, more books and pens and for their incredible small library, paint the whole place instead of the sand/dirt walls they had, replace the beds, have them engage in more activities. The list of things to do for these children is endless and I could go on forever.

The feeling I am left with is that I just wish I could do more.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our new and fun textile bags!

Hello dear I Care members! 
As you might know, we participated in the annual Haga Park picnic this past Saturday. This was a great way to hang out and spend time with our former members, as well as meet new people and share our project with them! We had a great time!

Also, we launched our new textile bags with the new logo and print (read the background story below*) which to our delight was much appreciated. 

We would therefore love to keep this going and sell more bags for our members to use and show their participation in this great cause! :) As always, all raised funds will go to the orphanage Dar al fityan. The price will be 130 kr (including shipping), and the bag will be on it's way as soon as we have received a message (through facebook or gmail) from you containing a printscreen of your payment to our account (see account details under Info in our Facebook profile). Make sure you mark your payment 'textile bag'!

We still need to figure out how we can send the bags to our members outside of Sweden as well, along with the demand for it, so if you live outside of Sweden and are interested in a bag, please send us a message and notify us! 

We hope that you want to represent this project by buying a bag, while making an important contribution at the same time! 

*Here's some background info about the new bag print; 

As we earlier shared with you about how we chose our new logo to capture the essence of the I Care project, we similarly wanted to have a personalized print for our textile bag that would truly represent the boys of Dar al fityan. Therefore, the print was taken from a previous hand print painting that the boys had made during a workshop in one of our earlier visits. This painting, a long with other canvas paintings, was later auctioned out at our event in june 2011 in order to raise money for the orphanage. For us, the playfulness of this print represents the significance of letting children be just that: children. 

We hope that you are as excited about the new logo and print as we are! Please give us your feedback and let us know if you are interested in purchasing a textile bag! 

With love, The I Care board
This is the handprint painting that is the print of the textile bag

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hagaparken BBQ #7

Hello everyone! We are thrilled to announce a collaboration with Hagaparken BBQ, a yearly initiative that gathers everyone who wants to be part of the positive energy and vibe of a vibrant Stockholm in the summer. Come hang with us, talk and ask questions, and buy our merchandise or place a donation. All profits will as always go to the orphanage of Dar al fityan. See you Saturday the 28th from 1 pm and on! Bless, the I Care crew 

For more details, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/626862687401560/

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SSA's Annual Meeting

Yesterday Ehood, Fatima O. And myself attended the Swedish Sudanese Association's annual meeting. For those of you who don't know, we who run the project ICare are board members of the youth committee of SSA and each year two of us are also board members of SSA. This year it will be Fatima O. and I, meaning that in addition to being involved in ICare, we will also attend the board meetings held by SSA and in that way be the "intermediates" between the mother oeganisation and its youth committee. The meeting (which could be attended by any member of SSA, board member or not) went on for a couple of hours and there we reviewed the annual report which included events of the past year, the budget aswell as future plans for the organisation. We are all looking forward to the coming year and hoping to organize exciting events in aim to raise more money for this cause! Stay tuned! / Fatima S.