We are very grateful for our CAUSE Guatemala team! When Volcán de Fuego erupted and devastated the surrounding area, our team of doctors and nurses, led by program director David Fafard sprang into action and assisted Cruz Roja in tending to the injured and providing health services to people that have been evacuated. Click the link to read Dave’s first-hand experience of the rescue efforts. 

https://www.rmoutlook.com/article/we-couldnt-just-sit-idle-20180627

July 4th, 2018

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No one can truly anticipate a pending natural disaster or the potential destruction one might bring. On June 3rd, the people of Guatemala were not an exception. As Volcano Fuego erupted, heavy ash, lava, and pyroclastic flows filled and devastated the surrounding area, the volcano would further continue to emit seismic activity, generating volcanic mud flows from June 5th to the 7th, inhibiting immediate rescue attempts. In addition, heavy and continuous rainfall and the resulting mudslides further limited humanitarian access nearest to the volcano.

As of June 13, at least 110 people have been declared dead, 197 missing, thousands injured and many more displaced. This tragedy is further exemplified when you consider that many Guatemalans had little economic prosperity beforehand and amidst this disaster, lost everything they had with virtually nothing upon which to rebuild.

Tragedy however, can also bring out the best in us. CAUSE Canada, one of several international organizations was able to bring immediate aid, providing trained health care professionals to tend to the injured. On June 8, our Guatemalan team arrived in the southern city Esquintla and met with Cruz Roja to determine areas of immediate response.

Our team of doctors and nurses provided critical health services in the many shelters throughout the city as well as in the Cruz Roja clinic.

While the bulk of the disaster is over, the aftermath remains. Over 12,000 people have been displaced and many who have lost what little possessions they had. CAUSE Canada is still accepting donations for Guatemala, which will go towards further immediate relief as well as long-term support as families begin to rebuild their lives. Thank you to those who have already donated! We are grateful for your support.

June 20th, 2018

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#PressforProgress

Celebrating women of CAUSE Canada

Every day, 830 women around the world die in child birth…this is more that 25,000 women dying every month. The main reason? They are giving birth on their own.

Help us save a mother’s life. Donate to maternal and newborn health and empower a community to stand along side their women. 

March 8th, 2018

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As many of you might guess, one of the best parts of being the Executive Director at CAUSE Canada is visiting the field. These visits rarely resemble a vacation and, while I am not sitting at a desk, they usually involve many hours of sitting in a truck bumping over bad roads and sleeping in the company of a few cockroaches (which are not my favourite but I can live with them for a few nights).

I recently returned from a visit to Honduras and meetings with our Microfinance and IMPACT (maternal and infant health) teams. As usual, this visit has left me exhausted, exhilarated, and with a mind full of things I want to share with people and actions that we need to take to walk with the communities we are serving.

In Honduras, Vista Hermosa is one of the hardest-to-reach communities in the region of Quimistan. To reach Vista Hermosa – which means literally means beautiful view – the IMPACT team must drive two hours up very treacherous roads to serve the community. The people in Vista Hermosa used to walk or ride horses all day to reach a government clinic but that closed two years ago. The nearest clinic is now in the town of Quimistan – much, much farther to walk.

The community was, at first, a bit weary of the IMPACT team as they had previously experienced health programs leaders that told them what to do but did not partner with them to help them solve their own issues. The IMPACT team held a number of meetings with the community and, after these meetings, the community nominated Luz as their Community Facilitator and began meeting regularly as the Women’s Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Committee.

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After some training with our field staff, Luz now regularly goes home to home throughout Vista Hermosa to check on the pregnant women, new mothers, and infants. She lets them know about the meetings, trainings, checkups, and workshops in the community. And she climbs a considerable distance to let us know what is going on in the community – including when the rain has made the road too treacherous to drive. She has also been instrumental in helping the Women’s MNCH Committee to form a plan for emergencies.

A second woman, Gloria, offered to drive her truck as part of the emergency plan for evacuating people from the community to health services when needed. The first time Gloria drove a woman to the hospital in Quimistan, the woman was at risk of losing her baby and dying herself.

When Gloria arrived with the woman at the hospital, at first the nurses ignored them telling them they were ignorant and did not know what they were talking about. As Gloria continued to explain the situation, including the danger signs of this woman’s pregnancy, the nurses stopped, listened, and asked Gloria where she had learned these things. When Gloria told them that the IMPACT team from CAUSE Canada was working with them in their community and had taught her to recognize these danger signs, the nurses took her seriously and began caring for the woman. Later Gloria learned that the woman and her baby would have certainly died without her advocacy and care. 

In speaking with Gloria, the pride she had in being able to help her community was obvious. She said, that of course, she would like to be paid for this but her first priority is the health and safety of the mothers and children. She gets so much satisfaction out of helping her community. She said she also now has so much confidence in advocating to government services for basic health care because of her knowledge.

The Women’s MNCH Committee and the community of Vista Hermosa earned a special place in my heart. Honduras is a dangerous place to work. When our nurses are going to the community, the community sets up a network of people to ensure that the nurses receive protection through the dangerous areas along the road. When it has rained during the nurses’ visit to the community, the community has housed and fed our nurses so that they do not have to travel.

It is an incredible honour to be able to partner with this amazing, resilient, isolated community to help them improve their access to basic health care.

Wendy Fehr

Executive Director

June 15th, 2017

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With our gala just around the corner, CAUSE Canada’s Canadian office is buzzing with excitement and putting the final touches on the evening. This event is our biggest opportunity each year to share face-to-face with our partners, donors, and guests some of the heart of our work. In the past, we have hosted prestigious speakers but this year we decided to focus on helping you to understand some of our work – and to having a fun evening of course!

This year’s theme #Whatif… is inviting you to imagine what you, as a supporter of CAUSE Canada and, as someone who cares about the extreme poor, can do if you join the global agenda to address some of the most critical issues challenging development today.

In 2015, the global community agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the key messages of this global agenda is that we all have a role to play in addressing extreme poverty. The goals are not just for developing countries – they are also for developed countries. The message is: we all need to work together to solve some of the biggest issues contributing to extreme poverty.

Over the past year, many of our donors asked us to do our best to give attendees a glimpse into what we actually do in the field. Our team has taken on this task with enthusiasm. As part of the evening, we will have a few interactive demonstrations of some of the work we are doing in West Africa and Central America. And because we agree with the global agenda, we thought it would be relevant to not just tell you about our programs but challenge you to consider what you can do to help move the agenda forward.

One of the most exciting displays featured at the event is related to our Peer Literacy Program in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is #81 of the 88 poorest countries in the world. Outside of Freetown, there is little-to-no power grid. Most households are reliant on generators for a few hours of power each day. Internet access is extremely expensive and one of the highest administrative costs to running our Sierra Leone office.

The Peer Literacy Program works with young women in junior high and high school to help them stay in school and improve the literacy of children in primary school. These adolescent girls are trained in basic tutoring skills and then they tutor and mentor younger children to develop literacy skills. We all know how important it is to read to our children but when many of these children come from families where their parents are not literate, the children need all of the extra support that we can give them to help them learn to read.

Our Peer Literacy Facilitators do more than help children learn to read. They also learn and model leadership skills, and provide younger children with female role models who are staying in school, becoming community leaders, and making a difference in the world.

While the Peer Literacy Program is a great program, in the past few years, we have tapped into World Possible’s amazing tool the RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) to increase the educational resources available to our Peer Literacy Facilitators and the children in the communities where we are working.

The RACHEL is an offline server. Using low-cost tablets and wifi connectivity to the RACHEL, students are able to access learning programs and educational tools including Khan Academy Lite. While we all have questions about technology from time-to-time, tablets are largely self-directed technology. What this means for children and adolescents is that no one is really required to teach them anything. All they need are these tools to dive into new learning resources.

While all of this sounds great, until you see the RACHEL in action, particularly in Sierra Leone, it is difficult to grasp the amazing ways we are using technology to increase kids’ access to education. At next week’s event, guests are going to have an opportunity to interact with pieces from a number of our programs – both the technology and methodology of the programs – and have the opportunity to ask questions about how the program works, who it is serving, and how it is making a positive change. We hope that this will give you a glimpse into some of what CAUSE Canada does in the field.

Of course, the evening will also be focused on having an enjoyable time raising funds for the work we do. The beautiful location of Pinebrook Golf Course, a great band, and the always-entertaining live auction will have us all relaxed and ready for summer.

If you have not yet bought your tickets, we hope you will consider joining us on May 25th. Tickets are $100 and tax receipts will be issued for at least $40 of the ticket price. We hope to see you there!

Wendy

Executive Director, CAUSE Canada

May 18th, 2017

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What if we imagined what we could do together to end extreme poverty…and then we did it.

Join us at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25th 2017 at the Pinebrook Golf and Country Club for CAUSE Canada’s annual fundraising event. The evening includes a sit-down dinner, live music, silent and live auctions, and an opportunity to experience CAUSE Canada’s work in West Africa and Central America. Learn how CAUSE Canada is working with people living in extreme poverty.

April 4th, 2017

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#BeBoldForChange

Celebrating women of CAUSE Canada

Mother Teresa — ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’

March 8th, 2017

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On Friday, November 18, 2016, Azucena, the Head Nurse, and I received a call from the Community Health Facilitator early in the morning informing us that a woman named Estela in El Duraznal had started going into labour in the middle of the night. The Ministry of Health nurses could not go and see her until later in the afternoon, but to wait until the afternoon could mean losing the mother and the baby.

Therefore, we picked up our equipment and we were on our way to El Duraznal, a mountain community about 45 minutes away from the CAUSE Guatemala head office in Comitancillo. When we got to Estela’s home with the help of the local Midwife, we immediately could see that time was against us because Estela was now only a few hours away from giving birth. We learned that Estela has had 11 deliveries in her home with the help of one of four community midwives and has lost 4 babies.

Estela and her husband preferred to have the delivery in their home in order to practice their Mayan traditions and because of the expensive transport costs of going to the nearest Hospital in San Marcos. However, this time they could not have the delivery at home because after Azucena checked the position of the baby, she was quite certain that the baby was transverse meaning that Estela was in high risk and could require a caesarian.

We drove them to the Health Post in San Lorenzo where a doctor was able to do an ultrasound and confirm that the baby was indeed transverse. The doctor was quick to transfer the couple from El Duraznal to the Regional Hospital of San Marcos in case Estela would undergo any complications in an ambulance. Azucena and I learned later that day that Estela had a normal birth only 1 and half hours after we saw her. There were no complications and she and her newborn baby were both healthy.

Dave Fafard

Program Director, CAUSE Canada

December 19th, 2016

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Trisha Flanagan is a jewellery maker, mother of 2, olive eater, movie buff, and first generation Canadian. From an early age Trisha was drawn to expressing herself through the arts.  She found herself creating handcrafted objects and relished in their beauty.  It was the pursuit of this passion that led her to continue her formal education at Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary, Alberta.  It was here that Trisha experimented with many types of mediums and eventually majored in Jewellery and Metals.

It was her continued education, love of her craft and passion that has led to the creation of Trisha Flanagan; a shop featuring one of a kind handmade silver jewellery. Trisha’s shop has been 11 years in the making as she continues to develop her skills and focus on designing and manufacturing her own unique style of jewellery.  Each piece Trisha makes she creates out of her home studio in Calgary.

Trisha thrives on making her purchasers happy.  She does collaborative work where she designs an individual piece with a specific client or need in mind.  Through her personal touches and eye for detail these pieces establish a life of their own and are not just jewellery but are symbols or reminders of loved ones, events, or experiences that one can carry with them everywhere they go.

In her down time Trisha lends a helping hand by sewing bibs for her sister’s business Wee Thing Mee. 

CAUSE Canada is thrilled to work with Trisha this holiday season. Her craftsmanship is beautiful and the pride she takes in her work is reflective in her product and the love people have for her pieces. Perfect for effortless everyday wear, these handmade sterling silver earrings measure 12mm long. Each earring has been formed, cut, soldered and polished to a high shine before making their way to you. 

December 6th, 2016

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In a few short days, I will hop on a plane and make the journey from Sierra Leone back home to Canada. The few weeks that I have been here have been jammed packed meeting with our team here, meeting with our beneficiaries, driving the very bumpy roads from one end of the country to what seems like the other end!!

They held a very lively and competitive game of football (soccer).

Last Thursday I had the pleasure to meet with our beneficiaries from POPDA – an organization focused on helping people who have been affected by polio and their children. I was blown away by their enthusiasm for supporting each other and their advocacy for people who have had polio. It was so awesome to see the dignity that has been restored to these men and women. Countless times they said to me that without the support of CAUSE Canada, they would be beggars on the street.

Wendy Fehr

Executive Director, CAUSE Canada

December 2nd, 2016

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