Where does SoCoFAS stand for ?
SoCoFAS stands for : South-Coast Flying Ambulance Service of Kenya.
As you can see by the name it is a 'Flying ambulance'. This is the ultimate goal.
SoCoFAS has however started by setting up and operating a DISPENSARY (polyclinic).A local dispensary which we initiated and where we act as facilitator but which ultimately should become an organization ran BY AND FOR the local population
Where and why ?
The dispensary has been set up in Maweni, a village in the S-E of Kenya, 35 km south of Mombasa in the district Kwale.
The district Kwale has about 500 000 inhabitants and is one of the districts which are not being 'served' by AMREF and MAF. These are 2 international organisations which manage medical care for Kenyans in rural areas.
Although Maweni is located next to the well known Diani-beach, where thousands of tourists spend their annual holidays and where a well equipped private hospital is located about 3 km (1 hour by foot) from the village, it is unaffordable for the local population. The big city Mombasa, where state hospitals can be found lies at 1 hr 30' drive from Maweni (bad roads and a ferry which does not sail at night).
The only alternative to provide the local population affordable medical care is a local dispensary.The more serious cases will be transported to Diani beach hospital and/or later to a state hospital in Mombasa. All the medical expenses will be covered by SoCoFAS, including all doctor-, nurse-, medicine-, transport- (ground and/or air) and the surgery costs.
We built a dispensary in the center of the village which is staffed by a registered nurse, assisted by a doctor. The dispensary is operational 24h/24h as we have also built staff houses next door for the nurse & manager.
In the future we would like to be able to build some small apartments in order to rent these to tourists and the income will be used for the benefit of SoCoFAS.
The construction of the dispensary and the running and maintenance of the NPO is financed by own funds but needs to be supplemented by sponsors.Meanwhile, the aeroplane, for which we need a far bigger sponsoring, will unfortunatelly have to wait. The aeroplane we need is a PC-12, an aeroplane which is also used by the Royal Flying Doctors of Australia.
Direct benificiaries of SoCoFAS ?
The children of the schools in Maweni, including the teachers and all the inhabitants of the village. Others will be helped as well, but they will be charged a doctor's visit of course at a reasonable cost).
When we visited to support another npo, the npo<Rainbow4kids>, started by a Flemish teacher, who provides the schools with educational material and a kitchen, it struck us that many children suffered from 'jiggers' (see picture above), hindering them to walk (and detaining them from coming to school). Yet, these 'jiggers' can easily be removed. If not, their little feet can be permanently deformed or, in extreme cases, die off. When my spouse, Annie, who worked and lived 25 years in Africa (Zaοre, Nigeria, Madagascar) in pharmacies and dispensaries, started treating the feet of those 350 children and we could not find adequate material in the local shops, hence this idea was born.
The local population of this area is so poor that they can only make 1 a day. Therefore they need to smash more than 110 lbs (50 kg) of rocks, and this with bare hands and with another piece of stone. They don't even have a hammer, let alone gloves.
Cleaning their injuries, if cleaned at all, would be done with dirty water! The little feet of the kids will get the same treatment, if they at least get the jiggers out, and the wounds will at best be cauterized with lamp oil.
I believe You will understand that Your gift makes a world of difference for these people.
Why, where and how to sponsor ?
The cost to keep the dispensary operational is calculated on 1300 per month, of which 500 on drugs. All sponsoring, large and small, is welcome and appreciated.
One off gift or Standing order to :
BE52 0015 4123 3909
SoCoFAS Maweni, Kenya
Bank branch : Albert I laan, 10 B-8670 Oostduinkerke Belgium
With a donation of 5 (8$) a month You can guarantee that one child gets basic medical treatment. We will try to finance the larger costs (salary of doctor, nurse, hospitalisation) by renting out our apartments and other ad-hoc activities.
The larger donations will be applied to purchase a 4x4 ambulance jeep (an absolute necessity in this area, considering the roads or the total lack of them) and other necessary one off costs (windows in the dispensary, incinerator, tiling of the delivery room, roof for the watertower, generator, ...).
For the 2nd hand aeroplane we need a donation of about 2 mio ( 2.8 mio $). The aeroplane will be rented out to a safari company, with the compelling clause that the aeroplane needs to be back on the bush-field, in Maweni, within one hour. This will give the doctor/nurse just enough time to stabilize the patient before he will be flown to Mombasa. This way of operation will make the aircraft self-sustaining in costs.
Everybody in the area, and we too of course, are wildly enthusiastic to continue to expand this project.
But to achieve this beautiful, though life-essential idea, we are depending on Your generosity and humane feelings.
This NPO, without any political, nor religious ties and commitments can make the difference between life or death (literally) for these extremely poor, but oh, so grateful people.
And You can make the difference by opening Your heart, and let's be honest, Your wallet. Because without Your support this project cannot survive.
Investing in the future (the education and health of the children of the district Kwale) is the only valid solution to solve the problem in this part of Africa.
Because what is the use of education if, later on, the 'educated' die of AIDS, malaria, typhus, tetanus, meningitis or measles.
This NPO will mention, with pride and gratitude, Your name as sponsor of SoCoFAS.
You make the difference an we will see to it.
What does 'Your' child get for those 5 (8$) per month ?
1) A yearly clinical check-up + vaccinations (Aids, malaria, typhys, tetanus, etc..)
2) Weekly check-up by nurse/doctor for the smaller children (like 'Childcare' in the UK or USA).
3) All necessary medical treatments + drugs on a daily basis.
Hugo Goovaerts, Annie Buysse, Karen Van den Driessche en especially the children and people of Maweni are very grateful to You.
+32 (0) 491
(0) 498 12 24 90 (Karen)