Being bitten by a dog is never a nice thing, especially when you´re only 8 years old. One of the younger girls was on her way to school around 7am when a local dog bit the back of her leg. She went home and her auntie gave Robert a call to ask if he could take her and her mother to hospital. With all dog bites the first thing you should do is wash the wound out for a good ten minutes with soap and water so Mother was instructed and this gave us chance to get ready and drive to the slum.
Robert drove down to the slum to collect the mother and the child. As is the case with the kids, and most people for that matter, she really didn´t want to have an injection but after a little encouragement agreed to go to the hospital. Her little brother also wanted to come to the hospital, despite saying that if he comes he will also have to have an injection, but strangely, he still wanted to come, 'give me an injection too'. Damn we were beaten by mind games from a 3 year old!
It is still the monsoon and raining quite hard so for the drive to the hospital we juggled with an open umbrella on the bike, but within the first 2 minutes it had already turned inside out, so thankfully that was put away which allowed us to speed up a little.
When we arrived at the hospital it was nice and quiet as it was still early and sensible people were still in bed (well it was a Saturday), so we were seen straight away by a doctor in accident and emergency. Robert has taken far too many children with dogs´ bites so knew the processes and after 5 minutes we were out and on our way home. Yes, the five minutes were quite traumatic as the little girl really, really did not want to be stabbed twice with a needle; one tetanus and one anti rabies injection, so we had to try and keep her from moving to allow the nurse to administer the injections. Before we left, the nurse gave us a small bit of paper with the schedule for the next injections, five in total... Hopefully, the patient will become more accepting of the treatment as it progresses.
Thank you to the nurses and doctors at Mapusa District Hospital and Pinky, the mother and of course the little girl for being brave.
It has been a sad few months for a couple of the families as two fathers have recently passed away. Life in the slums is very unforgiving at times and any weakness can result in death. Both the fathers had been suffering from problems walking but generally ok. The first to pass away left behind a mother and 4 children, all younger than 14. This same family lost a child 5 years ago when the child fell into a homemade well at the slum. Thankfully the children are very resilient when young and I think they will cope well.
The second father has left behind a wife and a son, which happened just last week and I haven´t seen the family yet as they have gone to their village. The son is a little older and has taken the death hard and now has the responsibility of the family firmly on his shoulders.
We wish both families well and we will continue to support them and help where we can.
Reading is really not on the children´s every day activity lists here in India, and although not a big reader myself I do see the huge value in reading especially when young. We have been lucky to have been given a good number of books over the last year so several of the children are taking more of an interest with the books and doing a little bit of reading here at the centre. I hope at some point we will be able to set up a reading corner to further encourage the children to take the plunge and find themselves captured by the magic of words and stories.
Will Goa Outreach be the Website of the Year for 2016?
The Website of the Year India election 2016 is due to start and we are delighted to inform you that Goa Outreach has been nominated in the category Charities. From 19 September to 28 October, the Indian public can give their opinion on the quality of Goa Outreach and the other nominees.
It is fabulous to hear that we have been nominated for the Website of the Year award in the Charity category. It has been a struggle to keep up the work on the website, writing and posting blogs along side making sure that we continue to allocate enough time for the 100+ children we are helping this year. It really is fantastic news that even though we are short on staff we can still make a big difference in the lives of the childrn and by using our website narrate this to our supporters.
If any of our supporters would like to help by voting for us we would be truely delighted.
It was great to have a months´ break this monsoon, but it was fabulous to come back and see all the kids again. The travelling took 24hrs, so on arrival its´ good to hide the fact we are back as long as possible so we can recover, clean and settle in gently, although as soon as one of the kids knows you´re back it never stays quiet for long. This year we managed to keep it quiet for a whole day but not much longer and as I woke up on the Sunday morning thinking I could have a nice relaxing sleep in. I got a call at 7:50am asking if some of the older kids could come over and study. Oh well, there goes my sleepy Sunday afternoon!
It was really good to catch up with everyone and as per usual as I had just come back from England, the first thing most of the children (and parents) ask is - did you bring any chocolate. Yep, I am the chocolate delivery guy! A good portion of my baggage was taken up by chocolate. I think I brought back around 50 bars that seemed to disappear quite easily over my first two days back. But now they´ve gone, that´s it for at least another year.
Sunday ended up being a really busy day with the older kids having lots of assignments they needed help with. The main ones related to reading newspaper articles and forming an opinion on them. The articles were about conflicts between user and suppliers of services which had been taken to court. I think they had to have five articles each. One of the other lads was happy drawing the reproductive organs of plants on A3 paper, and I have to say he was doing a fine job, it was really impressive. Later on one of the mothers came with 8 kids and spent a good couple of hours catching up.
The last couple of lads left just as it was getting dark and my lazy Sunday was finally over after 10 hours of homework!