Renee Golas hosted a cocktail party at Barr Lupo on March 13, 2017 to raise money to build a cistern for clean water at the clinic. A very special anonymous donor is writing a check for the remaining money necessary to fund the project. The trip to build the cistern is scheduled for November 2017! The village, the staff at the clinic and ICMC are anticipating this very welcome addition for disease prevention. Thank you to Renee, the donors at the party and an especially generous donor to make this urgent need possible.
Ivory Coast Mothers and Children was honored in the region of Sikensi on May 1, their Labor Day. Our founder, Patricia Nau Mertz on behalf of ICMC received a certificate for being “a force that stimulates progress.” in the midst of the pomp and circumstance of a parade with colorfully dressed officials and representatives from the villages. Vitamin Angels provided prenatal vitamins for all of the expectant mothers in two villages, as well as vitamins for the children between the ages of 1-5 who are most vulnerable to malnutrition and disease. Thank you to all who donated dolls, toys and clothes for the orphans and brand new baby clothes for the newborns which is an incentive for making prenatal visits. If you would like to get involved or participate in any way for our next trip, please contact us. All donations and love is welcome.
In April of 2017 Patricia Mertz traveled to the village of Braffoueby with Laura and Matthew Gifford OD of Red Eye Eyewear and Tammy Heldt, Optician at Aardvark Eyewear. In Sub-Saharan Africa Optometrists are outnumbered 8,000 to 1 leaving many children and adults without access to proper vision care. Together, they screened over 600 people for glaucoma and cataracts, and measured for prescription lenses. They handed out over 1000 pairs of sunglasses and reading glasses and also eye drops for glaucoma and drops for red, itchy eyes thanks to Alcon. The village was grateful for their time, generosity and knowledge. Next September, ICMC will deliver and fit those new glasses and many will be able to see for the first time.
Kathy and Patricia along with Jeannette Kah Le Guil, born in Cote d'Ivoire and working at the World Bank in Washington DC for 20 years joined a group of 5 other notable Ivorian women leaders for a women’s empowerment rally in Bibita located in Guemon about an 8 hour drive from Abidjan. The roads were treacherous and tested the endurance of the passengers. It was an outrageous display of strong accomplished women coming together to send the message that together we can end the bias against women owning land with the intention of providing for their families and themselves in their later years. The chief donated a parcel of land to benefit the women agricultural workers. ICMC is now partnered with MODELCI and hopes to receive a grant from the World Bank to further our shared goals to support women and children in the Ivory Coast.
Kathy Shiver, Doctor of Pharmacy at St. Mary’s Hospital in Chicago, visited Braffaoueby in November of 2016 with Patricia Mertz. The pharmacy, drug usages, “best practice” recommendations, treatment rooms and the storage area in the clinic all benefitted thanks to Kathy’s years of professionalism and experience. Kathy was loaded with pharmaceuticals donated by her hospital and MAP International. The staff appreciated the new uniforms, medical equipment, supplies and the newly stocked pharmacy. The orphaned children appreciated clothing, dollies and teddy bears from Dollies Making a Difference. The school and the clinic are eager to use the new computers.