Blood Donation Camp March 2012

Important work at the Haven Centre takes place in front of a radiant backdrop of colours

One of the biggest expenses for Haven is the cost associated with patient referrals from the numerous medical camps. This is something we are totally committed to and wholeheartedly believe in, simply because the patients come from families living below the poverty line. Without this financial help the referred patients just wouldn't be able to afford any further treatment at all. Many of the referrals involve surgery which requires substantial amounts of blood throughout the procedure. Blood is expensive and, because of the large volumes needed, can often make up a large bulk of the total cost. This is where help is provided by the Blood Donation Service in India. As an incentive to encourage more people to come forward, "cards" are given out to each donor which can be exchanged for free blood during surgery. The Blood Donation Camps that take place at the Haven centre every year have not only helped lessen patient refferal costs, they have also increased community awareness among the local villagers who, in the past, were too afraid to come forward to donate blood. This year, on the 7th of March, there was a very pleasing turn out of 40 donors, which means Haven has collected 40 "cards" that, when exchanged, will amount to a considerable volume of free blood.

Heaps of the brightest colours, collected and carefully arranged, greeted everyone the next morning, all in readiness for celebrating Holi, The Festival of Colours. Beautifully dressed dancers, poised and smiling, waited for their audience to arrive. And arrive they did, with huge grins to be seen on all of their faces! As the children from the Learning Centre took their places, they were joined by the children with disabilities who had been specially invited to enjoy the festivities. All eyes were glued to the piles of powdered dyes that the children would soon be throwing at each other.

Fortunately, the two teachers of the Learning Centre had warned the children not to wear their smart uniforms for this occasion even though the dyes were all washable. The dancers provided the appreciative audience with a stunning display of their skills and deservedly received a loud applause. Then the best part of the day began in earnest. The centre's courtyard became ablaze with flying colours as everyone began throwing the powdered dyes over each other. Faces were smeared with colours and some even looked as though they were getting ready for a war dance! Visiting Haven members and MBCF staff all took part and unsurprisingly, there was much showering and changing of clothes once the festivities were over. At the end of a lovely day at the Haven Centre, the children left as they had come, with huge grins on all of their faces! Huge thanks to the loyal MBCF staff and volunteers who made sure the entire day was a success through their long hours of hard work and dedicated support.



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