Blood Donation Camp July 2013

Excellent organisation by the MBCF staff enables the Haven Community Centre to function at its very best.

Walls adorned with brightly coloured childrens' artwork greeted everyone as they arrived  on Sunday July 21st for this year's Blood Donation camp. Visiting Haven members and well wishers from the US were taken aback at how immaculate the centre looked with all repairs and maintenance works completed to exacting standards. The required medical arrangements were ready so that the camp could run smoothly and on time. 500 people, including donors and their families aswell as local villagers, were expected for lunch and all the necessary catering arrangements had been taken care of. In fact, the MBCF Youth Group were practically waiting in the wings ready to jump into their familiar role of "waiters"! As the day unfolded, it became clear to all of us that every possible problem that could have occurred had been anticipated for and the contigency plans were also in place. This very well organised set up did not just happen by accident and is, in fact, largely due to the great leadership shown by Gopal. He worked tirelessly with the MBCF team and had carefully made sure that the whole day would be free from any difficulties. Gopal was supported by all the staff, none more so than our Head Caretaker, Potith, who has recently been promoted from his position as Assistant Caretaker. Potith has always been a hard working, wholehearted member of the MBCF team and many who have visited the Centre have often commented on his caring and considerate nature. The two teachers of our Learning Centre had also put in many long hours, painstakingly putting up all the displays of their pupils' artwork. In addition, they had organised numerous rehearsals with former past pupils so that everyone could enjoy the traditional performances of song and dance in our central courtyard. Haven would like to sincerely thank Gopal and his team for their hard work and heartfelt dedication; this amazing support is the reason we can continue our work in rural India.

The Blood Donation camp allowed Haven to collect 40 units of blood which will go a long way to help reduce patient referral costs in the future. The members of the local community are getting braver each year as evident by more and more donors coming forward to donate blood. In addition to the camp, there were many other activities that took place. All the children with disabilities were invited to come and enjoy the cultural performances and Sunil, who has severe cerebral palsy, was gifted a new wheelchair better suited to his present height and weight. The children at our Learning Centre were all given new shoes, so essential in the coming cold winter months as many of them have no footwear at all. Visiting Haven member, Monika Ghosh, spent many dusty hours in the Library sorting our entire collection of books, a job that really needed to be done. The Library is a valuable resource, especially for the Youth Group members who use it constantly for referencing and schoolwork. Not letting a little dust deter her, Monika also recorded a lot of video footage during her time there. This footage has been compiled into a seven minute record of Haven's achievements since we began in 2003.

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