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Join us for the Social Media Planning Open Call on Thursday, October 8

By Romina OliverioPosted on October 01, 2009Comments: (3)

If reading the summary notes from the last open conference call made you wish you'd been a part of it, here's your chance to get involved this time around! (But keep in mind that we're following a bi-weekly check in schedule, so we hope you're bound to find a date that frees you up to chat with us!)

The next planning open call will take place Thursday, October 8th at 10AM EST. (To check your timezone, please click here.)

Agenda for the Call

- Introductions
- Review of developments, progress made in the last two weeks
- Discussion of the next steps (including input from the discussions taking place in the Social Media hub)
- Discuss Twitter chat (see summary notes)
- Assign steps
- Wrap-up: set up date/time for the next call

How to Join the Call

- On the day of the call, call in to the following conference dial-in number: + 1 712-775-7300 (Note that long distance charges will apply.)
- When prompted, enter the assigned access code: 270745#

If you have any questions, please contact, and if you can't make the call, no worries; like last time, we'll post a summary in the Social Media Hub.

Looking forward to it!

the NABUUR team

P.S. In the meantime, check our the latest discussions in the social media hub. We'd love your input on what's brewing there!

Parenting the Disabled in Sadhana, India

By Guest BloggerPosted on September 30, 2009Comments: (2)

(Guest post by Ranjana, of Sadhana, India)

One day a woman called Sangita came to us from Kashig. She wanted to form women’s self help group in her village. Situated in the remote hilly areas of Western India Kashig is a very tiny village. On her invitation we went to Kashig village. The meeting was arranged in Sangita’s house.

I still can’t forget the shock we got when we entered her home. In her home there were 3 kids with different types of mental disabilities. A girl of about 12 was sitting in a chair staring vacantly. A boy of 8 years who looked like a 3 yr old was lying in bed sucking his fingers. Another girl of about 6 years was moving around in the house endlessly.

As we at Sadhana Village run a residential care centre for mentally challenged adults we immediately felt associated to the family and their problem of mental retardation.

When we asked how they are managing 3 special kids in a family we were told that the kids were simply fed, washed and left alone to themselves.

At this point we realized the grave need of training the rural parents in to parenting of children with mental disabilities.

Sangita's family
Sangita’s is a joint family. Her husband and his brother share house with their mother, wives who happen to be sisters and 5 kids between them.

Sangita has a mentally challenged 12 year old daughter and a normal 2 year old daughter. Her sister, Mangal, has one normal but partially deaf daughter, one 8 year old bedridden son with severe mental retardation. Another daughter is mildly retarded but hyperactive.

So the family needs immense help in training how to coop up with the problem and how to train the children.

Students from abroad
Last year a team of students of Occupational therapy had come to Sadhana village to do a project as part of their course. This year, too, the teacher mailed us to ask if they could send students for project.

We requested to take up project of training of the parents of these kids. Two girl students accepted the challenge.

The two occupational Therapy (OT) students arrived in March, 2009. They immediately started work with the family. One of our colleagues Medha joined the team as interpreter as the family couldn’t understand English. Two other local volunteers also became part of the group as they would be continuing the job after the students left.

The family sort of treated the kids more like pets. Feed them, wash them and let them on their own.

The students first made them aware that these are human beings we are dealing with. Even if they are mentally challenged they are capable of training up to a certain extent, also they are capable of feeling emotions and more importantly feeling love and care.

The girls defined tasks for each of the child—

A. Prajakta—she is the 12 yr old daughter of Sangita. It was planned to teach her eat on her own and collect her clothes from cupboard for wearing.
B. Prasad- he is the bed ridden 8 yr old child of Mangal. Prasad was never made to sit up. He was even fed in sleeping position. OTs planned to give him different massage and teach his mother and grand mother how to make him sit with support.
C. Pragati—Pragati is 6 yr old hyper active daughter of Mangal. It was planned that she will also be trained to eat on her own.

The OTs worked on these lines. Parents and grandmother participated enthusiastically.
Results can be summarized as---
1. Parents started working with Prasad more. Mother learnt to make him sit and feed. Also they gave him different exercises.
2. Prajakta learnt to take food from utensils into her plate and eat with spoon. For that a bowl like plate was used so that she doesn’t spill food.Also she learnt to pick her clothes from cupboard and take them to bathroom.
3. Parents of Pragati were instructed not to give food to her until she feels when she was hungry she sat down and ate on her own.

Great changes in family life
The main change was in the mentality of parents and the grandmother. In Sangita’s words, "I never thought that my daughter understands what I tell her. So I never talked to her. But now I talk to her. Tell her things. And now I realized she understands and responds in her own way."
Not only Sangita but other family members also feel the same.

Now we are sure that this activity will be continued by them only. After the OTs left our volunteers visited the family. It was very satisfying to see that they were following the pattern the OTs gave them.

So this is story of one family. There are many of them in rural part of Kolwan valley with mentally challenged children. They are not aware about mental illness, how to handle such kids, how to train them and how to keep them occupied.

Upcoming project
We need to work on these families too. I would like to have this as our project for NABUUR. How to organize such training---
Some facts are—
1. Families are poor and parents illiterates or semiliterates.
2. Mentally challenged children are grossly neglected. Medicines and other medical help cannot be given to them because of lack of money and also because of lack of facilities at village level.
3. Parents don’t know that such kids are trainable.
4. The kids can’t be brought to Sadhana Village because of physical distance. Also villages are not connected directly by public transport.Some of the kids have physical disability too.

These are some of the problems we have to keep in mind while discussing or planning training.

If you have ideas or want to help out with this project, please join us!

Warm regards,


A short message goes a long way...

By Pelle AardemaPosted on September 29, 2009Comments: (2)

It all started with a message: "Hello Esther, my name is Mpoya Kiirya Eddy. Please join my Village Kisozi and advice me on my project for Orphans and Vulnerable Children."

At the end of the week, Esther will board the plane to Uganda: to visit Africa for the first time in her life AND to meet the Eddy who wrote her this short message. And she will not travel empty handed – bringing loads of good news and a very full program:

There’s a donation for beds, mattresses and bed sheets for 6 kids, the first part of a donation for a safe and clean water campaign sponsored by GGNET, reading books for 4-12 year olds, 425 glasses that were donated by EyeClarify / Hans Anders (who will be sponsoring glasses for a year). Next to that she’s bringing the news that AfricaSport will invest in the Kisozi football club.

Last but not least she’s bringing 140 euro that has been collected through their project on 1% Club (see the banner), which will give the goat & chicken project a good start.

In Uganda they will meet Sander van Zanten of ICU, a representative of Cycling out of Poverty and pay a visit to Paul Bulenzi in Jinja.

"We have to realize the school, and since we’re getting involved with bigger organizations I’m starting a foundation in the Netherlands as well. I try to learn as much from other projects and foundations as possible… yeah… things have gotten a bit out of hand", Esther says.

A short message goes a long way.

Have a great trip, Esther!

NABUUR has left the building

By Pelle AardemaPosted on September 25, 2009Comments: (2)

... and moves on to a more flexible way of working.

Today Siegfried and I moved out the last boxes, I only have to hand in the keys and that's the end of the NABUUR office in Amersfoort.

As NABUUR is changing the way it works - key now is to be open, connected and flexible - having a fixed office didn't feel like the right solution anymore.

Of course our team will still be meeting on a regular basis: our 'basis' will be the respective homes, Igluu in Utrecht - where we can use 'flex desks' (flexible workspaces) and we'll probably have to rent a meeting place once in a while. And you will still run into our team online: on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and of course the NABUUR platform.

Catch you there!

[Volunteering Opportunity] Design Promotional Materials for a Youth Arts and Crafts Business in Wakitaka, Uganda

By Romina OliverioPosted on September 24, 2009Comments: (2)

The Wakitaka Youth Development Group (WYDG) in Uganda trains young people in income-generating activities, such as raising livestock, growing vegetables, and selling handmade crafts.

Handmade crafts are a tradition in Wakitaka. The youth produce unique bead necklaces and jewelry, greeting cards, wood and clay sculptures - all made from local materials.

WYDG rented a space at the Nile source, a popular local attraction with tourists. However, sales are slow, and the group is now focusing on amping up their marketing with promotional materials that they can hand out to passing tourists.

If you have experience in design or marketing, and can offer your creativity and expertise to produce a promotional handout and a business card, please drop by the online project room here where you'll find more information on what is needed.

[News from Vijayapuram] World Alzheimer's Day- Recognising Dementia Across the Globe

By Romina OliverioPosted on September 22, 2009Comments: (2)

[Post by Carolyn DV, facilitator of Vijayapuram]

Yesterday, September 22 was World Alzheimer’s Day. For those of us living in the UK, USA , Europe, Singapore or Australia this is a day where we may visit our elderly relatives who might be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), acknowledging the devastating impact this disease has had on their lives and our lives as their carers.

For others around the world this day might be a reminder of how far their countries and health systems have to go in recognising, diagnosing, supporting and caring for the millions of AD sufferers. There is one common link between the developed and developing nations of our world ...Alzheimer’s Disease, or dementia, is a growing and increasingly urgent problem which we all face - whether you live in Kansas City, Kisozi or Kottayam.

The theme for WAD 2009 is ‘Diagnosing Dementia- Recognising it Sooner‘ with the aim of encouraging medical professionals to recognise the signs of the disease in order for people to receive the treatment they need. In India, efforts to educate the populace and the medical profession about dementia continues in earnest. By 2015 it is estimated that up to 23 million Indians will be suffering from dementia. That is the equivalent of the entire population of Australia.

In Vijayapuram, Local Representative Joseph and the community-based organisation Human Resource Education and Socio Economic Development Centre (HRESEDC) have been able to start a pilot home-based medical care programme. The programme aims to bring medical care to the homes of poor, elderly and bed-ridden AD sufferers, and those who are at the palliative stage of their lives. It’s a programme that also aims to help and support the carers, educating them about the different stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and how to care for their relatives with dignity and compassion. Currently the programme has a volunteer doctor who visits up to 9 patients on alternate Saturdays. It’s a good start.

There is no cure for AD as yet, but there are so many ways to make the lives of AD sufferers happy and comfortable and dignified. We can also support their carers by recognising the burden of caring for someone who forgets, who can be aggressive, or at times is depressed or uninhibited.

If you would like to find out more about AD in Vijayapuram or help us further develop the Home Based Medical Care programme then please visit us at Your input would be greatly appreciated.

You're Invited to the Social Media Planning Conference Call on September 24!

By Romina OliverioPosted on September 18, 2009Comments: (3)

[FYI: Summary notes from the call can be found in the comment section below]

Last week we shared with you our social media journey thus far, and also presented different ways that you could become a part of NABUUR's social media task force. We're thrilled to report that in true NABUUR spirit, volunteers reacted almost immediately: the social media hub has its first contributors, and the discussions are a go!

Social Media Planning Conference Call Scheduled for Thursday, September 24

The NABUUR team meets with Peter Deitz of Social Actions on a bi-weekly basis to discuss our social media strategy and collectively plan for the next steps. From now on, we'll be opening up these conference calls to anyone interested in volunteering their time and creativity.

The first open conference call will be held on Thursday, September 24 at 10AM ET. (To check your time zone, click here.)

Agenda for the Call

- Introductions
- Review of developments, progress made in the last two weeks
- Discussion of the next steps (including input from the discussions taking place in the Social Media hub)
- Assign steps
- Wrap-up: set up date/time for the next call

How to Join the Call

- On the day of the call, call in to the following conference dial-in number: + 1 712-775-7300 (Note that long distance charges will apply.)
- When prompted, enter the assigned access code: 270745#

If you have any questions, please contact, and if you can't make the call, no worries - we'll post a summary in the Social Media Hub.

Bring your thoughts and ideas, we look forward to hearing them!

the NABUUR team

Help Find Physiotherapy Equipment for a Rehab Centre, and Sewing Machines for a Vocational Program in Buea, Cameroon

By Romina OliverioPosted on September 16, 2009Comments: (2)

[Text by Jennifer Wells, Facilitator of the Buea project.]

Nest of Hope, an NGO located in Cameroon, has partnered with the Associated Rehabilitation Center for the Handicapped (ARCH). The ARCH is quite large and has well over 200 patients, most of which are orphaned or abandoned children with disabilities. ARCH is made up of 3 distinct sections:

1. Physiotherapy/Rehabilitation

2. ARCH Nursery and Primary School
3. Vocational Workshop-St. Therese Vocational Center

The center was once owned and operated by the Catholic Church and later taken over by the Government who has since abandoned the facility. As a result, the center has fallen into a terrible state of disrepair and neglect. Nest of Hope would like to change that and help the children receive the quality of care, skills and education they deserve.

There are two ways that you can help!

1. Improving the Physiotherapy/Rehab Centre

This project focuses on improving the Associated Rehabilitation Center for the Handicapped and helping the children with disabilities it serves to thrive.

A very important part of the ARCH is a workshop responsible for making prostheses and walking aids needed by the patients. They also repair broken down aids. This section helps enormously because many patients do not have enough money to buy the necessary materials from the developed world like wheelchairs, so when necessary, they buy imported parts and make the walking aids. Youth are trained here on how to make these assistive devices for themselves. Physiotherapy services are also provided, but therapists lack equipment.

For this task, we are requesting volunteers RESEARCH organizations who provide assistance in equipping the workshop both for therapy and training purposes.

For a list of equipment that is needed, click here.

2. Looking to acquire Sewing Machines to Expand the Vocational Training Program

Nest of Hope believes that unless those affected are provided with vocational skills, the number of vulnerable children in our community will continue to grow. Our vision is to expand the existing workshop located at the ARCH center, creating St. Therese Vocational Center.

The center will focus on teaching youth (boys and girls between the ages of 14 to 28 years of age) from low income households in the Buea subdivision and peripheries to sew a wide variety of clothing from local patterns. They will also be able to make clothing for themselves and their families.

So far, 16 youths have been identified during the survey to be the first batch of beneficiaries. This group is comprised of 11 girls and 5 boys. The training program will center on sewing, household decoration and African design as well as needle work.

If you can help in researching organizations that donate sewing machines and other equipment for the vocational program, please click here.

From Seattle to Nairobi: Follow Filmmaker Wes Downer's Journey to Arrow Web Hospital

By Guest BloggerPosted on September 14, 2009Comments: (2)

[The following is a post by Jennifer Wells, cross-posted from Kayole-Soweto.]

From Seattle to Nairobi

This week, Wes Downer will leave the USA for Nairobi. Wes is a documentary filmmaker and will be working with Arrow Web Hospital for the next few weeks. Wes will also be guest writing on the Arrow Web Hospital blog.

We hope that Wes can help bring attention to the needs of the hospital and gather greater attention so they obtain the equipment they need to better provide for the medical needs of the people in Kayole-Soweto. If the hospital is able to obtain this equipment, they can meet the final standards for the highest level of accreditation possible through the National Health Insurance Fund in Kenya. Only 1 year ago this month, Arrow Web Hospital achieved their first level of accreditation through NHIF. Accreditation is very important to the hospital for long-term sustainability because it allows them to be reimbursed for services rendered to people who carry NHIF cards. This has over doubled the monthly income which has helped tremendously in terms of replenishing medications and other needed supplies.

This is where you come in!

We hope that you will each follow Wes' journey on the Arrow Web Hospital blog located here:

We hope that you will use Twitter and help us draw attention to the hospital and the work that Wes is doing while in Nairobi. The hospital will be tweeting as well from their account @arrowwebhosp.

Finally, we are asking that each of you do what you can to promote the hospital blog by sharing links with your friends here at Facebook. We are very confident that everyone joining together will help us bring results for the people of Kayole-Soweto and Arrow Web Hospital.

We are very excited about Wes' visit and hope that you'll join hands with us and help us tell other people about the good things going on in Nairobi at Arrow Web Hospital.

Thank you so much for your help and stay tuned for an exciting few weeks ahead!

Jennifer and Bramuel

[Wes's first post is up! Please visit the Arrow Web Hospital blog here.] developers attended Drupalcon 2009 in Paris

By Frans KuipersPosted on September 11, 2009Comments: (1)

Since July 2008 the website is driven by an Open Source CMS (Content Management System) called Drupal. Open Source software is free. "Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer". It just means we can use it, change it to our requirements, and make it the best website ever.

Also Drupal is made, extented and maintained by Volunteers!

DrupalCon Paris PhotosThe development of Drupal as an open source platform is driven (almost) completely by volunteers. People who like to give their time and talents to produce the best web application possible. They are passionate about it. All communication between the developers of Drupal is online, via the website, IRC, blogs and email lists. They are coming from all over the world, just like the neighbours. Since Januari 2005 they organize a Drupal conference (drupalcon) twice a year, once in the USA/Canada and once in Europe.

Frans, Roy and Kester attended drupalcon Paris from 1-5 September. While at the first drupalcon 2005 only 50 people attended, now we were with 850 amazing people, all share our passion for drupal.

What was in it for the nabuur development team.
With more then 100 sessions in 5 days we had to select the sessions which we think can help the development of in the near future. The highlights of what we took away from the drupalcon:

  • Networking with developers, themes and people who can help to an higher level. We met someone who has a lot of experience with digital story telling. We made an appointment to investigate if we can use his expertise and methods on our website.
  • A session about social media, how to connect our website to other social websites like Facebook, Myspace, Flickr and hyves. For example how we could make it possible to login on with your Google, Yahoo or Facebook account.
  • Important new modules for drupal that can help the development of the new site. An example is a new web application as OpenAtrium, a drupal based web application, easy to use and adjusted by non developers. Maybe we can use it as the new base for or we can learn a lot from it how to make the user experience much better.
  • We had 2 sessions with "Drupal for Good" and "Drupal for NGO's". Here we connected with people who are passionate of using drupal to make a better world. We talked about working together, exchange knowledge and experiences. One of the ideas was to make a drupal distribution, aimed at NGO's, which can be used by small (poor) NGO's to put their cause on the Internet easy and without the need of (expensive) developers or designers.
  • A lot of sessions about development practices, new exiting drupal modules (there are 4000+ now), how we can the user experience of drupal based sites better.

It was an awesome experience to be with so many like minded people, sharing the same passion. It is the same passion I feel in our community, where we all share the passion for a more just world.

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