Monday, October 23, 2006

The Jaden Foundation this year

There are many things that I should have done for the Jaden Foundation by now that I haven't yet. Amongst them are:
  1. Updating the website
  2. Adding pictures and stories of the new sponsors to the website
  3. Visit all the sponsored families (several in remote villages) to update the children's information and to take pictures
  4. Do the Jaden Foundation accounts
  5. Visit the local schools to get a clearer view of what each school's needs are (mainly for the group from 'FAB' that will be coming from Rochester next spring) and also to find out what each school's privacy policy is with regards to the information we can share about the students online

So there you go. It's a fair list.

What I have managed to do is the following:

  1. Buy and distribute school books to 19 Primary school students
  2. The same for 2 High school students
  3. Supply school uniforms and shoes to 5 students
  4. Pay (weekly) for the school transport of 6 students
  5. Sort out sponsorship for 6 children of low-income families that allows them to attend one of the country's most prestigious private schools
  6. Support the 'Friends of Pediatrics' in Belize, to help finance an symposium on Developmental disorders such as: Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD/ADD), autism, speech language disorders, mental retardation, hearing and visual disorders. The aim is the help people (doctors, teachers, parents) in identifying these at risk children at an early stage & to share information on how to best help and educate these children (I will add more on this in the coming days)

The reason why I haven't done as much as maybe I should have is because the Jaden Foundation is basically a one-woman show. Karen helps me a few times a year with the accounts, but apart from that it's just me doing everything. Something as easy as 'buying and distributing school books' takes many weeks of my time. Books only become available in drips and draps (so I have to visit the bookstore a few times a week), most the book lists that the children give me are impossible to read, some children are first told that they are in a certain grade and later find out that they are in a different grade, etc. It is incredibly annoying work. I also ask all the children to bring back last year's books to see which ones can be reused, so I have to go through piles of old books too.

Anyway, I do apologize to all of this year's sponsors. Sorry that I haven't been in contact with cute pictures, hand-written notes from the kids, etc. But please rest assured, 100% of your donated money has gone to helping children here in Belize. A big, big 'Thank you!' once again.