Barbara and Alex to Visit

Susan and I are very happy as our friends, Barbara Seagram and her husband Alex Kornel, will be visiting us at the end of August and beginning of September. You may remember that I wrote about Barbara when she visited us two years ago: Helping Our Fellow Man.

Health CareDespite this trip being planned as “strictly a holiday”, Barbara and Alex are going to present a bridge seminar — Taking Tricks with Tiny Cards: Improve your Declarer Play.

The seminar will be on Monday, August 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at The Aces on Bridge, Bennett Avenue. It is a hands-on seminar where you play hands all morning.

Lunch and a game follow. Barbara and her husband Alex will be on hand to play with the winners of the lucky draw.

As for the last one Barbara participated in, she is not doing this to earn money for herself, but to support people less fortunate than ourselves. As before, Barbara is involved in her current project with her good friend Patti Lee. Rather than describe this in my words, I’ve reproduced a poster below.

As well as Barbara and Alex’s share of the proceeds from the bridge seminar going to this cause, those of you who attend will have an opportunity to make an additional donation. Even if you don’t attend, you can still donate — the details are in the poster.

Barbara Seagram & Patti Lee in Cambodia

In 2011, Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and a group of 50 docked in Phnom Penh. We were armed with clothing, pens, notebooks, rulers, sharpeners, toys, pencils, stickers and anything else you can dream of. We had heard about an Ontario resident, Lisa McCoy who was known to have dedicated the last few years to being on the ground in Cambodia for several months per year. Working alongside Lisa is a fabulous Australian volunteer, Pauline Johns. Other groups had built two schools in Takeo province in Bakot and Prokeab. Pauline and Lisa pay their own air, accommodation and meals so that all funds raised go to the cause and every penny is accounted for carefully.

At that time, our group and other friends from the Toronto area donated 40 bicycles at a falling-down shack outside Phnom Penh: Banyan Learning Tree School. We went there in a small tuk-tuk along the dusty roads of Phnom Penh and beyond. The bikes were given to mainly children of landmine victims. It was all very uplifting but Patti and Barbara looked at each other and wondered how long this shack would remain standing. We inquired how much it would cost to build a permanent school and found that it would be $24,000.00. We returned to Toronto determined to build a school. We raised $40.000.00 that year so we also furnished all three schools and built a library at one of the schools also. Since then, we remain committed to sustaining four schools…paying teachers, librarians, paying for costs of electricity, etc.: Costs per year for sustaining all these projects: $12,000.00 total. You can see that money goes a long way in this country.

We now have 580 students in our schools. There is a huge need in the remote villages for medical help. Many never see a doctor. We have therefore decided to build a FAMILY HEALTH CLINIC. It would be the first line of medical support for local families who do not have a doctor and who cannot travel to one.

We have an enormous job ahead of us. First we have to find a location and build. We also have many, many details to sort out. After all that, our focus for the first few years will be to make sure that villagers have:

  1. Access to safe water. This is a fundamental human need and a basic human right. In some cases, this may be as simple as teaching them the necessity of boiling water.
  2. Access to health care.
  3. Education.

Malaria and tuberculosis continue to plague the remote villages. The neonatal death rate is at an unacceptable rate. One of our primary goals is to reduce the rate of mortality of children under two years old.

  • We need to educate throughout rural areas about the need for sanitation, aiding in the prevention of spread of transmission of diseases.
  • We need to make immunization available in the rural areas.
  • We need to work to ensure the health of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.

Our first guesstimate for building this project is approximately $50,000.00. After that, there will be the considerable costs for the sustaining of this project. We need your help. If you have any professional expertise, we would love to hear from you. Barbara: and Patti:

Patti and Barbara are excited and optimistic about all of these projects and hold several fund-raisers a year. If you are able to make a donation, we would be so grateful.

Please give us your address, email address and telephone number so that we can process your tax receipt.

Please make cheques out to A MINE FREE WORLD. This is the organization that does receipts for us.

Please mail this coupon with your cheque to: Barbara Seagram, 220 Lawrence Ave East, Toronto ON M4N 1T2 —

I understand I will receive a tax deductible receipt if I donate $25.00 or more.

NAME: ________________________________
EMAIL ADDRESS: ___________________________________
ADDRESS: ________________________________________
CITY: __________ POSTAL CODE: __________
TEL NO: (_____)_____________________

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