SHARE Africa April Newsletter

In December 2021, SHARE’s medical director, Dr. Jeffrey Karasik, again traveled to Kenya, along with student Jason Hirsch. Previously, we mentioned how SHARE donated an oxygen concentrator, which extracts oxygen from room air, to the local hospital, due to the lack of available oxygen for women and children in need of assistance breathing. Jeff brought a second oxygen concentrator in December. These machines have saved a number of lives.

In addition to the “Helping Babies Breathe”, program started several years ago to train midwives to save newborns, in 2021 SHARE initiated a new program, “Helping Mothers Survive” (HMS), which is designed to improve and sustain the life-saving skills of health care workers who care for women and their newborns during pregnancy, labor, and birth.  WHO estimates that in Kenya, maternal mortality remains high at 488 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (compared to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in USA) and progress to reduce the deaths is very slow. Most maternal deaths are due to causes directly related to pregnancy and childbirth and obstetric emergencies

SHARE has received a generous grant from the Shapiro Family Foundation to begin a mental health program that will train school personnel and social workers to identify and address teenage depression and suicides.  We believe that orphans may be more vulnerable and decided to initiate a pilot to address this issue.  SHARE  Africa will coordinate with the local Ministries of Health and Education to implement the program.  While the Shapiro Family grant is generous, it will not cover all the costs, so we continue to seek additional funds for this program.

Jeff was asked by the family of Bobbie MacGuffie, the founder of SHARE Africa, to bring her ashes to Kenya and scatter them over nearby Lake Victoria., where she spent a lot of time. working in local hospitals and clinics.  A lovely and moving memorial service was held and her ashes scattered, in accordance with her wishes. May she rest in peace in the place where she healed hundreds of people. May her memory be a blessing for us all.

Double Joy is a local orphanage, which unlike SHARE houses orphans who have no guardians and live at Double Joy full time. SHARE, under the leadership of Dr. MacGuffie, provided seed monies when it was opened and continues to provide financial assistance necessary to help the orphanage stay open. While SHARE’s primary mission is educating, feeding, and clothing its sponsored orphans, offering some much-needed assistance to Double Joy from time to time, helps to carry out the mission of our founder, Bobbie MacGuffie

SHARE continues to sponsor nearly 250 orphans. SHARE Orphan Sponsorship program is designed to be self-funding with the sponsors bearing the total cost of $600/year. however, during the last year several of our sponsors have unfortunately passed away. The Board of SHARE had decided not to drop orphans who have lost sponsors, before they graduate from high school. As a result, there are several orphans who are being sponsored directly by SHARE.  Aside from the fact that this reduces funding for other equally needed programs, the orphans sponsored by SHARE lack the personal contact most other sponsored orphans receive, by exchanging letters with their personal sponsors. The sponsorship cost of $600 per year pays for their school fees and supplies, housing, food and clothing and medical and social care.
We are appealing to all our supporters to please consider sponsoring a child if you do not already, or even sponsor another child,

We want to thank Capalino for its contribution of $25,000 in honor of our new Board Member, Richard Barth.  Capalino is a leading government relations and urban strategy firm servicing companies and non-profits doing business in New York.  During his tenure, Richard led the firm’s Land Use, Housing and Real Estate practice for six years.   At his retirement at the end of 2021, Capalino honored Richard’s contributions to the firm with this generous donation to SHARE. We thank Capalino for this donation and welcome Richard and his wife, Irene, to the Board.

Our medical director, Dr. Jeff Karasik’s sister, Myra, and her daughter Samantha Jones, accompanied Jeff on his December trip to Kenya. Myra sponsors a SHARE orphan. Myra has since recruited 2 additional sponsors and procured the grant from the Shapiro Family Foundation, as well as writing (with Samantha) the American Academy of Pediatrics ICATCH Grant   for the mental health project, for which we are awaiting the results. Myra lives in Kansas City and San Diego.  Her background is in City Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Samantha, who is 26, resides in Austin and works as an editor for a consulting firm. Thank you, Myra and Samantha, for your support

Thank you for your continued support!  It is because of you SHARE is able to continue the great work in Kenya.

Usha Wright


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