10 august 2016

Page 11

guardian the


Tasman aid helps power the Congo


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Pictured above: Tasman couple CarolAnne and Geoff Paynter (far right) in the DRC earlier this year during their solar panel project to power a hospital in Lwanza with funds raised back home. SAFIA ARCHER Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) might not be the first place you’d imagine local raised funds may impact, but that’s just where CarolAnne and Geoff Paynter, members of Tasman Bible Church, have made a lasting mark with the help of generous Tasman locals. The DRC has the potential to be one of the richest nations due to its abundant mineral wealth, yet it is one of the least developed nations in the world lacking the infrastructure to meet even the most basic of human rights. That’s where the Tasman community has added value this past year, by helping in what may seem a relatively simple but profound way, by installing solar panels to ensure electricity in a hospital based in Lwanza through a project in conjunction with Mission Garenganze. The Congolese locals cried when they first saw the light powered by the solar panels CarolAnne said, with one of the main doctors’ incredulous that the power would last through the night, something he would not believe until he saw it for himself. “Right now in Lwanza there is power in a hospital that didn’t have power, and the medical staff and the village are so grateful to actually

have that power.” We don’t necessarily understand it because we have power all the time she said, but in the DRC where there was not sufficient light for even basic surgeries, it was a lifesaving change. “The lighting beforehand was pathetic … it was so bad we had to move the operating table over to a window so that they could get better light. “At night, which a lot of the time is when babies decided to be born, the doctors have to emergency Caesarean Sections and actually use the light in their cellphones for light. “Now they don’t have to worry about that anymore, because they’ve got lights.” In addition to basic needs they also focus on education by equipping and passing on resources through training, with the locals then integrating it into their life, all made possible by a those who chose to give a little. “Some people gave a lot of money, some people just gave a little bit of money, but all that combined together put power into a hospital.” For information on their next project and to donate please visit their website: http://www.kiwisinthecongo.org.nz

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The Crafty Tarts of Motueka knitted over 70 pieces that CarolAnne was able to give to the Congolese maternity ward. “A little boy had been born late at night … and he didn’t stop crying because his mother didn’t have any clothes for him,” CarolAnne said. “As soon as I put them on he stopped crying.” FACT FILE: One of the highest infant/child mortality rates ranging from 20-45% for children under the age of 5. Approx. 25% of children are malnourished Average lifespan is 47-51 years. Less than ½ the population has access to clean drinking water and less than a 1/3 have access to adequate sanitation facilities.

Specials available South Island only, price valid until Sunday 14 August 2016 or while stocks last. Trade not supplied. Due to current Licensing Trust laws, liquor not available at Elles Road, Windsor & Gore. Specials may not be available at all stores. Club Deals are only available to Clubcard Members at New World South Island stores when they scan their Clubcard at the time of purchase.