|Now that we've completed our first project, we are looking forward to what's to come for the Camelia Institute! Excited to plan and execute our next trip to help improve the quality of life of our seniors!|
UNTIL next time!!!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Hello everyone, this is my first time writing a blog. Although I am the Vice President of Camelia Institute, I prefer to remain in the background, which is the reason I haven’t been blogging as much as my partner Jennifer.
Having grown up in a very close Bengali family, I learned how important grandparents could be. My grandmother, or as I referred to her as my Nanu, was an amazing woman who loved me and cared for me since the day I was born. My grandfather took me everywhere and bought me anything that I wanted. I guess you could say they spoiled me. Nanu lived with my family and I for many years, and I watched her go from a woman who could walk for miles to someone who could barely walk at all. I loved spending time with her, and tried to help as much as I could because I knew that no matter what, I could never really be able to repay her for always taking care of me.
My grandparents were the source of my inspiration for this project. They showed me the meaning of love and taught me how important the elderly is to our society. If it were not for them I would not be the person I am today. Although Nanu is no longer here, she remains in my heart and is my source of motivation to help those in need. There are too many elderly out there who are living in impoverished areas and are unable to get proper treatment due to their immobility. Through the Camelia Institute, I am trying to do my part to increase elderly awareness and provide them with a better quality of life. Hopefully the equipment provided by us will help someone’s grandparent smile again.
I will try my best to post more blogs, even though I intend to remain in the background.
- Lutful Khan
If you're out there reading this and haven't yet liked us on facebook, please take the opportunity to help us in this small way. You can click "like" on this web address: www.facebook.com/cameliainstitute. THANKS in advance!
Also, I have arranged and organized the pictures/videos from the summer time. Although the footage isn't what I envisioned, I am still extremely proud to share with you all that WE worked on! This blog should be up by the end of the week, I give my word!
P.S. Thanks to all of the WONDERFUL friends and family of the Camelia Institute. In LESS than 24 hours, we have received over 50 likes on facebook! THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Word for the day: strategy!
Until next time!
P.S. We are also working on our UPDATE from the summer. Stay tuned!!!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
So the good news is I am feeling better-thank goodness for antibiotics! Although I have been extremely busy these past couple of days, we know many of you are patiently waiting for us to upload some pictures. We thank you kindly for your patience :)
For the purposes of this post, I will simply be uploading pictures. Hopefully by mid September when the madness on my end dies down, I will be able to walk you through this incredible experience! Who knows, maybe I'll squeeze some time in between now and then?
Please stay on the look out for more updates! We have a lot of things planned, and would really appreciate your help and contribution!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I am presently recovering from a stomach virus which has kept me from posting all of the amazing pictures we took that day! As soon as I am back to normal, and as soon as I have the opportunity to catch up on some things I've been pushing aside, I will make the next post my main priority.
Until next time!!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
- St. Vicente De Paul is located in Los Minas Sur, a poor area in the Dominican Republic. Poverty is visible throughout. Garbage thrown throughout the streets, houses run down, beggars all over the streets (common in the DR).
- St. Vicente De Paul nursing home is presently located on the third floor of the Catholic School. The nursing home is only temporarily located there while a new location is being built (slow process given the low resources).
- Because the area is predominately Catholic, and locals are avid church goers this nursing home also gives equipment to those in need. In other words, locals who do not have the resources to pay for medical equipment ask the church for help. This is great news for the Camelia Institute in that we will be able to donate to more people than anticipated-- the seniors and community members.
Until next time!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Until next time <3
Friday, July 29, 2011
- Baggage was lost for 3 days, traveled more than I did (Atlanta, Mexico, Panama)... thanks, Delta? First couple of days was spent on the phone with Delta, travelling to and from the airport, tracking baggage status, etc. This put me completely off my game, pushing back a few things...
- We have sorted and cleaned the equipment, and are presently looking for a nursing home with a visible need of the equipment. We've seen some nursing homes which fare better than others, we want to be sure the ones we donate have an immediate need for the equipment. AKA drastic improvement to their quality of life
- The Camelia Institute originally wanted to donate equipment to Dajabon, a province boarding Haiti. Though things in our plan have changed given the increasing black market in the area, my family and I went to the area with a few walkers and canes to donate to elders. Unfortunately, we were only able to donate one cane to an elder man, given the deplorable conditions in the area. More than medical equipment, the area needs a clinic, doctors, and equipment. This will enable seniors to get the care they deserve, and help seniors and their families have a higher quality of life. (Future project?)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Next stop: Going to the Dominican Republic to begin the search for a nursing home in actual need. Having visited the Dominican Republic annually, I have seen firsthand how certain items end up being sold into the black market. This is a risk I'd like to reduce as much as possible. By visiting multiple nursing homes in impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic, we will be able to determine whether our equipment will get proper usage. We will also be able to determine which nursing homes will benefit from the equipment collected by the Camelia Institute for the future.
I'm super excited and happy to see the project come to fruition. I won't lie though, I am also a bit anxious and nervous since this is a new experience for us.
Please keep us in your thoughts & prayers and send positive energies our way!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Okay okay, enough about the excitement we are feeling (for now at least ). Time to let you know what we have been up to. We made this promise to you in the past, a promise is a promise!
What we've been up to:
- Cibaeno Shipping- I know I've mentioned them in our previous post, but they are worth mentioning again! From the first time the Camelia Institute has reached out to Cibaeno Shipping, they have offered us incredible advice and service! They have helped us understand the different requirements and regulations involved in shipping items to the Dominican Republic. Thanks again Cibaeno Shipping, in particular Ana M.!
- Equipment pickups- You probably don't know that our very first donated equipments were dropped off- thank you Rafael C.! The remaining equipment was picked up in shifts by Lutful, my wonderful parents Eugenio & Milagros, and myself. Equipment was collected primarily from Brooklyn, though we did venture into the Bronx and Queens. We now have 21 medical equipment thanks to all of your donations and help!!! A special thanks to Jessica R., Sara Y., and Diana for your kind donations.Our inventory now includes walkers, canes, shower chairs, crutches, and commodes. We also have a wheel chair :)
- Although we picked up equipment from multiple locations, we were unable to collect all of the pledged items for our summer 2011 shipment. Thank you Liz C., Natalia R. and Mario R. for your pledges- please hold on to the equipment for the next round.
- Sanitizing equipment- Once the equipments were picked up, we inspected the items once more to ensure safety. We tested the equipment ourselves, ensuring the equipment functioned properly without any problems. Almost all of the equipment we procured passed the test! We did have to discard one item which was not in the best condition or shape. After our second inspection, we sanitized the equipment with hot water and detergent. (We intend on repeating this process in the Dominican Republic once the items are shipped).
- Packaging equipment- Our equipment was nicely packaged by my dad and myself (Lutful couldn't be there because of his summer course). We used large plastic bags to cover the equipment, and labeled each package with our Logo and contact information.
- You can see pictures here: http://www.cameliainstitute.org/ProgressEvents.html
- Equipment pick up- The boys from Cibaeno Shipping were super helpful when they picked up our equipment. They gave us a great price too! If you ever want to ship anything to the Dominican Republic, I highly recommend their service! Our equipment will arrive in the Dominican Republic in mid July, can't wait to donate them to our viejitos!
- (pictures of the pick-up to follow)
- Purchasing items for goodie bags- Aside from donating medical equipment to a nursing home in the DR, we want to give our seniors a special surprise. We have already purchased some items that will be handy for everyday use such as hand sanitizer, lotions, tooth brushes, & reading glasses. We have also purchased some sweets to put into the bags, to sweeten their lives ;) We are considering purchasing an item which can be used continuously, such as tee shirt's, night gowns, or even bed sheets but that depends on how much it will cost. If we can't afford it this year, we've always got next year, right?
- Website went live- If you haven't had a chance to look at our website, I HIGHLY encourage you to have a look. Lutful did an incredible job! Don't you just love the banner? The banner happens to be my personal favorite!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
In addition to their frail appearance, seniors are often alone and unprotected. For this reason, I ask that we all give a little of our time to the seniors in our lives so that they feel accompanied and protected. I am not asking for constant companionship, instead I am asking that we all devote a few minutes to call someone who is by themselves, ensuring their wellbeing. Or at the very least, help your family member, friend or neighbor cross the street or bring their groceries to their home. Why not go the extra mile and look into senior day programs in which our viejitos can socialize?
Let us rescue our elders from criminals, ensuring their protection. If we all respect the seniors in our lives, we can teach the younger generations to follow our foot steps. Let us stand up for the geriatric population, they stood up for us at one point in time...
P.S. Octogenerians: someone who is in their eighties.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
On another note: I finished talking to someone very helpful from Cibaeno Shipping Express, Ana. Ana was able to help me understand the process of shipping items over to the Dominican Republic, and helped me understand the process of who gets exonerated for taxes-- and how. (If you're reading this, thank you!) My dream is that we one day become large enough where we WILL need our own shipment container to send equipment overseas. It's okay though, "small steps to make BIG strides."
Please let me know if you have any questions about the process. As my partner and I have received a lot of information throughout this experience, we'd wish to pay it forward.
Have a GREAT day! :)
P.S. I have to update the pictures I have of our very first donation, but I will wait until after our weekend pickups to upload.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
We are also looking into fiscal sponsorship, which will make your donations tax exempt ;)
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
For those of you who would like us to be fully functional NOW, we thank you for your encouragement and well wishes! We would LOVE to be able to distribute the equipment today, if we could-- but there are various steps we have to take to ensure a successful project. The Camelia Institute doesn't want to stop in the Dominican Republic, we want to help as many impoverished countries as we can (with the right resources, of course).
Remember: SMALL STEPS, TO MAKE BIG STRIDES!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, we look forward in reading your comments!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
- Since our pilot project will take place in the Dominican Republic, we spoke with the Consulate of the Dominican Republic to see if they would be willing to help with our project. The good news is: they didn't shut us down! The bad news: well, there isn't really any bad news.... We were asked to write a letter to the Consul explaining who we are, what we want to accomplish in the DR and most importantly, what we'd like their help with. We will be working on the letter, and will keep you abreast on how things go.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Although I do not have Lupus or any autoimmune disease, I am so proud of the strength exuded by those who live with these illnesses. Not only are these women and men living with illnesses which are NOT visible to the world, they are constantly hearing their illness is in their heads. MANY autoimmune illnesses go unnoticed, undiagnosed and unfortunately, untreated for years. More advocacy needs to be done to get people the help they need, WHEN they need it. More advocacy needs to occur to have doctors understand that just because they CAN'T see an illness, does not mean it isn't there.
Let's stop ostracizing others because they're different. Let's stop telling people they are okay because they get themselves together in the morning even though inside, their world is collapsing. Let's stop telling people an illness is in their head, when there is so much more you can do to help them.
Let's start LISTENING, let's start PAYING ATTENTION, let's start CARING.
P.S.- Check out www.pi-glutenfree.com for more information on a company which offers delicious foods, free of gluten, AND a company with an INCREDIBLE social mission!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Aside from revamping our existing website (there's been some tweaking which NEEDS to occur before publishing), we have asked some family members and friends for the donation of any medical equipment they did not need. There have been many pledges, let's cross our fingers and hope they become actual donors! Because these pledges are coming from different areas in NYC, Lutful and I will be developing a strategy on how to effectively and efficiently pick up the equipment from each location. ANY IDEAS? (Down the road, we intend on having drop off locations in various neighborhoods for our donors to conveniently drop off their unwanted equipment).
Until next time! Sooner than later, we hope :)
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
- This means that at least 20 seniors will receive a wheel chair, walker, cane, or shower chair.
- This also means that an additional 20 seniors (hopefully more) will receive eye glasses, diapers, towels, and toiletries.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thought for the day...
As I sat in a crowded NYC train, I noticed a very frail elderly man who was certainly no younger than 80. Although I gave him my seat, as any healthy person should, for a moment I hesitated. This hesitation has left me disappointed, and lost in thought.
I guess, some days we are more selfish than others. Today was my day...
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
After reading this article on the New York Times, I thought I'd be doing us all a service by sharing! Beatitudes nursing home is truly an inspiration. Instead of confining patients who suffer from dementia, Beatitudes allows patients to be free (in more ways than one). Where most nursing homes and senior care facilities offer patients healthful-tasteless foods, Beatitudes spoils patients with chocolates and round the clock food.
Although the option of chocolate and round the clock food is important, it is not the reason I have become enamored with Beatitudes. My love for this institution deals primarily with DIGNITY. This institution allows for patients to keep their dignity, despite their state of mind. Not only do patients eat what they please, they also receive the attention of caregivers one-on-one.
Where other institutions over-medicate, use diapers (even for 'able'-minded individuals), and pay little attention to the needs of residents; Beatitudes is the complete opposite. Beatitudes medicates with chocolate, helps residents maintain independence by allowing them to use toilets, as well as using low cushioned wheelchairs and low guard rails to enable patients to get up when they please. Although this may sound like a safety concern for some, the independence is important when increasing a patients quality of life.
More institutions should follow suite, especially as the aged population continually rises. (Let us not forget about the baby-boomers). The happier our seniors are presently, the better it will be when it is our turn.
If I ever end up with dementia PLEASE send me to Beatitudes, it's my only wish ;)