Hi Friends, we hope you’re well.
We’re high up in the Andes and would love your help in purchasing an ultrasound machine.
Can you help? There’s a thousand reasons why you should.
Actually, there’s over 4,000,000 reasons, and counting.
That’s the number of Venezuelans that have been forced to leave their home country, the largest exodus the Americas has ever seen.
Under the rule of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelans have faced horrible human rights abuses, including executions, detentions, excessive use of force. Not to mention, pharmacies and grocery stores are empty, and their currency, the bolivar, literally not worth the paper it’s printed on.
With these horrific conditions, we too would leave in search of a safe place to call home.
Here in the small country of Ecuador, some 1,500 kilometers away from Venezuela, there’s an estimated 400,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants looking for sanctuary.
Today, we’re in the Andean city of Cuenca, where there’s approximately 20,000 Venezuelans looking for a better life. We see them everyday, they’re impossible to miss. They’re on most street corners, in every park, sitting in every stair case, humbly asking for some assistance. Yesterday, Dr. Suzanne encountered a family of 10, just arriving after walking from their home country through Colombia, and now 8,400 feet high in Ecuador. Again, a family of 10 that WALKED here. No parents would put their children through this draining and dangerous experience without a very good reason.
On the long journey fleeing their ravaged homeland, many people experience homelessness, extremes of weather, hunger and thirst as they walk thousands of kilometres through dangerous routes, sometimes even dealing with smugglers, traffickers, and armed groups.
Finally in a new “host country”, they unfortunately still face incredible challenges. If that country be Brazil, Peru, Chile, their neighbour Colombia, or here in Ecuador, they encounter social discrimination, barriers to finding work, housing, schooling, and health care. Being a refugee during normal times is very difficult, but being one during COVID is unimaginable.
UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NO VACCINE FOR RACISM.
With the second largest movement of peoples the world has seen in decades, the Venezuelans are in need of help, so let’s help.
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and collaborating with a NGO based here in Cuenca called GRACE (Give Refugees A ChancE). They have a beautiful mandate: “From Refugee to Neighbor! We Help Refugees Get Back On Their Feet through medical and humanitarian services. We empower refugee community leaders to lift their own people out of dire straits and inspire hope and change.” Awesome!
We, A Ripple, have helped with a couple of small projects with GRACE. A more hygienic entrance way for their clinic, donating and assembling many Dignity Kits (more commonly known as hygiene kits) to be passed out to those most in need.
GRACE has a stellar cast of Venezuelan doctors who are refugees themselves, and provide their fellow Venezuelans with excellent and free medical care. Getting to know them, we’re impressed with their experience and knowledge.
But there’s one tool that will make an enormous difference for these doctors to practice free medical care for their fellow country women and men:
An ultrasound machine.
Today, we are humbly asking you if you could help us help them with this purchase.
Most conventional ultrasound machines cost between $20,000- $75,000!!
Thanks to a new technology, and with your help, we will be able to buy an ultrasound machine, and an iPad to displays the images, all for $2,350.
Our goal is to donate this portable ultrasound machine called Butterfly iQ to the clinic. This device is revolutionising the capabilities of health care facilities in remote or resource poor areas. Where there once was no imaging, even basic x-rays (and or patients could not afford it), now we can use this ultrasound at the patient’s bedside during the initial contact to evaluate more than just pregnancies, to include gallbladder, kidneys, trauma, heart, lungs, even the eyes, and much more! Dr Suzanne has used this ultrasound around the world in very remote settings, and it has helped her not only diagnose and treat patients more accurately but even save lives.
In the past couple weeks here in Ecuador, she has trained a few Venezuelan doctors in using this ultrasound, all of whom were eager to learn.
Now, they just need a machine of their own.
Would you like to help a neglected refugee? Some are young and pregnant, many are elderly, others, scared kids, all deserving of the human right of health care.
We know it’s a difficult time financially, but we promise you that you have more change in the cracks of your car seat than thousands of Venezuelan refugees have to their name. They deserve so much more, but we will be happy to accept the change you have.
Change can change someones world.
Thank you for your consideration.
(If we are blessed with receiving over the amount stated above for the ultrasound machine, we will put those funds towards a $2,000 refurbished EKG machine that is also needed at GRACES’s clinic. We wholeheartedly thank you in advance.)