Today’s post is a bit different. I am not going to talk about Outlook. Instead, I would like to thank you and show you how you have helped us to create better futures for many disadvantaged children in Fiji.
Last weekend we participated in the Amazing Wheelbarrow Race. Thanks to your support, the team at Standss was able to donate $19,150 to an organization that works with children with disabilities.
We even won the award for the Most Funds raised award but that wasn’t the best part of it.
The Amazing Wheelbarrow Race is an annual charity event in Fiji that is organized by the Frank Hilton Organization. The Frank Hilton Organization is a charity based in Fiji that works with and for children with disabilities in Fiji.
Long-term customers and readers of our newsletter know that we have been working with the Frank Hilton Organization and the Hilton Special School for a number of years.
They provide medical facilities that help detect children with disabilities. They also provide early intervention, therapy and schools, which help these children learn to cope and have full lives, even with their disabilities.
The facilities may be commonplace in developed countries but in our still developing country, the Frank Hilton Organization is creating a future for these children that they would not have otherwise.
We visited the organization’s schools and were humbled to see the love and dignity with which these children are treated. The sad reality is that they don’t always get the same treatment in the outside world and we believe that their training will help them with this.
We are very grateful for the work that the team at Frank Hilton does and we thank them for giving us this opportunity to contribute to their life-changing work.
I would like to finish by personally thanking each and every one of our customers. It is only through your support that we have been able to help these children.
What has a Wheelbarrow race got to do with Microsoft Outlook? Your Outlook team at Standss is competing in a wheelbarrow race to raise funds for special-needs children here in Fiji.
Long-time readers and customers will know that the team at Standss does a lot of work with child-based charities in Fiji. One of the charities that we have worked very closely with over the last few years is the Frank Hilton Organization.
What is the Frank Hilton Organization?
The Frank Hilton Organization was established in 1960 to provide education and related services to children with disabilities in Fiji.
Fiji is a developing country where children still do not have easy access to many of the facilities and services that children in developed countries do. This is particularly true for children with special needs.
We chose to work with the Hilton Special School because of the excellent work that they have done over the years. Their work enables these children to enjoy their childhood, to learn, to grow and to have futures that the rest of us often take for granted.
On our visits to the school we have always found the children treated with the gentleness, firmness and dignity that all children deserve.
What is the AMAZING Wheelbarrow Race?
This year the team at Frank Hilton are organizing a first ever Amazing Wheelbarrow Race as their annual fund-raising event. Groups of up to 8 people can enter as a team and race for 3 laps around the newly rebuilt Albert Park in Suva.
One team member will actually need to be in the Wheelbarrow at all times (with the appropriate safety gear on) while the others take turns pushing.
The entry fee for the competition is $5,000 per team which can be raised through fundraising and sponsorships.
Prizes will be awarded for the first 2 teams to finish as well as best dressed and most funds collected.
How you can Support us?
The team at Standss decided that we will pay for the entry fee of $5000 from our revenues. This is only possible thanks to your support of our Outlook addons.
However… if you are interested you can further support our efforts to help the Frank Hilton Organization by:
Purchasing Additional Outlook Addons for You and Your Team (a portion of which will be donated)
I am writing today to share how you have been able to help us create a Physiotherapy unit for children with special needs here in Fiji.
Earlier this year we launched a major upgrade to Quick File for Outlook. We promised our readers and customers that we would set aside a percentage of sales to assist child-related charities here in Fiji.
Thanks to your support we handed over a cheque of $10,000 to the Hilton Special School.
The Hilton Special School is the main organization in Fiji dedicated to working with disabled children with special needs. This organization serves a very important and often neglected group of children in our community… and they have been doing it very well for many years.
In a recent meeting with them, we found out that they are trying to setup a physiotherapy unit to help children who are disabled from a young age.
Early intervention and the right therapy can enable these children to experience a much better quality of life later on.
While this may be common practise in more developed countries, a lack of resources had previously made this difficult in Fiji. The team at the Hilton Special School have a vision to change this… and we want to support them.
The money we have been able to donate will be used towards the purchase of equipment and to contribute to the salary of a trained physiotherapist who will work with the children.
The whole Standss team visited Hilton Special School to witness the life-changing work that they are doing.
It was a reminder to us to be grateful for everything we have (but so often take for granted). It was also a reminder that we must use our own success to make a difference in the lives of others.
We feel very privileged to be allowed to contribute to this project which will change so many lives.
I would like to personally acknowledge and thank all of you. This has only been possible thanks to your continued support of our products and our company.
Sanjay Singh and the team at Standss
One of the first things I do at the start of each year is inform and thank our readers and customers, for the charity based projects that YOU have contributed to by purchasing our Outlook addins.
January was a very busy month and I somehow forgot. I know I am a little late but here are the main charity projects that we carried out in 2013.
Our focus (as in previous years) is on the education and health of children here in Fiji. Our contributions include money, time and expertise.
Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Project at the CWM Children’s Hospital (Suva)
We have developed and are currently piloting a database for children affected by RHD in Fiji.
RHD is a problem that affects many children in Fiji and other Pacific islands. According to the world heart federation, RHD is the most common heart disease acquired by children in the world, especially children in the developing world.
RHD also tends to disproportionately affect children from low income and less educated families.
The standard method of control/treatment, once a child has been diagnosed with RHD, is the regular administration of antibiotics. The antibiotics are generally administered with a painful injection every 3 to 4 weeks.
While the Fiji Government has made testing and treatment of RHD free, statistics indicate that the compliance of patients is still poor and many children are at risk of serious heart damage that would require surgery to repair or replace heart valves.
These operations are not easily available in Fiji and are also very expensive.
We approached the Children’s Hospital in Suva with the idea of creating a database that allows the hospital to track compliance down to the individual patient level.
The aim of the database is to identify children who are not complying with the medical treatment necessary to control the disease.
This enables the hospital to identify which patients are missing injections and to intervene early by calling their parents.
The first version of the database has already been developed is currently being trialled at the main Children’s Hospital in Suva.
We hope to eventually link this system to mobile phone companies so that parents get reminded of as their children’s appointments (by SMS text) are due. This should further increase compliance while reducing the workload of the overworked nurses and doctors at our hospitals.
The data from the database will also be submitted to Government to aid with decision making that will hopefully save unnecessary operations, cost and even lives.
Educations Assistance to Save the Children Fiji (SCF)
We have had a long relationship with Save the Children Fiji (SCF). I have been a member of their Board for many years and have also served as the Chair Person.
Two of the SCF projects that we contributed in 2013 were the Education Assistance in and Education in Emergencies (EIS) programs.
The aim of the Education Assistance program is to provide school supplies to children at the start of the school year.
While SCF has been working hard to move people away from welfare and empowering them, the sad reality is that there are parents who are unable to adequately equip their children for school at the start of the year.
This results in children going to school badly prepared and often unable to partake fully, or worse dropping out.
Our donations over the years have helped keep children in school by providing school packs including bags, stationery, shoes and even uniforms.
The Education in Emergencies (EIE) project has a related but slightly different focus. Fiji is prone to flooding and cyclones/hurricanes one or more times an year. During the more severe events, schools are often closed and sometimes damaged.
School supplies may also be lost when homes are damaged. Parents from farming communities often have difficulty in re-equipping and sending children back to school if crops are damaged.
The money that we donate to EIE is used to get children back into a learning environment as soon as possible. In the past this has included provided school lunches, school supplies and setting up of informal temporary schools while main schools are closed for repairs etc.
This is a link to a newspaper article for one of the donations that we made: Standss Donation to Save the Children Fiji
Home of Compassion
The Home of Compassion is not a child based charity. Instead it is a home for the elderly. Culturally the elderly are still looked after by their families in Fiji. Formalized care for the elderly is not well established in Fiji yet.
However there is a growing need for this as grown children migrate out of Fiji or if there are special medical requirements.
We have worked with The Home of Compassion for several years to support their services. They do their best to truly make their residents feel at home and we are humbled to be allowed to contribute to them in a small way.
The above is a quick summary of the 3 main charities we had the privilege of working with in 2013. We were also able to make small contributions to other charities such as the Fiji Cancer Society and Fiji Blind Society.
It has been our good fortune to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of many children and adults who have been less fortunate than us. We hope that it also makes you feel good because none of this would have been possible without your support of our business.
We want to do MORE… MUCH MORE!
We have big plans for the next few years and been working on a roadmap and strategic plan to grow our business (more on this in the next few weeks). This will enable us to have a greater impact on your business and by extension on the lives of the less fortunate.
We hope that you will continue to support our products, and let us know if we need to do more to keep earning your trust.
We look forward to your support as we make this journey together.
As we start 2013, I would like to write a short post to tell us how you have helped us to help others who were not as fortunate as us in 2012.
Our long term readers and customers know that we give a portion of our sales to various charities here in Fiji. Our focus is normally on education and health based projects for children.
This year we were privileged to support the following organizations that work so selflessly to serve the less fortunate in our country,
Save the Children Fiji (SCF): We have had a close association with SCF over the years and I currently serve as a member of their Board. We made several donations to SCF this year with the main one to their Education Assistance Program.
What is the Education Assistance Program? The Fiji Government has over the last few years tried to make education accessible to all children by removing school fees and providing text books to all. Despite this many children in Fiji find it difficult to attend school because their parents are unable to provide other basic school supplies such as stationery. SCF has run a project over the last few years to supply these essentials so that the education of children will not be affected due to (hopefully) temporary economic hardships faced by families.
Fiji Crippled Children’s Society: I know… they could do with a name change to something that is a little more sensitive to the feelings of the children they serve. That being said… this organization does serve a very important and often neglected group of children in our community… and they have been doing it very well for many years.
The Society has a special school (Hilton School) which also includes boarding facilities for a small group of children which we have been privileged to support.
Fiji Children’s Treatment Fund: This is a fairly new organization in Fiji. Their aim is to provide financial support to parents of children with serious (sometimes terminal) illnesses who are unable to pay for the necessary treatment.
I have little children of my own (two boys… 10 and 8). It is difficult to even imagine the feelings a parent will go through knowing their child is going through pain that could easily be reduced if they only had the money.
Home of Compassion: The Home of Compassion is a home for the elderly and is run by Catholic Sisters. They do a fantastic job of making the people they serve feel like part of a family.
I was introduced to this organization because my wife’s aunt is one of the Sisters at the Home of Compassion. As a result I have had the privilege of visiting the home on several occasions to witness that this is not a ”home” in name only.
Looking at the list… our team feels happy and humbled that there are organizations like these… with dedicated people whose primary goal is to be of service to others.
We truly appreciate what they are doing and the opportunity that that they have given us to contribute to their great work.
But we know that our contributions have only been possible because of YOU.
It is the money that you have spent on our products that has made it possible for us to give something back.
From the whole team here at Standss, we THANK YOU all for being with us over the years, for using our products, for helping us as a company, and for giving us the opportunity to serve our community.
We wish you a Very Happy New Year… and we look forward to serving you even better in the years ahead.
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