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Farewell Message from Duncan……

I would have loved to see the sweet beginning of Saline’s much anticipated smile which also marks the end of the journey we have traveled for the last four years on a very rough and painful road,i have to leave since it is unavoidable .  Out of nothing and without any ray of hope,we started and stumbled.Little did we know that at some point God would bond us with selfless,loving and generous people who have now seen us this far.

On behalf of Saline,her mom,relatives,school community,friends,neighbors,my family and myself,i thank you all most sincerely.You denied yourselves and sacrificed to see her smile and integrate socially in the society.You’ve, indeed,inculcated in me values i would cherish for life.It’s great that a young girl like Heather raised funds to help one unfortunate girl from one corner of the world before she even saw her,Valeria of Loretta P.E school, among others, whose passionate efforts to raise funds really touched my heart.
My gratitude goes out to every person who came on board for her sake.I didn’t chance to meet everyone but let me mention a few. Tame’s family, Muller’s family, Nugent’s family, Jennifer’s family, Dr.Dagum and his team,Stony Brook Univ.Hospital, Diane Knoblach/ Loretta P.E School, Smile Rescue Fund For Kids, SmileTrain staff-Kenya, Coolsmiles Orthodontics, Africa project group.
Dr.Leon and his family remain an enigmatic unit,a miracle and a blessing throughout this journey.You have lit up our faces,created a difference in us and I pray you don’t stop with Saline. Many other needy  children are out there  ‘ONE AT A TIME’ and the list will grow.
Many people who know Saline’s journey to the USA ask for and about things not worth mentioning here but all we are pursuing is SALINE’S SMILE,exactly what we’ve been yearning for from the beginning
I appreciate your love,care and concern.Welcome to Kenya and share with us as you serve humanity across the globe.
Duncan

Solar Lighting Committee Update

There was a meeting of the electricity committee on 9/26/13.  The goal is to purchase lighting for some of the children’s homes so that they can finish their schoolwork in the evening without using kerosene, which is both dangerous and expensive.  The solar battery life is about five years.  Several committee members had information about different lights available, but of special interest is one company which is located in Nairobi.  This company would deliver the lights to the village.  The cost will be between $10 and $13 for each light.  Several different lights will be purchased before the next meeting so convenience, cost and brightness can be compared.

The first goal will be between 25 and 50d lights depending on cost.  Duncan will determine how the lights are distributed.  He may take 10 of 50 and donate them to families that have the most need.  Perhaps he will charge a $5 fee for the other lights so the monies can be used to purchase more lights.

Next meeting October 25th at the Emma Clarke Library – purchased lights will be compared at that time.  Duncan will attend.

Clean Water Committee Meeting Update

The following was submitted by Jennifer Crean:
We had discussions about how many families have some sort of rooftop rain collection apparatus currently and whether this brings the family sufficient water during their dry months.
Duncan states that the main rainy season is between March and May, and that the secondary rainy season is between Oct and Nov, and a little into December.  See this link for specific amounts last season http://www.meteo.go.ke/ranet/Wx/seasonal.pdf
Currently there are two types of homes and structures. Those with Thatched roofs and those with Tin roofs.
According to Duncan the best method is roof top collection which fills into big plastic collectors which can be obtained in Kenya.
For homes with Thatched Roofs, either there could be a series of gutters affixed to the exterior walls of the house, (jetting out far enough not to be encumbered by the thatched roof overhang) or Jasper’s idea was to affix a v type structure, tilted which funnels the water into a pipe and into the collector.  He proposes that a bracket would be installed on the roof to hold the collector.
Another option that was discussed is a central collection structure which allows more surface area in which to collect the rainwater, but according to Duncan must be maintained and guarded.
Hannah would like to see funnels and jugs to each house to at least make villagers are able to collect some water each time it rains, and she mentioned that water can be sterilized by leaving it out in a clear plastic jug in the sun.  She also mentioned using a tarp to collect water as well.
It is decided that prior to the big meeting on Oct 25th that we need to meet one more time to narrow the focus and pick a direction.  We also need additional information about cost of items such as the collection jugs, and pvc pipe or gutter material to use.  Duncan will work on getting pricing for these items which will need to be purchased in Kenya.
Work in progress
Your comments are welcome.

How is Saline? – Observations From Duncan

How is Saline doing?  This is a common question asked by many of us. Not just from a medical perspective, but psychologically as well.  I asked Duncan to provide his observations.  I’m happy to report the following:

“It is a great delight that Saline’s confidence and self-esteem is already evident through her more smiles, more giggles and uncontrolled desire to admire herself in the mirror due to the surgeries so far accomplished – closing her once wide deformed palate and face. She tells me to take her pictures and send to her mother, it is irresistible. What a looming great happiness, more and wider smiles once done! Thanking her friends and generous contributors all the way.”   – Duncan

Community Meeting – Setauket Library – Join Us

SalineLisa

Three Village meets God Ong’eche Village

Helping an African Community Improve Health and Education

 Mr. Duncan Owange, a respected teacher from a remote Kenyan village, is partnering with local orthodontist and philanthropist Dr. Leon Klempner to lead a discussion about creating a partnership to improve health and education in his village.  Mr. Owange is on Long Island to accompany Saline, a 12-year-old girl undergoing facial reconstructive surgery at Stony Brook Hospital, sponsored by the non-profit Smile Rescue Fund for Kids.

Join them, along with Dr. Jonathan Epstein, global health and infectious disease expert at EcoHealth Alliance, to help create a sustainable action plan for improving the lives of children in God Ong’eche, Kenya.

 August 16, 2013 at 7:00pm

Emma S. Clark Library – Community Room

Everyone is welcome. Email drleonk@gmail.com for more information.

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Saline has arrived!

Saline has safely arrived and is staying with her host family in Stony Brook ahead of her upcoming surgery. Now 12 years old, Saline suffers from a cleft palate as well as bout of flesh eating bacteria, which caused even more serious damage. Dr. Alex Dagum will lead the surgical team at Stony Brook University Hospital to repair the damage, the funding for which came from friends, family and generous donors over the past two years. A special thank you must go to the wonderful families hosting Saline and her teacher, Duncan, during their month-long stay in New York. 

Please join us in welcoming Saline to our community and wishing her well in her series of upcoming surgeries!

Our fundraising efforts are ongoing, and we appreciate any support you can offer. To donate, please visit our website at www.smilerescuefund.org

 

Smile Rescue Fund for Kids Bringing Saline From Kenya To Stony Brook

I’m happy to say that the Kenyan government has granted Saline a medical visa and passport to come to here for surgery.  The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids supplied all financial records and legal documents necessary to the Kenyan consulate.   This was our last major obstacle.  I am in the process of buying airline tickets for Saline and her adult tutor, Duncan.  We owe a lot of gratitude to Esther, our Kenyan contact, for helping our cause.

This has not been an easy road for Saline.  As you may know, last winter we raised enough money to fund a plastic surgery team in Nairobi to perform the procedure.  Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful.  This was a devastating disappointment for Saline, her family and all of her supporters back here at home.  After that, the Smile Rescue Fund did not give up on Saline but renewed its efforts to bring her here.   We anticipate a series of complex surgeries over the course of three to six months with no guarantee of success.  However, we are very optimistic and very grateful to Dr. Dagum, his colleagues and Stony Brook University Hospital for donating their services to help Saline.  This will be her best opportunity for a successful result.  See article in Times Beacon Record Newspaper.

I am also very grateful to all of our wonderful supporters and fundraisers for their efforts in making Saline’s dream of living a normal life a possibility.

Based on Dr. Dagum’s and the hospital’s schedule, arrangements are being made to bring Saline and Duncan here at the end of May.

At this time, we are looking for volunteers to house Saline and Duncan for part, or all, of their stay.

Please forward this story to your facebook friends.  Hopefully with your help we will be able to help more children like Saline.  Without us, they have no hope.

Leon

An Update on Saline……

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I received received an email from my contact in Kenya last week.  Our efforts to bring Saline to the U.S. for surgery have been blocked by her inability to get a visa and passport due to lack of a birth certificate.  For the past year, we have been appealing and diligently looking for a legal diplomatic workaround.  Finally, on January 9th, Saline will be granted an interview for a visa.  Arrangements have been made to transport Saline and her teacher Duncan to Nairobi for the appointment.
As the year comes to a close, on behalf of Saline, I want to thank all of our SRFK loyal friends and supporters.  Your support, contributions and fundraising efforts are well appreciated.   Once we get proper credentials, I will buy airline tickets for Saline and Duncan.  Due to the severity of her facial deformity, Dr. Alex Dagum and his medical team anticipate preforming a series of necessary surgeries and will require her staying here for approximately 6 months.
In the meantime, please forward this email to your friends and online contacts.  Tax deductible donations can easily be made via Paypal on our website.  www.smilerescuefund.org
I remain cautiously optimistic and hope to bring you good news soon.
Leon
Founder, Smile Rescue Fund for Kids, Inc.

Come Join Us-Football Sunday for Saline

Are you going to be in the city on Sunday, December 11th?  Join us at Bar 29, 3rd Avenue and 29th Street at 12:30 – 6:00 pm.  Stop by, have a beer and watch some football.  A $10.00 donation and your beer is on us!  We will be raffling off some sports memorabilia, 50-50, etc.  Most of all you will be helping a little girl in Kenya start a new life.  Bring your friends.  More details on Facebook. While you’re there “like us” to follow our progress.

We are up and running!

I’m happy to report that the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids is officially up and running. This is truly a collaborative effort and I’m so appreciative of the support.  A special thank you Ana Sharpe for designing our logo, Mary Kay Miller for hosting the site, Amy Epstein for developing the website content, Melissa Studin for the legal support, and Alex Dagum for joining the Board.

Our first challenge (opportunity) is helping a ten year old girl from Kenya named Saline. You can read her story here. It will take about $15-20,000 to provide the corrective facial surgery needed to restore her face. I would like you to consider joining us. Just email me (leon@smilerescuefund.org) your name and I’ll get you involved. Don’t have the time? No problem, we now accept cash, check, all major credit cards and PayPal. Either way, we can use your support.

Hang on Saline, were coming.