SIFT Insight – Summer 2019

In the Summer 2019 issue:
A vital health serviceGoodbye to…Fundraising news

A vital health service

SIFT has been running health clinics since 2005, making sure that the people of Ometepe get the medical treatment they deserve. However we are currently facing a major shortfall in the income for this aspect of our work and therefore need your help to continue providing this important care…

Dr Sandra with a patientNo two days are ever the same for Dr Sandra and our team of nurses as they provide healthcare for people living on the island of Ometepe. Whether it’s giving consultations, prescribing medicines or helping their patients live healthier lives, they’re always busy.

Patients at our three clinics are able to get a consultation for a small, affordable fee, which is waived if they cannot afford it or if they have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Any medicines which they need are prescribed free of charge and can be collected from the pharmacies which are at each of our clinics. As medicines can cost as much as twenty or thirty pounds, receiving them for free is a big help to the many families who are currently struggling financially in Nicaragua.

Gabi’s story

Gabi with a patientGabi Barrios (pictured right) joined SIFT’s medical team as a trainee nurse last year. Gabi wants to be a nurse so that she can serve people and says that the best part of her job is being able to help her patients.

As well as providing their patients with medical treatment, Gabi and the rest of the team offer a listening ear, recognising that sometimes their issues aren’t of a medical nature but a personal one. Gabi is able to help her patients spiritually by showing them love, speaking to them from God’s word and praying for them.

Gabi helps to run a luncheon club for the elderly at our clinic in Las Pilas. Attendees of the club receive a hot meal, medical care and the chance to renew or build friendships. At each session the team speak to the elderly people about God’s love for them. Gabi says that those who attend the club enjoy it because it gives them a break from their normal routines.

Support and education

Dr Sandra and our team aim to help people live healthier lives by giving talks to the local community about topics such as hand washing, how to avoid catching diseases like the Zika Virus and the importance of having a healthy diet.

Sandra talking with patientsFollowing an outbreak of Hepatitis A in two villages last year our team participated in a campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of this disease. In addition to this the presence of our clinics meant that a young girl suffering from Hepatitis A was able to receive the medication she needed free of charge.

Having seen that many women on Ometepe had no knowledge of the signs of possible miscarriage or common antenatal conditions, the team at our clinic in El Corozal started a club for expectant mothers. There the team explain what to expect during pregnancy, how to care for babies and how to keep healthy.

The team sees their provision of primary healthcare and more as showing God’s love to a very needy community.

We urgently need your help

One of SIFT's nursesDr Sandra and our team of nurses are dedicated to providing the best service possible for their patients. However we are facing a shortfall of £10,000 in this year’s income.

Please help us to continue providing this vital medical care by considering making a one-off or regular donation. You can donate either by sending a cheque to the SIFT office or by making a donation online.

Also in this issue: Goodbye to…Fundraising news

Goodbye to…

Colin Weaver

Colin WeaverColin Weaver has been a Trustee, Chair of Trustees and, for the last seven years, UK Director of SIFT. Colin is a force to be reckoned with and has given himself and his time to SIFT excellently in his 16 years of service. Colin has been a wise counsel to the Charity, always able to steer us in the right direction when things have been difficult – as, at times, they have. He’s invariably found a humorous word to say when things have got slightly too serious, which has lightened the tone.

His past RAF experience as a Wing Commander has brought careful, incisive direction to his latter work as UK Director and as a Voice for SIFT. He has overseen the running of the office in Seaton with dexterity and firmness.

Colin has visited Nicaragua many times and has given selflessly in so many ways but, particularly, in hospitality and energy. Colin deserves his retirement from being SIFT’s UK Director although he and his wife, Jane, also a former Trustee, are still active fundraisers as Voices for SIFT.

On behalf of everyone at SIFT and SIFT’s supporters, thank you, Colin.

Ali Wilson

Ali WilsonWe are extremely sad to inform you that Ali, SIFT’s Fundraising Manager, will be leaving us after almost seven years in the role. She has brought energy, fun and professionalism to the job and a real sense of purpose to the financial arm of the Charity. Prior to joining us, she taught foreign languages in secondary schools but had been a supporter of SIFT since it started.

We were delighted to welcome her on board in the new position of Fundraising Manager and she soon showed her skill and dexterity in the job, pitching for and winning grants from external bodies and charities for the vital work of SIFT. It wasn’t long before her tenacity paid off as repeat grants from the same bodies came in. Ali has also been a most able ambassador for SIFT speaking at churches and like-minded organisations all over the UK.

Whilst we are extremely sad to lose her, she will not be lost to the charitable sector or the Christian workplace as she has secured a post with the Church Army. We do wish her well and hope to see her at SIFT events in the future.

Bless you, Ali, in what God has for you in the future.

Also in this issue: A vital health serviceFundraising news

Fundraising news

SIFT Sunday

SIFT Sunday on 28th April was a great opportunity for our supporter churches to celebrate and pray for SIFT’s work. Several churches held special events, which included presentations, videos, Nicaraguan meals and playing a specially designed SIFT board game which enables the players to understand the difficulties faced by Nicaraguan families. Thank you to everyone who organised or attended a SIFT Sunday event and helped to raise over £1,300 for our work in Nicaragua.

Ali giving a SIFT presentationA couple with their Nicaraguan mealPeople playing SIFT's board game

SIFT Gifts

Each of our SIFT Gifts is designed to help people in Nicaragua live healthier lives. For example, by buying a gift you could provide a child with multi-vitamins to aid the development of their immune systems or help a patient receive free medicines at one of our clinics.

To see the current gifts and place an order please visit our online Gift Catalogue.

Walk the Wall

At the end of the walkThank you to Jonathan and Katie Catley, who raised over £500 for SIFT through their 84 mile walk along Hadrian’s Wall. We really appreciate their efforts to help us continue providing healthcare to people on the island of Ometepe.

If you or someone you know would like to do a sponsored event in aid of our work please get in touch with Graham Knight.

Also in this issue: A vital health serviceGoodbye to…