At Etratech, giving back is part of who we are. It’s been in our culture for since day one, and we’ve always focused on supporting our community, our country, and – where possible – humanity as a whole.
While we support local causes on an ongoing basis, we decided to focus on a global initiative this year, as well. Throughout 2017, we’ve been raising money to assist the efforts of Canadian Nurses for Africa. This locally-run organization does incredible work, providing access to health care for people in impoverished areas of Africa. The group’s mission is as follows:
“Canadian Nurses for Africa believe that access to basic health care is a universal human right. Our mission is to provide free medical field care and preventative healthcare to communities in the Kakamega and Vihiga counties of Kenya.”
The organization aims to improve the health of the communities it attends, support public health initiatives through education, and fund ongoing community health programs.
To that end, the volunteer organization conducts medical missions to these rural regions. Partnering with Kenyan medical personnel and community workers, nurses:
- Operate multiple field clinics in these regions of western Kenya
- Provide free medication
- Transport critically ill people to hospital, and cover all medical fees
- Support an ongoing eradication program for jiggers, a parasitic flea that can infest humans and cause pain and spread disease
- Fund the building of school latrines and deep bore wells for communities
…as well as supporting many other helpful programs and initiatives. The nurses work with local medical professionals to treat upper respiratory illnesses, malaria, parasites, to de-worm children, and to address so many other health issues.
They take on an unbelievable amount of work to help local families – and they use their own vacation time to do it, in addition to paying for their own travel. Nurses see hundreds of patients on clinic days. They provide clothing and blankets to families in need at their homes, as well as educating them on caring for themselves and each other, and keeping their homes clean and free of harmful insects. They treat children with malaria and other devastating ailments, but they do it with love and a smile. As one nurse wrote on her blog, “Overall, we saw 806 patients today. It was one of our busiest clinics to date. We did this with a smile on our face, a song on our lips and a dance in our hips. Maybe a little too much song and dance. But the patients seemed to love it. J”
To support the efforts of CNA, Etratech has been holding fundraisers for the past several months. We’ve raffled off our CEO’s primo parking space and Raptors tickets. Employees were offered the option to wear jeans to work all summer in exchange for a donation. All the money collected by our in-house coffee machines has been donated. And several of our employees took advantage of a payroll deduction that went directly to the CNA. Best of all, Etratech will match every penny the team has raised by the end of 2017.
Where does that money go? The nurses will use it to purchase medications and supplies, to support the jiggers eradication programs, to build school latrines, and for their other ongoing initiatives in preventative care, construction and education.
We’re so proud to support this incredible organization and all the work they do to provide access to healthcare in Kenya. You can learn more about the Canadian Nurses for Africa and their programs on their website. We encourage you to learn more, and to support their amazing efforts.
Here’s one final quote from the nurses to leave you with, written after a day working in the clinic in Wangulu. You can see what a truly special – and truly inspiring – group of humans the CNA are!
“There is nothing quite like chanting, clapping, singing and praising to get the day rolling. It is also incredibly heartwarming to hear from people in the community about how the work that we do genuinely affects them in a positive way. It just goes to show that kindness and generosity spread! …. overall, we saw a total of 728 patients today. That is not counting the large amounts of children that we dewormed who did not need to be registered. It just goes to show how essential these clinics are in order to care for these communities!”