After spending the North American winter in balmy Ghana, we learned a great deal about what it takes to operate a Non-profit Organization in Africa. At any one time, Dr. Breitlow was facing cultural boundaries, language barriers, organizational challenges and the ever-present question:“What’s next?” What was very clear from the start is that the language and cultural barrier existed only to be broken down by a friendly smile and “whoo hootesen” (Ghanaian for hello, how are you). The people were always so wonderful and helpful that we may have been brothers and/or sisters our entire mortal lives. What was more challenging was giving flight to a new, fledging organization, bringing our resources to the people while using our funds wisely and diligently.
Many hours were spent meditating on different ideas. Hundreds of hands were pressed looking for the “right” opportunity. Board meetings proceeded looking for new locations and countries. Finally, in the last fortnight of J2S’s time in Ghana, the missing puzzle piece slid expertly into place and an exciting, nascent partnership with HardtHaven Children’s home was born. If you missed the read, you may catch the June 1st post by clicking here. In short it was a marvelous opportunity and symbiotic for not just HardtHaven and J2S, but also for the children, volunteers and doctors who were present. Since the departure from Ghana a few weeks ago, much has transpired to bring J2S, Chiropractic and wellness to Ghana. Without further ado here is where the flight appears to be en route.
With unanimous and animated board approval in hand, Journey to Solidarity is headed back to Ghana.
In the beginning most of the adjusting and networking was done in Southern Ghana in the capital city of Accra. “Round two” in Ghana will touchdown in Kpando at the HardtHaven (HH) children’s orphanage, where an overwhelming majority of the orphaned children are born with HIV/AIDS.
Kpando is situated between the eastern shores of Lake Volta and the Western border of neighboring Togo. The East Volta region is known for its remote location, its rugged yet lush terrain and friendly, neighborly people. It is also one of the poorest and most undeveloped parts of Ghana and West Africa. To say there is a need for healthcare, education and infrastructure is a gross understatement.
Journey to Solidarity, in partnership with HardtHaven children’s home, has a vision for one doctor to reside permanently within the HardtHaven facility; thus, providing primary Chiropractic care, health, hygiene and education to nearly 30 sponsored orphans, dozens of HIV+ adults and thousands of local non HIV+ Ghanaians. The doctor, while providing the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and perhaps HIV/AIDS, will simultaneously begin gathering data for case study research.
The research is for “case study” publishing – focusing on tracking HIV+ children’s “CD4 counts.” CD4 counts are the primary measurable statistic to measure the health of the immune system, and this new partnership proposes to monitor how it changes once under consistent Chiropractic care. A CD4 count acts as a translucent window into the body’s immune system, and if you are not a Chiropractor reading this, you may not know how strong the neuroimmune response is in humans.
There is something that is inherent in each of us called the neuroimmune system. This is exactly what it sounds like, a relationship between your nervous system and your immune system. When these two systems talk to each other and communicate properly, the body is in better position to win battles against micro-organisms. When the conversation is weak or interrupted, that is when trouble occurs. Just think of a conversation on the telephone. If you schedule a meeting for 1:30 on the phone, but the other person hears 2:30, that potentially affects the results of the meeting, and perhaps the remainder of your week. Your body is no different, and as specialists in the nervous system, chiropractors make sure that the neroimmune system is clearly communicating.
Does HIV/AIDS affect the immune system? You betcha. Does the nervous system affect the immune system? You betcha. Will chiropractic give young children born with HIV a chance to live a life of more optimal potential? This we will find out.
We need Help
We are officially a 501(c)(3) public non-profit charity; therefore, your contributions to J2S are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Even though we at J2S have submitted a grant proposal to help offset some of the costs of this project, there is always more work to be done. There are a total of three doctors who are prospectively involved in the project, Dr. Jay Breitlow, Dr. Christina Hunter and an as of yet unnamed Chiropractor.
J2S needs to fund anti-retroviral treatment therapy for the children as well as testing kits and first aid. HardtHaven is running out of room and to that end are aggressively expanding the house, so there is a need to provide housing for the doctors as well. Past experience shows that the children respond very well once given protein supplementation; therefore, there is a desire to provide whey and soy based protein drinks from America. Communication is key, and although limited, we need money to provide updates to our donors and grant providers back in America
Please be generous with your gifts and know that it is going to a worthy cause; it is changing lives. Today your gift, irrespective of size, will traverse an ocean and last beyond this lifetime.
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