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Members of the Dominica Charity Foundation - Dominica Hilfe e.V., Germany - were visiting The Dominica Infirmary in Roseau in 2017, where they met Ms. Annie St Luce, the director of the Infirmary. Ms. St Luce pointed out that all residents have special needs and require special care and amenities, so the Infirmary's monthly expenses include diapers, utilities, groceries and medication.

According to director Annie St Luce, the Infirmary gets a monthly subvention of $82,000 from Government, but about half is used to pay 45 members of staff. The Infirmary currently has 86 residents and it takes more than $3,000 per month to adequately cater for the needs of each resident.

Ms. Mary Sylvester, President of the Dominica Charity Foundation, promised to help the Infirmary. Back in Germany, she and the members of the NGO organized a search for medical aid. The charity foundation only has a few active members and a limited budget, but it has connections. Some German companies reacted to the inquiries. One company sent many packs of diapers on several pallets. Another company provided several hospital beds with electric motors. Also, many wheel-chairs, walkers, and crutches were donated.

A great help was brought by the Sanitätshaus Pfänder. Freiburg. Its CEO, Mr. Theo Falck, helped organize the search for the medical aid, and donated a lot of the items personally.

Finally, the charity goods accumulated to an amount that a 20' container was needed. The cardboard boxes of medical aid were placed on pallets, and eleven of the pallets filled the container.

The German NGO was founded by Ms. Mary Sylvester in 2006. The Dominica Charity Foundation has supported the Marigot hospital yearly since then. The NGO is co-operating with the BMZ, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; and Engagement Global. The transport from Germany to Dominica is very costly. These two institutions help to pay some of the freight costs.

In the beginning of the year 2018 - several months after Hurricane Maria - the port of Roseau still had severe difficulties to locate the containers among the many that were sent to help Dominica. Computer problems, resulting in the massive destruction of the electric power lines, made it almost impossible to find the container for several weeks. But finally, it was found and delivered to the Dominica Infirmary in Roseau.

On behalf of the Dominica Charity Foundation, Ms. Mary Sylvester made a visit to the Infirmary in February 2018. Ms. St Luce thanked her for the kind donation and generosity portrayed towards the Infirmary and its residents.

Article by H. M. Schemske Photograph of the Infirmary by Mary Sylvester

Mr. Schemske is a journalist and author. He lives in Freiburg, Germany.

Internet: www.schemske.com

Dominica Hilfe e.V.: www.dominica-charity.org


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