So many of HKCA’s supporters are personal friends of Maureen’ s that we thought you should have a short update on what she has been going through personally and a brief outline of activities in the Kalash valleys. A full newsletter is planned for around mid-April following the Trustees meeting on 30th March.
Many of you will know that Maureen has suffered from back problems for some years. This has not been helped by the diabolical roads in the Frontier and in the valleys. During the autumn the problem got worse. She had tried a number of treatments, including ozone therapy, but to no avail; physio worked well for a number of years, but spondalosis is an on-going disease and only surgery can really rectify the matter.
Finally, Maureen took that step and without saying anything to anyone she took herself to the Combined Military Hospital in ‘Pindi. Friends and staff in Pakistan rallied around. The operation was a success. After such a serious operation there is need, of course, for rehabilitation. She was told it would be four to six weeks before she would be able to walk again. It is now five, and she has taken her first steps with the help of a walker. By the time you read this, she will be aiming to graduate to using crutches.
Although this is all good news, it has, however, left Maureen in a black financial hole. The operation itself (very expensive as can be imagined), medicine, physio, night nurse etc have been very costly for her, and, remember, we do not pay Maureen a salary! Maureen is sounding remarkably upbeat and cheerful about it all and already planning her return to the valleys in the spring.
Despite Maureen’s health problems, she has managed to keep things moving along in the valleys where the big news is that the Greek Government has pulled out of funding the school teachers of the Primary School in Birir, which shares its site with the new HKCA school. The news coincided with our receiving a legacy from the mother of our supporter Heather Madine. The annual salary cost of the teachers is £1600 and whilst we have only committed ourselves to one year, we will be looking to raise funds to cover this in the future. The legacy has also enabled us to complete the first classroom of the HKCA school and equip it ready for use in April. It has also reduced the cost of building the second classroom and a washroom to £6000 for which we are currently looking for the funds.
The first classroom
Finally, if any of Maureen’s personal friends would like to send any help directly to her you can send cheques made out to HKCA and I will transfer the funds out to her personal a/c in Peshawer. Please make it clear that they are for her personally.