Hello boys,,latest update,nothing special this last few weeks,,now stands at £1684..Doesn't look like we are going to get 1000 ex-gannites at £10each,but read on.Dick Houlston who was at the reunion along with us,has just had contact with one of the families that welcomed us out there..Their 3yr old daughter needs an immediate operation to stop her going blind.This operation would be pretty straight forward in the UK but out there-no NHS,not even a decent medical centre--the cost to move the bairn to a hospital in Malaysia/India,,$15;500,,absolutely beyond the family..What has it got to do with us you might ask,very little I would say as there are similar cases all over the world,but what I would say is if the RAF had still been there,that little girl would have been seen to.Now the RAF has lomg gone,but there is still an RAF presence,ie us.I don't think we would be able to help this girl,but what we could do, with more support,is to send someone away to train upto paramedic standard,then at least they would have a well qualified medic available to offer help.They do have infrequent visits to the islands by a doctor,but can you imagine that 3yr old girl,her eyes on fire, hoping some doctor might arrive over the next 3 months to help??? I have been told that an Australian charity often helps in severe cases like this,so lets hope....My adress--Inver Wreigh,,Thropton,Northumberland,,NE65 7JD....
Regards the last post and the state of the medical facilities,,,I have just had an e-mail from a headteacher at one of the atoll schools,who is a regular viewer of the site-----each island has a health centre but Hittadoo has a hospital built with the help of UNICEF,,unfortunately the x-ray and scanning machines are never in working order..Fully qualified doctors will not come to Addu,so "unregulated"Indian doctors sometimes [SOMETIMES]visit..They go on to say that the medical centres are nothing more than first-aid posts staffed by whatever!!----Is it worth paying to have a medic trained????
Larry sounds good but do we have enough cash in the fund? Furthermore, once trained who will fund the wages of the medic? Keep up the good fight.
Hello Peter and all..Firstly we don't have enough money in the fund as yet,but it is still trickling in..Regards paying the medics wages,the Atoll has its own "civil-service" and pays the various staff..A new private hospital has just opened in the capital Male,,they are charging Rf600[£30]to do a breast scan.An Addu lady would have to pay for her return flight from Gan as well as her stay in Male +the scan cost..Seems silly when Hittadoo hospital has the same machine,,aparently broken,but I suspect they don.t have anyone qualified to operate it..Any of you out there who's wife has been so unfortunate as to have had to go through these procedures,,will surely tell you how important that scan could be..Just maybe we will be able to help in some way...Larry
Just a little update on that 3yr old girl with the eye problem..A team of Israeli surgeons are coming to the Maldives,and they are definitely going to Addu to do this operation..The only negative is that Jews are not usually welcome in the Maldives,and some activists are trying to stop them coming..Peace and goodwill to all men---some chance eh !!!!!
Most of the Maldivians are moderate Muslims and will view it as a humanitarian trip. They will not allow a few activists to stop the trip.
Re previous check out: http://minivannews.com/politics/israeli-eye-surgeons-visiting-maldives-to-illegally-harvest-organs-claims-islamic-foundation-13872
Hello boys,,pre-christmas update--fund now stands at £1754 after a generous donation from one of the boys from Campbeltown--thank you for that..--I have only just learnt that there is a type of caste system that operates throughout the Atoll,with the better connected families given the best employment..This equates to around 10% of the population,with the best part of the others living in abject poverty.Those that have been back and seen the new motorcycles and mobile phones everywhere should be aware that behind this"front"lies people that are actually begging for food/handouts.,unable to access even basic medical care..The fund maybe just trickling along,but I know eventually we will be able to help somehow....Larry
Hi Larry, I am working hard on this appeal at the moment...am about to send out my letters to charities, have 111 addressed so far...another 40 - 50 to go.. keep ur fingers crossed that they bring in funds...have a promise of half sponsorship funds from a friend who is climbing Kilimanjaro later in the year...that should bring in a couple of grand may be even three with luck, I hope...also there are some more irons in the fire as it were I think u have spoken to Donna so u know what i mean...I am doing the best I can...hope to c things happening shortly...I think ur right about the equipments we need to get them sorted before we train anyone or they wont stay...if we get the equipment working ok we could even sort out some sort of voluntary service scheme...smashing place to work for 12 months I remember it well...hehehe...regards, Dick
Hello Boys,,just to update first,,the fund now stands @£1814 thanks to a couple of double donations, and a promise of a couple of cheques over the next week or so..I have been told that the Maldives sent 67 medical students to a hospital in Bangalore,to have 56 rejected for various reasons,mainly because they could not guarantee the $300 per month cost,,when a good wage on Addu is less than £100 per week,you can see how a family has trouble sending a son/daughter away to India/Malaysia to train.We,myself and Dick Houlston know of a female travel writer/journalist who has just visited Addu,and whilst there, had a look at the "medical"facilities.She wasn't much impressed at the general state of the equipment etc,and telling me that there are two donated ambulances standing U/S for the want of a couple of small parts,and other medical equipment[donated] standing unused for a lack of trained personel..The Gan airmens fund with just a bit more money could surely sort at least one of those problems out,,Gan airmen--its over to you......Now for some news about the probable end of Gan as we know/knew it..The lease on the hotel and associated facilities has only around 5 yrs left to run before the island is put out to tender once more..Now we know that Equator village will be removed,with the old officers mess becoming the sole hotel,,but the main news from Addu is--A far eastern company has already been to survey the island and its facilities/possible facilities,and I have been told that there are ongoing negotiations,,with their ideas being considered,and those ideas contain the plan to totally demolish all the buildings etc on Gan and totally rebuild a resort island catering mainly for the Chinese market..Those plans do include removing all traces of our presence,meaning disposal of the Guns/RAF plaques/monument standing outside the old HQ..The history of the place means absolutely nix to the Chinese,,so I ask you once again to try and give the people of Addu something to remember us by, whilst we still have friends and a presence on the Island
Hello boys,,just an update on the state of things on Addu..There is great unrest at the moment,due to a judge from Male cancelling the elections due on Addu this saturday.I am being told that this is just another delay in their attempt to become a city/state and all the associated benefits that would come with it.They tell me that this delay is being orchestrated by the rich and powerful families[some from addu!!]that run the government from the capital.The promises to Addu were of improvements in education/health services.civil improvements.I am being told these are being "opposed" because of the loss of massive rental income being received by the "rich families" from their property rentals in Male..Because they own just about everything in the capital,they rent accomodation to the students/hospital patients/workers/airport franchises/shops.As you can see,they don't want investment on other atolls in case they lose their monopoly on just about everything..Just think,why else has a new airport[Gan] stood virtually unused for 4yrs,the schools unable to go above secondary level,and the health services on the atoll in disaray..I have been told,that last week they had to hire a "water-boat" to bring water to Hittadoo hospital because there was no water,and continuing stories of people having to go to Male/India for treatment of broken bones,because of a U/S Xray machine..As you all know,,Male has never had any love for Addu,and as of now that has not changed..I think we may see riots/demonstrations on Addu this weekend..If their government are reluctant to help,,can we not help,,even if its just getting their hospital equipment working? I'm trying,but its over to you...
If the Male government don't want to do anything to help their own people, what can we do? In a way it's the same old situation all over the world, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Hello boys,,an update and a query.As you may know anything concerning this account needs two signatures,,myself and Barry Turner..There is no withdrawl chequebook,meaning nothing can be taken out without both of our signatures being given on some bank form or other..The reason I am saying this,is that everything has to be seen as above board..Now the other reason--earlier this month I was given £30 by a lad to put into the Gan airmens account,this I did,which should have brought the total upto £1844.On saturday[yesterday]I received the monthly bank statement which had on it[for the first time]a direct debit to a national magazine[unknown as yet]for £12..Now I have not signed any direct debit slip and I don't suppose Barry has either,as it would take both of us for authorisation..Can any of you offer any idea of how this could happen,,I will add that I will be going to the local HSBC tommorow to cancel the D/D and ask how it has come about....Larry
Hello boys,,well I went to HSBC and cancelled that direct debit,so hope that is the end of that..One of the lads sent me[2nd donation]£20 to cover the loss,and then I received a good donation from one of the Royal Signals soldiers that served on Gan..The total[all being well]stands at £2002..We have now had donations from female Qs,officers,airmen and soldiers,so all we need now is a civilian and sailor donation to have a"full house".Getting there slowly but surely..
Hello boys,,just a quickie,,type minivan news into your search engine and read Donnas article on the price of healthcare in the southern atolls[addu]..You can then see why we want to do a little bit to help....
Just made a donation. I intend to go back to Gan for a month next Jan/Feb time, I will try to see what difference we can make
Hello Terry,thank you for that..Regards Donna's post on minivan news,I think she got too near to the bone as they removed it from the front page,probably because of the story where the young woman nearly lost her child,due to a difficult birth with no proffesional help and no incubator for the baby.The same family could not afford the flight to Male to the hospital there,couple of hundred dollars,but no social services to help out..Big money hotels,private jets,but none of that money goes to the Adduan people.Plenty of flash up front,but just behind the front row is abject poverty...
Hello boys,,would you believe this--after getting Hsbc to cancel that unauthorised direct debit[£12]I got the next bank statement this morning and would you believe it,,another direct debit to another magazine..this time £18..I went straight down to the nearest Hsbc to check it out..Here goes-both of those direct debits were put on by a person from the Chesterfield area,and both to health and beauty magazines!!.I had an interview with the banks fraud department and I now know the name and adress of the person.They asked me if I wanted the police involved,but I would like the person involved to refund the £30 they took..I have moved the money into another account[Barry Turner is aware]and I will not be giving the new account number out for the above reason ie unauthorised d/ds,so if anyone is sending a donation can they just send it to me,made out to Gan airmens scholarship,to my adress Inver Wreigh,,Thropton,Northumberland NE65 7JD....Now once again-the person from the Chesterfield area,,you can have a few days to refund the money,,cheque/postal order or cash,the alternative is the police and court,and with the overwhelming evidence I would think the magistrates would give you a fine that will make £30 look small-fry..Taking money from charities,exactly the same as stealing the collection box from the local shop,,just about the lowest of the low--sort it out.!!
I sincerely hope this low life is not one of us!!!
Larry, I do`nt think you should give this prat any grace, the fact that he did this in the first place is the measure of the "MAN". He will do it again ,if not to us then to some other poor bugger. I am inscensed . GET THE FRAUD SQUAD ONTO HIM!!!!!
Larry. The scumbag does not deserve any protection whatsoever. As Tony says, report him, and also name and shame him I say....
Anything further on this, Larry?
Hello all,,all I can tell you ,is that the money has been replaced..I should find out more the next time I deposit some money..I have by the way received a donation from a Royal Navy sailors son,who passed through Gan[11yrs old]by himself on the way to boarding school in England,and never forgot the kindness shown to him by the staff in the blue lagoon,,so if you are the man[in whites]who got him a can of coke,,he sends his thanks...Just one of no doubt a million memories from people who came to,or passed through RAF Gan..Check out my new post regards the museum on Gan...Larry