Travel Report November 2010

For the second time we are on our way to Sierra Leone. It has been 8 months since our first visit. During our first trip in February we treated many patients to spread the word about homeopathy. But the real objective of our project is to train people in Classical Homeopathy.

The request for this project was made by the association Verein Sierra Leone Baden-Württemberg. Mr. Konteh, originally from Sierra Leone and Chairman of the association, nowadays spends a good part of the year again back in Sierra Leone to support the rebuilding efforts in his country after the terrible civil war. Together with his associate, Mr. Mansaray, he is dedicating his time in Sierra Leone to planning the Homeopathy Training Project. Their tireless lobbying and the good contacts they were able to establish, including contacts in the Ministry of Health, are now paying off.

The Minister of Health has been making inquiries into the work we do and has only heard good things! He therefore decided to have nurses trained in Classical Homeopathy. On the day after our arrival we already have an appointment at the Ministry to discuss the details. The representative of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kuani, greets us delightedly and regrets that the Minister is not able to welcome us himself because he is currently abroad.

50 nurses were excused from work in Makeni, the province's capital, in order to receive training, and they were eager to begin. One classroom in Makeni's Nursing School has been made available for our training and is waiting for us. The only thing left to do, albeit with a heavy heart, is to reduce the class to 25 participants. 50 students are simply too much to provide meaningful hands-on instruction. And at the end of the project our students should not only have the necessary theoretical knowledge, but should also possess as much practical experience as possible. After all, it is them who will teach others their knowledge and expertise at the end of the training program.

Dr. Kuani demonstrates his interest and appreciation of our work and insists on participating in the first day of training. That is how, on the first morning, he is taking his place among 25 nurses who are well trained in general medicine and is eagerly participating in the class.

The nurse's thirst for knowledge also seems insatiable. During the theoretical instruction in the morning there are so many questions that there is not a dull moment. In the afternoon the nurses take part in the Teaching Practice, a few at a time, and are all very enthusiastic.

Many patients that we saw in February are back in the Teaching Practice. They are satisfied with the results of their treatment and are happy that we have retuned. They are thrilled that we are teaching students so that they can eventually go to the villages to continue the homeopathic treatment themselves.

At the end of the class the nurses' representative, Mr. Sunah, gives a short speech to bid the group farewell. He emphasizes that the Minister of Health was very gracious in granting them this opportunity. He expects them to be particularly diligent to prove that they are worthy of this favor. Not only the nurses, but also we know what an honor it is to receive financing so that 25 nurses can take part in our training.

The Ministry of Health is looking for affordable and effective alternatives where healthcare is concerned and we can see that our work is part of a bigger picture. We are feeling safe and positive about the future of our project.

At the end of our stay there is a rush of events. A broadcast journalist with the ARD, a major German broadcasting company, is doing an interview with us. But that is not a problem for us. Our experiences of the past 2 weeks would probably be enough to do an entire show.

The last call we receive is from the Mayor of Makeni. Having talked to the District Governor, he would like to create a Department of Homeopathy in Makeni's hospital. Is this something we could help with and could we have a meeting about it in February 2011? What a question! Of course we will be there next February! To teach our highly motivated nurses, treat patients and to discuss the details of what can only be called a dream come true – a homeopathic hospital ward.

We have had many uplifting experiences and on our flight home we are gratefully thinking of our partner, Verein Sierra Leone Baden-Württemberg, and especially Mr. Konteh and Mr. Mansaray. Without their dedication, none of this would have been possible.

Our project is moving forward rapidly which brings new opportunities and new challenges. We hope that we can count on your support for this amazing opportunity.

Kristina Lotz

Renate Blum

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