From beginning to end, what follows are the details of our mission trips. The galleries for each trip provide a personal look into what we do where the words can't quite convey.
Mission trip 2007
Misionera: Melissa Colman
Hi! I’m Melissa Colman. I’m a 15 year old sophomore at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Georgia. For my 15th birthday in July of 2007, I decided to celebrate it in my father’s country, Paraguay. Since I was little, I’ve always put other people before me, but that’s how I am. It’s my nature. Knowing there was much poverty and disease in Paraguay, I did my Quince (15th birthday party) there. I have lots of family and friends there.
I really love to do community and charity work. So I decided to help a shelter for children with HIV/AIDS called Hogar Juan Pablo II in Barrio Tablada, Asuncion, Paraguay. It is run by four nuns and two nurses. They currently have seventeen children ranging from 6 months to 12 years of age. Instead of asking for presents and gifts for my birthday, I asked all my guests to donate things such as diapers, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc), canned milk, clothes and toys.
I am very grateful that I had people from different parts of the country donating and helping to further to my cause. I was able to obtain a brand new washing machine, generously donated by Mr. and Mrs. Juan Rojas. With all the friends and family that donated money, I bought food, a brand new clothes dryer, special milk given specifically to the children (NAN2 and Sancor Bebe), diapers, and toiletries.
The experience over all was really upsetting, but also amazing. I loved sharing smiles with the children. I loved talking to them, playing games with them, taking pictures and just loving them over all. It was the cutest thing when they all start calling me Aunt Melissa. I just about cried. Knowing that this disease has attacked their bodies through no fault of their own is awful because there is nothing at all that they can do about it. But knowing I helped them and that I gave them the love that they needed, I feel that my mission was a great success.
With the help of my dear friends, Felisa and Randy De Kler, and Fundacion Panambi, I visited, accompanied by Ms. Marta Bosio-Lopez, Casa Rosa Maria, Parroquia Santisimo Sacramento (Recoleta), in Asuncion. At this time there are 15 single mothers at the shelter ranging in age from 9 to 16 years. At Casa Rosa Maria, lead by Reverend Benito Paez, they are given moral support and medical help. Reverend Paez also celebrates mass with the children each day 11:00am. They are also given classes such as crafts and cooking. I donated food, diapers, and toiletries there.
Thanks to my father and mother, Silverio and Nubia Colman, I could achieve my mission and goal of helping the helpless as my birthday gift. It was really a dream come true and something that I’ve always wanted to do.
Mission Trip 2008
Mission Trip 2008 a Success!
The first medical mission trip on June 23 - 28, 2008, was invited by and coordinated with The Clyde E. Bay Foundation of Yeguarizo, Acahay. With the additional cooperation of the Centro Medico Bautista of Asunción and the use of their surgical suite, doctors and staff, we were able to sponsor hernia surgeries on eleven patients. The seven adults and four children were all from Acahay. All of the procedures went well, there were no complications and all of the patients are now recuperating well.
Much of the first day was spent meeting with hospital representatives to finalize logistical operations. In the morning, we met the first two patients. They were admitted the night before and were prepared for surgery in the morning. Both of the patients were in good spirits and expressed gratitude for what Fundación Panambi was doing for them. We also met with Celmira Bay who was an instrumental part of our success in this trip due to her knowledge of the inner workings of the local health care system. This also allowed us to establish a solid relationship with this organization to assist us in future mission trips to Paraguay.
With one exception, each of the following five days saw two surgeries in the morning followed by the admission of two new patients for surgery the following day. On Saturday, June 28, 2008, there was only one operation performed. The doctors and hospital staff were all talented and professional practitioners. We and the patients were fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such exemplary health care professionals.
The success of this trip was made possible by all of Fundación Panambi, Southeast Chapter’s, members and friends and their generous donations of time and funding. We also could not have accomplished our mission goals without the help and support of the Clyde E. Bay Foundation and the Centro Medico Bautista. Dr Gabriel Rodriguez, Dr. Osvaldo Ojeda and Dr. Abel Panotto graciously donated their time to this effort. Medical Assistance Programs (MAP) International, Ethicon, West Boca Medical Center, Outpatient Surgical Services and Digna de Sotelo of Equimédica made generous donations of surgical supplies, hernia mesh, sutures and intravenous fluids. Donations of food for the Clyde E. Bay Foundation’s clinic were made by Mr. Peralta of Central de Abasto Alto Parana S.A. We also received generous support from the staff of the Paraguayan National Customs Office in Miami, Florida and TAM Airlines.
PROJECT C.U.R.E. Mission Trip 2009-2012
Project C.U.R.E. Assessment
March 22-28, 2009, a Project C.U.R.E. assessment trip made by Mr. Raymond White, Project C.U.R.E. volunteer from Nashville, TN. Mr. White was accompnied by Mrs. Maria Felisa De Kler and Mrs. Susana Duarte of Fundacion Panambi, Southeast Chapter. A friend of Fundacion Panambi, Ms. Oliva Riva, hosted and accompanied the assessment.
Mr. White also did a Project C.U.R.E. presentation to a group of Fundacion Panambi friends: Estanislao Lezcano, consul Paraguay, Dra. Luz Quintana, Rosa Maria Foundation, and Dra. Lorena Fontclara, Hospital de Clinicas UNA.
Fernando Oca del Valle, Opthomology clinic.
Dr. Antonio Cubilla, Pathology Clinic
Hospital de Clinicas, Hemo-Oncology Children Pavillion.
Tobati Hospital, Tobati
Dr. Ricardo Nizza, Campesinos Clinic, Pte. Franco, Ciudad del Este
Clyde E Bay Foundation, Acahay
Project C.U.R.E. currently is making a follow-up effort in analyzing the assessment.
In order for Project C.U.R.E. to deliver a 40 foot container with $200,000-$400,000 worth of equipment in a few month to Paraguay, a fundraising efforts are underway for donations to reach $20,000.
Fundacion Panambi and sponsorees are grateful for all the efforts already made with your donations toward the assessment. All your donations will help toward the delivery of the container with supplies and equipment that will make the difference in taking care of our fellow man.
Packing of Container, October 27, 2010
Southeast Chapter President and volunteer, Gary De Kler, joined Project C.U.R.E. in Centennial, Colorado to pack the 40-foot container with donated medical equipment and supplies for distribution to six institutions in Paraguay. Different colored stickers were used to identify the destination institution of each piece of equipment and box of supplies.
Fundacion Panambi, Inc. and its Southeast Chapter wish to thank the following employees and volunteers from Project C.U.R.E. for their invaluable assistance. Ms. Allison Carey, Mr. Michael Fry, Ms. Patrice Baker and all the staff and volunteers who participated.
Arrival of Container and Distribution of Equipment & Supplies
On February 14th, 2011 the 40-foot container arrived in Port Fenix, Paraguay. At this time, Felisa De Kler and Ms. Cristina Alonso of costums began logistics work with L.A.PALERMO V & CIA. SRL ( Agencia Maritima) and the Ocean Word Lines, Inc. (Remar S.R.L., a Hapag Lloyd agency in Paraguay).
Ms. Clarissa Montero oversaw the demurage documents and the clearance of the demurage charges. Ms. Celmira Bay, the consignee of Clyde E. Bay Foundation, received the 40-foot container from Port Fenix and delivered it to Clyde E Bay Foundacion Headquarters in Asuncion, Paraguay on March 17, 2011. Within 6-7 hours, the empty container returned to Port Fenix.
On March 18-30, 2011, all donated medical equipment and supplies were delivered to all six institutions.
Fundacion Panambi Inc. and its Southeast Chapter volunteers are grateful to Clyde E. Bay Foundation, fire fighter volunteers, and to all the unmentioned volunteers who made this project possible.
Every institution is thankful to Project C.U.R.E. and Fundacion Panambi Inc. and its Southeast Chapter for all the medical equipment and supplies donated. It will all make their jobs easier as they provide medical attention to help mankind.
Fundacion Panambi Inc. and Project C.U.R.E. volunteers on March 2012 will visit all six institutions to monitor the donated medical equipment and to keep continuing contact with each institution.
Verification of Donated Equipment & Supplies
This project was successfully completedwhen Fundacion Panambi Inc. and Project C.U.R.E. volunteers visited all six institutions from May 23, 2012 to June 1, 2012 to monitor the donated medical equipment and supplies and to maintain ongoing contact with each institution. At this time, the Project C.U.R.E. volunteer also completed a assessment for the donation of medical equipment and supplies to Hospital Regional de Ciudad del Este (CDE).
Next Donation Project
The assessment completed during the May/June trip was accepted by Project C.U.R.E. on June 19, 2012 and fundraising for the $20,000 shipping cost has begun.
VOSH/International Mission Trip 2011
VOSH/International (Volunteer Optometrics Services to Humanity) made a visit to Paraguay for the purpose of performing eye examinations and distributing eyeglasses. Representatives from Fundación Panambi, Inc. were present to assist in the effort. Ms. Celmira Bay of the Clyde E. Bay Foundation sponsored the VOSH/International group's mission to Yeguarizo, Acahay.
On Febnruary 17, 2011, ten VOSH optometrists arrived in Asunción and travelled, later that day, to Yeguarizo, Acahay. Felisa De Kler and Oliva “Micha” Riva, volunteers of Fundación Panambi, Inc., joined the mission. During the 5-day mission, February 18-22, 2011, Felisa performed visual acuity examinations while Micha maintained order and organization with the incoming patients. The ability of Felisa and Micha to speak to the patients in their native tongues of Guaraní and Spanish helped to put the patients at ease.
Following the visual acuity examination, patients had their pupils dilates by the instillation of eye drops. This was done so that Dr. Charles Covington could examine their auto-refraction so that an eyeglass prescription could be determined. Later, Dr. John Spencer triaged the patients for further cataract work-up by ophthalmologists from VOSH/International, Fundación Visión and Hospital Bautista. Based on Dr. Spencer's work-ups, twenty-three patients had cataract surgery that week by Fundación Visión.
Finally, patients received their eyglass prescriptions and selected eyeglasses from the dispenser room. Mr. Stanley Sagara adjusted their eyeglasses and the patient left with smiles on their faces!
The people of Paraguay are thankful to Clyde E. Bay Foundation, VOSH/Intenational, Fundación Visión, Hospital Bautista, Fundación Panambi and to all the volunteers for their efforts in providing the gift of better sight to 2,500 individuals ranging from 5 months old to 105 years old.
Mission Trip 2013
Here are details on our Mission Trip. On May 25 through June 1, 2013,
ophthalmologist Lee Klein, MD and certified surgical technologist Maria Felisa De Kler, CST,
represented Fundación Panambi in Paraguay. They partnered with Fundación Vision, a
non-profit based in Paraguay, to provide cataract and pterygium surgeries to local indigents.
The team treated patients in Asunción and Filadelfia/Loma Plata, El Chaco. The breakdown
of procedures is shown below.
Filadelphia/Loma Plata, El Chaco
Pterygium (including one amniotic graft implant)
Pterygium (including two amniotic graft implants)
Total Patients Treated
The 70 patients treated represents those who would not have otherwise had
surgical intervention due to a lack of financial resources.
Special thanks goes to:
- Fundación Panambi Donors
- Bausch & Lomb
- Bio-Tissue, Inc.
- Lee Klein, MD, Fundación Panambi volunteer
- Lic. Zulma Diaz, Fundación Vision Event Coordinator
- Miguel Scalamogna, MD, Fundación Vision Volunteer
- Fundación Vision Staff
- Lions International, Loma Plata Club
- All others who contributed to the success of the mission in the U.S. and Paraguay
Project C.U.R.E. 2014-2016
Arrival of second container from Project C.U.R.E. via Fundacion Panambi, Inc. to Hospital Regional of Ciudad del Este. (CDE) Paraguay