Project Update: Napo River, Peru

November 19th, 2014

Todd Fanter, Social Media Coordinator

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A healthy meal made possible by UBC and CEF. Photo by Erick Carreras.

Along the Napo River in the Peruvian Amazon, a long and checkered historical narrative of colonization and resource extraction looms over present day life of the region’s largely indigenous community. According to a 2012 Peruvian Government report, dangerous levels of heavy metals, including methyl mercury, are in certain zones of the Napo River.

The potential for damage to the health of the Napo River residents, who rely on the Napo River and its fish, is real. As such, Compassionate Eye Foundation is proud to support the UBC Division of Global Health (GHI) in its partnership with the Santa Clotilde Health Center (SCHC) to address the community’s concerns about possible methyl mercury contamination in commonly consumed fish.

Led by director Dr. Videsh Kapoor of the UBC – GHI, the study aims to improve the health, well-being, and safety of communities served by the SCHC through a three-phase plan. The first two phases have been completed, with the first consisting of UBC medical students surveying approximately 200 Napo River community members to get a sense of their consumption patterns. The second phase involved catching and then testing fish for dangerous levels of methyl mercury.

According to Erick Carreras, the findings of phase two have been encouraging. All but three out of 19 fish sampled can be eaten without concern about methyl mercury poisoning of any kind. This has made the upcoming final phase – educational workshops detailing risk mitigation in fish selection and general nutritional information – less of a hurdle than if a large number of the sampled fish tested positive for methyl mercury.

SCHC workers, along with UBC medical students and residents, are currently in the process of creating culturally appropriate education materials for the educational workshops. Between November 5, 2014 and March 31, 2015 this group will deliver multiple workshops to communities along the Napo River, representing the culmination of the 26-month long project that will hopefully result in a more nutritionally informed Naporuna populace.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project or follow along official UBC project blog!

New Project: Kompong Khleang, Cambodia

November 16th, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

Logo KIDSIn addition to the Sarsadam High School Project, Compassionate Eye Foundation is collaborating with Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.) on another project in Cambodia, this time in Kompong Khleang.

Through this project, K.I.D.S. aims to provide an elementary school of approximately 350 students and its community with a clean drinking water system. The current well is of poor water quality and lacks the capacity to provide enough water for drinking and hygiene. The new system will benefit a community of approximately 1,000 people.

This project is expected to be completed in March 2015 and will improve the community’s health and allow the children to focus more time on their education. We look forward to future updates from this exciting new project!

Photo of the Week: Between Generations

November 11th, 2014

Robyn Goldsmith, Social Media Coordinator

In honour of Remembrance Day in Canada, Armed Forces day in the UK, and Memorial Day in the US, this week’s Photo of the Week reflects the interaction between different generations. Remembrance Day is a time to think about and honour those who have been lost in conflict, and to thank those who have served and those who continue to serve. It can also serve as a valuable time to reflect on lessons learned in the past – to honour, appreciate, and learn from our elders – to connect with the past. This image of a grandson and grandfather connecting comes from our Getty Images Collection.

Photo of the Week: Working Nights

November 7th, 2014

Robyn Goldsmith, Social Media Coordinator

The first sign of British Columbia winter is here – we just rolled back our clocks by an hour, bringing night and darkness an hour earlier every day. Darker days and longer nights are swiftly approaching, which means that we sometimes go to and leave work without seeing the sun. This beautiful shot from our Getty Images Collection makes those dark winter evenings at work seem a little bit more glamorous and sophisticated.

New Project: Sarsadam High School, Cambodia

November 1st, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

Logo KIDSCompassionate Eye Foundation’s success is, in large part, made possible by our collaboration with organizations like Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.). In the past, CEF has worked with K.I.D.S. on various projects in Cambodia to provide communities with clean water, solar powered lights for schools, and a mobile health clinic.

For their latest project, K.I.D.S. again focuses on expanding educational opportunities in Cambodia, specifically the education of girls at Sarsadam High School. This project will build a private women’s washroom for approximately 600 female high school students and their teachers. Presently there are only four squat toilets for the school population of about 1000 students and  there are no private sinks or hygienic cleaning areas. The new washroom will provide students and teachers with more privacy by building squat toilets with cubicles and a wash area. By building this washroom, CEF and K.I.D.S. will improve the attendance and achievement levels of female students and improve the working environment for female teachers.

Sarsadam Elementary and High School

Sarsadam Elementary and High School

The project is expected to be completed in 2015 and will support CEF’s goals of helping to expand educational opportunities and basic health services in developing nations. We look forward to this collaboration and future collaborations with K.I.D.S.

Photo of the Week: Napo River Project Update

October 30th, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

This week’s POTW is from the Napo River in Peru, the site of our current collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s Division of Global Health. This collaboration consists of an education program to foster safe fish consumption and nutrition habits in communities around the Napo River. The river is the primary source of transportation, drinking water, and food for the people of the region. In this photo, taken by Erick Carreras, Norberto and his father Teddy are about to assist with fish sampling as part of the program. Stay tuned for more updates about this exciting project!

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Focus on Change 2014 Photos Now Available!

October 28th, 2014

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

Every year photographers and creative professionals from all over the world donate their time and skills to Compassionate Eye Foundation’s annual Focus on Change campaign. So far in 2014 we have had nine photographers and six unique photoshoots in cities across Canada, the United States, and Europe! We are excited to announce that the first of these images are now available for sale.

Real Families Photoshoot

On June 1 the Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour kicked off with a photoshoot in London. The day was led by photographers Natasha Alipour-Faridani and Will Douglas and the theme explored concepts of modern, everyday families and lifestyles.

Real Families collage

More images like these can now be purchased from the CEF collection in partnership with Getty Images.

Why buy from CEF?

Revenue earned from the sale and licensing of CEF imagery support development projects across the globe. So far in 2014 we have funded a support program for vulnerable children in Ethiopia, trained teachers in Sierra Leone, and continued support for a school and preschool in Guatemala. We have also funded two projects in Cambodia which will be announced soon. Help us continue to make a difference in the world by sharing our cause with friends and colleagues who may be in need of a stock image!

The People of CEF: Lauren Girdler

October 26th, 2014

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

10405623_10152232946272551_5912378035132877815_nAs an international non-profit organization, Compassionate Eye Foundation depends on the hard work of talented individuals willing to donate their time and expertise. We appreciate this and would like to once again recognize one of our outstanding volunteers!

Lauren Girdler is the Vancouver-based marketing manager at Savox Communications, a manufacturer of radio accessories and search and rescue equipment. Early in 2014 Lauren joined the CEF community as our editor, a position in which she regularly uses her keen eye for detail and editing skills to review all content for the blog, website, and newsletter before it is made public. She is responsible for providing general grammar and punctuation edits, as well as clarification on content – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

Lauren was first introduced to the world of commercial imagery through a previous job as an instructional designer, in which she would spend hours searching stock photography banks. When she came across the CEF opportunity in an online volunteer posting, she felt a real connection to our funding model. In her own words, she “really liked the idea of supporting sustainability and educational projects around the world”, and we couldn’t agree more!

Currently Lauren is building a consistent writing style guide for all contributing writers within CEF, which will be promoted throughout our entire organization. And when she is not doing this, she enjoys spending her time travelling, cooking, doing yoga, or playing soccer.

From all of us at CEF, a huge thank you to Lauren for your continued hard work!

Photo of the Week: Fall Is Here

October 23rd, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

Most of us enjoy our coffee all year round, but there’s no time like fall to enjoy that perfect cup of joe. Although many of CEF’s photoshoots take place during the summer during our Focus on Change photoshoot tours, many of our images, like this photograph, are perfect for fall and winter use, including the upcoming holiday season. Check out our Getty Images collection for our newest images from our 2014 photoshoots.

Photo of the Week: Real Families Shoot

October 19th, 2014

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

How did you spend your Canadian Thanksgiving last week? Perhaps it gave you the chance to contemplate the great things that have occurred in your life, or maybe you spent it with your loved ones over a delicious meal. This week’s chosen photograph represents the joyous time that might have taken place over this past long weekend, and it is from Natasha Alipour-Faridani and Will Douglas’ images from the Real Families photoshoot. These are the first of the images to go up for sale on Getty from this year’s Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour campaign. Stay tuned for the rest!