Our story

A Bushman Doctor and the Island People
2016.01.28 2926

Madagascar, the third largest island in the world. In the island, there is Doctor Lee. He is called a bushman doctor. Doctor Lee, awarded a governmental prize, has been helping people in such places where no governmental supply was. Including Doctor Lee, there are five Miral staff in the Madagascar branch helping and serving local people.

 

▲Doctor Lee giving medical advice on a little boy ⓒMiral Welfare Foundation

 

 

Mobile clinic, where changes begin

“Madagascans take diseases something coming from curse. Children who have disease upon birth, people separate them from society.” Remote village, jungle and wild field, he has operated a lot in wilderness, which makes him called ‘a bushman doctor’. Why did he start the mobile clinic? He says he started to tell them the truth of disease, and to give strength to people suffering from small illness due to lack of medical facilities.

For the mobile clinic Doctor Lee and staff cover 19,000 km per year and operate 20 times of surgery and treating 400 patients per his trip, serving 4,000 people every year. With his commitment, an old lady got back her vision, a little girl received a new life free from taunting kids.

“The phone rang upon arrival at home. It was patients call. Sometimes I get a phone call even from terminal cancer patient. But when even there’s nothing I can do about it, I see them. To give them strength…”

- Doctor Lee’s autobiography, the head of Madagascar branch

 

“I remember when I was assisting Doctor Lee operating children with oral illness. He was struggling to make proper lip line. Children with this illness usually get mocked by friends. But now they won’t be anymore. When a kids just finished his surgery, I took a picture of him and show him. I asked ‘What do you say?’ His answer made me so touched. He softly said ‘Yes’.

- A volunteer’s autobiography

 

 

▲Samuel happy with a letter from his supporter ⓒMiral Wellfare Foundation

 

 

The Childhood Matching Program, links dream and reality

The Madagascar branch carry out childhood matching program in 5 area to offer quality service such as proper education, school meal and also medical check-up.

 

“I read a book, saying poverty means loss of chance. That is absolutely true. A lot of children don’t have both parents. Mother is the only who earn money for families, and mothers usually work in outside the town. That’s what make children poorly-managed. Students with these problem don’t come to class due to lack of money, which is like vicious cycle. I’m so sorry about it.”

-A volunteer’s autobiography

 

Living with one parent or grandparent, children are so touched when they know there is someone who always cheer them up. In Ambanatubana elementary school, there had been a brilliant student achieving 10th place in the nation-wide middle school test. His name is Mario. On top of this, his little brother Valerie was at the top in the district this year.

 

“In the beginning, students didn’t have breakfast before going to the school and there were no adults to take care of them. With the Miral’s support, they began school meal and extra classes, having a library and playground. Now different from the past, every student will go to middle school. The graduates remind me of old memory that children always had smile and never gave up.”

- Doctor Lee’s autobiography, the head of Madagascar branch

 

 

▲ Doctor Lee communicating and sharing stuff with people ⓒMiral Welfare Foundation

 

 

Emergency Relief, gives a hope

 

Madagascar has tropical climate and is vulnerable to tropical storm. On January and February 2015, the powerful storms called ‘Czedza’ and ‘Fundi’ took place in a row. It claimed 68 people and damaged more than 80,000 people, causing the destruction on 25% of the whole farm land.

 

As a result, in Analamanga district more than 40,000 people were put in malnutrition. To battle with this, Miral Welfare Foundation conducted emergency relief and KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) financially supported them. On March people were given solar-powered lanterns, rice and clothes, and on 13th May relief items were provided in the four damaged villages. The relief distributed eight items including rice, bean, multi-vitamin and soap powder. On the date, every staff got excited as if they were preparing for a party. Marcel, one of the staff, was so happy that he was able to carry 50kg of rice pack very easily. Also local people volunteered to cooperate each other.

 

 

▲Local people cooperating and working together  ⓒMiral Welfare Foundation

 

 

On 5th June another items were brought in, and on 2nd July third time distribution was continued. The relief action helped 1,087 houses – 4,646 people -, which was much more helpful than the governmental institution action.

 

The head of the institution visited the site to appreciate all the work led by Korean government and Miral. He said “While providing 20kg of rice was our best, Korean government and Miral Welfare Foundation did a lot for us.”

 

Our staff were happy with mattress, they thought people could have good-sleep with the mattress. One of the locals called Ramaninianina appreciated Miral’s work, and said “Thinking back, the disaster turned to give us new opportunity. This was the place in poverty. But now I’ve got a mattress for the first time. They gave us meal and lot of stuff. What they did here was a new chance for us to start over.”

 

“You take a picture here, it is so beautiful that people can’t notice this is where got damaged. But there is something much more beautiful than the nature. Madagascans. One day, a little girl called Domonina got hurt her foot by broken bottle. When I was treating her, I asked her if it isn’t hard to spend all the time in garbage collecting valuable things from trashes. The girl told me “I’m happy. Because the more I work, the more my mom rest.” I was completely moved to tears. The poor environment and hostile conditions to live. But the little girl gave me a precious lesson about the pure love.”

 

“I’ve seen a lot people not positive with any sort of temporary actions. But this time what we wanted to achieve was supply vital items and support people to survive the desperate days. I hope the action motivates people to move on.

- Doctor Lee’s autobiography, the head of Madagascar branch

 

 

▲Madagarcans, living with smile  ⓒMiral Welfare Foundation