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In the summer of 2020 as Canadians were instructed to increase their hygiene efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the challenges faced by too many fellow Canadians due to socio-economic status were more visible than ever. There was a higher risk of vulnerability in certain segments of our population.
As part of our Stop the Gaps campaign, CMF partnered with Soap for Hope in British Columbia to acquire and distribute essential personal hygiene kits people who may have trouble obtaining hygiene products.
Before the pandemic, our partner collected gently used or unused soap and hygiene products from the hotel and accommodation industry that would otherwise be discarded and fill our landfills. Volunteers would then reprocess these useable products to create Hygiene Kits which would be distributed to local shelters, transitional homes, food banks, low income seniors, and other vulnerable or remote communities.
At a time when the demand was never greater, the supply of used product was drastically reduced with the temporary closure of most hotels and volunteers were not able to convene in the warehouse due to restrictions around COVID-19 and fears around all but essential gathering of groups.
Soap for Hope therefore had to resort to buying products that were often in short supply even in retail stores as consumers are stocking up. Soap for Hope Canada had several Community Facilities reach out for vital hygiene supplies and until CMF funding was provided, they had not been able to help them.
With CMF’s grant through our Close the Gaps campaign, Soap for Hope was able to quickly supply 5 locations with hygiene amenities that are so critical in our current world pandemic.
Whispers of Hope – Grand Forks. This organization provides a year round centre and drop in centre for vulnerable people in their community. They have over 60 drop ins a day; for a meal, clothing, and essentials. Hygiene amenities are products they never have enough of and with the grant our partner was able to supply this Community Facility with shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products among other supplies.
Nourish Cowichan Society – Cowichan Valley. This organization primarily helps young kids with food and essential items. This organization provides 300 food hampers bi-weekly and Soap for Hope was able to provide family sized products of Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Toothbrushes and Toothpaste to their food hampers.
Comox Valley Foodbank – The foodbank provides food and essential products to over 2000 people a month in this area. Although food is the primary items provides, if people are struggling to get food, they most likely do not have basic hygiene amenities for themselves and their kids (30% of this number is kids). With the grant our partner was able to provide Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste and Deodorant to their distribution in August.
Comox Valley Nursing Centre – Comox. Helping Seniors is probably one of the most difficult demographics to help as they do not want “charity” and yet are often unable to access supplies for themselves that nursing centres may not provide. With the grant Soap for Hope was able to provide basic supplies that the nursing centre distributed to the residents.
VIHA – Mental Health Unit – Victoria. This unit assists patients experiencing mental health issues. In the past, the nurses were using their own funds to purchase hygiene products for their patients but they reached out to our partner when one of the nurses heard about the program and asked for help. Our partner was to provide jugs of products for them to have on the ward. Once patients were released, they were given Hygiene Kits (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and soap) plus were able to provide combs, chapstick and deodorant.
“Our patients in the hospital have benefited from Soap for Hope – being able to have
more than an adequate supply to hygiene products they normally could not afford otherwise.
It has made a difference in the day to day lives of many living with mental health and substance use challenges on our units in the hospital. We are able to transition people out of the hospital with some quality supplies to ensure they can take care of their hygiene needs.”
In addition, our partner was able to leverage our grant to get freight companies to help with deliveries and was able to get the blankets from a local source.
Even in Canada there are gaps that risk the spread of infectious diseases, especially within vulnerable communities. The virus anywhere can affect us all everywhere. We are proud of our partnership with Soap for Hope in closing some of these gaps, and grateful to the CMF donors who helped support our efforts.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, was ill-prepared for the global pandemic. According to the United Nations, some 35% of Haitians lack basic drinking water services and two-thirds have limited or no sanitation services, making it extremely difficult for people to regularly wash their hands as recommended to deter the spread of the coronavirus.
As part of a special Close the Gaps initiative to help prevent, limit, and stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, in 2020 the Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) provided support to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) to improve hygiene initiatives in Haiti’s Lower Artibonite Valley.
Designated a COVID-19 treatment site by the Haitian Ministry of Health, the hospitals’ Emergency Response Plan included initiatives within the hospital as well as outside of the hospital to stem the spread of the virus within the local catchment area.
CMF supported the installation of 300 new community handwashing stations that are servicing about 20,000 beneficiaries in 5 communities and surrounding neighbourhoods. These handwashing stations were installed in public spaces with large gathering concentrations such as marketplaces, schools, churches, the hospital and the HAS campus. At each handwashing station, a volunteer is charged to ensure that water and chlorine are constantly available in addition to the maintenance of the station itself.
In these same communities, HAS also increased the availability of household “tippy taps”, simply constructed handwashing devices that enable contact-free handwashing to further assist in fighting the spread ofCOVID-19. The tippy tap stations will service about 1000 people. With each of these projects, community buy-in was essential. Residents were consulted on the site selection and installation projects and were engaged during the entire planning and implementation phases, key for program sustainability. In addition to the importance of community consultation, community education is a crucial component of COVID19 prevention. Due to this successful WASH education program, the anxiety levels, as well as the stigma surrounding the coronavirus have significantly decreased. People better understand the virus and the methods to prevent contracting and spreading it.
In the midst of providing COVID-19 treatment, HAS continues to meet and respond to the rising patient demands by remaining open 24/7 for essential health services including high-risk obstetrics, prenatal and neonatal care and pediatric services, in addition to receiving acutely ill patients and performing emergency and critical surgeries at the hospital. Since May, the number of patients coming to HAS for care have more than doubled.
HAS was fortunate that before the pandemic hit recent upgrades to their water system included the timely addition of a Mixed Oxidants (MIOX) water purifying system that are critically needed for COVID-19 related cleaning.
With critical shortages of bleach and all other surface sanitizers persisting on the local market, leaving hospitals and health centers all over Haiti are in dire need, the Mixed Oxidants (MIOX) water purifying system is lifesaving. The MIOX system produces surface disinfectant up to 200 gallons per day and has an effectiveness rate of 2.5 times more than bleach. HAS’ supply chain includes health facilities in the area as well as the local police precinct, churches and school. Extremely cost-effective, this high quality surface disinfectant is essential in the fight against and containment of COVID-19. To date, HAS has distributed 3,894 gallons of sanitizer throughout its health system and to local partners in need.
HAS continues to make significant strides in providing sanitary and hygiene solutions to prevent and mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 in the Artibonite region and we are proud of our part of their success and grateful to the CMF donors who helped support our efforts at closing the gaps.
Addressing Hygiene Gaps in Syria
As part of a special initiative to help prevent, limit, and stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, the Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) is looking for partners with short-term projects and initiatives that address infection prevention. In this round the focus will be Syria.
Syria is a country now in its 10th year of conflict, battling sanctions, economic turmoil, widespread instability, and a broken down healthcare system. According to the UNHCR more than 5.5 million refugees have sought shelter in neighbouring countries, while another 6 million internally displaced Syrians and other vulnerable groups remain in Syria. Most of them live in overcrowded camps with limited access to water and proper sanitation, making maintaining good hygiene impossible for most.
CMF will be issuing a limited number of small grants to help groups address gaps in existing projects or fund new initiatives that will help bridge identified gaps that are currently impeding Syrian communities from strengthening their public health and healthcare response to COVID-19 (i.e. hygiene practices).
Project Location: Syria
Closing date: This round is currently closed.
Grant size: The size of grants will vary according to the gap needs of each project but will not exceed $20,000 Canadian per grant, with most approved grants expected to be in the $5,000 – $10,000 range.
To apply you need to:
You will receive an e-mail confirming that we have received your application.
Criteria for Funding Will Include:
All applications will be reviewed by the Program Development and Projects Committee. The recommendations of this committee will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval at the December 2020 meeting.
As the amount of funds available for round 2 is limited, the number of eligible applications funded is conditional on the number of applications received and amount requested.
Award Start Date:
Given that this opportunity is for timely proposals, you will receive 75% of the grant amount within three weeks of award notification and signing of the MOU, and the remaining amount after project completion or other agreed upon milestone.
Contacts and guidance:
The decisions of the Committee will not be open to appeal and the funders reserve the right to amend the application process.
For queries relating to the grant and process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is “Planned Giving”?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), gifts are a voluntary transfer of property without valuable consideration. Allowable gifts include cash, gifts in kind like stocks and real estate, and a right to future payment, such as life insurance proceeds.
“Planned Gifts” are so called because they take some thought and preparation, and because you should consult with a lawyer and your financial planner about them.
Your gift can be a one-time donation, a series of payments over a set period, or ongoing support. Your planned gift may be a “present gift” that can be used now, or a “deferred gift’, that is only available in the future, such as in a will.
Planned giving helps you create a legacy of support for the causes you care about most, and can maximizes your tax and estate planning benefits.
When speaking to your financial advisor, make sure that they are aware of your philanthropic goals, and consider a gift to the CMF today.
For more information, please contact the Canadian Medical Foundation at email@example.com or 613.518.6010.
There are the many ways you can make a lasting impact as part of your legacy.
There are many ways you can fundraise and make a meaningful impact. Create a fundraiser to honour someone special, celebrate a birthday, wedding, or any special occasion.
To start an online fundraiser please visit Fundraise for CMF. If you would like to hold a face to face fundraiser, please contact us and we will provide you with the resources to help you get started and to help make your event a great success!
Please contact Dee Ucci, Development & Communications Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your fundraising idea or for help to get started.
Many companies across Canada match their employees’ charitable contributions. Contact your human resources department to find out if your company matches charitable gifts and to obtain a matching gift application form.
All you have to do is fill out the donor portion of the matching gift application form and send the form to:
Canadian Medical Foundation
720 Bathurst St.
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
Or scan and email to email@example.com
We will complete the charity portion of the form once it’s received and, we will return the form to your employer. Your employer will then send CMF a donation to match your donation. Both you and your employer will receive an income tax receipt for the donations.
Raise funds for the Canadian Medical Foundation by engaging your community, colleagues, family and friends to donate to your own fundraising campaign.
Community fundraising is one of the most cost-effective revenue sources for CMF. Community fundraising helps reduce fundraising costs, this allows us to allocate more of your donations towards our projects.
There are many ways you can fundraise and make a meaningful impact. You can create an online fundraiser, give through your workplace or school. No fundraising event is too big or too small.
If you are looking for inspiration, we are here to offer ideas, resources and experience to help make your event a great success!
CMF thanks all of those who wish to support us through their fundraising activities. We are grateful for your support.
Every community in the world might face slightly different challenges to assuring all members have correct hand hygiene practices. Especially in times of pandemics, new cracks and holes in systems are magnified and more easily identified as gaps or barriers to infection prevention.
Washing hands with soap and water, repeatedly throughout the day, is a critical basic step in the prevention of infection, but a large percentage of households and institutions in many developing countries lack the knowledge or basic facilities to properly wash their hands. Proper sanitation and hygiene is a challenge even in healthcare settings.
The virus anywhere can impact us all everywhere. The Canadian Medical Foundation is working with partners to close some of those gaps that can lead to the spread of COVID-19.
Read about the work some of our partners are doing. Come back to this page from time to time as we will continue to update and highlight critical projects.