Thursday, March 30, 2006


Well, it seems like one good deed just leads to another. Yesterday I wrote about Athletes for Africa , which I found through Africa Medical & Research Foundation , and today I'd like to tell you about Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR), that I learned about through Athletes for Africa.

CPAR works in partnership with vulnerable communities and diverse organizations to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Africa.

Their Vision is that:

1. Everything is connected.

2. Without adequate forest cover, soils become depleted.

3. Without fertile soil, food production declines, and the threat of hunger increases.

4. Without secure food supplies and clean water, good health is impossible.

5. Health is created and sustained by the environmental, physical and social conditions that affect people living in a particular community.

It's clear that CPAR has a clear sense of the contextual nature of our social and physical environment.

The organization was founded by Canadian physician Mark Doidge in 1984. Dr. Doidge was responding to the extreme famine and poor health conditions faced by Ethiopian refugees who had been pushed by their harsh conditions into Sudan. And although it began as an organization initiated to engage in emergency relief work by providing food aid and medical intervention, CPAR evolved into an international development organization, committed to building healthy communities in Africa.

The majority of CPAR's work is focused on integrated health and sustainable development programs in the south-east region of Africa. This is because CPAR always has the notion of a healthy planet in mind.

Today, CPAR's projects are located in Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania and focused on developing primary health care, water and sanitation, income generation, peace building, emergency assistance, natural resource management and food security programs to help support vulnerable communities in Africa. These guys do not shy away from the tough jobs.

In the twenty years of existence between 1983 and 2003 CPAR has achieved quite a lot. Some of those achievements were:

Working with Ethiopian refugees in Sudan

Establishing a relief program in Ethiopia that came to include a rural development program

Initiating a Primary Health Care Project started in Lesotho.

Implementing the first CIDA-NGO Food Aid Project in Ethiopia.

Conducting an Emergency Food Aid Relief project that was funded by Band Aid.

Providing Earthquake Relief in the Philippines.

Opening a program office in Malawi.

I haven't made it halfway down the list yet, so you will have to read about the rest at CPAR's web site.

As I said earlier, CPAR's programs focus mainly in four African countries: Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.

Since 1985 CPAR has been active in Ethiopia, first responding to the emergency famine relief efforts. Overtime, then engaging in long-term solutions to tackle food insecurity as well as community health and development.

Their program activities in Ethiopia include:

Disaster Preparedness
Income Generation
Food Security
Natural Resource Management and
Water and Sanitation Management

In 1990, the government of Malawi invited CPAR to work with communities in the country's central and northern regions. And today the organization undertakes the following initiatives:

Income generation
Natural Resource Management
Food Security
Water and Sanitation
Primary Health Care
Emergency Relief

As in Ethiopia and Malawi, CPAR has several programs working in Uganda. Since it was invited to work in the northern communities of Uganda by the Ugandan government in 1992 CPAR's programs have included:

Disaster Preparedness
Income generation
Natural Resource Management
Food Security
Water and Sanitation
Peacebuilding and
Emergency Relief

CPAR got approval to start operations in Tanzania 2000 and has been focusing on Water and Sanitation Management. There the project addresses safe water and sanitation in schools in the Karatu District and intends to improve the general health of school children in the area by reducing the burden of waterborne diseases in primary schools. CPAR also plans to improve the level of hygiene education within the community.

CPAR's Partners and Sponsors are listed below

Foundations, Associations & Non-governmental Organizations (NGO's)
Athletes for Africa
The Brumara Foundation
Alibhai Foundation
Bridge Street United Church
Ben & Hilda Katz Foundation
K.M Hunter Foundation
St. Peter Church Erindale
Fleming Foundation
Ryan's Well Foundation
Vancouver Foundation
Wild Rose Foundation
The Alibhai Foundation
Muttart Foundation
Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise
Canadian Auto Workers (CAW/TCA)
The Stephen Lewis Foundation
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SOGO)


Klasner and Solomon
The Forum Club
Future Shop
Cohn and Wolfe
In Kind Canada

Government Agencies

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),
Bilateral, Multi-lateral, NGO,Youth Action Division, International Humanitarian Assistance
Apac District Government - Uganda
Canada Fund-Uganda
German Technical Development Agency
Gulu Dustrict Government - Uganda
Ministry of Health - Uganda

There is much, much more information about CPAR and what they do at their web page. It's an organization with a clear vision, an effective means of carrying out its programs and an impressive array of partners and sponsors. It would be well worth your while to give their site a visit for inspiration and some lessons on how great things can be achieved by organizations like Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief.

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