Regular followers of our Wednesday meetings will realise that we can never predict exactly what will unfold. Predictably, this week was no exception.
Despite travelling, John was fully apprised of events at Fantsuam Foundation and joined the Skype meeting to fill us in. His first input was to let the UK team know that no-one else from Fantsuam would be online - because they were in the middle of some exciting developments.
These centred around a huge effort to get their new Community Communication Centre up and running. New equipment ordered from the US had just arrived, so workers were busying themselves with myriad installations, challenges and teething problems as they set up technology for this innovative project.
We were told that another reason the Fantsuam team could not attend was that Demas was attending a water and sanitation workshop in Abuja, and Comfort a DFID meeting in Abuja.
Following John's update, we were able to go through the proposed agenda as planned. The first Thursday meetings was top of the list this week. As this monthly meeting was to be held the next day, it was also agreed that John would send sms's to relevant members to remind them of the First Thursday meeting.
The UK team were also delighted to learn that Fantsuam Foundation had at last been able to buy their long-awaited Hilux. For the full story please see here. (Donations are still being sought as there is still an oustanding amount on credit!) It is already being put to good use. John shared with us some fabulous photos. These show Comfort's trip to a remote village market where she had gone to buy grains for distribution to the 'Fantsuam children' during the "hunger months".
You can see the sacks of grain being loaded on to the back of the Hilux. On a personal level, I was also fascinated by the clothes stall in the background.
We then turned to the subject of Sickle Cell Disease. John shared his latest vision of upgrading the Fantsuam Health facility to a Rural SC Resource Centre. It was felt this would be a halfway house on the road to setting up a Specialist clinic. We decided it would be a good idea if we asked the Peoples-Uni collaboration Group for their thoughts on this.
John also stressed that he is keen to get more community involvement by "providing skills in advocacy and communications with policy makers. This is so the centre can be locally self-sustaining through mobilising assets and networks from within the host communities."
So in conclusion, even though (unusually) it was just the three of us this week it was 'business as usual'!