Monday, 13 January 2014

New BPEC Website

BPEC are delighted to announce the launch of the New BPEC website which; as well as having a fresh new look, allows you to view samples of BPEC training manuals via page turning technology, has an enhanced qualification section and also has greater detail of the projects supported by the BPEC Charity and the application process to be considered for the various awards and funds it provides.


We hope you like the new look, please do let us know what you think via pcullen@bpec.org.uk

Monday, 23 December 2013

This is a burning desire within my heart..

John Robinson flew out to Nicaragua on the 16th December. He has been to the location where the water tanks are to be installed and after checking the site, he has established that he is unable to get a tractor up to the site until the road has had a lot of shells put down; as it is very muddy. This was planned to take place hopefully Friday 20th as he explained to the locals that this must happen before they even attempt to take a tractor up the hill.

After research by the American engineer helping on this project it has been decided to use plastic tanks rather than the proposed concrete tank.

Today, Thursday 19th, John put a deposit on two tanks, which cost $2300 each – these should hopefully arrive in 2 weeks time. This allows John time to clear the site better, and prepare a good concrete base for the tanks.

John has tried to send pictures but they are taking ‘forever to upload’.

He returned to the island Thursday night to start work on Friday, and returned to Bluefields again where he has internet access, on Saturday. John also needed to make a purchase for the wood for base template, sand, stones and cement.

Finally, on the 20th of December John was able to get the tractor up the hill as the sun was strong and had helped to dry the road a bit. This enabled him to get it up to the site for the water tanks, rip out some of the old tree roots and pull out large boulders, then level off the site – “this took most of the day. But now the site is almost ready for construction”.

Saturday night, John calculated what material is required for the tank base, which will hold 4 tanks, though for now they are installing only 2 of these, or should I say positioning 2 of these as he is yet to come to an agreement on what pipe he is happy to install for the system. The pipe available in Rama Cay is much too thin, will not hold much pressure, and also have a short life.

Sunday morning, the locals from Rama Cay arrived with the shells for the road and also for part of the concrete mix, which was great. 1000 of these sacks have been ordered for the road, and 300 more for part of the concrete mix - these all have to be man handled up the hill from the boat as to take the tractor there will only make a huge mess of the ground up from the boat.

Checking on the delivery of shells, John then left the Island and returned to Bluefields, here he purchased a majority of the cement required for the job. Timber was also purchased which is required to construct a template for the tank base, which will be made in two halves.

John needed to return on Monday for 2 trips as they cannot get all required materials in the boat at once. He then purchased the metal for the base, the sand and the gravel required, which should enable him to construct at least half of the tanks base just after Christmas.

“I have just had lunch and am exhausted, the heat is much more than I anticipated at this time of year, it is between 28 and 30 most days with crazy humidity, but it’s great to serving the Lord here, knowing that every drop of the seat is about him, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves”.

We are expecting to hear from John again just after Christmas as he will be spending Christmas out at the island with the people, telling the children and hopefully their parents also the true meaning of Christmas.

“This is a burning desire within my heart and I am looking forward to giving the children a small gift and then telling them about the true meaning of Christmas

This Christmas, know that the kindness that you have all shown is making a huge difference indeed enhancing the lives of some very unfortunate people in Nicaragua, I pray the Lord bless you all richly for your kindness, I could not be here doing any of this without the backing I have received from my friends in the UK. God Bless”, John Robinson.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bansang Update Dec '13

Life Award 2013

Anita and Nick are back in the UK however there is a team within the Bansang Hospital who can continue working and pulling all the plans together.

The core management team (Wandifa Principle Nursing Officer, the CEO, P. Accountant, Procurement Officer) left for Banjul on Thursday 28th November to meet Laila at Malack Chemist for the £1,500 meant for the BPEC project. They arrived at Malack Chemist by 1.30pm and Laila was in her office with the cash amount of nine hundred thousand dalasis – this was handed over to the team.

The following day they were joined by the maintenance superintendent for purchase of items which were checked by Nick and the team from different stores along the Serekunda-Banjul highway.

All items on Nick's list were purchased but some other items left out. The purchase for sand, gravel and cement will be done in Bansang.

The truck from CMS is to be loaded tomorrow under Dembo's coordination as Wandifa, CEO and the team got back yesterday evening after 3 days marathon shopping.

For more information about the Charity please visit www.bpec.org.uk/charity

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bansang Update Nov '13

Life Award 2013

Friday 1st November: Nick, Richard, Kath (accountant/secretary) and Anita meet at Gatwick airport at 7am joined by the former British High Commissioner Phil Sinkinson OBE, now Patron to BHA. Their plane took off an hour later than scheduled. Nick did a great job of calming down what could have been a very difficult situation after a passenger had downed half a bottle of whisky before 10.30am, not the best start but Nick took it in his stride.

CEO Baba Jeng was at the airport to welcome the team into the late afternoon sunshine, temperatures were around 32 Celsius and very humid.

“Our plans to do a recce around all the builders merchants were scuppered the following morning ............ it was the monthly cleansing day!!!!!!!!!!!”


One morning every month, no vehicles are allowed on the roads throughout the entire country (except emergency vehicles) and EVERYONE has to clean their environment, can't see that happening in UK, it's a great initiative and it works. The team finally set off in the afternoon unsure if the builders merchants would be open due to the cleansing day.

“No worries, Nick was on the case like a greyhound after a rabbit, not hesitating to knock down the prices.”

They trailed behind, CEO, Procurement Officer and 2 accountants one from the hospital and Richard from BHA. Nick was impressed with the materials available, with one exception; the showers, Nick will be supplying and sourcing impact showers like the ones that have been installed in the Children's Unit, this will add an additional 30 Kilos to the weight in January!

“An interesting and satisfying afternoon knowing that quality materials are now available in country.”


Anita thought the exchange rate of the local currency would work in their favour at 60 Dalasis to the £1 but all the prices had been increased to match. Sadly for local people the wages do not reflect this and life is becoming increasingly hard, especially in-land where the hospital is based. A sack of rice is costing more than a month’s wages.

The team arrived in Bansang late Sunday afternoon.

“I have never seen the hospital so busy with malaria patients.”

Work commenced early Monday morning negotiating their way around the many patients waiting to be seen in out-patients, queuing patiently for prescriptions as yet more horse carts arrive with sick people.

As a team they looked at all the projects thoroughly, this took most of the day with distractions and other work pending. A unanimous decision was made to start renovation works in the administration block/PNO's Office and Duty room first. These areas are less affected by the huge number of patients seeking help as all the beds are presently occupied and would mean a great deal of disruption.

Nick is very happy with the two plumbers, one of whom is sponsored by BHA. The following day Nick arranged a health and safety session showing them how to use some of the new tools that he has supplied.

The Honourable Minister of Health Omar Sey was on a trek in the Upper River region, it was to their advantage that he stayed at the MITIE House at BH for 3 nights and Anita had the time to explain all about the BPEC projects.
Back row: Dawda Ceesay DPS Technical, CEO Baba Jeng, PNO Wandifa Samateh and Nick Foley. Front row: Honourable Minister of Health Omar Sey and Anita Smith



“He is so delighted that BPEC are supporting BH so generously and has pledged his support  by promising a skilled plumber from the coast who will be sent to assist and also put in further training for our two men for a month, this initiative is greatly appreciated and will enhance their skills.”

“My sincere thanks to all at BPEC, the team are enthusiastic and greatly encouraged by your support,” Anita Smith.

For more information about the Charity please visit www.bpec.org.uk/charity