The issues

With the poor housing conditions of our children and families, it is difficult to maintain a level of cleanliness and hygiene, making people more susceptible to infections and other health issues. For the many families with no running water in or near their home, clean water must be carried some distance in plastic containers and washing must be done by hand. Dirty water is just thrown away close to the living space with no proper drainage to carry it away.

In addition to the lack of clean water the is the common problem of poor nutrition, many living on the cheapest and easiest to prepare sources of food, mainly carbohydrates, often highly processed. With very little protein and few or no fresh fruits and vegetables many people are either undernourished or malnourished. In the children this results in under development, vitamin deficiencies, behavioural issues, problems with teeth and low immunity

How we help

We provide showers and a washing machine in order to help families maintain a level of basic hygiene. We offer informal education about healthy eating and hygiene, often while sitting over a cup of coffee with parents or other carers. We also provide a hot meal in which we include as much protein and variety of vegetables as possible. Basic first aid is also available and we aid in dental hygiene, providing toothbrushes and toothpaste and advice. We have a dental clinic which was fully in operation but is currently on hold as we are looking for a new local dentist to be responsible for the work.

How you can help

We are always in need of soap, shampoo, washing powder, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Healthy meals provision is always limited by funding and food donations received. If you volunteer in the centre you can be involved in offering help and advice in these areas as well as giving practical help. We are currently looking for a local dentist to oversee the dental work. This needs to be a dentist who does not have his or her own surgery. We would offer the use of our surgery and equipment in exchange for the dentist being willing to oversee our programme and treat our clients for free. We are also open to any offers of help from other countries and already have a collaboration with a dental team in Glasgow who come out periodically to treat our folk.