Stories from the field.
We are committed to our clients and their goals to make this work a better place. We strongly believe that the work we do helps NGOs deliver the best possible programs and also to effectively communicate those stories to potential funders. As we work alongside amazing organizations and individuals we hope to never stop learning and growing as people and as an organization. We want to invite you along on that journey through this blog, sharing about our partners, highlighting some of the milestones of our firm, posting from the field and of course, things learned along the way.
Eight years ago a community member in the Craigmillar area outside Edinburgh wanted to convert an old farmhouse into a community centre which would be accessible and welcoming to local people of all ages, including disabled people and those on low incomes or with poor mental wellbeing.
The Edinburgh Tool Library participated in ‘Leith Chooses’ – A community event that raises local money for local projects in the Leith area of Edinburgh. Money is granted through a public voting process, in-person on March 3rd and online until March 17, 2018.
We just wanted to wish all of our clients and prospective partners a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We are so excited for 2018 and look forward to announcing some of the big plans we have!
Just a quick update that I’m off yet again! This time more east than south: I’ll be going to India, Nepal, Japan and a handful of southeast asian countries. This is more of a hybrid vacation-work trip: working with our existing partners remotely, but also potentially working with one or two new partners in India. Stay tuned for more news as the trip unfolds!
When Chris H. from the Edinburgh Tool Library told me he wanted a video to show off their diversity of tools and equipment, it didn’t take long for me to come up with an idea for how the video should look and feel! Filmed in the span of 20 minutes and edited in about 2 hours, this is one of the simpler and less serious videos we’ve ever made….
Whew! Three countries, three organizations in three weeks. It’s been a whirlwind adventure. The last week was spent in Northern Zimbabwe learning about the work of the Karanda Mission Hospital. It was definitely an eye-opening experience: The daily line-ups to seek medical treatment, the two surgeons working non-stop all day, and the army of nurses, lab technicians and support staff keeping the hospital humming along. I’ve been told by multiple people that villagers will sometimes bring their farm animals as payment because they don’t have any money… which is why you might see a cow ‘parked’ in the parking lot.
As you may have read on our website under the heading “Our Story”, this whole endeavour began with a trip to Iraq three years ago. Peter and I visited a pre-school/nursery project in southern Iraq and that’s when this whole idea started. I took the photos and video and Peter did some training and teaching.
Last Saturday, from the time I had left my accommodations for the airport in Zanzibar to the time I arrived at my new accommodations in Harare, Zimbabwe it had been about 20 hours. Within those 20 hours I had three flights and two airport connections and so without a doubt I was exhausted. Even though I got to sleep around 1am Zimbabwe time- 2am in my previous time zone, I had to wake up 5 hours later for a long drive North to my final destination for the week: a rural Mission Hospital.
Now I’m here on the East Coast of the island of Zanzibar (Tanzania) in a village called Jambiani. So much hotter and more humid than the high-altitude village of Kijabe, Kenya! I don’t know if it’s different from many other villages on this island but what stands out the most to me is that the beachfront (and it’s white sand and turquoise blue water) is lined with hotels (filled with tourists) while the village just outside of the hotel gates looks very much like a hurricane blew through it – but there was no hurricane… just poverty and poor living conditions.
It was a mostly sleepless night here in Kijabe as the rain beat loudly and incessantly on the roof of my guesthouse. This combined with my usual pre-flight anxieties kept me up wondering if I’ll get to the Nairobi airport on time or if we’ll encounter a mudslide somewhere along the (usually) 2 hour drive to (and through) Nairobi from Kijabe.
After 48 hours of traveling, I’m off to a great start here just outside of Nairobi, Kenya working with a rural hospital program. The first full day is nearly over and it’s been mostly introductions, tours and planning.
As a professional photographer with over 10 years of experience I’ve come to enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with anyone passionate about taking better photos. This afternoon I got to do that with the program’s social media and multimedia person. Here are some photos (taken by me) from our initial walk around the facility.
Today I (Chris) am leaving Edinburgh, Scotland for East Africa and I’m definitely anxious and excited to hit the ground and get to work (Peter will be working alongside me in the field for only a portion of this trip)!
Just 30+ hours of flying and layovers stand between me and the first stop. In total, this 26-day trip includes 11 flights which enables me to visit our three partners in three different countries. It also included 4 vaccinations (the cost hurting more than the actual injections!).
We are thrilled to officially welcome graphic designer Jenna O’Flaherty of Aviatrix Illustration and Design to the team! This gives our clients affordable access to her highly in-demand talent as she creates beautiful visual works of art for businesses, NGO’s and other organizations and individuals. With over 10 years of experience in her field, we have been really impressed with the work she has done for Curitus so far and can’t wait to see what she comes up with for our future partners!
Last week I (Chris) documented the work that our regular partner, the Edinburgh Tool Library (ETL) and it’s volunteers, completed at Balgreen Primary School.
This vlog-style video will be used to give new volunteers an idea of the work that they can get involved in and also inform future funders and sponsors of the great work that ETL does on a regular basis.
I (Chris) am conducting a program audit with the Edinburgh Tool Library in Scotland this month while Peter is managing a task for our longtime partner, The Joyful Project, based out of Winnipeg, Canada.
We are so excited to continue working with our existing partners in new and innovative ways and also welcoming new partners this Fall in various corners of the world!
Next month we are on the road visiting some new partners in East Africa (the specifics will be announced soon, so stay-tuned!). We envision these field-trips being a cost-effective way to provide on-the-ground services (such as field audits, videography and photography) to our partners with the potentially high-cost of travel spread out amongst several organizations. This makes it more affordable for everyone to bring our specialized skills to the field.
After successfully co-founding and managing our Canadian operations, Chris Loh is moving into the role of Lead Consultant. He’ll be handling a lot of the international field visits over the coming year and meeting with our clients face-face. We’re excited about this move as we head into the autumn as it allows us to provide our clients with an even higher quality of service.