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A cool $1 million in photographs for CEF

April 23, 2012
Rick & Adrianne Dartnell, the passionate people behind K.I.D.S. International

Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) held a party last week to ramp up excitement for its upcoming photo shoots. The event also celebrated crossing the $1 million mark in funding for CEF’s projects, a milestone for an organization that started in 2006 and does very little fundraising. CEF partners with Getty Images and photographers from around the world, who donate the royalties for their photos, to support CEF’s projects in health, education and the environment in some of the poorest countries in the world. As Stephen Errico, one of CEF’s accomplished photographers that has been involved with CEF from the beginning, stated “I get to do what I do best and generate revenues far above just writing a cheque.” The money raised and the high impact of CEF’s work are a huge achievement for an organization that is run primarily by a large group of dedicated volunteers. A very small amount goes to administration, the rest to helping humanity.

Robert Brown, Revenue Generation Chair of CEF, spoke about the many projects that  Compassionate Eye is working on: schools, health, a “granny program”, and water in Guatemala; schools and literacy in Sierra Leone with a special focus on girls and women; schools in Zambia, a “Coping with Grief” program in South Africa to help children who have lost their parents due to AIDS, other illness and violence; a school in Ethiopia; and a central water purification plant with Free the Children in Kenya. He then turned to Rick Lennert and Adrianne Dartnall, a warm and genuine couple from Nanaimo BC, who have partnered with CEF on projects in Cambodia. Rick and Adrianne spoke about how they turned grief over the loss of their only daughter to a drunk driver in 2000 into a mission which has helped hundreds of children in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, through their nonprofit organization K.I.D.S. International Development Society.

Their most recent project with CEF and another non-profit organization in Cambodia resulted in the opening on February 22, 2012 of a floating medical clinic. The clinic travels to serve six villages over a distance of 20 to 25 kilometres in the remote Stung Sen River in Cambodia, an area which is accessible primarily by water and is subject to extensive flooding in the rainy season. Thanks to the efforts of K.I.D.S. International and CEF, 20-25,000 people, who in Rick and Adrianne’s words “live in terribly difficult physical conditions, have little food … no clean water and little support”, now have access to health care. With the clinic, the people are educated about basic sanitation. The clinic administers antibiotics and other medicine without which people would previously go blind or deaf largely due to waterborne diseases. In this area where many babies do not survive the first year, mothers now receive pre and postnatal care and vitamins so that they can deliver healthy babies. The people receive huge emotional support knowing that the minor ailments which before might have killed them, can be treated.

Small surgeries are conducted at the clinic, however, serious medical issues have to be treated many miles away and Rick and Adrianne’s new wish is for a speedboat that can spirit those who need more advanced treatment to hospital. They are also planning to build new water systems in the area. Although surrounded by water in the Stung Sen River area, the people do not have access to good clean water. As so many of the illnesses are waterborne diseases, a solar-powered, filtered system is a pressing need.

Compassionate Eye Foundation and K.I.D.S. International are two amazing organizations that make good use of every nickel they receive and serve with passion and integrity. You can read more about their projects by visiting the above links. They deserve your support. And if you are looking for just the right image for your brochure, annual report or other corporate messaging, check out CEF’s photos at Getty Images which you can find on the righthand side of Compassionate Eye’s homepage at the link above.

Next post, more about Rick Lennert and Adrianne Dartnall.

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