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Whats new at Korle-Bu?

Screenshot 2023-05-03 at 9.38.43 AM
April update from Korle – Bu Neuroscience Foundation.

We have been loading containers, filled with lifesaving medical supplies and equipment for 23 years. Many remember those early loading days fondly—loads that started Friday evening and finished late on Saturdays. Over the years, we have added strength and systems, and this past month, we loaded our last container in about two hours! Everything had been prepped by our amazing staff and volunteers and when it came time to load, it was all ready.

Our hopes are to ship 8-10 containers to West Africa this year, including hundreds of much-needed hospital beds. That will require ALL of us to do our part.

In June, KBNF will host a historic delegation of visiting neurosurgeons and innovators in the health care industry—visionaries and pioneers in their fields. It will culminate in a Gala Dinner at Mintara restaurant on Burnaby Mountain on Friday, June 16. (Stay tuned for more details!)

Now, pour yourself a cup of something wonderful and enjoy this month’s newsletter.

“We received our first shipment for 2023 on the 3rd of April,” said Helen Charles-Tangar, our Operations Coordinator in Liberia. “We had an amazing team working to make sure our offload was smooth and successful.”

The container was off-loaded with the help of Prison Ministry volunteers and distributed in several major towns, counties and clinics.

This container also distributed much needed supplies to:
– World Hope International
 – New Hope Pregnancy Center
 – Rainbow Clinic
 – JFK Medical Centre
 – JFD Medical Centre
 – ELWA Hospital

“All our beneficiaries happily received their supplies,” Helen added. “A big thank you to our team in Canada for putting in the work to help save lives in Liberia.”


This year, after our last surgical mission in January, for the first time ever, KBNF hired a nurse from JFK Medical Centre to provide post-operative medical care to the patients. We have noticed that patients would benefit from ongoing nursing support, both in hospital and transitioning back to the community. We wondered what would happen if we devoted a full-time nurse to do post-operative care for a whole month? Gwendolyn was hired and placed on our payroll for the month of February.

For Gwendolyn, visiting patients at their homes, became a very special part of her nursing experience.

Here’s what she learned:

“Since becoming a nurse,” she said, “I’ve never had the time to visit my patients at their residences, to know them personally and be a part of their recovery story. Even though I was working, the experience of spending time with them at their homes was exciting.”

“I am grateful that almost all of the patients’ recovery process was good and their wounds were properly cared for and treated. All of their major concerns during their recovery process were immediately channelled to Dr. Alvin Nah Doe for quick intervention.

With this experience and what I’ve learned, I have promised myself to make a follow-up visit on my patients whenever I’m off duty. I’ve come to understand that reaching out to your patients after they have been discharged from the hospital, makes them feel important and helps their recovery.

I want to take this time to extend my thanks and appreciation to God first and to you for affording me the opportunity to work with KBNF for a period of one month. It was indeed a great experience. I am truly grateful.”

Here Gwendolyn (on right) is with Marj Ratel, our KBNF President and Founder (left), attending to a patient in Liberia.
Idelette McVicker is our new Volunteer and Admin Coordinator. Be sure to connect with her when you join us at the warehouse! Email her at

We are excited to announce the appointment of Idelette McVicker as our new KBNF Volunteer and Admin Coordinator. Idelette joins us from her previous position as founder and president of SheLoves Media Society. She is an author, a community builder and has a heart for the world. She was born and raised in South Africa and her family still lives there. She worked in Taiwan as a journalist for nearly five years, before moving to Canada in 1999. She is married to Scott and they have 3 teenagers, 2 dogs and a restaurant. She’s also an avid pickleball player!

Be sure to connect with Idelette via

On Saturday, May 27, come join us for the Spring Garden Party at Southlands Riding Club from 3-6pm. Tickets are $10 for inviduals and $25 per family. We look forward to spending time together!

When did you start volunteering with KBNF?
I started with KBNF about one and a half years ago. My friend Val Rai introduced me to KBNF through Joanna, the former Volunteer Coordinator.

Why do you volunteer with KBNF?
I volunteer because I truly enjoy helping people. I love working in a team environment and I love knowing that it’s very much needed in the world.

What motivates you to keep going?
When we’re all together, it’s actually fun. We laugh, we work, and we eat sometimes too! Also, I play ball hockey at 8pm on Mondays nights, so it definitely gets me out and ready to go to play.

What is one story you can share from your time with KBNF?
Recently John, Shirley, and I moved equipment out of a storage unit that one of the doctors I work with needed. The three of us worked together in transporting that equipment—heavy examination tables—to KBNF. But first we stopped at the clinic where I work to drop off other examination tables for our clinic. I really appreciated that we not only helped KBNF, but also helped our clinic at Well Health. The point is, people at KBNF are very giving, generous, and that’s another reason I keep going.

A fun fact about me?
I’m Italian. I like to eat. People say I’m funny and I like making people laugh.

Dear Korle-Bu family,

We are so grateful for each and every one of you! We have so many big dreams and plans for this year and I dare say we have those dreams, because you have shown that you are with us on this journey.

We would love to grow our number of monthly donors and our community of regular volunteers. There’s something to do for everyone—from folding linens to scrubbing nursing carts, prepping beds, checking mattresses, sorting medical supplies and so much more. So, email us and let us know how you want to be part of building strength and enhancing health care in West Africa.

We are so grateful for you.


Rose Woller
Executive Director