Here is a direct link to a pdf of Man on a Mission, one of the stories Tallulah and I reported on while in El Salvador. The story is about Ken Dick, the founder of Speroway, which provides medical and dental care to the poor around the world.
Tallulah and I have been on numerous international reporting trips together, the most recent being El Salvador, a country in Central America that has long endured civil unrest. The nation is no longer at war, but violence still rages, with 12 murders every day in a country of about six million people.
Our purpose was to cover the work of the Canadian NGO Speroway, which was founded by Ken Dick of Ontario. One of the stories, a profile of Ken called “Man on a Mission,” was published in the September issue of CPA Magazine.
At an age when most people would be retired, Dick travelled to El Salvador to help on this medical and dental mission as well as open a Speroway-funded health centre outside the capital city San Salvador.
Every day, the Speroway team of dentists, physicians, nurses, technicians, paramedics and hygienists travelled to a new slum to help the poor with a myriad of health problems. Poverty prevents them from visiting physicians or dentists. Neglect of simple health problems means that things like cavities escalate into painful and sometimes life-threatening conditions.
Another reason for poor health is diet. El Salvadorans eat too much sugar and fat — largely because they have adopted a Western fast-food diet. In San Salvador, food chain outlets sit side by side — cheap and tempting. Most ubiquitous of all is sugary pop like Coca-Cola. The consequences are dire; children’s oral health declines, affecting their ability to eat and grow.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
“This slum, which sits on the city’s former garbage dump, was created by the survivors of El Salvador’s many natural disasters. There is no running water or sewage system. Toilets are holes in the ground; when they overflow, a new hole is dug. Few homes have electricity. There are few jobs. Teenage girls birth a succession of babies whose prospects are as bleak as their mothers’. Come nightfall, the slum becomes a hangout for gang members. This is a place, says Dick, where hope is dim. But something as simple as a visit to the dentist or doctor can reignite hope. “If you do not have your health, you can’t do anything else,” he says.”
And here are just a few of Tallulah’s photos:
I spent this past summer in my birthplace of Scotland, photographing the people and places of that spectacular country — a nation that has blessed the rest of the world with whisky, tartan, the philosophy of Adam Smith and David Hume and the literary works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K. Rowling.
I spent much of my time in Glasgow, which is home to a vibrant art scene, capturing images of this historical city, which is undergoing a cultural renaissance. I took photographs not only for my personal website, the World People Project, but captured images for a special photo essay for Montecristo, one of Canada’s must beautiful cultural magazines. Check it out: Glasgow’s Art Scene – Creation Centre.
Coming up in a month, Journeys to the Edge co-founder Roberta Staley will also have a feature in Montecristo, about the dangers facing the iconic resident orca whales due to increasing shipping tankers in our Pacific coastal waters.