India: Sonu, one of our greatest success stories

Sonu’s Story Continued

By Michael Matheke-Fischer, Director of Programs, RMF India

Sunday, November 20, 2011 was the first time I met Sonu. To me, he was a picture on a PowerPoint presentation, a picture that continues to shock me today. Sonu came into our program 15 months ago while I was in Delhi working on streamlining our administrative procedures and, more importantly, trying to raise more funds to help children like him. Fundraising and administrative work, while just as vital as the field work we engage in, is an ever present necessity shared by our small, but dedicated team.

Caitlin McQuilling told me about a case that had shocked even her. While sitting in Delhi, it was hard to hear the emotion in her voice. Days were spent monitoring his progress, coordinating with doctors, and attempting to diagnose exactly what was causing his dramatic wasting. All of this was terribly frustrating while sitting in meetings and pouring over budgets.

The team watched Sonu finally begin to improve, his weight gaining dramatically over three months until he was a healthy, even hefty, child.

Stories of Sonu floated around our house in Jhabua, and his example served as an inspiration to all of us to work harder, reach more children, and find out what we are capable of.

On Sunday, I met a child who could not possibly be the picture I had seen and shown so many times. There was no way, simply none, that such a child could have ever been as wasted and close to death as the picture I was so familiar with. Now back in the field, Sonu has turned in my mind from a stark example of the ravages of malnutrition to a child with a future, a face with expressions, and an energy that I will feed off of for the months to come. His sisters have taken to calling him “motapet” which in Hindi roughly means fat belly.

Even though budgets, PowerPoint’s, reports, and fundraising are still a large part of my job, at least now I have yet another example of why I do it!

For more information about RMF’s Malnutrition Eradication Program in India, click here

We can use any financial help you are able to provide on this project to continue our Education,Treatment and Outreach and help toward our goal of Malnutrition Eradication in this region of India.

To contribute to this initiative, please click Donate button or visit our website at


RMF joins with Discover Communications for their Billion + Change Event











RMF is very proud to be selected by Discovery Communications for their Billion +Change Event happening this Wednesday and Thursday.  For full description of this wonderful pro-bono event see below.

Tammy Shea,

– Employees to donate creative services at 12-hour marathon event supporting nonprofit missions –

Silver Spring, Md. – Discovery Communications today announced the nonprofit organizations selected to take part in the company’s annual pro bono initiative, Discovery Impact: Creating Change. During this 12-hour creative marathon, employees will lend their talents in marketing, communications, creative design services, social media and video production to help the organizations with their promotional goals. The second annual Creating Change marathon will be held at Discovery’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland on November 9.

Discovery has selected 24 non-profit partners to receive design and communications services this year. The organizations serve a number of community needs, including helping the homeless, working with disabled veterans, preventing domestic violence and promoting literacy. In order to address the needs of all the organizations who applied, Discovery has created a series of workshops and roundtables covering a multitude of topics including Social Media and Press Strategy to be held during the event on November 9. All organizations that applied to Discovery Impact: Creating Change will be invited to attend these workshops.

“Discovery’s greatest assets are our talented, creative employees and Creating Change allows us to harness the passion and skills of our workforce to help nonprofit organizations with their marketing and communications needs,” said David Leavy, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Global Communications. “We are humbled by each of the organizations that applied to Creating Change and the extraordinary work they do to make our world a better place.”

Additionally, key Discovery partner Thinkstock ( an image subscription site from Getty Images, will donate imagery from their library for use in print and online campaigns for the nonprofits, and Killer Tracks (, will provide use of their music library for PSAs and videos.
Creating Change is one of several Discovery Impact initiatives that leverage the power of Discovery’s brands, businesses and employees to make a direct impact on the communities in which we live and work. Discovery Impact enables employees to honor the company’s founder, John Hendricks’ original vision to make a difference by giving back to the source of Discovery’s greatest stories and most stunning images, our world.

Other Discovery Impact initiatives include Discover Your Impact Day, an annual day of global employee volunteerism, Discover Your Skills, a campaign to provide critical resources for obtaining job skills to the unemployed and underemployed, and a comprehensive disaster relief program. Most recently, Discovery launched Rebuilding Alabama, a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham where 125 Discovery employees from across the US worked together with on-air talent to rebuild five homes affected by the devastating tornados last spring.

Please find below the complete list of the nonprofit partners who will be participating in Discovery Impact: Creating Change. To learn more about these organizations, please view:  in the upcoming weeks

Achieving the Dream
Northern Virginia Family Service
Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART)
Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, MD Inc.
One Warm Coat
Colorbars Network, Inc.
Hero Dogs, Inc.
Real Medicine Foundation
Community Bridges League of Women Voters
Shenandoah National Park Trust
Computer C.O.R.E.
Literacy Council of Prince George’s County
DC Diaper Bank
Lydia’s House in Southeast
The Shepherd’s Table
Global Zero
Men Can Stop Rape
GlobalGiving Foundation
National Network to End Domestic Violence
Wider Opportunities for Women

About Discovery Impact
Through its Discovery Impact programs, Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) leverages the power of its brands, businesses and employees to give back to the world. From programming that inspires and educates to annual events that make a direct impact on the communities in which we live and work, Discovery strives to celebrate, support and sustain the majesty of the earth’s people, animals and natural beauty. For more information about how Discovery is making an impact, please visit:

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 210 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 139 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as US joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including For more information, please visit


Japan Relief Update: Photos and Field Report through September

by Jonathan White and RMF Partner Fumiko Tanaka at Japanese Emergency NGO

Geographic Locations

Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture

Taking Care of Local Students during Summer Vacation


Approximately 1,690 individuals, employees of 7 local companies, 11 households and the residents of 11 communities of Ishinomaki were reached by JEN’s activities during this period.


1) Volunteer Dispatch

  • Supported by 2,890 volunteers, JEN has completed removing rubble and sludge from a total of 196 buildings in Ishinomaki City. JEN dispatched volunteers to clean places such as houses, an office and a factory.


  • JEN was requested to send volunteers to help hold a sports event at Oshika Junior High-School. The tasks involved weed removal, setup for the event, food tray service and participation in the event.


  • Starting of an Aqua-Farming project in the Sameura area of the Oshika Peninsula, 108 additional JEN volunteers were dispatched to help fishermen on the port.


2) Psychosocial Care through Community Space

JEN has been providing community spaces where evacuees can gather for activities and share their experiences as psycho-social care. There are currently 3 places where activities have begun as pilot projects in the existing communities, and 8 at transitional shelter compounds.

<Nakayashiki Space>


  • Homework support for children by university students from Tokyo has been ongoing throughout the reporting period. In addition to homework support, classes for Japanese calligraphy and balloon art were held for the children. This space held between 10 and 20 students every day during the summer vacation.


  • JEN provided soup kitchen and massage services for the local people including residents of temporary housing. On September 13th, nearly 50 meals were provided and relaxation services were offered to 10 people.


  • Some new services including health checkup and a handicraft class began during the reporting period. The handicraft classes have been popular especially among housewives.


  • JEN proceeded with the preparation for the first workshop on September 17th.


  • JEN contributed an article to a monthly social educational magazine on its community support project in Nakayashiki that will be published on September 15th.

All photos JEN Copyright


<Kazuma Space>

  • The Kazuma festival was held on August 20th and attracted a large number of local residents. 4 food stalls were opened and all their food was sold out. In addition, a famous singer gave a performance to encourage the residents.


  • The meetings regarding the construction of a community café in Kazuma Space were continuously arranged with donors and local self-governing bodies. A “jichin-sai”, a Shinto ceremony to purify the building site and offer prayers, was also held.


<Koganehama Space>

  • The first workshop at the Koganehama Space and neighboring areas was held on September 4th. The workshop focused on the things to do right now and the long-term reconstruction plans.


  • JEN provided massage service for the local residents. Acupuncture practitioners were invited this time and their service was quite popular among the residents. Moreover, new programs such as cooking or handcraft class are being considered.


<Transitional Shelters>

As part of the community space projects, the following events were held in the temporary housing areas: tea party, massage service and legal counseling. Some tea parties called ‘Ochakkonomi’ in local dialect were held inviting local elderly mothers to chat over the tea for socializing purposes.

Economic Recovery Assistance

Rubble Clearance through Assisting Local Waste Management Contractors

JEN lent 4-ton garbage cars to Katsumata Transport, the Watanabe Cleaning Service Company and the Suzukyu Recycle Shop. A 4-ton damp car will be handed over to the Ishinomaki Waste Disposal Center.

Assistance of Small to Mid-size Local Businesses

JEN has decided to conduct assistance for building temporary shopping streets in Ayukawahama. The meeting on the contents of the project and how the project will develop in the future was held between JEN and the commerce and industry association in the area on August 23rd. To acquire cooperation from the public administration, the meeting with Mr. Okada, a head of the Oshika Branch of the Ishinomaki City Council, was also arranged. JEN confirmed the project site and gained the agreement on the implementation of the project from Mr. Okada. The next steps for the project will be: acquirement of permission in writing on the use of the town-owned land, selection of contractors, cost estimates on prefabricated houses, order for construction work and arrangement of contract documents and minutes.

Material Distribution

JEN distributed vegetables to 80 households (260 people) in the Higashihama area of Oshika Peninsula. 280 loaves of bread were also distributed to the area from a bread factory in Ayukawahama.

For more information about our Japan Relief Efforts click here

If you are interesting in donating to the earthquake/tsunami relief efforts with our partner JEN in Japan, click on Donate below.

Real Medicine receives “Charity of the Year” Finalist Nomination..We need your vote!

In recognition of our organization’s Malnutrition Eradication Project in India, we have been nominated as a “Charity of the Year” for the CLASSY Awards , sponsored by StayClassy  organization.  We need your help to vote for our organization so that we can progress from the list of 25 finalists to the final 10!

To vote for us, please visit this webpage: , click on “Charity of the Year” and scroll down until you see Real Medicine Foundation and click on the “Vote” button.  It also allows you to vote for charities in other categories as part of your ballot if you would like.

The CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide. StayClassy has published each nomination as it’s own article on the CLASSY Awards Achievement Blog to put a national spotlight on these amazing stories of achievement. Starting July 25th, America will vote for one winner in each of the 12 categories. The winners will be announced live during a Hollywood-esque award ceremony in San Diego, CA, similar in style to the Academy Awards, but philanthropy-inspired. 

For more information about our Malnutrition Eradication Project and the video that we submitted as part of our award nomination, watch on YouTube here .

Voting lasts until August 25th, so please help us spread the word!

The Team at Real Medicine

The first two months of our new clinic in Gulbella, Pakistan

by Dr. Zahoor Uddin and Dr. Rubina Mumtaz

Real Medicine Foundation in collaboration with the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) established a primary health clinic in Gulbella, Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, aiming to provide free health services at the unit for the Pakistan flood affectees.

This clinic was established in a record short period of time – 7 days – and was formally inaugurated by Dr. Rubina Mumtaz, Country Director, RMF Pakistan, on December 19, 2010. People of the area consider the establishment of the BHU a noble act on the part of the RMF/APPNA since health has always been one of the basic and the most important issues of the region. The facility treats an average of around 50 patients a day.

From December 15th, 2010 through January 30th, 2011, 1,897 patients were diagnosed and treated at the RMF- APPNA Basic Health Unit, Gulbella, 38% of these patients were males and 62% females. 7% of the all patients were children. 19 women came for antenatal visits, 86 women visited the clinic for OB/GYN problems, and 15 women came to receive advice on family planning.

The response of the community has been very positive. They appreciate the presence of a doctor and Lady Health Visitor (LHV) who handles female related diseases (maternal cases). There were few medical facilities available in the region only far from their homes

Being poor, people were unable to hire vehicles to get to the health centers. They perceive the establishment of the Basic Health Unit at their door steps as nothing less than a blessing. And the people are therefore very thankful to RMF and APPNA for the establishment of the facility.

For more information on this initiative visit our website here

More blogs on RMF’s  flood relief efforts and medical outreach camps in Pakistan can be found here: 1st2nd3rd and 4th,  5th and 6th,  7th and 8th9th and 10th, 11 and 12th

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or become a fundraiser for us at

To contribute to this or any of our other initiatives, please click the Donate button below or through our website at

Last 3 days to give!

If you were considering donating to a worthy cause in 2010 and taking advantage of the tax benefits of charitable donations, now is your last chance to contribute!

As we look towards new efforts and projects in 2011 it is only through your generous funding that we will be able to continue our long term development projects in some of the poorest areas on this planet.

As you know, we have set the goal of raising $100,000 by December 31st, and would greatly appreciate if you consider Real Medicine for your year-end donation.

In the spirit of Real Medicine Foundation’s concept of “Friends helping Friends helping Friends” so much is possible when we do it together.

From all of us here at Real Medicine: Thank you for your support!

Make your year-end donation now.

Passion and Purpose: An Interview with Brandi Howell, Member of Athletes for Real Medicine

Get to know the Athletes for Real Medicine through the “Passion and Purpose” interview series.  Leading up the the L.A. Marathon, we will be posting monthly interviews as well as additional Athletes for RMF updates here on the Real Medicine Foundation blog.   So, stay tuned…

Interview with Athletes for Real Medicine team member Brandi Howell:

Athletes for Real Medicine team member, Brandi Howell

Q: How/why did you initially get involved with Real Medicine Foundation?

A: I attended a professional networking breakfast back in 2008 and was fatefully seated next to Real Med’s founder, Martina Fuchs.  When it was her turn to speak, she lit up with passion and conviction as she described her non-profit.  A bleeding heart myself, I was mesmerized by her compassion and dedication to this cause.  The Real Med initiatives of providing basic health care and education to impoverished people cried out to me.  I knew I had to be a part of it.  One year later, Martina and I were catching up over coffee and I mentioned that I was training for the 2010 L.A. Marathon.  She proposed that I run with Athletes for Real Med and of course I did.  That was the beginning of what I hope to be a long relationship with Real Medicine Foundation.

Q: What inspired you to run the L.A. Marathon in 2010 with Athletes for Real Medicine Official Charity Team?

A:  When Martina mentioned that Athletes for Real Medicine needed more runners for the L.A. Marathon, it was November of 2009 and I was already training for the 2010 Boston Marathon.  I wanted to help out and was prepared to do so.  I have always been a runner, but running with an important cause in mind is a very different experience.  It creates the kind of inspiration that gives you shivers of joy and perseverance.  It motivates you to get out of bed at 7am on a cold Sunday morning to train with the team.  It gives meaning to the sweat and exhaustion that you must endure to finish the race.

Q: Tell us a little bit about Athletes for Real Medicine.

A:  Athletes for Real Medicine is a team of amazing individuals who have committed what little free time they have to training and fundraising for Real Medicine Foundation.  Whether they be moved by providing food to malnourished children in India or providing basic health care to low-income kids in Los Angeles, each team member is dedicated to bettering themselves and to serving those in need.

Q:  Real Medicine is in 15 different countries and involved with many different programs.  If you were going to visit one of RMF’s projects, which one would you choose and why?

A:  It would be difficult to choose just one because I am drawn to many of the programs and places.  I believe that it’s important to witness the hardships taking place in the rest of the world.  The more contact we have with these realities, the more inclined we are to work towards fixing the problems.  But, I might start with the HIV/Aids Outreach and Prevention Program in rural India.  Providing the Indian female sex workers with the tools to protect themselves and those with whom they come into contact is an initiative of utmost importance.

Q:  You’re planning on running the L.A. Marathon in 2011.  Is there any particular country or cause that you’re fundraising for?

A:  I am just trying to raise as much money as I can and will let directors of Real Medicine Foundation figure out which program needs it the most.  I trust their judgement.

Q:  Do you have any running/training secrets that help you to prepare for the big day?

A:  A few of the more important tips would be to train consistently and gradually.  Trying to rush into a 10 mile run is a sure way of getting injured.  Listen to your body and be easy on yourself.  If you feel pain or fatigue, take an extra day off and ice your sore spots.  Stretch, stretch, stretch.  I’m also a dedicated yogi, so I truly believe in stretching out and massaging your muscles.  Cross-training is also important.  Take at least one day a week to hike, ride bikes, swim…whatever you enjoy.

Q:  What words of wisdom would you share with the first-time marathoners out there?

A:  Have fun with it!  The journey is the destination–the inner journey of long-distance running is a great opportunity to be introspective and observe the mind, its challenges, highs, lows, and fleeting euphoric moments…it’s a trip.  And remember that running is as mental as it is physical.  So, when your mind starts to defeat you, find inspiration wherever you can.  Think about something bigger than you, like saving lives in Africa…

For more information about RMF’s Athletes for Real Medicine, click here.

Folllow us on Twitter or our Athletes for Real Medicine Facebook page or our Group page on Facebook

To contribute to RMF, please click the Donate button below or visit our website at

Haiti Fundraiser NYC, December 16th: RMF selected as beneficiary by Urban Zen

Urban Zen Center

711 Greenwich Street

New York City

Real Medicine Foundation is proud to announce that we have been designated as a beneficiary for the Hope Help Relief for Haiti “The Truth” fundraising event.  Our relief and long term capacity building projects in Haiti will be the sole beneficiaries of any proceeds given to RMF.

Urban Zen Foundation’s Hope Help Relief Haiti for The Truth is a multimedia art exhibition which will provide Gifts of Love to the people of Haiti.

The Truth, a group art exhibit curated by renowned fashion photographer Marc Baptiste, strives to capture the whole story of Haiti and was born of Marc’s vision to share the message of this country’s rich culture and artisans.

The Haitian community is strong and its artistic roots run deep. This is a celebration of people helping people, hope, courage, commitment, dignity, and the truth of survival. The artwork to be included in the art exhibit and auction is a diverse collection of works by Haitians, Haitian American, and Haitian-inspired artists. A total of 22+ contributing artists present works that include photographic images from before and after the earthquake, fine art photography, paintings, masks, and a slideshow presentation, short films, interviews and footage of Haiti.

All proceeds raised from The Truth Cultural Exhibition will benefit Urban Zen’s Hope Help & Relief Haiti mission.

PDF document describing the event and exhibition Haiti Hope Help Urban Zen

For more information and to register for this event click here:

Read our last blog update from Haiti

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or become a fundraiser for us at

To contribute more information about our Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts,

To contribute to this initiative, please click Donate button or visit our website at

Hot off the presses: Our 2009/2010 Annual Report!

For full PDF version of our report, please click on the link below:


Google announces our grant as part of Clinton Global Initiative

From Google’s official blog yesterday, Google announced at the opening ceremonies of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that they would be providing $1 million in charitable grants to support the relief efforts in Pakistan.  The announcement mentions Real Medicine along with the 8 other non-profit organizations that Google has chosen to be partners in their first round of support.  We again are very thankful and proud that Google has chosen us to be one of their partners in this ongoing relief effort in Pakistan.

As mentioned in Google’s blog:

“As part of our CGI commitment this year, Google is providing $1 million in charitable grants, as well as technology support to help the people of Pakistan recover from these floods. Roughly one-third of our grants support organizations providing clean water, shelter, medical care and other immediate needs, while two-thirds will be focused on longer-term rebuilding efforts. Partners for the first round of support include: A.S. Edhi International Foundation, Architects for Humanity, CARE, The Citizens Foundation, Naya Jeevan for Kids, Real Medicine Foundation, SIUT North America, Sungi Development Foundation and UM Healthcare Trust.”

“At the opening ceremony of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) this morning, President Clinton discussed the urgent need to help the people of Pakistan recover from widespread floods which have affected more people than the 2004 South Asia tsunami, the 2005 South Asia earthquake, and the Haiti earthquake combined. The floods have put one-fifth of the land underwater, impacting more than 20 million people, damaging or destroying 1.9 million homes, putting 3.5 million children at risk of waterborne diseases, and wiping out livestock and crops.

Unfortunately the global response has been anemic. While U.S. corporations, foundations and individuals responded admirably to the earthquake in Haiti by donating $900 million in the first five weeks after the disaster, that same group donated $25 million to Pakistan in the first five week weeks after the floods hit. In an interview with citizens hosted by YouTube, President Clinton called for a dramatically increased global response.”

For the full text of the Google announcement click here.

For more information about the Clinton Global Initiative, click here.

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For more information about our Flood Relief Efforts, please visit our website.

To contribute to our Flood Relief Efforts, please click the Donate button below or through our website at