Foundation for World Care
By Maria DiDanieli with Dr. Robert Champagne
By Maria DiDanieli with Dr. Robert Champagne
If you visit the website for the Chiropractic for the World Foundation,
(www.chiropracticfortheworld.org), you will notice a small cluster of
coloured hands in the top left corner of the home page.
If you visit the website for the Chiropractic for the World Foundation, (www.chiropracticfortheworld.org ), you will notice a small cluster of coloured hands in the top left corner of the home page. Each hand represents one of the continents on our planet and the intent of the organization to bring chiropractic to even the remotest corners of each of these lands.
|The Ghana 2012 team standing in front of the school in Offinso, mostly funded by generous Canadian chiropractors|
Chiropractic for the World is a registered Canadian charity that comprises dedicated and committed chiropractors from across Canada who are passionate about serving mankind through chiropractic. Collectively, the group’s mission is to bring the gift of chiropractic to as many people as they possibly can.
To date, Chiropractic for the World has made multiple chiropractic trips to countries such as Ghana in west Africa, and several doctors and volunteers have already committed for an upcoming trip to Rwanda in early October 2012 as well as a return trip to Ghana in November 2012. During these trips, the DCs adjust numerous people in remote areas always explaining chiropractic and empowering people with the knowledge that the power that made the body heals the body. The participants on each trip also bring much needed supplies (such as clothing, books, school supplies, laptops, soccer balls and uniforms, etc.) that are disbursed to the various communities visited.
Canadian Chiropractor recently caught up with Dr. Robert Champagne, one of the founding members of the Chiropractic for the World foundation. (Catching up with this dynamic and dedicated healer was no easy feat!) Having been in practice for over 30 years, he eventually felt inspired to develop a chiropractic charitable foundation that would help expand chiropractic to all nations of the world. As well, he notes that the world is ready for what chiropractic has to offer!
Although much can be read about the foundation’s work on its website – including how to become involved – in this interview, Dr. Champagne discusses the essence of the organization’s experience in such a way that one feels connected to the people whose lives they have so deeply touched.
The big idea
When asked to describe the mission and how it came about, Dr. Champagne refers to his colleague, Dr. Paul Bickert, who had originally approached him to develop a primary/secondary school in Offinso, Ghana. During this process, it became evident that this was the perfect opportunity for other DCs to donate, support and participate in a charity that was congruent with chiropractic principles and values.
|Dr. Robert Champagne with a patient in Ghana.|
“Chiropractic for the World foundation was, thus, born!” says Dr. Champagne. “Thanks to the generous financial support of the early donors, the school was opened in November 2010 and the chiropractic trips began.”
“We saw this as an opportunity for all chiropractors to unite toward a common goal and mission, under one affiliation – chiropractic!” he says over the phone from his home in DeWinton Alberta. “We also want to inspire people in other countries toward the profession. We hoped that some would decide to become chiropractors themselves!”
The chiropractors began by drawing on their own resources of time and money – and continue to do so – and since their Canadian charitable registration in 2009, they have also been able to invite other DCs, their patients, and chiropractic organizations, to participate in the cause either by joining, or by helping to sponsor a DC to go on one of the trips. Dr. Champagne stresses the idea of “perpetual chiropractic trips”, rather than touch down on a location once and, then, never visit again.
“The model is to visit an area and then to revisit it again after some months. This will provide continuity of care for the residents in the area while building on the concepts we teach them. It also gives us an opportunity to build relationships with local government officials and other health practitioners, and gain their support for what we do.”
The foundation’s pilot effort targeted several remote destinations in Ghana.
“The aim was to target populations in remote areas that might have no access to care,” explains Dr. Champagne, “knowing that there is some minimal chiropractic presence in the two larger cities of Ghana (approximately four chiropractors, in all), up to 12 hours away from the cities and towns that we serve.”
How much success have you met with, to date?
If you want to light up Dr. Champagne’s day, ask him how the foundation has been received by local residents in the areas they have visited, as well as how people have responded to care.
“The reception we get as chiropractors is very positive,” he notes with a smile in his voice, “and, each time we return, more and more people are eagerly waiting with open arms. The medical profession in these areas is very open to chiropractic – they don’t have the political binds that MDs experience in our culture. In this context, chiropractic is celebrated as opposed to being tolerated. Government officials and doctors in the area are excited to incorporate chiropractic as part of their health care system.”
“As for the response to care, the results we get are incredible,” continues Dr. Champagne, becoming somewhat more thoughtful. “In developing countries, we still see the amazing results that were reported by our chiropractic pioneers. Life is much simpler, with less physical, chemical and emotional stresses…that’s why the results are so amazing. It has been postulated that one adjustment in a developing nation is often worth 10 to 20 adjustments in North America.
“We are not charging a fee for our adjustments. This is our gift to them! There exists however, a law of exchange. Within every human being is a deep-seated desire to trade or barter. We are inherently always exchanging. Exchange is the natural process of life. Because we understand this law, in exchange for their adjustments, we are providing the people who can and so desire an opportunity to donate something that will benefit their community. This money is not for us. Chiropractic for the World Foundation ultimately chooses which project or cause these donations will go to.
“On our most recent trip, we had the privilege of having a very gifted photographer with us, to help us record our experiences,” he continues. “Andras Schram is a very busy and successful professional photographer who actually volunteered his time to join us on our chiropractic trips and take pictures of what we do and where we go. From this, we have a visual record of our visits with each community.
“As well, Clarke Shroeder, one of the owners of Intoria (our website developers) also took the time out of his busy schedule to donate his expertise in documenting the trip.”
At the time this article is being written, Dr. Champagne and the other Chiropractic for the World volunteers have just returned from yet another chiropractic trip in Ghana. He cites this trip as being a particular success for a number of reasons.
“As I mentioned before,” he says, “the reception we had was amazing and the responses to care were inspiring! We travelled approximately 2700 kilometres through remote areas of Ghana and we were able to reach some magnificent people.”
“But, in addition,” he continues, “this time there was more talk of opportunities to open permanent clinics there and to have DCs come in to the area on a rotating basis. None of this is concrete, but we continue to communicate with officials, in the area, who are interested in making this happen.
“As I’ve said, there are chiropractors practising in Ghana already, but these are in the larger cities. The idea behind these clinic projects would be to make chiropractic available to people in more remote areas.
“Overall, the trip was a great success and we look forward to returning to the area. This is a perpetual chiropractic trip!”
How can DCs in Canada become involved?
Chiropractors can visit www.chiropracticfortheworld.org or call 1-866-949-4488 to find out how to become involved with the organization or to help fund a trip.
“As Dr. BJ Palmer said, ‘We never know how far-reaching something we may think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.’ We want to give everyone on this planet the opportunity to receive chiropractic care but we also want to empower everyone by teaching them the concepts behind chiropractic.
“We need money and sponsors to fulfill our goals. Your financial generosity is key!” says Dr. Champagne, “and all donations and sponsorship are eligible for a tax receipt. Contact us if you are interested in finding out how you can become a sponsoring office and fund your chiropractic trip with your donations. We will also put a link to your clinic on our website. Every little bit counts – this is not about us, it’s about them!”
“The world is ready for chiropractic!” he concludes. “People are ready for what we have to offer as a profession!”