our community work

Posted in Africa 2008 | 1 comment

We have just completed 2 weeks working in our 6 communities: Kiterere, Biswari, Bugango, Mtana, Sombyosoko, and Surubu.

We were always warmly greeted by the Village Chairman, elders and the people.

We saw our normal abundance of eager patients. Mostly advice was given, mediation and treatment was also give to those that needed it. We were able to transport some of the sicker patients to the hospital to see either Dr Joe, Dr Lisa or Dr Winani. One of the major problems ithin the communities is lack of resources or money for access to the hospital. Like last year we saw a plethra of elderly patients with chronic arthritis, this is a continuing prolem due to our inability to provide a continuing supply of non steroidals and analgesia. We all find this simple problem personally confronting. We were able to supply some short term analgesia for these people. The usual numbers of people with cataracts returned to us again, hoping we had a doctor that could treat them. We need elbow crutches!!!! The need for them is huge!!!! Thank goodness for Bomani from Elimika, we have him makig some for the really desparate. Bomani is also making us 3 tricycles for our polio cripples we see.

We are developing a bee keeping project in the Surubu community for the men’s group. These men have tried to establish a honey making buisness to no avai due to lack of knowledge and equipment. We have set up a 2 week seminar on bee keeping with Rosaline Mussama at Mogabiri Agricultural College. Once this is completed we will provide the men with the necessary equipment. We are also setting up a brick making project with another men’s group in the Surubu community. We find that many have no jobs, and no income to even start any form of business. Once we set these people up we expect them to be self sustainable, therefore we give them no futher support, they will be able to support themselves.

The clothes in the container have gone to the women’s groups to give to the poor, orphans, widows and needy. We need more blankets, we never have enough. Almost every sinle person in these communities needs bankets. As for the knitted singlets for the children, tey are absolutely gorgeous, we see many children in need of them.Thanks everyone for giving us these valuable items for our communities, it really does make a difference.

Finally, there is a phenominal need to establish safe clean water to these communities. Unclean water is major cause of disease outside Malaria. Water is scarce. The young girls cart water for their families twice daily, often walking up to 5kms. They usually carry 20 L each time. The girls miss a lot of schooling because of the time it takes to carry water. They carry the water in drums on their heads. We also see the elderly women as well as the very  young girls carting water. There is no water harvesting any where. Wells are te best option to provide safe, reliable, clean water to these communities. The World Health Organisation states, every human being has the right to safe, clean drinking water. I see developing water in these communities as vital and our primary focus.

We had a meeting with Dr Winani and The Tarime Goodwill Foundation Board after our community work. They were most impressed with our work, and agree with us that the devlopment of safe water is the most pressing and most important part of our community work.

By Diana

One Comment

  1. Hi Diana .thinking of you lots and so impressed with the great and compassionate job you are involved in…I was aching to be a part of it and so related to your reaction to the woman who slept just on the hard mud hut floor in Kiterare….just a bed and the comfort of a blanket makes you feel so privileged! I can imagine Tasmania, the ball and all the comforts feel so distant and I know that feeling of just belonging to the village and being part of their lives. I found the circumcision stories brutal as always – its so hard to come to terms with the operation much less the ramifications of it for many young women. I think about the women who started an incontinent hospital in another country in Africa further north…its so unnecessary but hard to change the mindset behind the culture of it all. I am sorry i have taken so long to write but have only just organised a password – I find the medical work you are all doing to be so useful and am reminded again how the effect of good healthcare just snowballs out to affect lives so positively. also water and its constant need and how the lack of clean water and opportunity to access without the daily grind of walking and carrying – all your stories make me want to do more…
    If you are able to read this I will be so pleased because I want you to know you are in my thoughts and I am sending lots of love and wishes to you. I will write again soon love Margaret x

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