In terms of staying in touch, technology has clearly made us more connected to one another. However, for many our preoccupation, with these devices, is causing feelings of isolation, simply because we are prioritizing our online communities over face-to-face communication. It is strange to think that the obsession we have with technology, we would be connected but for many they feel unconnected. Is it as simple as sometimes not texting friends or sending out social media posts about what you are doing but, maybe to call them or meet for a catch up? What do you think?
Greetings, I am the KHC Resource Mobilizaton and PR Manager and have been with KHC for over 16 months. I am pleased to share with you what has been happening at Kawempe Home Care over the past three months.
“We first started KHC in 2007, when HIV/AIDS was a major issue and medical support for the most disadvantaged people in our communities was not readily accessible. Today, HIV and TB are manageable diseases, with cancer the major problem in our communities, particularly in the poorer rural areas, often due to late diagnosis and access to medical treatment. During our journey we have experienced tough times and today, it is very tough to provide our services to the community, but we are extremely grateful to all our supporters for staying connected with us. Thank you.” says Dr Sam.
Health Focus – Cervical Cancer
A report by the consortium of the Uganda Cancer Society (2018) has put the Cervical cancer burden in Uganda at 45 per every 100,000 compared to the global incidence of 15 women diagnosed with cancer per every 100,000 women.
The report revealed that more women in Uganda are presenting with cervical cancer than anywhere in the world. 90% of the cases are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. WHO in 2020, reported that in Uganda Primary Presentation was; 3 in 10 girls had received their final HPV dose and with Secondary Presentation Screening that fewer than 1 in 10 women have been screened for cervical cancer in the past 5 years.
How is KHC Helping?
KHC during April 2022 – March 2023 period: 265 women aged 25-49yrs were screened for cervical cancer for the first time and 168 women aged 25-49yrs were re-screened for cancer after a previous negative test. 51 positive cases were identified with 26 clients receiving treatment. The others are still being followed up for treatment.
Meet Gerald aged 2 years (left), this was when he arrived at the hostel in April with his grandfather. The good news is that he recently had an operation for the tumor behind his eye, and he is now well on the road to recovery.
During this quarter (April, May, June), the hostel supported 85 children and their caregivers, 2 children have completed their treatment, 1 child is in palliative care. Sadly, 9 children passed away, many of these children were receiving palliative care at home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these families at such a difficult time.
Our Local Communities Lend a Helping Hand.
To provide the necessary food and transport for the children at the hostel, we are extremely grateful to the local groups who are providing this support through in-kind donations. The hostel has a lot of mouths to feed!! Each month the hostel needs to have enough food for 5,400 meals. That is some grocery bill. So, these contributions of food are a lifeline for us in being able to feed the children and their caregivers. Not only does the hostel appreciated the support from the local groups but the children also enjoy welcoming visitors to the hostel. Especially when they also join in celebrating someone’s birthday and share a birthday cake!!
Happy Birthday Roselyn
Namuyanja Nakato Roselyn recently celebrated her 25th birthday with the children at the hostel. Roselyn is a nurse and is currently doing a diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health. She was also a former Miss Tourism Busiro and Runner Up in Miss Tourism Buganda Kingdom.
Roselyn thought that a great way to really celebrate her birthday as well as helping others was to do a donation drive with the proceeds going to support the New Hope Children’s hostel. It ran from 17 Feb to 17 June and all the money raised provided food and other necessary items for the hostel. On June 18 Roselyn and some of her friends went to the hostel to celebrate her birthday with the children. It was a fun day with the visitors cooking breakfast and lunch for the children and their caregivers and of course the children loved the birthday cake!
“I love children and this year I came up with the idea of the Dr. Queen Foundation, with the vision of helping children battling life-threatening illnesses and undergoing devastating situations to also live a life they desire and attain their dreams like other children. I was happy and grateful to Kawempe Home Care for giving me and my team a chance to show support to the children at New Hope Children’s Hostel and most importantly to celebrate my birthday with the children.”
Thank you, Roselyn and your supporters for thinking of the children and including them in your celebration.
“Be My Hero Cancer Colour Run”
The #BeMyHeroCancerColorRun was organised by KHC partners (Uganda Child Cancer Foundation and Uganda Cancer Institute) and it took place on 14 May 2023. The money raised was to support families with children with cancer, to meet transport needs to access cancer treatment.
Not only were the KHC team keeping fit, but they also used their energy to support a great cause – cancer patients. The KHC team raised UGX 90,000 from buying the cancer-run kits. Well done Team KHC.
DFCU Bank (Special Assets Management team)
The team from DFCU bank, recently paid a visit to our hostel and generously provided food and a solar panel and other items for the hostel. Thank you for the support you provided, it is very much appreciated.
We were very pleased that DFCU Bank as part of its Community Social Responsibility, this year chose to support New Hope Children’s hostel.
The team leader Susan Sewanyana said, “We are grateful to have made a positive impact to the lives of these young ones and we pray that they become well and live a full life.”
Thank you for your wonderful support for the children.
International Women’s Organisation has been a great supporter of our hostel and we are honoured to be associated with this organisation, which does a lot for the communities. This time around, not only did they provide food for the children, they also donated a much-needed centrifuge to our medical laboratory and they plan to donate more food to the hostel during the year. We are blessed.
Thank you Watoto Church Kanyanya Cell and also Ninsiima Racheal for your continued support of in-kind donations for the children.
Medical Supplies well received.
One of the important tasks at the hostel each morning is the hostel nurse does a medical check on each of the children and dresses any wounds etc. This is before they travel to UCI for their cancer treatment.
Rose Bahati and Rodney recently donated medicines and other medical supplies eg boosters, wound dressers, masks etc to the hostel to help with this important medical care for the children. Thank you Rose and Rodney for these much-needed items.
Children Caring for Cancer Nansana is a group of devoted young girls at the University whose mission is to provide care and support to children with cancer. They recently provided much need food items.
Thank you very much for allowing us to be part of your mission.
Healing Water Church
Healing Water Church led by Pr. Brendah Wabwire is a longtime supporter of the New Hope Children’s Hostel. Each month the group has donated food for the children and this has contributed enormously to us being able to provide a nutritious meal for the children and their caregivers. Thank you to the Healing Water Church for your wonderful continuous support.
Sharon (left) and Rachael met at the New Hope Children’s hostel and have become close friends. Friendships at the hostel are very important as friends provide comfort and emotional support during treatment, and they are able to share their experiences and talk to someone who knows what they are going through.
Sharon came to us as she had unusual swelling in her throat which caused her to have trouble with her breathing. UCI diagnosed that it was non-cancerous however, she still required an operation and was sent to a different hospital. Her family were required to pay for the after-surgery medicines and medical equipment for her stay in intensive care.
KHC reached out to an organisation called Rehema Health Foundation lead by Bishop Watolya Vincent, who is a Ugandan ambassador for patient advocacy, and requested some financial support for Sharon’s hospital costs. They provided the financial support and Sharon has been admitted for the surgery. This support from the Foundation will make a big difference to Sharon’s health outcomes. Thank you. We will keep you posted on Sharon’s progress.
Volunteering is Life Changing
At KHC we are privileged to host both local and international volunteers. Certainly, the pandemic put a halt to many traveller’s plans for several years.
Two of our long-time partners, Tom and Carol from Australia, who first started supporting us in 2009, spent the month of April with us.
“We enjoy our time here with the staff and children at the hostel. It feels like being home again. We were last here in 2019. We have so much admiration for the work that KHC does and how important this work is for those people who cannot afford access to medical treatment. My role is “Minister for Good Times!” That is, making sure the staff maintain their energy throughout the day by providing them with biscuits and sweets. The children in the hostel look forward to a lolly pop and fresh fruit. We know that there is little we can actually do to make the children’s lives easier, but we try and provide them with a fun experience when we are here.
We are pleased that our family and friends are sponsoring 40 children’s school education and it is rewarding to go to the schools and see the children” says Tom.
Meanwhile Carol’s focus is supporting staff with projects where the Management team feel she can assist. Also, this time she ran a training day for 20 staff on “Authentic Leadership”.
“For most of us one of the most difficult tasks is to know ourselves, which requires us to look at how our life experiences have shaped who we are. You may have heard the expression “They were born to lead”? There are many studies that attempt to determine the definitive leadership styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. None of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader as the ideal leader is different for every person and each leader has their own personal life experiences that shape who they are” says Carol.
Sarah Komugisha, KHC Medical Manager & Board Member (Founders Representative), recently was appointed as Hope Creator President of the local rotary club Kireka Movers. Congratulations Sarah.
“I have always held a deep affection for Rotary. I had the privilege of serving as a Rotaractor with the Butabika Rotary Club, and from 1999 -2000, I held the position of Charter Vice President. I was too young to become a Rotarian, so, I took a break from Rotary. In 2019, I was delighted to learn that a new Rotary club had started at Sports View and felt an immediate interest in rejoining. I became a member of Kireka Movers, where I have since held various positions, including Charter Membership Officer in 2020, Vice President in 2021, and now, as the President-elect for 2022 -2023, I am poised to assume the role of the next Hope Creator President.
” While our membership numbers currently stand at a modest 24, we are committed to diligently expanding our membership to 34 or more in this rotary year. We will actively engage in networking with other clubs at local and international levels, prioritize the completion of ongoing projects while initiating new ones“ says Sarah. Congratulations Sarah, you will provide amazing leadership for the club as you do now for Kawempe Home Care.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the amazing people who have over the past three months made an amazing difference. Also, to our friends who continue to sponsor the school fees for the disadvantaged and orphaned children. Often this is an area where sponsors have to drop out as they are unable to continue to pay the fees.
Yes, we like many others are facing tough times but as you can see, we are so grateful to have friends and supporters who believe in what we do and provide so much support. Thank you and God Bless.