March Blog 2023- Think Positive, Be Positive…..

It had been hoped that 2023 may herald a better year for the world. Our thoughts go out to the families who have been impacted by the recent earthquake devastation in Türkiye and Syria border region. And to the families that are caught up in armed conflicts and the yearlong war between Russia and Ukraine, with no sign that it will end soon.

It is very important that we continue to have hope that things will get better. Hope is about positive beliefs when we have a clear goal in mind. It’s about a belief that we can overcome challenges, adversity, and hostility. People with spiritual beliefs, hope is closely tied together with their faith.

The incredible Desmond Tutu once said: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” 

 What Happens if you think positive and be positive?

Cope with stress faster and more effectively – by not dwelling on the negative, positive people look for solutions. When you find solutions, stress starts to dissipate.

Improved health – there’s evidence that positive thoughts boost resistance to disease and improves the ability to recover from health setbacks.

Better relationships with people – we’re drawn to positive people, so being positive brings more people into our lives. With a positive attitude, we’re also better at communication and negotiation.

Become more focused – with the power of positive thinking, you’re driven to achieve the things that matter to you. Tune out the noise, and ‘tune in’ to what needs to be done.

Feel more confident – positivity extends to your view of yourself and your value.  The more you believe in your own potential, opportunities will become available.

Experience more happiness – being positive brings you joy, optimism, and satisfaction. When you have a positive mindset, you notice and appreciate the beautiful things in life.

Talking of being positive, I would like you to meet a remarkable woman, many of you already know Anni Fjord from Denmark, who was one of the Co-Founders of KHC. Her medical career has taken her to many unusual destinations such as Yemen and Afghanistan. She has provided hope to many people, particularly those in poor war-torn countries. Anni was recognised for her services in 2019 when she was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal which honours exceptional nurses and nursing aides and recognizes in particular exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

KHC Co-Founders:

Dr. Sam Guma

 Far left: Sarah, Gerever, Anni, John, and Alice. 


Anni is currently back in Uganda catching up with her “Ugandan family”. We took the opportunity to speak with her.

How good is it to be back in Uganda/KHC?

I left Uganda with my family in 2008, since then I have been back 5 times last time was in 2016, it has just taken me too long to come back. To be received by smiles, hugs, songs and prayers is difficult to describe. It was very emotional, and I felt like I was home.

What changes have you seen at KHC?

I still feel this very positive spirit towards bringing hope and support to people in need- the same way we all felt in 2007, when KHC began. In my second week, I went on home and community visits with the staff. This has remained an important part of what KHC does. On the home visits you see the reality of the life of our clients, the living conditions, the lack of housing; family support; food; and the difficulties in adhering to the medication. Yet the staff do their very best to accommodate all these challenges and try to find solutions.

The wonderful way KHC staff treat their clients with respect and love goes straight to my heart. Often staff will donate small amounts to the most vulnerable (out of their own pocket), as they know the harsh conditions the clients face every day trying to survive.

Like most organisations, there is staff turnover, however, there is a core group that has remained. At times due to the lack of funding, it has been necessary to let staff go. KHC should be proud that they have nourished so many health workers who now are in higher positions in other organisations and using the skills they learnt at KHC. The key being the huge respect and care for clients.

In relation to HIV/AIDS I now see healthier HIV clients living a normal life, who previously had to take medication every 2 weeks. Many now have appointments 3 – 6 months. This has definitely reduced the pressure on the clinic.  KHC have identified 5 hotspots in the slum areas and the staff reach out to the most at risk population with weekly visits to one of the hotspots.

The people are tested and given medication if they are HIV and/or TB positive. Preventative work and counselling are key to assisting this group who are susceptible to HIV/TB. The key to the success of our project is meeting these people at risk in their own environment. Many do not have the means nor the courage to come to the clinic.

Another huge and very positive change is the establishment of the New Hope Children’s hostel for children with cancer. This is very unique for Uganda and to my knowledge there is only one other organisation doing the same kind of support. To see children from all corners of Uganda have a chance to get treatment for their cancer is heart-warming. The very positive collaboration KHC has with the Ugandan Cancer Institute (UCI) has seen a significant decrease in the defaulter rate. (This rate refers to the % of children that die and this is due to the severity of the cancer and to the late diagnosis/treatment. It is around 40% and the good news is that it is decreasing.)

Unfortunately, the biggest threat to the hostel’s survival is sufficient funding to operate the facility. One of the income generating activities, tailoring and beads, was halted during Covid and this income assisted paying school fees for the orphan and vulnerable children.

 With all the funding difficulties facing NGO’s, how do these groups stay positive?

KHC is unique in the sense that is recognised and highly respected within the health sector in Kampala/Uganda and in many parts of the world. It is known for its good quality health care.

The driving force behind KHC is the very hardworking and devoted staff. Many of them could easy find jobs with a much higher salary. However, when talking to the staff, who have been at KHC for a long time, they say how important the KHC spirit is and being close to the client, they can see the improvements they make. It creates a sense of what they are doing is making a difference to people’s lives.

There is a huge need for NGOs like KHC, to continue the work they do as they support the most disadvantaged people in the communities. They can’t do it alone and need us who have more privileged lives, to support the great work they do.  KHC is an organisation that have staff and volunteers, who have their heart in the right place – Moved by love.  I love you all.

Thank you Anni, we are so grateful you are such a large part of KHC. 

Let us meet one of our ‘Unsung Heroes’.

Zainah (right) is a widower (1995) and has six children and 8 grandchildren, of which 3 live with her. From 2000-2006 she worked as a community volunteer at Reach Out Mbuya (the same place as all the founding members of KHC). Dr Sam asked her to join the new KHC team. She initially supervised the new KHC volunteers, conducted training in counselling, writing reports etc. In 2008 Zainah supported TB patients going for treatment at Mulago hospital. In 2016 when the hostel opened, she was appointed the important role of ‘patient navigator’.

Zainah is hard to tie down as she works tirelessly for the children with cancer and their caregivers. Her role as KHC Patient Navigator is the link between KHC and UCI. Most of her day and evenings are spent with the families at UCI. When the children arrive from the hostel to the hospital, driven by our caring and capable Godfrey, Zainab takes over and makes sure the children are seen by doctors/nurses and receive the right treatment according to their diagnosis.

Zainah is well respected amongst all the hospital staff. She is very persistent in her role and never gives up, always fighting for the best treatment and care for the children. The children and caregivers feel very secure with Zainah as she explains what is going on and the next steps. If the child needs an operation, she will wait with the caregiver to provide support. If materials / medication is needed she will do her best to get it.

Team of Supporters

KHC is pleased to welcome visitors to see the work that we do. Many provide donations to both the community patients and the children with cancer staying at our hostel.

At the end of last year, we sought food support for the hostel from the Office of the Prime Minister. They responded positively and donated 700kgs of maize flour and 350kgs of beans and this will sustain the hostel for 3 months. Our sincere gratitude goes out to Prime Minister and OPM secretary Eng. Hillary Onek, (Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees), for supporting these children who are Uganda’s future generation.






The KHC staff was very excited to welcome back ‘Aunty Inger Bernhoft, who has been a long-time friend and supporter of KHC. Her friends Bondil, Randi, Johannah, Phinna and Lilly also joined her from Norway. Inger previously volunteered at KHC in the medical department, mainly caring for and treating HIV/TB patients.

The visitors donated clothes, shoes, bags, food, and toys for children at the hostel and the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children on our program. Also provided a was much needed Blood Pressure machine, thermometer/temperature gun, and digital thermometers. If that wasn’t generous enough, they also donated US$2000 to the medical department for equipment. Thank you very much. Aunty Inger, we will miss you and you know you are always in our hearts and prayers.

Children are always happy to share a birthday celebration!

What a thoughtful way to celebrate a birthday. Oman Daniel celebrated his birthday with the children at the New Hope Children’s hostel. He and members of his church, House of Revival, donated food and clothes for the children.

Thank you to our wonderful supporters for their generosity.

Some of the challenges for us at the moment.

Like so many NGO’s KHC will be doing it tough this year as many of the international and local funders who support NGO’s, are also suffering from lack of funds to continue with worthwhile programs. We would like to reach out to individuals or organisations that can help in anyway with some of the key items we are lacking funds or supplies of:


  • Medicine for treating optimistic infections for HIV/TB patients.
  • Need to outsource some investigations for our patients like chest Xray; ultrasound scan; liver and kidney function tests; etc
  • Cervical cancer screening equipment eg. vaginal speculum’s, sponge holding forceps, scissors, forceps.
  • Bigger sterilizing machine, as currently we can sterilize only one pack at a time.
  • Moveable examination bed for screening for cancer in the community.


  • Food for the children and their caregivers staying in the hostel. Currently we spend about US$410 per week on food.
  • Food for the HIV/TB bedridden patients.
  • Funding for fuel to visit the palliative care patients who live outside the catchment areas.

  We understand that many families are also facing economic pressures at this time, however, if you can help us in anyway it would be great. A little help can make a major difference to one of our patient’s lives. If you can help us, please contact Hope Tayebwa at

 Until next time stay well and safe.

5 thoughts on “March Blog 2023- Think Positive, Be Positive…..”

  1. Proud to see the great work continue! The KWC team is an inspiration and the work you do a relief to so many.

  2. Greetings to the team at Kawempe! Reading this blog and seeing the photos once again reminds me of all you do to ensure that compassionate, skilled care is available to those who need it most. You have my deepest gratitude for your work.


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