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Values that count for us – Health

Dear Friends

For almost twenty years, four values have been the common thread running through our work:

  • Health
  • Family
  • Education
  • Love.

These values form the foundation of our long-term development work. And because the number 4 fits so well with the Advent season, I want to tell you about them today and over the coming weekends. Due to current events, I will start with the topic of health.

I will report on Uganda’s current Ebola epidemic, but I also want to look beyond the current situation. I want to report on what we can do concretely for health. And I want to write about Nina, whose life was hanging by a thread. Thank you very much.

  1. Ebola: an update
  2. Healing, hoping and protecting
  3. How far would you go for your health?
  4. When Nina’s heart almost stopped beating

Ebola in Uganda: an update

Unfortunately, there is still no all-clear from Uganda’s Ebola epidemic. The government has already closed the 2022 school year early after Ebola cases were reported in at least six schools in the capital Kampala. The early school closure is a big disappointment for many, but an understandable step for the country.

The epidemiological spread of the disease remains much slower than that of Covid, but in individual cases it is usually fatal after a few days. The World Health Organisation has raised its health alert for Uganda to the highest level, but at the same time emphasises that the risk of global spread is low.

Of healing, hoping and protecting

In Kids of Africa we cannot cure diseases. But we can give hope. That is good, because healing always has to do with hope. We all know: without hope, nothing works. Which brings us to a basic Advent motif. At Advent, too, people hope for healing. We hope for a healing of our fragile world. We hope for healing for those close to us, for others or for ourselves.

At Kids of Africa, the power of family and the power of love have been helping for years. We can also bring people together who can help each other practically. Sometimes we can also make an operation possible. For example, when Nina’s life was hanging by a thread – but about that later.  But above all, we have been promoting a healthy, positive lifestyle for almost twenty years. It protects. Today we see clearly that this attitude has moved mountains and created protection. That is why it counts for us.

For example, we try to set an example through a healthy lifestyle that others follow. That makes an astonishing difference. Because our neighbours also join in. Because it feels good. Laughing together and sharing experiences. Sport or simply some exercise together. Balanced nutrition. Hygiene. Malaria nets. Being there for each other. Actually, that’s clear. But that’s what it’s all about.

How far would you go for your health? Health day for everyone

In Uganda, the need for help with health is huge. Many people with chronic diseases cannot afford a doctor or medicines. During Uganda’s two-year lockdown, cases of cholera, tuberculosis or malaria increased significantly. Not to mention Ebola. Domestic violence – especially against girls – also increased. We took in some victims in our current scholarship programme. (Incidentally, we can still urgently use any additional support for this).

Against this background, our director, Florence Barigye, organised a free health day for everyone with a partner organisation, 150 doctors medical professionals from hospitals, the military and the police. 5000 guests had registered, but 6’000 came. Consultations were free, medicines were donated by various Ugandan companies. Our scholarship holders helped with the logistics.

Imagine: already at 6 o’clock in the morning, a long queue of people was waiting, which you can see on this short video (please leave a link here). Some had set out the day before to walk up to 30 kilometres. Often it was about tuberculosis, eye diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and dental diseases It was a long day of hope, help and protection.

Critics may object that free aid is not sustainable. That may be. But we would repeat it. Because spontaneous help also counts. Especially in times like these.

When Nina’s heart almost stopped beating

Sometimes there are situations where only an operation can help. Then we know: as a family, we leave no one behind. We do what we can. That also counts for us. Nina, for example, led a healthy and active life at Kids of Africa for 15 years. Until her heart almost stopped beating.

On the most difficult day, her life was hanging by a thread. Thank God the operation was successful. She and we will never forget it. After a long recovery, she is playing football again and attending school. Above all, she has found her laughter again.

Yours sincerely
Burkhard Varnholt

2022-11-25T09:41:32+01:0027. November 2022|
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