Africa Radi-Aid for Norway

People don’t ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people?
Frostbite kills too.

Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway” video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?

If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.

The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.

The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

The video is made by The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (www.saih.no). With the cooperation of Operation Day’s Work (www.od.no). With funding from The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and The Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU). Music by Wathiq Hoosain. Lyrics by Bretton Woods (www.developingcountry.org). Video by Ikind Productions (www.ikindmedia.com)

Radi-Aid: Norway for Africa.

Alison and Michelle Raise more than £3,300

Alison and Michelle

Alison and Michelle raised more than £3,300 from their family and friends who sponsored their recent marathon in Edinburgh.

These funds will be used to continue supporting the STI clinic in Makindye division, Kampala. This clinic provides counselling, testing and treatment, free of charge, to those that could not otherwise afford to access such care.

The clinic is an integral part of our Touch Namuwongo Programme which also provides counselling, testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS and TB. We are currently planning to extend these services to include safe male circumcision.

In recent years about 20,000 adults living in Makindye division have accessed services from the Touch programme.

Our thanks also to Helen for her continued support for the STI clinic.

Alison and Michelle – Edinburgh Marathon

Alison and Michelle - Just Giving page

Alison writes:

Alison and Michelle have chosen to pound the streets of Edinburgh to raise money for the Suubi Trust, a charity that they know is making a huge difference to many of the most vulnerable people in Uganda through its numerous healthcare projects.

Having just recently spent 18 months volunteering in Uganda as a doctor, Alison was privileged enough to be involved in many of these health projects and so has first hand experience of the amazing work that they are doing despite very limited resources. Visit their website http://blog.suubitrust.org.uk/ for more details.

We know that every penny you donate will make a huge impact to many lives in Uganda so with your support we will make sure we stay the course, even if it is on our knees!!

Please click on the photo above and help support Alison and Michelle…

Suubi Trust Annual Returns

Since it was registered on July 2nd 2007, Suubi Trust has raised just over £200,000 to help support the work of International Medical Foundation, an NGO providing healthcare services to the financially disadvantaged in Uganda.

Our key focus at this time is raising funds to build a maternity theatre at Charis Health Centre in Lira, Northern Uganda. This is an essential project that will provide a facility from which local women will be able to access safe maternal delivery services and emergency obstetrics as required. Building works are underway; you can watch progress by clicking on the image below.

Week 07 of the Theatre Build, click on image to see more in this album.

We continue to provide funding to support treatment of cancer patients on the charity “Hope Ward” at International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Uganda. These funds help to ensure that such care and treatment is accessible to those that otherwise could not afford it.

Most of the funds raised by Suubi Trust come from individual supporters.

We are grateful to Richard and Pat who have led the fund raising for the theatre build in Lira. Rose and Becci helped to get this fund started.

Alison, her family and friends, including Helen, continue to support the work in Namuwongo that Alison was involved with during her time there as a VSO volunteer.

Kate and Caroline, to name just two, are keen supporters of the Cancer Care fund and are amongst the first to use standing orders and Give As You Earn.

Jamie, Louise, Emily, Sean and Rose helped to raise funds using Justgiving pages.

Our thanks also to church members in Hazlemere and Menorca.

All money raised by Suubi Trust is used to support the work of International Medical Foundation in Uganda. Our Trustees are volunteers and do not charge for any services or expenses. The only administration costs covered by the funds raised, and the associated gift aid, are bank charges and the cost of having the online giving facility at Justgiving.

You can review our accounts and annual returns on the Charity Commission website by clicking on the image below.

CharityCommissionLogo

Thank you all for your kind and generous support and we wish you all a great 2012.

Jackie and Gary Raise Funds for Charis Theatre

I’ve been a bit slow in posting this one, sorry.

Jackie and Gary

Jackie and Gary are nurses working with Dr. Richard in the UK. They recently got married and instead of presents, asked their friends to give donations to Suubi Trust for the theatre build at Charis in Lira. They raised over 4 million shillings (about £1,000).

We send them our thanks and very best wishes.

Mubiru Lwasa: The Boy In A Box

Lwasa is one of the very many patients who have received life-changing care and treatment in Hope Ward, thanks to the continued support from our generous sponsors, some of whom take part each year in the MTN Fun Run.

I am re-posting this, it was first published on February 20th, 2010.

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Last year there were almost 250 patients cared for on Hope Ward. I am always inspired when I read the patient stories and I wanted to share this one in particular; in summary Mubiru’s story is:

  • Abused by his grandmother at age 12, locked in a metal box,
  • Rescued by his neighbours,
  • Thought to be dying, handed over to a hospice,
  • Brought by the hospice nurse to Hope Ward, unable to move, talk or look after himself,
  • After very many months of loving care and treatment now looking for a new home and a new start.

Mubiru when he was admitted to Hope Ward Mubiru ready to start a new life

You can read his story below or by clicking here.

If you would like to help Mubiru and our other patients on Hope Ward click here to find the many different ways in which you can give. Please tell others.

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Mubiru Lwasa is a young 12 year old boy who has suffered a great deal. Mubiru has never really had a place to call home. His mother and father are separated and have moved on to marry other partners and have other children. He lived with his mother for several years and she took him to primary school however he fell sick and she took him back to his father. At this point she had five children with her current husband (not Mubiru’s father) and she could not continue to care for him. This would mark the beginning of a long period of suffering and abuse in Mubiru’s life.

Mubiru was taken out of school and did hard labour for his grandmother and at some point was beaten so badly that his hand and leg were fractured. He was locked up in a metallic box and starved almost to the point of death. When Mubiru’s father noticed that his son was dying, he took him back to his village in Mpigi for fear of the cost of transporting a dead body.

When Mubiru’s father arrived in Mpigi the people in his village were shocked by the site of the boy’s emaciated body. The villagers refused to let Mubiru’s father rest until he had taken him to hospital. On arrival at Mulago hospital the nurses and others who saw Mubiru’s father carry his crippled smelly body into the hospital were so outraged they wanted to lynch him. Mubiru’s father was then ‘rescued’ by the police and taken to Luzira prison.

However now that Mubiru’s father was taken away there was no one left to take care of Mubiru while he was at Mulago. Fortunately a kind Ugandan lady (Mable) had compassion on him and chose to look after him, though she did not really have much to offer him but loving care.

Medical personnel at Mulago thought Mubiru was dying and contacted a nurse who works for Hospice Uganda. This lady contacted Hope Ward and asked us to admit him for treatment as she did not think he was terminally ill.

When Mubiru first arrived at Hope Ward, he was in very bad shape. He had sores and wounds all over his body. He could barely support himself in the wheelchair and the slightest movement would make him scream. Mubiru could neither talk nor feed himself, he was incontinent, he was very pale and the hair on his head was so thin, his lips were pale dry and chapped, he looked like a patient with full blown AIDS.

Continue reading

Dr. Alison Raising Funds for Touch Namuwongo

A recent post by Dr. Alison described how she helped to establish an STD Clinic within the Touch Namuwongo Programme in Kampala.

This summer Alison, Alan and their family raised £1,171 to help support this programme by speaking at a local church lunch and hosting a Ugandan party for supportive friends in her native St Albans.

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Alison (on right in photo above) sent us this message:

We wanted to update you after our latest fundraising venture on 16th July. It was a fantastic evening of fun and frolics in the community centre around the corner from us and was well-attended with over 80 people. Whilst people could still concentrate, we kicked off with a talk from us about our time in Uganda including the work of the Suubi Trust and the Royal Pride School in which Alan was involved. We raised a total of £1168 which we will split evenly between the 2 causes (£584 each). Everyone came in the Ugandan colours and some draped in the Ugandan flag.

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(Alison’s husband Alan is in the centre in the photo above)

So, in summary, this means that the first church event raised £587 and this latest event raised £584 – a total of £1,171.

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Our thanks to Alison and all her friends for their generosity and continued support; this will help to make a difference for many of our Touch clients receiving care at this clinic.

Dr. Alison (VSO) working with Touch Namuwongo

Alison with her familyAlison Cowan, a GP from the UK, and her family have recently returned after a fabulous 18 months in Uganda working with the IMG group through the charity VSO. She came to Uganda initially to facilitate the training of medical staff across the various IMG primary care clinics. Through this work she came to appreciate the enormous burden of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and its devastating consequences within Uganda and especially Kampala and recognised the need for a comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare service. So, once her original placement objective was fulfilled, she extended her placement to work with the Touch Namuwongo Team based at the International Hospital of Kampala (IHK), within the neighbouring communities, to tackle this growing problem of STDs.

Even though STDs are very prevalent in Kampala, and are responsible for a lot of death and disease, very little attention and minimal resources are focused on this area, beyond HIV. The Touch Namuwongo team work with the poorest members of the Kampala community local to IHK and offer services for HIV, TB and STDs. With respect to STDs, prior to Alison’s involvement, the team were just able to treat the symptomatic cases in their hospital clinics and community outreach. However, this approach was only scratching the surface of the problem as 50-70% of disease can be silent. There was no system or resources in place to identify and screen those members of the community most at risk from these diseases and who were often without symptoms. As well as unknowingly transmitting these diseases on to others, the presence of STDs also facilitates transmission of HIV so further fuelling the HIV epidemic. Alison developed a risk score tool capable of identifying such members of the community and which would also then appropriately target their limited resources to the most in need of treatment. Despite resources being very stretched, with the enthusiasm and commitment of the Touch Namuwongo team, the support of IMG and the help of kind donations they were able to get establish a comprehensive service which identified both symptomatic and asymptomatic disease.

Alison also obtained some funding from Oxford University to carry out a research project that aimed to derive and validate this risk score tool. As an associated benefit, the study also funded a large volume of screening and medicines for treatment of STDs in the data gathering process.

The Touch Namuwongo team took on the extra burden of work involved in the study without complaint and worked tirelessly to deliver the service and also produce the data which is in the process of being analysed to develop an effective protocol going forward.

Alison with Immaculate one of theTNP team

Initially Alison was heavily involved in the actual running of the clinics, but by the time Alison returned to the UK, the team was delivering the service without any additional input and continues to do so with great effect, despite the challenges and hard work this entails. Even though the clinics are already very busy, the team recognise what a valuable service it provides and so continue to reach out to the community to encourage others to be screened and treated, especially those communities where the need is greatest. They have got a good relationship with the local commercial sex workers, who continue to attend the clinics and who themselves are becoming advocates of the service.

The research funding has now drawn to an end and so there is a desperate need for on-going funding to continue to deliver this valuable service. Alison continues to raise funds for the STD programme through Suubi Trust, recently speaking at a local church lunch and is soon hosting a Ugandan party for supportive friends in her native St Albans.

The team with some added extras Alison’s children

Scooby-Doo money

New Life Church in Menorca recently donated another £300 to help support the development of a theatre and maternity services at our clinic in Lira, northern Uganda.

Pamela receiving cheque from Lyn

Last year when I was with Alan and Lyn in Menorca they asked me to say something about our work in Lira, which Pamela followed up with on her recent visit. Since then the church members have been giving their loose change each week.

Faith and Works

Lyn sent us the following:

New Life has certainly embraced Suubi Trust in a big way. They refer to the “Scooby-Doo money” and are so faithful to bring their loose change each week which soon mounts up to a reasonable amount. We originally pledged 50Euros per month from our change but have had other sums come in as well which have brought us to 100Euros!

This extra money came from:

  • Offering from Carol Service
  • Hermann asked for his birthday gifts to be donated
  • One of our members is the Entertainment guy at a holiday resort and had two people donate their Bingo winnings when they heard about Suubi Trust
  • Trisha asked for her birthday gifts to be donated.

Thank you so much for the funds and your continued support and promotion of Suubi Trust, we really appreciate it.

Kevin.