I have known the founder of Suubi Medical Centre, Denis Kigongo Victor,a for about ten years. When I met him the Centre was running sufficiently well and he was teaching the djembe, an instrument I have come to love very much.
A couple of years ago, after many years not in contact, I posted Denis a photo of the djembe drum I had just bought and once I had set up a drumming group, invited him along. He had been updating me about the Medical Centre since sending him the photo and I was sad to learn that following a period of a few years when Denis handed over the running of the Centre to the village elders, the place had become run down and had no proper staff and few medications. The place was in need of a total overhaul and some major help to get it up and running again.
Denis asked for my help and so, in true Kizzy fashion, I jumped in with both feet!
We set up a small committee and from there have become a CIC, We have some small fundraising events planned, sold Ugandan crafts at Christmas fairs and are now getting our name back out there. I have sponsored the first little girl born at The Centre, aptly named Suubi, to go to school and am supporting another young woman, Sophie, who has been volunteering at the Centre for a few years and is off to college in a few months so that she can come back to the Centre as a fully qualified nurse. A great investment I believe.
Then Denis advertised a volunteering trip to Uganda. I was so disappointed that I couldn't go. I cant walk far, my health is dreadful and I have to spend at least four days a week resting in bed ... how could I ever go? As a little time went on though and the pain in my body has become more manageable through CBD oil, I began to question my decision not to go. I talked to my friend, also on the committee about going and she had the same concerns about her own health, but, we knew we could support each other and Denis knows my ailments, so after talking to him, we both took a massive step and signed up, paying our deposits!
I've been so worried about how I will manage but as the time gets closer I know I will be ok. I will just do what I can do. I'm hoping the sunshine and warmth will help as it always makes me feel better. I feel that I have a little more energy too ... probably just the adrenaline of my excitement, but the biggest thing of all is my absolute delight that I am going to meet Suubi and Sophie! I can't wait! I've also been able to talk to a staff member at the Centre that I am looking forward to meeting and cant wait to see all the craft-work the villagers make. It will be a tough visit for me, not just physically, but also emotionally, because the poverty in the villages will, I expect, be far worse that I saw in Panama.
I am going to blog through the weeks leading up to my trip and update you throughout. I hope you enjoy my journey ... who knows ... next time you might be coming along too!