Today we visited the
– not the clinic we visited 18 months ago but the brand spanking new clinic just down the road. And it’s simply amazing. Spotlessly clean, two small wards, beds with mosquito nets, a maternity room with a bed and a delivery bed, a lab, a dispensing room, offices and a reception. And brand new scrupulously clean latrines, which after a long journey we each christened in turn!
There was a proper African opening ceremony. Bishop Joseph and Madam Yango were guests of honour along with Madam Caroline; the rest of the trip team and the clinic staff were there along with the clinic’s management committee, local dignatories and health officials.
Bishop and Caroline cut the ribbon to great joy. Then there were many speeches and observations, all taking place under the shade of the grand tree at the front of the clinic, followed by a delicious lunch cooked by Cecilia and her ladies. There was rice, chappatis, posho, KK fried chicken, beef stew, greens and groundnut sauce.
Caroline, Madam Yango and Jeremy also went to visit a local savings scheme. CRESS has given training in this. To their delight, this group of 50 men and women pooled their resources to buy a plot of land and from the profits of what they grew, they have bought 50 chairs which they rent out. Incredibly after 15 months this group has made 1,300,000 Ugandan shillings or about £850. The savings group have a special box to keep their money in. The box has three padlocks and the three keys are each kept by someone different. They complete the savings
record book so they are clear about each member’s earnings. The profit is kept and used as a community fund, so that members who need a loan to pay medical fees for example can borrow from the fund. At the end of the year, the profit is shared out.
Fi caught up with her CATT volunteers and heard some really encouraging stories about how they had helped children overcome their trauma. The rest of the team collected stories and visited the beautiful yellow tukuls CRESS built for the staff last year. Despite working very long hours, they have planted a substantial area of groundnuts. And there was a lovely surprise when we bumped into Gale Scopas, whom we gave £100 to 18 months ago to start a school in the bush. With a smile he told us that as a result of that small amount he now had 380 pupils, and was planning to extend the school to offer secondary education because there was no secondary school for them in the bush.
A 3 hour riggi riggi journey there and back means that our backs are now in tip top condition! A wonderful day where we really saw the difference CRESS is making to some of the poorest of the poor.