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  1. KUMI COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FEBRUARY 2020 DIARYWednesday 19 February 2020The early hours of the morning were strangely quiet. Could it be because Anne had sent many of her chickens to market including the large proud cockerels? The remaining cockerel cockadoodledoo-ed but he got no reply so he decided to give up and allowed us to sleep a little longer. The sale was necessary to pay her son’s school fees and, with a good price for a sturdy bird, the school fees would be settled. I was looking forward to a day in the field with Rose of the hospital Nutrition Unit, Alex at the wheel and two German medics, Guilia and Louisa. We were to follow up the children who had been admitted to the NU and whose bills our fund, KCF, had paid. Firstly, though, we would deliver the toolkit I had bought for Okurut Gilbert, the deaf and dumb boy, in Omatelang near the ferry. To find his home was a challenge as we had no address, just the fact that he was deaf and dumb but we found it only to find he was not in. However, his wife, also deaf and dumb, was happy to receive the bag of tools and some money to buy timber. I hope we meet again so that we can see the results of his efforts. How frustrating to have completed a joinery course but have no equipment and how fortuitous that he was walking along the road the day we passed! Now we could set out for Nyero Health Centre having stocked up with salt and soap, two basic important commodities for these people. We met James, one of our volunteer mobilisers who knows the community well and is aware of the families with children with disabilities. He had gathered a group of eight children some of whom I had met in October/December 2019 and all who had been hospital patients. The one I was so pleased to see looking very much more alert was Epaga George William who had been a mere bag of bones and barely conscious in November. The Nutrition Unit and the children’s ward, Stone Ward, had pulled him round and, although still with severe disabilities, he was fully conscious. All were maintaining their improvement and already our wheelchair list is gaining names. The last girl in this mini-clinic was Martha who I had helped with her final two year’s secondary school fees. I’ve learnt my lesson long ago never to even suggest an inkling of a mention of providing school fees but she and her mother were adamant that I had promised to put her through nursing school! This I had not and I stood my ground with Harriet as my witness. I thought I was in for big trouble but the mother came over and thanked me sincerely for the support she had received! With the children all seen, funding for goats for four and soap and salt for all, we left to go to the home of Ejoku Sam. I had among my few remaining clothes to give out a red “England” football jumper and shorts which fit the boy perfectly. En route to our next port of call, we caught up with Emodong William, an upright man of mature years who had received a pair of elbow crutches from WFTW at Kumi Hospital but which had needed adjusting. He was so delighted to have them and praised us and God for the gift. After confirming that he was using them correctly, we left to meet James’ wife and baby, Elspeth, my namesake, on the way. We still had six children to review, five of which were gathered under a tree. Here, I shall remember a large, heavy girl, Imalingat Lydia, a thirteen year old and her mother. I watched as the mother struggled to haul her daughter on to her back as though she was a new-born baby and could she continue doing this long term? Should we get her a wheelchair from Kampala or wait for the next WFTW visit? It really is heart-rendering. One more child who we would see at Kalapata Primary School. Literally hundreds of children crowded round to see these strange aliens and, no matter how much the teacher threatened them by swishing a cane through the air, they returned in seconds! The day was done and we had provided ten goats for these families! The students join us for supper every Wednesday so a international gathering enjoyed our supper of chips and cabbage! Sam, School Director of Joppa School called and we discussed our children while sitting outside under the stars and then I could take to my bed at last!

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