A Piece of the Puzzle
By, Amie York, OneWorld Health’s Director of Volunteers
“Welcome back,” our drivers gently expressed as we pulled up to Masindi Hotel after a long day of medical outreach. Covered in sweat and red dirt, our team of 55 piled out of the five GOD IS ABLE vans, ready for a hot shower and food to fill our stomachs. Six hours earlier, the local radio station had interviewed me about our “activities” in the local village of Bweyale. Full of gentleness and intrigue, Jonathan held his brick of a phone at the edge of my lips eager to hear each response for why we were out there serving his community.
Yes, the answer was that we were a team of 55 medical professionals from America and Canada who raised money to leave all we knew to provide a week of high quality medical service to people in need, but that wasn’t the answer that kept crossing my mouth in every response. My answer to almost every question Jonathan asked? The Masindi and Bulima Kitara Medical Centers were the root of all of the activities that were taking place that day, and every day that our quarterly outreach teams spent in the villages.
When looking at the operation of the medical outreaches, we are helpless without the local Ugandans serving right along side of us. The vans, meals, clean water, safety, ability to transfer words, the hands we leave our patients in; we would be ineffective without them.
The Masindi Kitara Medical Center (MKMC) staff members Jarvis, Naome, and Justine joined us each day to go out to these villages. It is Naome who sits down with mother after mother, daughter after daughter, dad after dad explaining what HIV is; it’s Jarvis who explains to his fellow neighbor what it means to have a positive malaria test. These are the people who are out serving their brothers and sisters; these are the ones who are administering hope and a future, these are the ones who are impacting generations to know and understand the importance of health, these are the ones patients will see when they choose to continue care at MKMC or Bulima Kitara Medical Center (BKMC), these are the ones who are forging the new path in their communities.
We volunteers are one small (and yes, an extremely powerful) piece of the big puzzle, forming a beautiful picture of humanity to these people. But it’s the locals who take the torch and pass it on, long after we are gone.
Our vans are filled with eager hands, medicines to help overcome sickness, and a message of hope and an invitation to life, life to the full.MORE ON THIS CLINIC