Go Be Sick Somewhere Else

I’m gonna change things up a bit today. Here is a guest post by Matt Chambers. Matt is father to 6 (including 1 with special needs), director of SafeWorld, advocate, speaker, writer, leader, learner. You can follow him on Twitter or contact him directly [email protected]. He writes daily at http://ethoshift.com.

The first time I set foot in the remote government hospital in Central Uganda, I remember thinking it looked like the set from a horror film.

Crumbling walls.

Dried brown stains streaked everywhere.

Insects scurrying around.

Everything was old and rusted…beds…chairs…equipment.

The hospital was built in the 1960s, and almost nothing had been replaced or updated since then.

Each ward was filled to overflowing, and many patients had to lay on the concrete floor simply because there weren’t enough beds. In other words, if you get a bed when you check in, you’re one of the “lucky ones”.

Only one (very tired) nurse oversaw forty women in the maternity ward, plus their new babies. She told me more than half of them were suffering from post-delivery infections and there wasn’t enough medication to treat them.

When I asked where all the physicians were, the hospital staff would chuckle and say, “They’re not here.”

(In Uganda, there’s only 1 physician for every 27,000 people, compared to 1 for every 380 people in the United States.)

Shortly after, I discovered this was the closest hospital to the people we work with in Bulyaake Parish…but to get there, they had to walk between seven and ten miles.

That means, they’d have to walk all day, to reach a hospital that didn’t have any doctors, and they probably wouldn’t even have the necessary medication or treatment options for their illness.

Heaven forbid they were in labor.

Something had to change.

So, we got work designing a clinic that could start simple, but be as expandable as we wanted…and was within a one-mile walk from everyone in our Parish.

Here’s what we came up with:

When we showed these plans to the amazing people in Bulyaake, they were so excited, and immediately donated the land for us to build on!

We got together with our Ugandan staff on the ground, and figured out how to build phase 1 for a mere $30,000.

There are 10,000 people that currently live in the eight villages that make up Bulyaake Parish, and this will change everything for them. Now they’ll have qualified medical help any time day or night…we won’t run out of vital medications…and if they’re too sick to come to the clinic, one of our staff will travel to them.

It’s not a flawless plan…it’s not utopia…but that’s not what they need. All they need (and want), is what you and I need: a place to go when they need help.

So why am I telling you this?

Because I need your help.

Our goal is to complete construction on this project by the end of summer 2012.

I’ve spent the last four years building relationship with the people of Bulyaake Parish. At first I looked at them as a project, but now they’re my friends…and this is far more than just another campaign to me. This is a story…this is an adventure, and at the end, we’ll have accomplished something that’s never been done in this area before.

Join me.

I’m so grateful to Chris for allowing me to share this story with you on his blog today.

If you’d like to help with the project, simply click the image below.

If you have questions, please contact me directly, I’d love to interact with you!

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15 thoughts on “Go Be Sick Somewhere Else”

  1. Wow Matt. What a great project! Nothing but respect for you and your group giving such service to these great people! I’m gonna share this worthy cause with all in my circle of influence!

  2. Thanks for sharing Chris, and for the ‘perspective’ reminder.  God never fails to remind me of people hurting when I’m down myself.  God bless you for being a blessing to others!  Kim

  3. Matt – what an amazing story!  Your vision is amazing.  It is incredible what you will be able to do so much with so little.  You and your organization are evidently a huge blessing in this community and you are truly making a difference in the lives of so many people.  Eternity will look different because of what you are doing today.  I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to updates.  Be blessed and I’m sharing within my circle of influencers.

  4. Matt, thank you for sharing your story and helping me understand how much I take for granted. God bless your project and your family.  I’m sharing this right away!!

  5. i would go somewhere else. it might of been another dog that got yours sick. i would also go and tell the kennel. that way they can be informed to make sure it doesnt happen again..

  6. Ok, I should clarify to say that people who come here to preach about the “evils of homosexuality” should in no way get sympathy on this issue. I’ve told a few homophobic and racist bigots to sell their s*** somewhere else. I’m not talking about trolls.

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