By Eloise Wellings
A couple of Sunday’s ago, 75 of us ran and walked from Sutherland to Cronulla. Around 10,000 steps to run, a few more if you’re walking. There was purpose in each and every step. Building a medical clinic in a war ravaged area in Northern Uganda. I hope that some day, some of the hundreds of Love Mercy supporters might get to meet our Ugandan friends who we’re standing alongside. But in case not, let me tell you a little about the people from Otuke County, who will be helped by this clinic.
They are the poorest of the poor, some of them have lived through the last 20 years of war in Uganda’s North, some of them children, and war is all they’ve ever known- never seeing or knowing what peace looks like, until now. Now, that the war has settled, the LRA have moved into neighbouring Congo, it is time to rebuild, restore hope and make the community liveable again, and we’ve been given the opportunity to respond to the need. The medical clinic will have an amazing impact on the health of the entire community. Currently, to receive any health care whatsoever in Otuke, a person walks for sometimes days to maybe get medical attention from Lira- almost 70km’s away… (like walking from Cronulla to Wollongong) Imagine, having a child with an intense vomiting and diarreah bug and not having the means to rehydrate them and make them well with the necessary medication, instead, walking them for days to find help. Often a desperate but futile process in Uganda’s heat.
I paint a grim picture, but this is how it is. But thanks to the many hundreds who have opened their mouths to share the cause, helping people to believe in the cause and moving them to reach into their pocket, and to those who laced up their shoes and strided their way from Sutho to the beach- it’s all about to change.
I’m excited and so blessed to report after speaking with Julius and our sister organization AUCF (Achon Uganda Children’s Fund) that because we doubled our goal of $30,000 and raised $61,256, that we will now be able to put a maternity wing on the clinic. This will be part of “stage 2” of the clinic and will make an enormous difference to the current dire situation concerning maternal deaths in Uganda, described here in a recent article in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/world/africa/30uganda.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
So, on behalf of our Ugandan friends in Otuke County, Northern Uganda, I want to thank everyone who is supporting, encouraging and believing in The Love Mercy Foundation. In fact, anyone who is supporting, encouraging and believing in Love Mercy, IS Love Mercy. The foundation is made up of the people who are putting up there hand to say “I can be the change”
And what a blessing and honour it is to be a part of that change.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31.8-9