We promised, and we are back here with yet another tale of October 2017.
On the 14th of October, members of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City hit the road for yet, the return visit to our partners in service, the Rotaract club of Kabale Community (D9212). If you have kept up with us, we left our mark in this town when we launched a joint project with Rotaract Kabale sometime back in 2016. So, we were back to visit children taken care of by the Kabale Regional Referral Hospital. You must be wondering what could possibly be special with these children, I mean we left children back home.
Well, these children bravely living with HIV, and our chosen place was to sit beside them for a day, share a meal with them and listen to their stories.
Sometimes it takes more than the need to reenergize or get treatment for them, speaking to a group of jolly good fellows like the one we carried with us is another beginning to a new season.
We can only be thankful and honored to be a part of such a noble project, but also applaud our sister club, the Rotaract club of Kabale Community for the advocacy they have done for these children. During this project, something even more special happened, the youth in Kabale launched an association that they called, “Youth Living Positive with HIV”. Now these are the people that brought reality to these children as they shared their own stories, reminding the children that they are not alone and besides, living with HIV doesn’t imply death. Some of the children seemed to be living a dream when the youth mentioned that that they are also living with HIV.
When the representative of the hospital rose up to speak to Rotaractors, she applauded the thought about the children and the initiative to support especially those children. While reminding parents that living with HIV has not reduced a thing from these children, she urged them to support the HIV positive children just like the rest of the children.
“Being HIV positive has not rendered these children unable to do anything their fellow children can do. But they need constant support. Parents, support your children in every way you can and remind them that they deserve equal rights like their colleagues” – Sr. Akurut Christine, the Principal nursing officer at the Kabale regional referral hospital.
Besides maintaining a balanced diet for the children, parents were also reminded not to give these children heavy work at home, to ensure that they keep a health status.
And that marked the end of our first round of the Kabale episode. Off we went to nurture our adventurous spirits. We couldn’t wait to be off to the famous Lake Bunyonyi where we spent our entire afternoon. But as even as we have fun, there is always a lot learn, for instance only a few among us knew about the “banished island” where girls would be taken in abandonment because of carrying a pregnancy before marriage.
A lazy early Sunday morning for the Kigali City members but when called to service, you must be at your best. By around 9am or 10am (pardon the poor memory), we set off with our fellow Rotaractors of Kabale to the Batwa site for another impacting order of the week. This time, a good 4-hour ride through forests and downhill was the highlight of our project.
If I am to tell the entire story of the status of the Batwa’s lifestyle, that maybe until the chicken come home. But, I must say it’s one project that humbled many of us. It is one place that can teach anyone to embrace the gift of civilization and the opportunity of having helpful people.
Apart from providing basic utilities and clothes that we gathered from our own Rotaractors, we also had a medical camp for the Batwa. Thanks to doctors from Rotaract KISH who offered their expertise to the patients while we offered our assistance wherever we were needed. It was fun filled day playing football thanks to Rotaractor Alex Mugabe and sharing candy with the children. Again, there was a lot to learn and be inspired from.
Evening came we were back to Kabale town and, we, the Kigali people were on our way back to the land of a thousand hills after a tiresome though impactful weekend not forgetting the fun; the Slay Kings and Queens know what am talking about.
To everyone that rolled with us, we can never say thank you enough! We would rather say, see you all till next time.
Editorial Team, RCKC