We had to take Maya (my daughter) to the hospital on our recent trip in February.
She ran a fever for about 24 hours, peaking around 103. You never want your child to have a fever, of course. But you especially don’t want a fever so far from home.
Here’s what I wrote in Uganda:
Maya is sick. That changes everything. We think she is recovering from heat exhaustion. I am googling and worrying. Nana is sure she’ll be fine. That Maya is exhausted and unwell is the only thing I can think about and it will be the only thing I can think about today. When your child is sick, nothing else matters.
But somehow, I will also go to the slums of Kampala today. I will go to Katwe and Kisenyi. There, I will see 4 year olds, like Maya, who have nothing. They have no parents to worry about them, no grandparents to comfort them. They will be smaller and look younger because they don’t eat enough to grow. Instincts to survive keep them alive. My little girl is on the couch. Her heart is beating fast and I am watching her chest rise and fall. But she is fine.
We spent one whole morning at the hospital and the staff there took good care of us. Maya got some antibiotics and tested negative for everything scary. But before that, I did go to the slums and I did see what I knew I would. And seeing it with a sick child resting safely, hit differently. The inequity in our world is a calamitous disaster that most of the time, we have to reflect on superficially or it will drown us.
But RUHU doesn’t deal with the brokenness of the world superficially. Each day, the staff of RUHU works to overcome tremendous social and economic deficits on behalf of some of the most vulnerable. It is an honor to partner with their work.
Francis was the recipient of a small business loan, a part of the “New Beginnings Project” through RUHU to support business ideas brought forward by the kids. Kids are encouraged to create a business plan. They pitch their plan to a panel and if they are approved for a loan, they are paired with a mentor who helps them establish their business. Francis received a camera as a part of his business proposal.
I love the mutual joy in this picture. Mutual joy is why Beautiful Response exists.