IMG_1135aRodney and Benice Callanan have just returned from 2 weeks in Kampala, Uganda. The trip was planned to coincide with a Neurosurgery Camp run by Dr John Christie of Newcastle’s, John Hunter Hospital. Dr Christie operated on Allan Sembatya in 2013 when he came to Australia after falling victim to a rogue witch doctor and required urgent surgery on his fractured skull. Since then he has run 2 camps in Kampala where he offers his skills pro-bono to those who would otherwise have no chance of receiving these life changing operations. It was an absolute honour to assist in a very small way and a joy to see the relief in the faces of the children and their parents as they recovered in the overnight wards. Through the liaison of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, Rotary and the local hospitals these camps will now be run each year.

We also had the pleasure and joy of taking over much needed physiotherapy items including a wheel chair, a standing frame, exercise balls, strength tools, a muscle stimulant (TENS) machine and even play dough, toys, books and clothes. These were for the children staying at St Paul’s, a rehabilitation centre for survivors of child sacrifice and other abuses. A special thank you again to the owners and staff of Special Needs Solutions on the Gold Coast who very generously donated the standing frame. Hope can now view the world from a standing position and we trust that it will be instrumental in allowing her to walk again. A shout out also goes to Emirates Airlines who allowed us to take all the above excess baggage.

Whilst in Kampala we were able to inspect ready-for-opening New Seasons Pharmacy. Haggai has completed the fit out and is now only waiting upon the final inspection and certification from the National Drug Authority and the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda. Once he receives this certificate he can purchase stock and commence trading. This will hopefully happen before the end of this year. I met with the Pharmacist and Cashier and am sure that once trading begins in the new year, that the business will deliver the expected profits to fund the teachers at the New Seasons Orphanage and School.

A 2 day management workshop was held at Kyampisi Childcare Ministries. This multi-disciplined organisation has a 250 pupil school, the rehabilitation centre, a maternity clinic, a church and a community service development programme that engages many of the locals in skills training and micro-business. The leadership team is a highly motivated group that has developed great policies and procedures and I was very impressed at how well they worked together. The focus of my input was their organisational structure and so we developed a new org chart and discussed lines of communication, reporting, job descriptions, conflict resolution, delegation and team work.

Peter and I also researched various local maize mills in the area. After looking at numerous models, sizes and types we will be able to compile a business plan to ascertain the viability of starting and running a mill at Kyampisi. The purpose being to generate enough income to fund the staffing and supplies needed at the maternity clinic. The funds raised at this year’s Grand Tour of Hope will then be used to construct and equip this sustainable, community transforming enterprise.

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