Thursday, 1 November 2012

Our Clinic

clinic on a hill, overlooking community

inside the new building

Nearly two years ago we sat in a big community meeting discussing the needs of the people here.  The clinic was one of the most prominent topics that came up.  At present, people have to walk for 8 Kilometres to get to the nearest clinic. Often these patients are quite sick by the time they decide they should seek help. Mothers carry sick babies for many days through pouring rain to get western medicines from the clinic. Malnourishment and Cholera are still huge problems within rural communities and without the right treatment people continue to die. Government is down referring ARV medicines to the clinics but patients have to collect these medications themselves. Often HIV patients are too weak to move. All of these reasons were enough to put building a new clinic high on the priority list.
The people of Mankosi community started fundraising to build their own clinic over two years ago.  We sold sand, collected the odd donation and received money from Mdumbi Backpackers. However, this process was taking too long. Outside help was needed. Thanks to organizations like Ubuntu and Kwaza and other private donations,  the clinic is no longer just a dream.
We started laying the foundations in May of this year. We completed the foundations in June and started with the walls in the end of June and early July. Then we had the exciting visit of our friends from Kwasa, followed by the very helpful hands of the Ubuntu group. The boys and girls dug war-like trenches like moles, with the ever present comments from our local builders: “yo yo that one is a girl but she can work with a spade and pick,” and “maybe the woman in that country don’t cook because they work outside.”  It was all good fun mixed with the odd emotional times. 
The groups completed the septic trenches and dug out the overflows which was a big achievement and hand work. The lawns around the building got cut and our old wooden building on site repaired beautifully to a state that it could be used again. There were tons of other jobs that the group helped us with and the Mankosi community is so grateful for your helping hands.  

builders discussing

The walls of the building are now up and the roof will be going up soon. We still have a ways to go though. The building will need finishing touches, water installation from a borehole, electricity lines and equipment like fridges and furniture. We are also looking at fixing the access road a bit since it is quite slippery when it rains. We will keep you updated on the developments of our clinic. Thank you for your support and interest in this amazing project!

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