Saving Lives from Malaria: the CHRF Team Reports from Uganda.
A few days ago the Children’s Hunger Relief Team visited one of our partner’s schools and orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. Along the way they were able to meet families of children who attend the schools. One of the team members shared about their time: “Today I met Fahad and I would like to tell you a little bit about him. He is a cute four-year-old boy living in Kampala. Fahad is not like most children that you or I know. Fahad has never known the slightest “luxury” that most of us take for granted. For example, Fahad has never ridden in a car, he walks miles to go to school everyday. He has never owned a toothbrush, he has always used a stick to clean his teeth. Fahad has never slept in a bed, he sleeps on the dirt floor of his grandmother’s shack. Fahad has never used a blanket, when it’s cold in the winter he must bundle up in his grandmother’s dress. In his life he has never experienced air conditioning in the burning hot summers of Uganda; he has never used a flush toilet, like the ones most people I know use several times every day. If you are like me, you must ask yourself how is this possible? I have to question everything I have come to think as “normal”. Fahad has never eaten in a restaurant; he has never taken a bath or shower in a restroom. He has never owned a piece of new clothing. Even his sister had never worn a pair of shoes until she was twelve years old. To me Fahad’s story only sounds remotely possible for a child who has lived an isolated life, living in a tiny village away from all modern technology, but Fahad and his sister live in a large city in Uganda! But because Fahad has never known these things, he is still a happy boy. He finds joy in what little he has around him; he finds gratitude for the little the world has provided to him. But today when I met Fahad he is slow to move. He is too weak to smile. He can’t find his youthful energy to play with his brothers and sisters. Instead he has a burning temperature and aching pains. That’s because Fahad has malaria, and if this goes untreated he will soon die. Possibly as recently as yesterday Fahad contracted Malaria, the virus that takes the most lives in Uganda every year, and millions more around the world. We won’t know how he got the virus, whether it was from a bug bite, or possibly because Fahad has never had a clean bottle of water, all we know is he needs the treatment as soon as possible in order to save his life. Fahad has already lost both of his parents; he is being raised by his grandmother who also takes care of eight of her other grandchildren. Now, at the young age of four, Fahad must face one of the most deadly viruses in the world, alone. Except Fahad is not alone. Because with your help from the United States, hundreds of children just like Fahad can receive treatment for Malaria that can save their lives. How much would you give if you knew your donation could help to save Fahad’s life or hundreds of other children living in Uganda just like him? Already having made up my mind that I was going to help save Fahad’s life as I sat next to him, I decided no price was too much. But when I asked our partners how much the treatment and medicine to cure the malaria would cost, I was absolutely shocked. Not because it was expensive, because it was less than $11! Again I had to ask myself, how is this possible? How do young children like Fahad die every single day when the medicine they need to save their lives can cost as little as $11? The price of a normal movie ticket in the United States! And yet, as incomprehensible at it may be, it is true that a gift of just $11 can help cure a young child of Malaria. For children who are older than age eleven, the price will raise to just around $15! When I found out how little it cost to help save Fahad’s life I was so excited to help him, to have the opportunity to make such an amazing impact with a gift that was so little, I was overcome with the emotions knowing that I had helped save his life. And that is exactly why I live for this work. Because I am able to share that same opportunity to help thousands of cases and countless children just like Fahad with you.” Together with your support, we can continue to help save the lives of little boys and girls who still have time to get the medicine and cure they need to save their lives from Malaria.