Pound a Week – HUMAN TOUCH STORY
Barpello Catholic Mission, P.O. Box 47, Marigat, 30403, Kenya.
July 20, 2017
Dear Eugene & Aidan
Warm and friendly greetings from East Pokot. This morning I visited a community called Maron. In Moron on a food for work programme from Pound a Week and Mission fund, Blackrock. The community had fenced off about 2 acres of land. It was fenced off because of goats who destroy everything and eat all vegetation. The ground was been cleared and a small water pan was being dug for provision of water for this community project.
When the water pan is ready the community will grow fruit trees. Each member of the project from the community will be responsible for the growth of each tree.
Human Touch Story:
While in Maron we decided to visit a home stead.
Kapedo is a town/village in the County of Turkana. It is the home to many Pokot as it is a border town. Across country it is about 50Kms from Barpello. By road it is about 70Kms. The lady was carrying a baby on her back.
The lady’s name is Chemchin Losiwangolol, about 40 years.
Her baby (Boy) is Songol Losiwangolol, about 10 months.
“About three to four months ago the child developed a chest infection. I decided to bring him for medical treatment to the Government Dispensary. Our home was in Kapedo about 50Kms away across the mountain. So I left my five other children and set out for Maron with Songol Losiwangolol my new baby. My baby was suffering from a sever cough and needed professional treatment. I visited a few dispensaries along the way but none was able to help me without an X-Ray. The nearest X-Ray being 190 Kms from Kapedo. The X-Ray was available at a cost! in Ortum Mission Hospital in West Pokot. (Not East Pokot).
Songol was coughing, his eyes were yellow and his tongue and throat were covered in Mucus. He could be heard breathing.
One day when Songol was coughing, he went into a coma for some time. I thought that he was dead. Our custom and tradition tells us that a child of his age after death is to be thrown into the bush to decay and be eaten by wild dogs.
After some time I heard the child cry and I immediately retrieved him from the bush, he was alive but very sick.
I sought other medication to help my child, at last the mission, Patrick & David arrived to help, although we has been eating maize and beans from the mission, I was so happy to see them, this gave me new hope that we were going to receive other, stronger medicines.
At home in Kapedo I learned that the five children that I had to leave behind were in a serious situation of starvation, my husband had left the children to fend for themselves. Back at home we as a family relied on wild fruits, in tradition it is only the mother who provided the wild fruits.
I was given a house to stay in by the Maron Community. The hut was in a very remote area. Other houses on the same compound were abandoned by families due to drought and famine. The goats’ boma was deserted, as was the chicken house.
The hut was our home, it was also home to the mice and rats during the rains. There were also two others living in the same house. One lady was confined to bed because of pneumonia or TB. She has been sick for the last two years”.
The East Pokot Medical Project Ambulance arrived to take both of us who were sick and in need of X-Ray to Ortum Mission Hospital in West Pokot, for further treatment. We had no money but the mission came to rescue us. Fr. David gave me KShs 10,000 to get us immediate treatment. I was frightened, I never before was in an Ambulance, not even did I know how to ride a bicycle.
Aidan Corless was appointed Chairman of the Blackrock Mission Fund in 2014 and introduced a sponsorship program, whereby the emphasis of the fundraising would be to help educate the poor, by sending them to secondary school. The Mission Fund was established by the Blackrock College Past Pupils Union to provide financial support to the Spiritans missionary work. The Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers) provide direct assistance to the world’s poorest regions, where the level of poverty and living conditions are often unimaginable.