When Harriet was two, her mother was attacked by a rabid dog. By the time her father realized how sick his wife was, and raised money to travel to the hospital in Entebbe from their home in northern Uganda, it was too late. When their mother died three days after reaching the hospital, Harriet’s little brother Donald was one month old.
A journalist moved by their extreme poverty contacted her old friend Victoria Nalongo Namusisi, founder and director of Bright Kids Uganda Entebbe Home, where Global Links had recently donated medical materials. BKU provides housing and education to vulnerable children in Uganda, and has a small clinic for basic medical care.
“We don’t have space for more babies,” Victoria told her friend at first. Her program had begun by taking in street children, some of whom already had infants of their own.
“But they’ll die,” the journalist pressed. And so, Harriet and Donald joined the other children at BKU. Victoria is Mami to all 64 of them.
When Harriet arrived at BKU, her feet and hands were painfully infested with jiggers, a parasitic flea that burrows just under the skin and becomes quite painful as it swells with the blood of its host. Left untreated, it can lead to a fatal infection. Using gloves, gauze and tweezers from a recent Global Links donation, staff at the clinic removed each parasite, wrapping Harriet’s little feet in fresh gauze to protect the open sores while they healed.
Harriet, Victoria said, cried incessantly at first. After spending time with another resident, three-year-old Obama, she picked up enough of the local language to communicate, and her feet and hands healed. Her father visits, but lives in the north with his four older children.
Global Links is preparing another donation to BKU. To support the medical service trip program that makes this possible, click here.