BENEFITING: Doctors for Global Health, Inc.
We are a group of residents, doctors, and medical students in the Bronx who volunteer to work in a hospital in Southwest Uganda. Penninah Rukundo, who lives there, has been the translator for us on the medical wards for years. In addition to interpreting Rifambera, she also has acted as hostess-with-the-mostest and professional ambassador for each of us, taking us to church with her and inviting us into her home and introducing us to her community. She is one of the smartest, most generous people we know/truly a sister.
As a medical interpreter, Penninah made less than $3/day. But nursing school still costs about $3000/year for tuition alone. As a single mom raising 2 amazing daughters (Sherinah and Shenitah, ages 4 and 6) on a salary of $90/month, it is difficult day-to-day to pay the bills and keep her daughters fed (this isn't even money to keep the lights on--she and her daughters do not have electricity and never did. They study and by candle light.) Penninah always knew that she wanted to be a nurse or physician to give back to her community, but nursing school tuition alone in Uganda costs about $3000 US dollars. So nursing school was a dream deferred until recently.
Las year with the generosity of friends of Penninah and those who had worked side by side with her and gotten to know her through her generous friendship with resident after resident, Penninah was able to go back to school and complete the pre-requisite coursework for nursing school. She started a 3 year nursing school program in the summer of 2013.
So this is a good old-fashioned fundraiser to raise the money to put Penninah through nursing school and help her provide for her family over the next 4 years while she’s doing it.
We’ve been thinking about how we have gotten to where we are as doctors, nurses, professionals, and students. Some of us can thank generous families. We all worked our asses off. What else? A little good luck? The opportunity to get loans, scholarships, go to public schools? Certain someones or somethings (programs) that took a leap of faith, took a chance on us and wagered that we were worth the investment?!
We think Penninah is worth the investment. We can find the money to help her pay for school and become a nurse. As a nurse she can better her life, care for her kids, and give back to her community, an area that is very underserved and understaffed and where she plans to return to do nursing.
Penninah has shared with many of us her friendship and generosity, which cannot be bought, sold, or quantified. Our job is much simpler—we just need to raise a little money. Can you help?