Safe Birthing in Uganda - My 65th Birthday Wish!
Organized by: Beverly Lyne
65th Birthday Wish for Vulnerable Uganda Mothers
April 16, 2016
Please support a Ugandan birthing center and help me celebrate my 65th birthday!
In 2005, Teso Safe Motherhood Project (TSMP) began delivering care to Ugandans who had been terrorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army. After 11 years of providing care to the poorest of the poor, the Ugandan staff deliver 70-100 babies per month, as well as providing HIV counseling, testing, and treatment; vaccinations; antenatal care; family planning; and cervical cancer screening; and laboratory and dispensary services – all for free for the destitute people surrounding Soroti.
One of the key people with the clinic from the very beginning is the clinic director, Martin. Martin’s dedication and self-sacrifices have assured the overwhelming success of TSMP. My CrowdRise fundraising request is for $65,000 for 4 distinct projects that will benefit and sustain TSMP.
First, a bit about Martin, a quite extraordinary man. Martin’s life began in a herding/farming family, but they were forced to flee by the Karamajong when he was a young boy. He remembers a mother running next to him faltering and throwing her child to him, begging him to save the baby, that she could no longer keep up the pace. She was murdered just after that. Adversity did not stop Martin from completing high school and 2 years of accounting school, and learning 5 languages at the same time. Now, Martin’s loving kindness along with his accounting precision makes safe births possible for hundreds of women across Eastern Uganda.
When TSMP opened the door, Martin served as interpreter and accountant. He championed frugality and kept the focus on the most needy patients. He sacrificed his own personal gain for the clinic, working long into the night, often on call to transport laboring women who need an emergency c-section to the Regional Hospital. He has foregone his own personal gain, instead supporting his parents and his younger sister’s education so that she has hope for her future. In the passing years, he has yearned for a family of his own, but could never get ahead financially. Finally, last year a long-time friendship with a brilliant woman, Susan, has blossomed into a deep love.
Uganda tradition demands certain customs be observed for a proper traditional marriage and theirs is planned for May 21. Martin prepared a budget for a scaled down, yet elegant marriage. Still, the cost for the marriage is $6,000. Martin and Susan ask for no gifts, except that they would love to have an ambulance for the clinic. Currently, laboring women are transported in a regular van. A simple “ambulance” that would accommodate a stretcher (no advanced life support, etc., as there are not personnel for such interventions) would cost $24,000. For Martin and Susan to be able to put a down payment on a house would lower their monthly expenses and provide stability and security for their growing family needs. A down payment would be $15,000.
Martin has demonstrated long-term commitment to TSMP and is diligently working to make the clinic more sustainable. To that end, he suggested that adding solar panels to the clinic will not only help decrease monthly expenses, but will also assure 24/7 electricity for the birthing center. It will also mean that the cook will not have to cook over charcoal-burning stoves when she prepares meals for the staff. $20,000 is needed to mount this incredibly practical and long-reaching project.
As one of the founders of TSMP, I spend about a month at the clinic each year. This year I will be blessed to celebrate my 65th birthday with my friends and colleagues at the clinic, as well as participate in Martin’s and Susan’s marriage. To that end, I will depart in early May for my 11th volunteer/work trip to Soroti.
All donations will go directly to the Marriage Ceremony and to the Clinic. There is no “middle-man” expense. As donations come, prioritization will go in this order: Martin and Susan’s Marriage Ceremony - $6,000, Clinic Ambulance - $24,000, Down Payment for Martin and Susan’s home - $15,000, Solar Panels for the clinic - $20,000. It all adds up to $65,000 – and what a FANTASTIC 65th birthday present that would be for me! Please consider TSMP as a worthy recipient of your charitable donation!