When we were done with building the dormitory at Luweero, there was a general sigh of happiness, a relief unfelt of before, that we had – atleast – secured the housing of over 500 orphaned children, you would think that a break was worth it, and then came this Thursday meeting. At that meeting, we were to discuss which homes we would work with. Suggestions were made and we zeroed down on two of them – Akiba Cancer Kids Home and Agape Children’s home.
Now you need to understand, that while Agape had orphaned children selling bicycles to make ends meet, Akiba had children fighting for their lives each day they lived.
I vividly recall, the first Saturday we had a breakfast there, this one girl, she sat in a wheel chair, with a plastered leg, a bit of a swollen face in a blue dress, she had this smile on her face, the smile that read like, ‘things will be alright’ she had this jolly appeal that made being a kid a whole lot fun, she raced the home with the much finer kids in her wheel chair, and enjoyed the face-paint, she’d turn and smile at every colour that was put on her, often questioning “Do I look beautiful with this?”
I took her photo, I recall, never did I bother to find out her name, I shed a colour on her plastered leg and told her that’s what we do when our friends are wrapped in white, I told her when she walks again, she could hang the plaster in her room and have memories of the ‘hard times’.
The next time we went to the home, she’d passed on! Young and innocent, cancer had claimed one on us. She didn’t get to hang that plaster on the wall, maybe I should have asked for her name and we become even closer friends, maybe she’d have lived a little longer for me to return, maybe we should have heard her story that day!
All that was left, for me, was my two other friends in the home, – Brian Mugenyi, an energetic young man and Kazei, another young boy that came within one week of his death only to beat cancer to its game.
When you ask me why I am going for hoops for grace, its not the basketball I can tell you, its not the fun that comes with being around friends on a weekend, its to secure the life and future of the courageous kids like Kazei that live with the hope that one day everything will be alright, it’s for the Brian Mugenyi’s that do the mathematics of how your 3000 shillings entrance fee will cater for their radiotherapy and chemotherapy, its for them that will walk into the home and see a whole new fresh face. Its for those kids that battle cancer by playing, looking at musings in the home and hoping tomorrow will come.
Now many of you may not be coming for hoops for grace, infact you may not be aware that on 4th October at Bush courts kololo, a basketball event will be held to raise money for cancer kids at this home but you cannot shut your ears to the pleas of the courageous children like Mugenyi and Kazei. You simply cannot turn a blind eye when 1 year olds ask for your 3000 shillings to guarantee what their tomorrow will look like.
No matter how detached you are from 40-40, or how unappealing charity looks to you, or how busy your Saturday can be, you can do the little things like send money to 0773 152 701 to help the cause. You can turn up at bush courts kololo and pay 3k to enjoy music,basketball, bouncing castles and fine girls and boys or you can play in a team at the event for just 10k and you will have helped these kids believe in a future free of cancer. We cannot lose a battle because we cannot pay just 3000 shillings for an event!