I felt a hot chill run down my spine as I saw the sick and malnourished children in the Paediatrics ward of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. Even in pain these children smiled at us as we handed over food stuffs and other basic items to them. The pain of the cannulas on their hands did not stop them from stretching out their hands to greet us with so much joy and receive the small items we had.
Many times the caretakers who were largely mothers by the way, blessed us. One of the care takers, a woman to be specific called me aside and prayed for me!. I have not heard a genuine prayer, honest and meaningful as this old lady’s prayer. “A prayer made in faith, can move mountains they say. “
The day that started with General cleaning around the University was crowned with donations to the Hospital. We did this to mark Mbarara University’s 24 years of existence. It was not about dinners and speeches for us – as the students Guild we set out to give back to community. A community that we have watched grow, a community that borders our magnificent university carries with it heavy hearts of people from all walks of life uncertain of how tomorrow will start. It was a rewarding moment for each and everyone of us.
Giving back to community is never a favor it is a responsibility that we all must embrace. Mbarara University of Science and Technology is a growing community, we must always remember the many unfortunate people that go hungry every night, the little children that succumb to malaria and the many pregnant mothers who, for lack of a better choice settle for one meal a day.
If we still can and have strength to, may we learn the practice of giving back to society. Blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that receiveth.
Tonight I will sleep glad that my team and I touched and impacted a little warrior’s heart defeating malaria and kwashiorkor in a hospital where death is closer than life.
The writer is the Guild President Mbarara University of Science and Technology and President East African Community Students Union.