Hope for Kabingo
The pictures shown here are from the July 2018 Mission trip to Kabingo. (Click on an image below to open the corresponding gallery.)
We travel for 24 hours to Entebbe, Uganda and then another half day to the village of Kabingo. From our base in Kyocera at the Bakhita Guest House, with running water and electricity, every day we travel 45 minutes by bus down a dusty road to and from the bush village of Kabingo.
Wile the medical team treats thousands of patients for illnesses such as malaria, others hang mosquito nets, teach classes at the primary or secondary schools, work in the pharmacy, or examine eyes. Whatever the tasks, we meet wonderful and grateful villagers and play with the children.
This year’s participants included individuals, couples and even families. The average cost of the two-week trip is $3,500.00, including roundtrip airfare of about $2,300.00 (airfare will vary)
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Education is the only way a village boy or girl can dig themselves out of poverty. The St. Bakhita school system, the jewel of Kabingo, provides this opportunity. A village child can begin school in baby class and has the opportunity to extend their education through advanced high school. The schools educate over 800 students per year.
Hope for Kabingo supports the schools and students through a sponsorship program at all levels of education. Sponsorship beyond high school and into technical and university programs has contributed to the next generation of medical professionals, teachers, plumbers and electricians. These young men and women have generated the ripple effect of education by sponsoring the education of their siblings and cousins. Hope for Kabingo sponsors over 150 students annually. This past year, the village Primary 7 students performed 10% higher than the national average on the Ugandan National exam
In Kabingo, too many children die from malaria and too many women die during childbirth. Hope for Kabingo sponsors the St. Bakhita Dispensary which is staffed by a clinical officer, two nurses and a lab technician. These dedicated staffs provide life-saving treatments for deadly illnesses, such as malaria and pneumonia. They also inoculate children with vaccines to prevent common diseases. The villagers are grateful for this year-round access to quality healthcare.
Hope for Kabingo travels to Uganda to run an open-air medical clinic every summer. During the two week trip, 25 missionaries spend long days treating thousands of the most grateful patients on the planet. It’s a combination of hard work, spiritual retreat and an African adventure.
Through the combined efforts of the Dispensary staff and the mission team, each year several thousand patients are treated, a thousand children are immunized and hundreds of lives saved from malaria.
Life is hard in Kabingo. The villagers are sustenance farmers who “dig” corn, beans and bananas to provide food for their families. In addition to caring for their children, women do most of the farming. To empower women is to elevate the whole family and the entire village. Hope for Kabingo invests in Kabingl’s women by supporting a basket co-op, microloans through the Women’s Bank and education on improved agricultural techniques. The Women’s Center has been built to create a place for the women to work on their businesses, learn new ideas and support each other. The women are making use of these programs and achieving remarkable results. For additional information: hopeforkabingo.org
A long drought throughout 2016 caused famine, disease and death in Kabingo. Shallow wells and ponds dried up, crops failed, people suffered and died. Hope for Kabingo provided food relief to help reduce the impact, and committed ourselves to never witnessing our friends go through this heartbreak again. In answer to many prayers, the Cincinnati Professional and Miami University Chapters of Engineers Without Borders have taken on the water shortage in Kabingo. They’ve assessed the need on the ground and developed a 5-year plan to drill, purify and distribute life-giving water to the villagers of the Kabingo region. The villagers will raise funds and provide much of the labor to put an end to drought and famine in Kabingo. For additional information: hopeforkabingo.org
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. If treatment is available it generally takes two weeks to be cured of malaria. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. For young babies, children and the elderly it can be deadly. One of the most effective means of preventing malaria is sleeping under a mosquito net.
Each year the mission team provides mosquito nets to families in Kabingo and some of the nearby villages. Through the combined efforts of the Dispensary staff and the mission team, each year several thousand patients are treated, a thousand children are immunized and hundreds of lives saved from malaria.
Donations are always welcome to purchase additional nets for the village.
A historic blessing! In 2017, through the expertise and kindness of one committed electrical engineer an advanced solar power system was installed in two of the schools followed by the national power grid finding its way out to Kabingo. The villagers are now able to connect to the grid on a pay per use basis for the first time ever. Students study under a light bulb versus a candle. Women make baskets and coasters after the sun goes down. Gradually, more and more villagers are hooking up to electricity. Father Richard’s grandmother lovingly called Kabingo – “Kabingo City.” Not yet, but it twinkles at night!
If you are ever in need of nourishment for your soul, come to Kabingo! The work is hard, but meaningful. The villagers are poor, but grateful. The children many, and happy. You will be tired in body, but uplifted in spirit. You will be among strangers, but feel deeply loved. At the trip’s end, you will want to come home, but, leave homesick for Kabingo!
It’s all about food. The villagers dig, plant and pray for enough rain for a good harvest. They have been farming the same way for hundreds of years. Trying anything new – seeds, irrigation, storage bags or farming techniques - is seen as risky and potentially lead to the loss of the little funds they have or even worse, starvation. Understandably, with so much to lose, the villagers need evidence that anything new will be successful. Towards this end, Hope for Kabingo has engaged an Agricultural Coordinator to educate the villagers on improved farming techniques through classes and demonstration gardens.