Partners for Care is trying to understand how to “help and not harm” in a developing nation. We have read the books “When Helping Hurts”, “When Charity Destroys Dignity”, heard the lectures and the stories of how when we help we can actually not be helping in the long run.
We are beginning to understand and can even see for ourselves the dependency that helping can create. We also see the changes in people when they can help themselves or help others in their community. The story of Anastasia that I have written about is a good example of the community coming together to help. And, like the story of one of the motor bike drivers in Maruri. Recently, one of them was seriously injured in a motor bike accident having to have an amputation of his leg. The motor bike drivers organized a fund raiser to help with his medical expenses and to set him up in a business. PFC staff loaned them their sound equipment. There is a great feeling of success that the motor bike drivers came to help one of their own. And, there is such an appreciation between the motor bike drivers and PFC staff. “Poor” people can and do want to help themselves and their neighbors.
We understand and respect that. But, then there is Baby Chello. Baby Chelo’s mom walked over 6 miles carrying her to our medical camp last week. This three year old child who looked more like a one year old has a large tumor on her kidney. She was having difficulty breathing and Dr. Vincent knew she needed immediate attention. Bridgett went with the mom and baby to Kenyatta Hospital….a more than interesting experience for a designer on a Saturday night. The hospital was full with patients even filling the hallways. They managed to have an initial scan for Baby Chello that night.
Now Baby Chello is in Kenyatta Hospital waiting for surgery. Her surgery must be paid for before they will operate. There isn’t Medicaid here in Kenya to help. There is a waiver program but we are told it could take two months to receive one.
The family is poor and doesn’t have a support network….no one to organize a fund raiser for Baby Chello. Are there times when “not helping hurts”? For now, we have paid for her tests and have asked the family to try to raise the funds for her surgery.
We would be grateful for anyone to advise us….help or wait? We have turned Baby Chello over to God….and we ask ourselves what would God have us do?
Trying to make tough decisions for Baby Chello….
Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry