In 2009, I had the opportunity to fulfill a dream I’ve had for a long time. Friends of mine asked me if I would like to go with them to Mpanshya for four weeks. I agreed, and in July my daughter Gina and I travelled to Mpanshya for the first time.

We were not able to help in the running of the hospital there because the electricity was not working. Instead, we wound up doing random jobs like painting walls or transporting building materials. During this time, I got to know the region and its people. Gina and our friends’ two children visited the children’s ward of the hospital every day and played with the young patients. We also began our first project: the construction of a mortuary.

When the time came to say goodbye, I knew that I couldn’t just leave the village without arranging to stay in touch and to lend my support to the work being done there. Sister Josepha, one of the nuns living in the village, gave me some materials about sponsorship opportunities which I could pass onto family and friends. I quickly found fifty families and individuals who were willing to sponsor a child. The number has now grown to sixty.

In 2012, Gina and I were fortunate to be able to return to Mpanshya and see with our own eyes how the village has developed since our first visit. This is thanks to the relentless efforts of Dr. Matthias and Dr. Kathrin Furrer, medical directors of the hospital, and also to the hard work of the nuns and other people who have lived in Mypanshya for a while.

And yet, there is still so much more to do….