6.14.2012

In this moment

There is hope for change, small bits of progress that are making dreams that felt previously unrealistic, tangible. The pediatricians who stood up and offered their help after the seeing the news story are helping in ways that this community never dreamt of. De-worming treatments, vitamins and supplements are being given. Last week alone, a young boy who got a laceration on his head received proper stitching. A little girl who was sick for three weeks, got a free examination, Xray and antibiotic treatment. Her mother (who is younger than me) also received an exam/Xray and was, unfortunately, diagnosed with tuberculosis. There is no telling how long she has been suffering from it but we do know it is a miracle that her daughter has not caught it yet. Tuberculosis is tough, there is a set treatment but it requires six months of daily medication and three different medications at that. That treatment was previously unobtainable for her, let alone that if left to treat herself non-compliance is a guarantee. So we are formulating a plan and trying to get the medicine donated month by month from pharmaceutical companies. Even if that is not possible, the medicine will be purchased for her via donations from Deb or anyone that is willing. (Update: I just got news that the first month has been donated, and I will have to figure out the next five months as they come) Once we get started, I will meet her every day to administer her dose and give her a protein shake and in six months, hopefully we will have a TB free momma. Despite the diagnosis she was smiling ear to ear, thanking us for the care.



Then comes the dream of education. This has been keeping me up at nights, as my coworker who has her master's in public health would say: the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is food, shoes and education. Education. Education. Education... this is a barrier that is extremely difficult to overcome for reasons which maybe I will explain in another entry. I have tossed and turned and wondered what to do. I found a school near the train station who eventually pointed me to another school down the road. There at this Don Boscoe school, they offer night classes for street children. The ones who have never gone to school can receive literacy training, the others who do attend another school can receive tutoring and at the end of the day they get dinner. The school will prepare them for exams to enter regular schools and as I sat there talking to this principle I dreamt of the cycle weakening, to the point of cracking. Could some of my babies learn a trade, get a job beyond picking trash for recycling, not live in the slum someday? If just one, right? If just one breaks through. I well-up with tears over these hopes, they are so heavy in my heart. I feel like with the goal of education, I had been grasping at straws when someone came along and put the ground back under my feet. There is a lot of planning to do before the new school year starts in August. I was told they can wear anything but based on previous talks with some of the kids, one big reason they don't attend school is because they don't have the proper clothing. So uniforms and shoes for each child whose families will allow them to attend the classes are a necessity. It will not be an easy road, or an instantaneous change but, friends, there is a very real dream becoming reality in Lakhtokia. 

7 comments:

  1. It is so amazing to read your stories. Honestly you are quickly turning into quite the inspiration...and thats just to me, sat at my laptop in my little flat a million miles away, I can't imagine what you must mean to the families you are working with. It's such life changing stuff. Argh-I don't know my point...I'd shake your hand if you were here or I were there (maybe go in for an awkward cuddle) I don't want to say well done you, because I know it's not done...but...just...eerrrm..i'm thankful there are people like you in the world!! :)

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    1. Awkward hugs, hand shakes, cuddles or high fives are always welcome encouragement! Thanks for the kind words of support, it puts a bright spot in my day!

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  2. Could you give us an idea of how much money we're talking about to buy a day's or a week's or a month's medications for the momma with TB? Also, what would it cost to outfit one child for school? Luv ya kid!

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  3. Yes, I would like the same information as Dig Wilder. :-) You are doing great things Kristin!

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    1. Lea- The great news is that I already have the costs of the TB medicine covered even if the pharm companies can't donate the treatment! As for school uniforms, we are researching right now and I will do a post on it when I have all the info together!

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  4. Wonderful, just wonderful :D

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