From the bottom of my heart, I would like to take a moment to thank the devoted people here in the Buckeye State and across the US who have contributed prayers, finances, time, thoughts, energy and much more to the clinic effort. Your excellent dedication has made our clinic vision a reality. We wouldn’t have been able to take the first step without your passion for giving to people in need. Nothing would have been achieved without your influence. Each of you have impacted our progress and touched the lives of our people in South Sudan. Thank you all. Your unique commitment brought hope and has had a positive impact on the people of Piol.
I was overjoyed when I saw the picture of the foundation being dug and the pile of sand and gravel on the site. I questioned myself, “Really, is that right”? I believed that unimaginable things are made possible with hands joining together and taking one step forward at a time. I was seriously shocked and hurt by what I saw during my visit in 2007. The life-threatening situation was simply not acceptable. The unhealthy well being of my people, the hunger strife, and the lack of shelter and other basic needs were like a slow motion killing machine in the area. I felt a heavy weight and my mind went blank for a moment and I couldn’t imagine what to do or where to begin. I just wished I had magical power to solve all these problems at once.
I thought about nothing else during that visit. I could only reflect on my own personal story. I learned that something good and long lasting cannot happened overnight. However, I question, how did I make it through that thousand-mile journey, walking tirelessly, while the horizon and landscape seemed endless and the days and nights seemed like years. I always wished to myself during the journey, “If only I had a bike or car that destination would be short”. But the steps that I took, one by one, along with talking to myself, moved me forward until I reached the next location.
I realized that life in Piol would neither change in a day nor would I do it by myself with magical power. Improving live in my village would need more caring hearts and it could start with something doable one step at a time. Bringing health care is a good start and will have a positive impact in the community life cycle.
Healthy children will have a better future, mothers will worry less during pregnancy, and also after their baby’s birth because there will be good prenatal and postnatal care. Being healthy will enable people to work hard to get food and hunt for different opportunities in pursuit of happiness in their daily life. The construction of the new Buckeye Clinic means a lot to me, but also, my family, my village, and my circle of friends in the US, who worked tirelessly around the clock to make this a reachable goal. Children will no longer die due to lack of vaccinations, care for mothers before and after birth will be improved, and sick people will be well taken care of. All people who carry their loved ones on stretcher for the distance of 35 miles or more will now be able to seek treatment in their backyard.
This Buckeye Clinic is a sign of hope, a life saving center, and also a landmark for the community.