The last fortnight has been a congested schedule of activities for members of Zion Children’s Orphanage (ZCO); a registered NGO with its headquarters in Makindye Madirisa zone, Reason being the arrival of a volunteer from Scotland named Deborah McKenzie.
According to the Director of Zion Children’s Orphanage Alex Pius Sebakiwa, it was the first time for Deborah to come to Uganda, but it wasn’t the first time that she was interacting with Zion Children’s Orphanage. She was one of the contributors who were helping out to pay medical bills for a child (Sam Lubwama) who had kidney complications and ZCO was taking care of him and his family, in one of their outreach programs. Unfortunately the child died on 20th march at Mulago Hospital undergoing treatment.
During their outreach program with volunteer Deborah McKenzie, ZCO staff met and interacted with more than 600 people who are beneficiaries of Zion Children Orphanage programs. These include youths from both genders, who are involved in art and crafts making, sick children being taken care by Zion Children’s Orphanage and women group involved in small scale businesses and partner schools that are under Zion children’s orphanage programs. She with the staff also distributed scholastic material to children at Nsagu a suburb in Wakiso.
She also visited the late Sam’s family to offer her condolences in an emotion encounter with the still bereaved family .Talking to our reporter Mr. Sebakiwa Alex Pius believes that Sam’s life could have been saved if only he was diagnosed at an early stage.
Perhaps it is this belief that Deborah took at heart and she has promised to make every efforts to treat the more complicated cases amongst the children she met on the outreach with ZCO staff.
Our reporter has learnt that Deborah’s efforts are already paying off, because in a few weeks time ZCO will have a nurse from Kenya and other volunteers from different countries that will come to volunteer and supervise the treatment of the children.
Deborah in her final well message congratulated the youth and noted that the whole team of ZCO has big hearts that are doing all these tremendous work. She informed the members that she will be joining the ZCO family so that she can help out with fundraising for the different activities and market out the products that are made by the youth and women in the ZCO livelihood empowerment program.
Deborah told our reporter that she is using her facebook page followers and friends specially to help out on the cases she has identified at ZCO. She also informed this reporter that she will be acting as the ‘the voice for the voiceless’ a platform that she is working to solicit for donations from her associates, she added that already a nurse is in the last preparation stage to come here and supervise on the treatment of the identified children and she will be coming along with much needed medication ,Deborah added that” I have got a lot of positive responses from my posting” she also believes that she will manage to rally her community and network of friends back home to send much needed items like clothes, toys and she has embarked on a shoe donation drive for the children.
Sserwanga Joel the interim C.E.O informed our reporter that the world need more people like Deborah who abandon the comforts of their countries to try make changes in lives of vulnerable people in distance continents.
The treasurer of ZCO Nanyonga peace Perkins received the good news of the targeted sick children, with joy and praising saying that, these are life changing development, she gave the example of Mafumu Kelvin , the boy who needs an operation because cement spoilt his one eye and this has made him fail to even start the secondary school, although he got a first grade in last year’s, Primary leaving certificate. Also the sick child who was born with anal rectum deformation and who is always in great pain.
Jonah Magezi the secretary board of ZCO, emphasized the need for all people to show love and compassion, the way Deborah McKenzie has shown, this he said will make the world a better place for everyone.
Zion children orphanage is a youth led NGO, that according to the director and founder Alex Pius Sebakiwa was started by him while he was in senior two at St. joseph’s secondary school in Mpigi.his vision then and still burning was to make the community around him a better place to work, live play and grow with emphasis on empowering the community members.
According to the P.R.O Mr. Kalanzi Allan, (ZCO) is involved with several programs amongst them ,livelihood programs, which concentrate mainly on youth and women, education programs that entails paying for school fees and buying scholastic materials and a feeding program for orphans and children from needy families. A health program where ZCO caters for medical bills and other medication expenses for the sick. Talent search and empowerment and lastly they have a school that they support called Mugalula community school in Gayaza.
Deborah will be in Uganda doing more charity work till August of this year.