Ashley writes from Funzi

“I was up at five thirty this morning, long before it is light here on Funzi Island.

We had to reach the mainland at Bodo but discovered the water was really low. Our boat was stranded on the mud bank. We had to call for the young footballer’s team to come to our aid. We all pushed and pulled the boat, wading through the water in the dark creek trying to get to deeper part of the river. Then it was across the estuary with only the stars as light to find our way.

Our mission was to reach the tailor on Bodo and get him to hospital. He has a very deep open wound in his leg which bleeds and weeps constantly. We have been treating him for six months although he’s had the condition for years. The result of a botched operation we believe. Today we were due to see the senior surgeon at Msambwani Hospital. If you don’t get there by six you can miss your chance to see him. He has to act as surgeon for three medical districts so there are so many people wanting to see him everywhere he goes.

Hospitals are pretty grim here and medicines and drugs in very short supply. The cost of every procedure is listed but they have no relationship to the actual costs. The medicines are rarely available so you have to pay much more to get them and people pay to ensure they get seen or on the list.

After hours of waiting we saw the surgeon. On Friday the tailor will be admitted to hospital. He will have muscle tissue taken from his good leg and implanted into the wound. It’s hoped that after several weeks in hospital the wound will start to heal. This is a procedure the tailor couldn’t afford without our help. He has also confided to our manager, Ali, that if I wasn’t here to oversee this he wouldn’t have agreed. He is too afraid of furthering suffering and mistakes in hospital.

There’s another reason. He is a very poor man. His house is little more than a few walls with sleeping compartments created by pieces of old cloth. He is the sole bread winner and more than five people rely on his meagre earnings as a tailor. We will not only have to pay for his treatment and his bed in hospital but also fund his family so they can eat . He wanted my reassurances about this before he agreed to go into hospital. For me this is a very significant moment in our charity’s life. We have worked hard to get this man- who had been virtually abandoned- the prospect of recovery and a new life after years of pain.

Friday will mark a significant achievement which all our supporters should feel a share in.

Please keep Shee and us in your thoughts a prayers.”

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About funzibodo

The Funzi and Bodo Trust (FAB) exist to try and change things for the better. Working with local people we are creating the conditions for a better environment where people can reach their true potential and where at least the basics of life are available affording a decent quality of life for all.
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