The Faith Mulira Health Care Center in Masooli, Uganda, has been a project of love for our church for the past ten years. This year, our youth groups have set a goal of raising $7,500 to expand the clinic to meet the increasing demand for more inpatient care, baby deliveries, and maternal care. If we reach our goal, we will celebrate with a dance open to all on Saturday, February 28th from 7-10pm in Palmer Hall. We will come together to dance because the people of Uganda love to dance! Here is the story of the Faith Mulira Health Care Clinic…
Faith Mulira grew up in the village of Masooli, Uganda. She was a single mother of five and, in her early thirties, became the director at a home for orphans and abandoned children. When Idi Amin came to power in 1971, however, Uganda became a dangerous place. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated to range from 100,000 to 5,000,000 people. Because of this, Faith took her children and fled. Eventually, Faith landed in Connecticut where she re-invented herself, becoming a live-in nurse, caring for the elderly and terminally ill.
As Faith worked in Connecticut, she became close with her patients and their families. It was clear to these families that a deep love for her village of Masooli, Uganda, remained strong. Faith shared with these families about the village, and how she still owned a piece of land there on which she hoped to one day build a medical clinic. Faith spoke with passion, “The people of Masooli have no resources to access the much-needed medical services, and they have very high death rates, especially for children under five.” For comparison’s sake, the under-five mortality rate (the probability per 1,000 that a newborn baby will die before reaching the age of five), is around 100 in Uganda, and 7 or 8 in the United States. Currently, the life span for the average Ugandan is 54 years old, while the life span for the average person in the United States is 80 years old.
Gordon and Nancy Crouch, members of our church, got to know Faith when she worked as a live-in nurse for Nancy’s father during the last six years of his life. Gordon and Nancy cannot say how many times Faith told them about her dream of building a clinic in Masooli, they just remember her passion and determination. Eventually, they began to feel a pull, a call from God they say. Gordon and Nancy just knew they were to help her realize this dream. They had no idea how to go about it, and they were quite anxious about the idea, but Gordon and Nancy eventually took a leap of faith and brought it to our church.
It took many years, but eventually it was the Crouch’s ability to trust in God and build important relationships with others within our church and community, that got the clinic started. After many highs and lows, the clinic began being built in 2005. In 2008, it was finally complete. The Crouch’s, Kelley and I, as well as Connie Keedle, Annette Lilly, and Melinda Westbrook traveled there in 2008 to officially dedicate the clinic. The people of Masooli were thrilled that health care was coming to their village.
The Faith Mulira Health Care Center saw approximately 4,000 patients (3,765 outpatients and 139 inpatients), and immunized 4,273 children in 2014. In addition, the number of malaria visits was down in 2014, which the Masooli Board hopes means that the preventative measures of the clinic are working!
With a larger building, the clinic could do more, especially in the area of maternal care. To expand health care in Masooli, Uganda, and to support our youth in the process, visit http://www.razoo.com/team/Pf-Youth-Group-Simsbury-Dance-For-Masooli and select the name of one of our youth (if you do not know any names listed, feel free to pick one randomly). Clicking on their name will take you to their individual fundraising page. From there, you can follow the steps to donate online. Or, feel free to mail or drop off a check off at that main church office made out to, “Faith Mulira Health Care Center, Inc.,” with “Dance for Masooli,” in the memo.
Together, let’s expand health care for the people of Masooli, Uganda!
Rev. Kevin and the First Church Youth Groups