Cherish Uganda是一個理想社區，位於Entebbe，毗鄰天水相依的Lake Victoria，世台基金會已在此支持兒童醫院的建設，這裡愛滋病患者不需害怕他人異樣的眼光，因為大家沒有不一樣：定期在醫院接受檢查，學生一起上課也一起服藥，國中生的宿舍有愛心老師細心照料，一同面對成熟的酸甜苦澀。這22公畝的園區裡更有一棵棵綠香蕉樹，供應每個人食的需求。社工Sarah在這裡快三年了，仍然爽朗地向園丁、護士、學生打招呼。
May 2018 烏干達
“You’ve had mensturation yet?”
“Then what do you use for periods?”
“…….” There’s a moment of silence with only two streams of tears rolling down on her face.
That’s the moment when I realized what she was struggling with. A 14 year-old girl, motherless, living with a brother and a drunk father who always escaped the reality, by no means had the access of knowledge of puberty.
The answer was from Sarah, a social worker in Cherish Uganda. On that rainy day we went out to tutor on making pads.
“We always receive positive feedback on services. Would you tell me truly, if the lesson we provide is helping the girls? Out of doubt, I asked Sarah.
“The office provides pads in emergency case. Some of the girls pretend to forget about their dates and run to the office simply because they cannot afford a pad. So teaching them how to make their own pads either from second-hand clothes or fabrics they care for, the cost is lower than the on-stock pads. There is always a need.”
Cherish Uganda is an ideal community, located in Entebbe, adjacent to Lake Victoria. Here HIV patients needn’t bear with peculiar looks from others. Every one receive examination on regular basis. Kids go to school together and take medicine as a whole. Secondary students are taken care of by care givers, who go through the bittersweet of teenage. The 22-acre site encompasses matookes which fill pupils’ plates. Sarah has been working for Cherish Uganda since three years ago, still she greeted the gardeners, nurses, and students with her radiant smile.
A life is always the biggest power to change another’s life. When a story is told, the story no longer belongs to who it happened to only. It starts from the tears of the girl, is spiced up by Sarah’s hope, then composed my unwavering determination. The story will never slip out of my mind, instead, it’ll motivate me to be the change. With more people passing on the story, the issue makes everyone’s responsibility. Let it become your own story.
I’ll always remember the feedback from the girls: Please continue extending your service to many. This is extremely helpful.
Uganda. May, 2018