Remember when you broke a bone when you were younger and as you were being casted you looked at the doctor in awe and wished that you could learn how to cast? No? That wasn’t an aspiration of yours? Well just imagine that it was an aspiration of yours, along with studying abroad in Uganda, and you discover that through USP you are able to do both through one of our very cool practicum sites! Okay, no more beating around the bush. Let me tell you a little story about an organization called ACHERU.
Afaayo (Luganda for “He cares”) Child Health and Rehabilitation Unit, or ACHERU, is a non-profit organization that does postoperative work on children with physical disabilities. The children stay at ACHERU during their rehabilitation (anywhere from several months to two years) with a parent/guardian and many receive additional reconstructive care.
USP students in the Cross Cultural Ministry Practicum class participate in a 40-hour practicum with various organizations in Mukono, including ACHERU. Those doing their practicum at ACHERU can do a number of different tasks on any given day including data processing and helping teachers with their lessons, all the while interacting with the children and their guardians at the site. This past Tuesday, one of our students had the opportunity to help the doctor cast a child!
Mike has never casted anyone before. This is what I love about ACHERU, if you are present and the doctor needs someone, he’ll call on you to help out. The girl’s leg had become deformed after malaria medication was wrongly injected into her nerves in her village. The casting would set her foot correctly.
I did my practicum at this site 6 years ago. One of the things I enjoyed then and continue to enjoy is the community atmosphere of ACHERU. Many of the staff live on-site with their families. It is fun to see and hear the staff member’s children playing in the background while the little girl was being casted. Rehabilitation is a very serious thing, but ACHERU is a friendly, open environment where people meet new people, learn how to do new things and genuinely enjoy one another.
Summer playing with a staff member's son in the next room:
Mike, Heather and Summer with some of the patients and their guardians at ACHERU:
Post by Program Assistant, Tiffany Gathers