Since 2007, The ISIS Foundation has had the great privilege of partnering with Aspen. It has been an amazing partnership, which has shown us all the exponential power of linking the business sector with those in need in the developing world. Together, we have been able to provide the hospital with a new and expanded neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a brand new maternity ward. In addition, Aspen helps people living with HIV to stay happy and healthy through various programmes. Most recently, Aspen has committed to supporting the ISIS Safe Motherhood projects as part of the larger community based health care programme.
Each year, eight Aspen staff members from offices across the globe come to Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda to see firsthand the impact of this partnership. Every year, they leave inspired. For the next week, the ambassadors will be writing a blog each day about their experience at Kiwoko. This is the final blog.
By David Young – Aspen Ambassador – Aspen London Office
I always intended to start this blog with something poignant that might briefly and intelligently summarise all of the experiences that we have witnessed this week, to conclude this year’s Kiwoko trip. I wanted to do this because like any experience, it is finite and time moves us all on.
On coming home and talking to other ambassadors, all of us are finding it hard to just ‘end it there.’ Now I feel that a conclusion does not do Kiwoko Hospital or our experience there justice, instead I know that everything we saw and felt is the beginning of a story we would all like to go back to. Unfortunately, unlike a book we pick up, Kiwoko hospital’s story will go on whether we are there or not and this is really quite difficult for us all to accept.
My fellow ambassador’s blogs show why, in so many ways, Kiwoko has become so special to us, and difficult to leave behind. We have met many inspiring people over the last week and seen how much Aspen’s support can make a difference to the care these people give. We have listened to stories of overcoming adversity, which have been given a voice not only by the resilience of individuals, but also through the help Aspen and ISIS have given them. Without our financial support, there will be fewer stories of hope, which are so important to the community at Kiwoko. These stories of the hospital’s work serve not only as inspiration to us but as powerful ways to breakdown the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS.
At Kiwoko Hospital, we can talk about the many achievements that Aspen and ISIS have made. We can count the statistics out loud. We can say how bad it was and how good it has become. We cannot underestimate is the continuing need for our support. We realise there is more we can do. So as each of us leaves Kiwoko we leave some amazing people behind and we are sad that we cannot see more of them, but what we can do is offer financial support to help them do what they do every day, and help them do that for more and more people.
We are grateful to all of the staff at Kiwoko Hospital, at ISIS and everyone at Aspen who has already done so much to support the Hospital and hope that in continuing our support these stories will remain and the good work at Kiwoko Hospital will endure.