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Mama Tendo fundraises for baby units

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th December 2006 03:00 AM

THE third Mama Tendo Seminar which took place last Saturday at Hotel Equatoria in Kampala, aimed at raising money to aid the construction of a baby unit at Arua Regional Hospital.

THE third Mama Tendo Seminar which took place last Saturday at Hotel Equatoria in Kampala, aimed at raising money to aid the construction of a baby unit at Arua Regional Hospital.

By Elvina Nawaguna

THE third Mama Tendo Seminar which took place last Saturday at Hotel Equatoria in Kampala, aimed at raising money to aid the construction of a baby unit at Arua Regional Hospital.

When she visited the hospital a year ago, Catherine Ruhweza, “Mama Tendo”, the founder of Mama Tendo Foundation, which is behind the seminars, found neither a baby unit nor an incubator. Touched, she decided to raise money towards this cause. The hospital needs sh8m to put up a baby unit.

“It is heart rending to hear that people die, not from disease, but because the hospital does not have facilities,” the guest of honour, URA’s commissioner general, Allen Kagina, said while officially opening the seminar.

Eighty-eight children per 1,000 births die partly due to ill-equipped hospitals in Uganda. Ruhweza revealed that against this backdrop, her foundation was to extend the charitable cause to all regional hospitals in Uganda.

To kickstart the cause, Kagina told every guest to write down names of six people who could raise at least sh10,000 each. She made guests commit themselves to collecting this money.

On her part, Kagina pledged that URA would visit Arua Regional Hospital and make a contribution.

The URA boss also encouraged everyone to go beyond taking care of their immediate family and help raise orphans.

“This is how we can make sure that there is no child who is not experiencing a mother’s love,” she said.

The seminar attracted speakers: Dr. Zac Niringiye, assistant Bishop, Kampala Diocese and of Relate Communications; Jennifer Musisi, company secretary, URA; Scovia Katushabe, a counsellor with Kampala International University; Rev. Dennis Odoi, pyschologist and counsellor, World Vision; Christine Kintu, a counsellor with Uganda AIDS Commission.

Katushabe told guests how to talk to children about sex and HIV/AIDS. She urged parents to set good examples for their children.

“It begins at home. If you are a father and your children know that you date young girls, how will you stop them from dating older men?” she said.

Drawing from her experience as a mother of five, Katushabe encouraged parents to introduce sexuality and sex education to their children as early as possible.

“When you begin early, no media, peer or other source of information is going to distort the foundation you have built,” she said.

Dr. Niringiye talked about the reality of fatherhood and children’s expectations.

Jennifer Musisi shared about how she balances work, family, church and other activities.

From his experience of raising four strong-willed sons, Rev. Odoi shared on how to build children of character while Christine Kintu talked about walking through pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.

A large number of participants were expectant mothers who walked away with wisdom and gift hampers from sponsors who included The New Vision, dfcu, Johnson & Johnson, Case Medicare and Housing Finance Company of Uganda.

“Throughout this coming year (2007), I am going to go to churches, mosques and companies to raise money for this cause,” Mama Tendo said.

The next Mama Tendo seminar is scheduled for May 2007 at the same venue.

Mama Tendo fundraises for baby units

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