Life was already tough for eight-year-old Jemma, when she was involved in a terrible road traffic accident which could have killed her.
Jemma lives with her grandmother and five half-sisters, near Kampala, Uganda, in a two-roomed house with a dirt floor. Her father is dead, and her mother is physically and mentally disabled, so her grandmother has been her sole carer since she was one week old.
This fragile family are very poor and cannot afford bedding, so they sleep on old rugs bundled up to make a mattress. Jemma’s grandmother works in a nearby quarry where she breaks stones manually. It’s hard, hard work, and it pays very little.
When Global Care started sponsoring Jemma, in 2016, with income from a student hostel in Mukono, the extra support was desperately needed. Sponsorship helped Jemma access education and meant someone else was looking out for her. It looked like something was finally going right. Despite everything, Jemma is a friendly, playful little girl, she’s energetic and talkative at school and shows interest in her studies.
However, earlier this summer Jemma was knocked down by a car, which flung her into the road, where she was run over for a second time by a boda-boda, a bicycle taxi. She was rushed to a nearby hospital with significant injuries including a suspected ruptured liver. When her condition worsened she was transferred to Mulago hospital, where she stayed for 11 days in intensive care.
In Uganda, there is no NHS, no free medical care at the point of need. Without Global Care’s intervention, Jemma would have died. There is no way her grandmother could have afforded her medical fees.
But Global Care’s Medical Response Fund, part of our Children At Risk programme, is there for exactly this kind of emergency need. The MRF gives our international staff and partners the ability to respond instantly to urgent medical cases, stepping up in a crisis, without the need to apply to the UK for additional funds.
For the cost of around £211, funded through Children At Risk, Jemma’s life was saved. Now she’s back at school, and as this photo shows, she is happy and healthy.
Thank you again to all our Children At Risk supporters, and to our sponsors. You cannot change the world, but you are making a world of difference for children like Jemma.
Children's names are changed and their photographs obscured for reasons of protection.