As Miss America 2008, one of my many missions was to reach out to children as spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network. One Hundred Days, an organization dedicated to restoration in Rwanda really stood out to me for several reasons, the main reason being that they are dedicated to the build out of the first pediatric hospital in that region.
In Rwanda there are over 1,200,000 children who have lost one or both parents as a result of conflict, poverty or HIV/AIDS. Rwanda has one of the worst child mortality rates in all of Africa - one in ten children die before their fifth birthday, often from illnesses that are preventable or treatable with simple vaccinations, better nutrition or proper antibiotics. When this hospital is completed, it will be providing services and programs such as:
- Basic emergency care
- Routine pediatric care, immunizations, maternal-child health, and urgent care.
- Laboratory and pharmacy services.
- Limited inpatient services and transportation/referral of those needing more extensive care
- Training for local doctors, nurses and health care providers
- Community outreach and education programs focused on topics such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, first aid, maternal care and nutrition
- Opportunities for visiting doctors and nurses to serve and teach.
They also accomplish explaining the needs of this beautiful country by the telling of the story of their personal friends in They Had to Run, a children's book that very eloquently talks about the horrors two frightened young children, Simon and Kedress Nziramakenga. They fled early rumblings of the Rwandan genocide, forced to grow up as orphans. Today they are both successful accomplished adults. The organization has been around since 2003 and has accomplished great strides.
Now, we just need the world's help in
making the build out of this pediatric hospital a reality that will help make
it possible a country's next generation can be independently healthy.