A group of teenage girls under a charity organization called Young Angels Network (YAN) have donated food stuffs and other essentials to children with cancer and cancer related illnesses that are under the care of Esseza Foundation.
The group of about 10 school-going girls below the age of 18 delivered the food stuff and other essential needs to the vulnerable children at their home located in Magere, Gayaza, near Kampala on Sunday.
The items are meant to help the vulnerable kids get through the Covid-19 lockdown period that has generally affected the operations of the organization.
Esseza Foundation, founded 8 years ago takes care of children and sometimes adults that have difficult health complications and helps them to access medical care as well as palliative care.
The organization works with Mulago Cancer Institute and Corsu Hospital Entebbe to offer low cost operations to the patients so as to help them return to their normal lives. Esseza Foundation has so far taken care of more than 800 patients, some of whom have recovered, others still recovering while others have succumbed to the complications.
According to Annie Katuregye, the founder of the Esseza Foundation, the organization just like many others has been hit hard by the Covid lockdown restrictions to the extent that they have had to send some of the patients back home.
“Every kind of donation is very much appreciated here because we need a lot of money to organise and pay for the medical operations, some of which we have to do multiple times to get the desired effect,” Annie Katuregye said.
“On top of that, we need money to cater for the daily needs and rent for the children that are residents here. Normally, we have about 60 children patients who reside here. However, due to Covid-19, we had to send some back to their homes because it was becoming too expensive,” she explained.
According to Maria Pauline Namirembe, the Partnerships and Networking Director at Young Angels Network, who is main fundraiser for Esseza Foundation donations, said the Network has been reaching out to different vulnerable groups before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are young girls who are still in school and have to depend on our parents, friends and relatives to collect and donate the little we can. Giving and helping the less fortunate is the most loyal act that any human being can do. We are excited to be part of the work the Foundation is doing, of giving these beautiful children a second chance to life,” she said.
Elizabeth Kwarisiima, another co-founder noted that the group would like to have a long term partnership with the Foundation so that they are able to help out more.
“We are exceptionally privileged to be in your presence and we would love to have a long term partnership with you because the kind of work you are doing as a Foundation. It’s why we decided to start this organization in the first place, to be able to reach out to members in our communities that are disadvantaged,” she said.
Elsie Saali, one of the co-founders present at the function also noted that given the magnitude of the cases of children suffering from cancer and cancer related illnesses in Uganda, more institutions such as Esseza Foundation are needed to partner with government under the Ministry of Health to bridge the gap.
She also noted that while it was important that attention be given to COVID 19 patients during this period, other patients suffering from such terminal illnesses should not be neglected by government since they equally require critical attention.
Founded by Daniela Akankunda and other 10 teenage girls 2 years back, YAN seeks to sensitize promote and bring together young people to be able to cause positive change in their communities.
Akankunda calls upon the public to support the work YAN does by donating tangible materials, or cash to the organization to enable them reach out to the millions of children who are in dire need.