Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Saving the world

The last village we visited today was Serabu in Kenema District of Sierra Leone. Our CLTS team, Kamboi, was already there implementing the strategy. While walking towards the meeting area, Kamal Kar - the pioneer of CLTS - noticed a young boy lying on the steps of a building. He asked the surrounding members of the community about the kid. The kid was clearly severely dehydrated in the dry, dusty 40 degree heat; his frail arms seeming as if they would break when we touched them. We got a water bottle from our vehicle, and gave him some salt and sugar water to rehydrate him. Our Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) escort took him to the local health center. As the kid began to vomit, the nurse reported that the village had a very high rate of diarrhea and dehydration but most didn’t come to the health center because of a local witch doctor.

While all this happened, our team worked diligently to carry out our strategy to get the community to clean up the village, unaware of the tragedy slowly unfolding steps away. How easy it is to become so focused on saving the world that you lose sight of saving one person.

(Children in the village of Serabu after they wrote and sang a song telling their community to clean up the village so they don't get sick and die)

(Children continuing through the village singing)

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