An Eye Hospital with a difference….

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The team behind the eye care in Kenya

“Why has nobody been feeding her?”

Mama Jane, an elderly grandmother was skin and bone. Jane, her daughter assured the eye care team that despite her mother being blind she was well fed and cared for. With a short hug she waved goodbye as her mother climbed aboard the truck.

She arrived at St Mary’s, greeted by Roselyne’s beaming smile that she could not yet see. She gently guided her to the female ward where a meal of fresh vegetables, fruit and stewed milky Kenyan tea awaited her, all produce from the hospital grounds including the milk. There was no doubt despite her frail frame, she had a very good appetite. Everything was gobbled up which raised suspicion further that she was not being fed at home.

The following morning, Dr George expertly operated on her and she was retuned to the ward to rest and she soon demolish another mountain of fresh fruit and vegetables.

After a hearty breakfast and education on post-operative care, Mama Jane was taken home where she would see her daughter Jane’s face for the first tome in many years and see her multiple grandchildren who didn’t understand what the fuss was about. A member of the hospital team gently mentioned to Jane that they were concerned her mother was being neglected as she ate so well at the hospital and yet was painfully skinny. Jane claimed her mother ate really well but must have some condition that meant she couldn’t put on weight.

The hospital truck left with advice on coming back to the hospital for follow up and with a plan to keep a close eye on the situation.

That night, Mama Jane settled back in to her routine but now appreciating the familiar and new sights in her world. As the sun went down, a large bowl of corn maize and vegetables was put in front of her to enjoy. As soon as Jane was out of the room, four of her grandchildren creeped in to the room, spoons and bowls in hand and started to help themselves to Mama Jane’s meal. For a moment she watched as the stealth operation unfolded in front of her now seeing eyes and a wave of realisation as to why her belly hadn’t been full for so long hit her like a poke in the ribs. As the oldest child went in to load his spoon, she grabbed his wrist with surprising strength, looked him in the eyes and asked what he thought he was dong? Nobody was more surprised than her eldest grandson who dropped his bowl and ran outside, the other three following. Mama Jane was heard laughing as she filled her belly with Jane’s cooking.


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The Ujima Bakehouse has committed to providing a minimum donation to St Mary’s Eye Hospital and the Ujima Foundation which will cover the costs of ten sight-restoring operations and ten training places for young adult orphans on the Ujima Hospitality training program every month for at least six-months. The hope of course is that this minimum figure will be far surpassed and that the bakery will run for years and years.


The Maili Saba Wild Sourdough test batch – Real Bread

Maili Saba Wild

The four of us enjoying a ride to the nearly ready bakery in a tuk tuk

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