Mbarara:Roke Telkom, a home-grown telecommunications and cloud solutions providers, has extended material support worth shs7 million to 18 children living with cancer, at the Bless a Child Foundation in Mbarara City, as part of the company’s Roke Gives Back corporate social responsibility initiative.
The company handed over items including; a wheel chair, play materials, kitchen utensils, mattresses and food stuff, among others, during their annual visit to the home. In addition to the material support, The Roke Telkom staff, cleaned, fixed broken windows, faulty electric wiring and prepared lunch for the sick children.
The resident nutritionist and Manager Bless a Child, Ben Ochan, hailed Roke Telkom for showing compassion to the children at the home.
He said, “The cost of care and supporting cancer patients is extremely high, so any extra helping hand is always appreciated. Support from Roke Telkom over the years has been a godsend. We can’t thank them enough for being involved in these children’s lives. Roke has shown us for the past 2 years that they have these kids’ well being at heart by showing up and getting their hands dirty in making things around here much better for the kids.”
He cited a number of challenges faced by the home, which include limited space, with the number of diagnoses increasing while the space stays the same, limited resources like food, transport to and from the hospital for treatment appointments, late presentation of cases and social challenges that have in some cases forced parents to abandon treatment halfway.
Ochan also did not hold back on sharing the highlights at the home with joy. “I am elated to report that there has been a reduced rate of treatment abandonment in western Ug from 30% in 2020 to 10% in 2022 and it is projected to go even lower in 2024. There has also been a reduction in the cost of care, increase in survival rates and treatment adherence,” he said.
Roke Telkom Client Support Manager, Nobert Alinda, applauded the Bless A Child Foundation staff for the selfless work they put in to support these children and their caretakers.
Alinda said, “It takes a special kind of selflessness to dedicate oneself towards humanity in such a form. We are blessed to be given the opportunity to come here and spend a day with amazing human beings like these kids, and for that we are grateful.”
In a special way, he also applauded the children for their strength and resilience.
He said, “Cancer is one of the most painful diseases, even for adults. I am inspired by these brave little ones that, despite the pain they are in, can still smile and we are glad we contributed towards that smile today.”
The children and their caregivers were visibly excited by the Roke Telkom visit. Brian Mucunguzi, a patient from Kisoro, who has been at the Bless A Child Foundation home since 2021, was moved to tears as he narrated his story.
Mucunguzi intimated, “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Being an orphan, I was being taken care of by my grandmother, who later passed on and left me with my sister. Bless A Child found me sleeping outside the hospital, took me in and has been my home since then. This is my family and I thank God for them every day.”
Founded in 2020, Bless A Child Foundation Mbarara is currently a home to 18 children, who are under the age of 16, have been diagnosed with different kinds of cancer and are actively receiving treatment. The Foundation receives an average of 150 children per year.
Roke Telkom is a Ugandan-based telecommunications Company that has been fully licensed by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) since 2006, as a Public Service Provider (capacity resale, voice and data), and a Public Infrastructure Provider.