Malvern, Worcestershire, 11 February 2019: Following a chance encounter on the streets of Lalibela, Ethiopia, local business owner Helen Jamieson and her father, Trevor Parsons, 82 are on a mission to open a desperately-needed medical centre in a town over 5,000 miles away.
Trevor has already sponsored a local student through six years of nursing training and worked with him to build a medical centre in the remote town. The final hurdle is to now kit out the centre with the vital equipment needed to support 35,000 farmers and their families in the area, where men only expect to live to 49, and women to 51.
To do this, Helen is determined to raise £40,000 for the equipment needed to make the centre operational.
Father and daughter join forces to bring healthcare to Lalibela
Seven years ago Trevor was visiting Lalibela to see the region’s underground churches. Out one night in the town’s streets, a man approached him saying he needed to show Trevor something a few streets away.
Trevor was led to the main street where a young farmer was laid out on a stretcher. His arm lolled on the ground, his hand black and dead. He was dying of gangrene resulting from a snake bite three months earlier. With no local medical centre, and no money to travel he was destined to die slowly and painfully. The next day Trevor paid for the young man to travel to a medical centre (two days away) to have his arm amputated.
On his return to England, Trevor stayed in touch with one of the young men he had met in the town, named Adisu. Over email Adisu expressed his sadness and frustration that he really wanted to make a difference in his community and wanted to study to become a nurse so he could care for people in his town. Trevor supported that dream, sponsoring Adisu through his studies and the building of Lalibela’s first medical centre, which is just about complete.
“To hear of the lack of basic healthcare in this region was heartbreaking,” says Helen, Founder of Ringwood-based HR consultancy Jaluch, which is providing rewards for donors to the project. “My father’s passion for the project has inspired friends and family to support the ambitious project, but we now need extra help to ensure that the centre can open for use. The only way to realise this is for us to raise the final £40,000 needed for the vital equipment needed in the centre.
“If we can encourage people to donate just a few pounds it will make a true difference to people just like us, who just happen to live thousands of miles away. They too deserve accessible healthcare, and with our help they can achieve it.”