Help Hospice Without Borders raise $200,000 dollars to transform the end of life care here in the rural Western Province of Rwanda.
When I feel challenged and find myself asking, 'what can I possibly offer to meet the the vast ocean of suffering', I take heart and remember the words of Margaret Mead who famously wrote:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Just off the main road, overlooking the hospital and the surrounding hills, lies an old abandoned building you can see in the above photograph (with our team clowning around with some children :). It may not look like much at the moment, but it is nonetheless the site Kibogora District Hospital and the Free Methodist Church in Rwanda have donated to HWB to build the 'Amahoro Hospice Kibogora'. We are grateful to the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Nsnazimana Sabin and the Kibogora community for the this rare and precious opportunity to be of service!
As you probably appreciate by looking at the dilapidated building currently occupying the site, the first thing we plan to do, after completing the final design and permiting with the local authorities, is to tear down that building and subsequently prepare the site for our hospice. This will involve creating an easement for ambulance transport and an ingress and egress of staff, students, and volunteers to the hospice.
Once completed the hospice house will sit secluded atop this lovely overlook in Kibogora. The site lies just across the street from the Methodist Mission Guesthouse and Church, and a few steps down the street from the local college, Kibogora Polytechnic, which has a nursing school where we often teach principles of palliative care to the students.
It is also literally across the street from one of the many genocide memorials in Rwanda, which is auspicious in our view, and an opportunity to remain mindful of one's responsibility in this life to always be working towards UBUMUNTU ~ the realization of our interconnectedness and shared humanity.
For our guests, the Amahoro Hospice Center will be a safe and peaceful place to receive end of life care. For staff and volunteers, it will be a remarkable place to serve and deepen one's hospice practice.
With your generosity and support, together we will transform this site into a global palliative care center of excellence a place of peace, and a balm for all wounds. Read more below to explore why we chose Kibogora, our plan for building the hospice, and finally how we intend to sustain the vision.
Hospice Without Borders has been working with Kibogora Hospital since 2015 and we have a strong relationship with our partners.
Kibogora epitomizes one's picture of old Rwanda with beautiful and rugged mountainous country overlooking Lake Kivu and Congo to the West. It is also a very poor region and the terrain is quite challenging for patients with progressive terminal illness.
The Kibogora Palliative Care team is integrated within the hospital and its large rural catchment area, with excellent clinicians who are national trainers in palliative care.
The hospital director Dr. Salathiel Kanyarukiko, and our partners at the Ministry of Health, Better Together, and the Free Methodist Church at Kibogora support the project and are providing us the land to build it.
Additionally, this hospice will become a service of the hospital, which means it will be integrated into the Ministry of Health. This then creates an opportunity to serve as a model for the nation, and other small rural hospitals in other countries.
The above photo is typical of the circumstance patients often find themselves. Our hospice will serve as a safe and peaceful refuge to the destitute poor and dying.
The above photos show the interior layout of the hospice and the front profile.
As you can appreciate, the building will have 8 bedrooms and accommodate up to 14 guests with room for family members if available.
There will be a kitchen and common gathering room as well as a lovely porch overlooking the surrounding hills.
The original hospice drawings were made by our good friend and engineer, Mr. Mike Ward.
The final architectural design will be completed by a Rwandan architect and informed by our clinical nurses.
It will be built by a local Construction company and overseen by the hospital.
If you are interested in reviewing the detailed action plan and budget for the hospice, please contact Dr. David Slack by sending a message at Take Action!
We are hoping you will support this important peace building project.
The Amahoro Hospice at Kibogora is to be an integrated clinical service at the hospital. This portends favorably being connected to the hospital itself. It also means the Ministry of Health will be responsible for staffing the hospice. This means we do not have to raise funding year after year to pay staff. Our task is to build the hospice, provide policies and procedures and educate the staff, then provide volunteers and supply donations as able.
Kibogora already has an excellent nationally recognized palliative care service and now in 2023
the Ministry of Health has designated Kibogora Hospital as one of 6 new teaching hospitals in the country, which means young nurses and physicians and social workers and pastoral care providers will have a world class training environment.
Finally, Kibogora is a place where international volunteers come to serve in Rwanda and there is ample lodging. Kibogora is a great place to work and a great place to serve.