Purity resides with her mother, Virginia, and brother and sister far from any town . They are Maasai and live in a metal house with a few cows in the corral, a dozen chickens around the house (truly free-range!), and nationally-owned giraffes in the far back yard. The family's sole income is hosting occasional foreign volunteers who participate in nonprofit community organizations. Because of years of drought, the cow herd has dropped to 9, and not enough crops can be grown to take extra vegetables to market to sell. All family funds have gone to sending the kids to school. Purity has just finished high school but fainted during her national graduation exams. Her resulting x-rays, which I have seen, show perforations in her liver.
I am a retired American teacher who met the family over a year ago and am again living with them, this time for 6 months as Grandma in the family. I volunteer with the local Maasai beading women to help them earn money from their beading efforts. I plan to come for half a year as long as I am able. However, my funds are limited, as I live on retirement savings. I have told Virginia that I will help with Purity's medical expenses as much as I can, but I have little to contribute.
The cost of Purity's medical costs is unknown at this time; the hospital will not give us any indication of the potential cost, including surgery and ongoing medication. Obviously this sum would be much less than in the US but still off the chart for a traditional Kenyan. There is no national healthcare insurance opportunity for unemployed Kenyans who, like Virginia, cannot afford the monthly contribution. We are very frightened of this huge financial obligation but have no choice but to have the surgery performed.
Any amount you feel you could contribute will be gratefully received. Many Blessings.
- Alexander Gomm
- Kate Greene
- M O
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