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    Building something simple to help refugees keep their balance

    Day 155

    Steady as We Go

    The Primary Health Center at Umpiem Mai provides incredible services. They help refugees at the camp get access to important care to keep their families healthy – treatments for devastating diseases like malaria. It’s a health hub for the thousands of people who live there.

    But, explained our friend Ajjima, actually getting to the Primary Health Center – which sits atop a hill – is one of the biggest problems. She walked us up the steep path toward the center, pointing to the sides of the path that drop off dramatically on either side. “This is so dangerous!” she said. “When the raining is coming down, you can just slip and slide right off.”

    Imagine someone who’s sick, injured, in pain, or elderly. For those folks, coming back and forth from the hospital can be an especially dangerous task – there’s nothing but the ground to guide their way. “I’d really like to build some hand rails,” said Ajjima. So on Day 155, we did.

    We hired some carpenters from the community to help us put up the railings. They sourced materials from inside the camp, and within a day the rails were built, painted – and already being used. It was that simple.

    “Now, if patients have trouble with their balance, they can hold on to these bamboo rails,” Ajjima said, smiling at the carpenter’s handiwork. “The rails will help them slow down, and hold on. It will help them to heal.”

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