Pain can be treated with medicine, but the only cure for suffering is love. Kasisi is mourning the loss of Christopher – and what a tremendous loss it was. His seat at the dinner table is now empty, his agility and aim will be missed on the football field, his cleverness and wit lacking from everyday chats. We mourn in silence out of the collective helplessness we all feel when faced with the inevitable, but we refuse to give in to despair.
The Orphanage in Kasisi and the wonderful sisters who run it are determined to teach its residents that tragic events do not have to create more pain – they are merely an opportunity to pause, take a breath and get to work doing good. Grief is not eradicated by more grief, pain or despair. The only way to overcome tragedies like the premature death of Christopher is through acts of love and kindness. And while many of our children will carry trauma from their childhoods for the rest of their lives, we at Kasisi are here to end this cycle.
Instead of leading to more pain, Christopher’s illness set off a chain of good events. The outpouring of support was tremendous. Honorary blood donors stood by day and night, ready to show up at the drop of a hat to help Christopher. You also responded to our urgent appeals for help and mobilized immediately, proving that we can always count on you. It’s now time to pick up the pace and amplify our efforts. We have therefore launched the Christopher Sakala Fund.
The Christopher Sakala fund has two main goals:
One. When sister Mariola visited Christopher in the hospital, she witnessed extreme poverty. Children with cancer are fed just a bowl of oatmeal three times a day and nothing else. Most parents cannot afford to pay for their medical treatment, let alone a healthy meal. Sister Mariola already supports one family who has a sick four-year old suffering from leukemia. His family had not sought medical care simply because they did not have enough the resources to pay for the trip to the hospital. She gives the family money as well as food. Ever since she came to the oncology ward, she dreams of being able to volunteer together with Steven, Christopher’s brother, as well as other children, by visiting patients, and donating food, clothing and toys – all things they lack.
Two. Sister Mariola is working on modernizing the houses in which the older boys live. This is yet another stage of the transformation that started at Kasisi a few years ago. Most buildings are decades old and were built according to outdated construction standards and limited in their scope by budgetary constraints. Sister Mariola is the brains behind changing how we think about the space we have to work with. We don’t want to just build new housing, we also want to create a nourishing space for young boys to develop their individual talents and interests. Kasisi has never been just a place to sleep, it also offers roots and the chance to grow wings. Sister Mariola hopes that the newly conceptualized spaces will reflect this.
We are also planning to build a Community Center with a movie theater for cinephiles, a concert hall for musicians, and an atelier for artists – a space for everyone to recharge their batteries and forget about their everyday worries. A place to stimulate the imagination and inspire creativity, to embolden the residents to dream big. Help us create this space!
We are not starting from scratch – all donations raised for Christopher’s medical treatment will flow into the fund.
CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT?