From Hamilton Island, To Zimbabwe, With Love

Aid For Africa Down Under

Aid For Africa Down Under

I first met Pam Harrison during one of our visits to the Hamilton Island Medical Centre where she is a nurse. While we tended to scrapes and grazes we got chatting about some projects that we had been involved with recently – mine with a school library rebuilding project in the Cook Islands and Pam with AFADU (Aid for Africa Down Under) school and hospital projects in Zimbabwe. She told me about several projects that were supported by the 1500 staff and residents of Hamilton Island.

She told me about the WHINE Club, a group of island ladies who meet on Sunday afternoons for a natter, a laugh and a wine, where each brings along $2 a week that pays for sponsorship of Zipporah, one of the orphans at the Lirhanzo Children‘s Village who lost her mother from HIV/Aids.

The Reef View Hotel became involved after hearing about the critical shortage of linen at the Chikombedzi Hospital and donated over 300 superseded, but still excellent quality bed sheets. For a small African hospital this gift is nothing short of a miracle.

Dr. Lewin and the Hamilton Island Medical Centre have also been generous. Assorted pieces of medical equipment that were still working but had been updated were sent including life-saving equipment such as ECG machines, a centrifuge and a steriliser, and are now being well used in the clinics and the Operating Theatre at the Chikombedzi Hospital. The island Ambulance Service are also giving equipment and wound dressings which are superfluous to their needs but are welcomed with open arms once they arrive in Zimbabwe.

In December 2010 the entire island got behind a Fundraiser AFADU held at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club that raised over $18,500 to go towards accommodation dormitories for trainee nurses who will attend the Nursing School that has already been built with AFADU funds.

This year, donations continue to pour in such as more medical equipment, bikes and toys from the kindergarten and Hamilton Island staff uniforms that have been changed and updated. They will be freighted to Sydney and will be packed in the next container that is sent from there to the Zimbabwean community.

Thank you, Hamilton Island!