I relocated to America but my heart is still in Kenya
By Kimtai Cherongis
Julian Kitenge has never felt the sting of poverty in her life. Her parents were well off and could afford to put her through the best schools.
An experience in her childhood changed her perception about life and set her on the path to helping the less fortunate.
One day she was perplexed when she saw field workers in their farm receive “meagre” wages after a day’s work and she felt so guilty that she sneaked into their granary, which was full of maize and beans and without her parent’s permission packed some of them for the workers.
“I later repented though I felt compelled to share with the less privileged,” she says.
When she grew up and became a nurse in a local hospital she had an encounter with a patient who was too poor to afford an outpatient medical card. She helped him, but was left with nagging thought that she needed to do more.
However, it was her daughter’s illness that truly prompted her to start a charity organisation dubbed On Eagles Wing Inc.
“My lovely daughter was everything and watching her writhing in pain was a sad experience. I begged God to heal her,” she says.
After her daughter recuperated, she relocated to the United States of America in 2005 and struggled to find a way to reach poor families in Kenya.
“I tried to figure out how I could serve people back at home. Luckily my sister was living in Nairobi and she accepted to be visiting patients at Kenyatta National Hospital in order to ascertain those who need my help,” Juliana said.
The arrangement, which started with tens of patients within Kenyatta National Hospital, has expanded to Tanzania and Uganda.
Due to the high number of people who need help, the organisation whose mandate is centred on helping poor families with children battling cancer and street children in Uganda, is referring severe cases to Dr Wilberforce Lusamba in Alupe Hospital in Busia.
The doctor performs free surgeries and offers cancer awareness to residents.
“I help where I can. My mother died of of cancer and I cannot watch someone dying from the disease without trying my best to help,” says Lusamba. Cases referred to him by Eagles Wings Inc are treated for free.
Two women with breast and cervical cancer respectively were helped at the facility courtesy of On Eagles Wings Inc and Dr Wilberforce Lusamba.
“I lack words to describe this selfless act by On Eagles wings Inc and Dr Wilberforce Lusamba. A one kilogramme mass was removed from my abdomen and I am now recuperating,”says Teresia Motonga 72, a cervical cancer patient from Kitui.
According to Pamela Okwara who was abandoned by her husband after being diagnosed with breast cancer, the organisation and Dr Wilberforce have helped her a lot since she was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
“ Eagles Wings Inc. and Dr Wilberforce organised specialised treatment at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret and I can now attest that I am doing better,” Pamela says.