CURE Zambia is always excited to receive visitors, but the hospital has truly been abuzz about our very special guests! After much preparation, CURE Zambia is finally hosting a delegation of 16 students from the United Arab Emirates this week. This visit is part of the UAE/Zambia partnership of CURE hospitals. Trey, Vice President of Patient Relations at Oasis Hospital in the UAE, organized this trip with Peter Kyalo, CURE Zambia’s Executive Director, and Imad Jarwah, one of the counselors at Al Ain’s Higher College of Technology. ”We wanted to take the students on a humanitarian trip to a CURE hospital outside of the UAE to truly see the mission of the CURE network,” said Hulsey. ”We want them to understand that the money the Oasis hospital generates in conjunction with their health benefits goes on to help underprivileged children in CURE hospitals worldwide.”
The genesis of the is effort started with Peter Kyalo’s visit last year to the UAE. On this trip, Peter met Trey and they began talking. At CURE International’s management conference in February, Trey and Peter put plans in motion. ”We thought this would be a good idea for these students as it is the first time, for many of them, to travel outside of the Gulf region,” said Trey. ”We wanted the students to interact with Christians as a way of breaking down barriers and prejudices that exist without good reason, to show them that we are more alike than we are different. This cultural exchange is beneficial to both Muslims and Christians.” Trey also told me that he is hopeful that this will become an annual project.
After talking to Trey, I ventured into the chapel where the students were busy reorganizing the complex CURE Zambia filing system. The students will be giving their time and expertise to volunteer at the hospital. They will help hospital staff with the patients in addition to other hospital duties.
I had the chance to ask some of the students a few questions about their experience in Zambia. ”When you think about Africa you think of poor without good accommodations,” said Amal, an engineering student, “but we have been very comfortable here and we have been treated well.” On Sunday, most of the students were taken to church — a first for all of them. ”First of all, I respect all religions and I’m curious about other religions,” said Aysha. ”I was surprised that at the church we attended there was a lot of singing and clapping! It was a very good experience!” Personally, I think Ahmed summed up the entire experience best when he shared his thoughts with me. ”It’s really amazing to see a place like this in a poor country. This hospital is treating poor people for free! It is amazing and Zambia is an amazing place!”
The 16 students will be traveling to Livingstone later this week to take in some sightseeing. They leave Zambia on April 2nd.