Unsung Heroes: The groundskeepers of CURE Uganda

“The ground was not leveled. It was like the bush— it was not beautified like it is now. There were no flowers; just a plain ground,” said Abasa, a groundskeeper at CURE Uganda.

In 2003, before CURE Uganda’s construction, the surrounding land was a marsh. The hospital partnered with Pastor Peter, a landscape architect with Oasis of Life Church. He began to transform the property, bringing in new types of trees and plants as well as addressing the hospital’s drainage problem. In 2006, CURE hired Abasa, Anthony, and Benard, who worked with and were trained by Pastor Peter. Then, in 2011, we hired Patrick, and today, the four of them take care of the grounds of CURE Uganda.

 

Patrick sharpens a lawn mower blade.

Patrick: Groundskeeper Assistant

“I enjoy CURE. It is a Christian organization. Mostly, it has people who are Christians, and the sick people who come in, if they are not born again, they also get a chance to learn about salvation,” said Patrick, groundskeeper assistant. “I used to work with … an organization called PAG. I was a groundsman, and I worked with them for 14 years. I love my work, and God has blessed me in my job. I love all the sections, but I especially enjoy trimming the grounds, because when you trim, it looks very smart. The whole compound looks green, especially if the rains have come. If a visitor comes outside, he sees a green blanket to admire, and he thinks, ‘These people are doing a good job.’ I thank God for allowing me the grace to apply to CURE. CURE organization has helped me to support my family, and if my children get sick, I get support from CURE,” said Patrick.

 

Abasa (front), Patrick (back left), and Anthony (back right) cut bushes in front of the administration building.

Abasa: Groundskeeper Assistant

“I love to beautify. I love to see a place beautiful,” said Abasa.“I wanted to help the children.” Abasa helps the children and caregivers at the hospital by pushing them around the compound in wheelchairs, keeping the environment clean, and counseling the families. “I share with the mothers, especially when they are in the gardens and relaxed. I comfort them and tell them to trust in God that their children will be fine. After a long day of work, everything is good and looks nice. Whether slashing, whether trimming, whether digging tomatoes in the garden—they look beautiful,” said Abasa.

 

Benard burns a pile of leaves.

Benard: Groundskeeper Assistant

“Slashing! I am the one who slashes and trims the flowers. I love CURE because CURE has good relationships with the employees,” said Benard. Of all the parts of his job, Benard finds trimming flowers and cutting the grass the most enjoyable. He also uses his time to encourage and counsel the families he meets in the gardens. “I want to work at CURE to help children and share the word of God. God gives me the words to share with the caretakers and staff here,” said Benard.

 

Anthony talks as he rakes by the maintenance building.

Anthony: Groundskeeper Supervisor

“When you trim the grass, it really looks nice, even if you stand at a distance. CURE is green because the grass is kept trimmed. There are many reasons why I work here. First, CURE is a Christian hospital that teaches the Word of God. Secondly, it is a hospital that treats people with disabilities, so I wanted to clean the environment these people come into for treatment. CURE helps us share the Word of God, and every person is friendly. Senior management, local people, the doctors … they are friendly to one another. The interaction within our coworkers is always friendly, regardless of the race, age, sex; we are all equal. Many challenges come up, but God has helped me overcome them by listening to the Word of God and also by preaching the Word of God to my colleagues and the other people who come to the hospital,” said Anthony.

 

Patrick waters the ground as Abasa plants tomatoes.

 

Benard packs leaves into a bag after he finishes raking.

 

Benard climbs up a tree to cut down dead branches.

 

Anthony plants flowers in a new flower bed next to the administration building.

 

Left: Abasa, Benard, Patrick, and Anthony prepare the hospital’s garden for planting new crops.

 

Benard uses a weed wacker near the fence of the hospital.

 

Abasa trims a bush in the front of the hospital.

 

The grounds crew works by a tree in bloom.

 

Patrick mows grass outside the ward.

 

Patrick rakes leaves from under a tree.

 

Abasa pulls a limb as Patrick cuts it off a tree.


Photo of the Christopher Mullen

About the Author:

Aloha, I’m Christopher, the CURE Storyteller at CURE Uganda. My favorite thing in the world to do is make photographs, and I get to do that in a wonderful environment. On a normal day, I get to document surgeons, doctors, and nurses saving lives and families being prayed for and comforted by every department in the hospital. Prior to working for CURE, I spent the last two years working as a freelance photojournalist in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Powered by Facebook Comments


Further Reading

Trip Stories

Family finds purpose in medical missions

Family finds purpose in medical missions
Spiritual Ministry

Wenzyl Dejolde: Finding unity in diversity

Wenzyl Dejolde: Finding unity in diversity
In the Field

Staff Highlight: CURE Niger Executive Director George Găvruș

Staff Highlight: CURE Niger Executive Director George Găvruș
News

Top 10 stories & kids from 2018

Top 10 stories & kids from 2018
In the Field

Unsung Heroes: The groundskeepers of CURE Uganda

Unsung Heroes: The groundskeepers of CURE Uganda
In the Field

Learning to integrate spiritual ministry in healthcare

Learning to integrate spiritual ministry in healthcare