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: 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: 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: 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: 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.