The Southern Cross : December 09
www.adelaide.catholic.org.au The Southern Cross December 2009 Page 15 news A Glenelg couple has experienced what it's like to make a diffe r ence to the lives of people living in one of the p o o res t countries in the world. Chris and Shannon Adams, who attend Our Lady of Grace Church in Glengowrie, have just re t u r ned from an emotional trip to Tanzania where they were able to witness first-hand the results of a project to build a dispensary and fill it with vital hospital equipment and medical supplies. Their involvement began four years ago when visiting African priest Father Patrick Kung'alo was taking sabbatical leave from his position as Rector of St Peter's JuniorSeminaryinMorogoroinTanzania. His visit to Australia was sponsored by Catholic Mission and for six months he lived and worked in the Port Pirie diocese, visiting many schools and parishes. During some free time he stayed with the parish priest at Glenelg and met Chris and Shannon at Mass at Our Lady of Grace Churc h . " W e soon became friends," said Chris. "Members of our c h u rch community were very generous in support i n g Fr Patrick's works, providing sponsorship for seminarians and funds for the upkeep of the seminary. " Fr Patrick re t u r ned to Africa where he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Moro g o ro . In June 2006 Shannon was in Africa and was able to stay with Fr Patrick for two days. Fr Kung'alo took Shannon to his home town of Kipera, outside of M o ro g o ro, where he showed him the shell of a building, and said "I have a project for you"! The project to build a small hospital or dispensary was conceived by two Americans from a parish in Kentucky, who visitedMorogoroin2003.Theyidentifiedapressing need for a medical facility in the Mlali area, which takes in Kipera and the surrounding districts with a population of about 500,000. They re t u r ned to America, had some plans drawn up, and began fundraising. It took them three years to get the dispensary to the stage that it was in when Shannon saw it in June 2006. Fr Patrick asked if his friends in Australia could help the parish in America to get the project finished. A small g roup of six people (including Steve and Dee Dunne and Peter and Anne Kay) with the suppor t and encouragement of the congregation at Our Lady of Grace and others, raised funds to assist in completing the building and filled a shipping container with donated hospital equipment and medical supplies. " We were ver y for tunate with the donations we received," said Chris. "One very large donation came f r om Southern Cross Care at Plympton. "The original nursing home (The Pines) was to be demolished to make way for a brand new care facility. We w e r e made aware of this and were put in contact with Neil Harris, the Maintenance Supervisor at the time. Our small group, with some help from Peter Murphy, a volunteer at the Pines kiosk, was able to collect many items from the old building including hospital beds, bedside cupboards, screens, mattresses and boxes of hospital privacy curt a i n s . " The group eventually filled the 12-metre container and shipped it to Moro g o ro in December 2008. Shannon and Chris attended the official opening of the 'Mlali Dispensary' in August this year. "When I walked into the dispensary for the first time I have to admit to being very emotional -- the amazing result of this journey was to see the dispensary completed and equipped to a level way beyond our initial expectations," she said. "The dispensary was going to make a substantial d i f f e rence in the lives of tens of thousands of people. They would have the treatment that they so badly needed. " The dispensary opened its doors the day after the o f ficial opening with people lined up at the door. For further information phone Chris on 8294 5939. African link pays off MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Chris and Shannon Adams at the dispensar y opening.