NED ZIMBABWE EXPERIENCE

 

 

 

Who would say me that we were going to be operating in Parirenyatwa Hospital, on its day of exclusive use for whites and in the less well-equipped Harare Central Hospital, in the suburbs and where only black patients came. Now, years after that infamous discrimination, there are no longer any differences in skin color, ethnicity, or race. How absurd that was, how terrible. They have told me dramatic, meaningless stories, human miseries.

During these days I have not been proud of being white. There were moments of distress, I have felt bewildered and in the minority … I have felt shame and regret for what colonialism did. The first day was not easy. But everything was quickly overcome thanks to the greatness of their grateful looks, of forgetfulness, although initially tinged with incredulity and mistrust, perhaps the scars of what happened.

Afterwards, I have only received gratitude from many people with a past full of humiliations. They have been able to accept me, to allow me to transmit skills and knowledge to them. They have made me enjoy what I enjoy so much. I avoided thanks and they gave me their friendship, I did not want courtesy and they entertained me, I did not expect their attention and they learned quickly.

It has been an experience of indescribable sensations: offering family, friends, time, knowledge, heart, money for those who once suffered the greatest miseries from white settlers: racism and intolerance. You realize that the worst thing about poverty is not the lack of money, but the inability to develop the full potential of the person as a free and worthy human being.

For this reason, the NED objective is to facilitate and enhance the capabilities of those who have less possibilities: in five days they have learned to treat children with hydrocephalus by endoscopy in an area where this disease is an epidemic; they are complex, extreme cases that include newborns, cases that not even the best western expert would be able to solve with so few means. They already can. Truly this result compensates the work of a lifetime. What a privilege!

I feel pride in the achievements of our volunteers, NED. It was my first African Hands-on without Tony Gómez’s help, who is already recovering day by day and very soon back with us.

I have not wanted substitutions. It is his place, and it will always be empty until he returns. I have felt so wrapped up by him, by his example, teaching, fighting, kindness, courage … I have even solved problems with wires, computers, projectors, monitors, cameras, optics … Who was going to tell me! Without a doubt they are trails of his mastery. Thanks friend.

Me gustaría finalizar esta crónica con una cita del libro Repensar la Pobreza de Banerjee y Duflo: “La mejor opción para acabar algún día con la pobreza será el corpus de conocimiento que va creciendo con cada respuesta específica y en el saber que acompaña a esas respuestas.

I would like to end this chronicle with an extract from the book Rethinking Poverty by Banerjee and Duflo: “The best option to end poverty one day will be the body of knowledge that grows with each specific answer and in the knowledge that accompanies those answers. . “

That way we walk.

JP

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