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Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy in action

A life-changing moment for people in Bwindi, Uganda when A&K’s Kerry Golds, Chief Tour Operating Officer UK, Europe, USA, and Australia, helps to deliver 100 wheelchairs

The freedom and independence to become mobile have been restored to 100 people living on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda thanks to Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy.

AKP has been working closely with the Walkabout Foundation in Nanyuki Town a charity that focuses on making wheelchairs. After a detailed needs assessment and with the support of funds from AKP, the foundation was asked to build 100 wheelchairs (70 for adults and 30 for children) to support the Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda. 

AKP in action

The remarkable moment when the wheelchairs were handed over was witnessed by Kerry Golds, Chief Tour Operating Officer UK, Europe, USA, and Australia who describes the moment as “an experience that will live with me forever.”  

“A seven-year-old boy told me how life-changing this was for him, now he could go to school and learn,” said Kerry. “I was able to share the moment when the wheelchairs were being distributed, helping assemble them, and then fit the beneficiaries to their chairs, and felt a mixture of pride, shock, sadness, and happiness. It was a very special day. 

“Several family members expressed their eternal gratitude for AKP’s donation of the wheelchairs and told me that their lives had been changed by these gifts.”

Wheelchair beneficiaries

The Walkabout Foundation

During her time in Bwindi, Kerry worked alongside David Muhoro, manager of the Walkabout Foundation, who leads a team of 17 staff members, all of whom are experts at making wheelchairs with seven of the staff living with a disability themselves. “He is an amazing chap, whose understanding and patience of the procedures was so impressive. 

“I was so impressed by the achievements of Bwindi Community Hospital. Their dedication to the healthcare of the local communities and education of nurses through their nursing school and their immense hard work and passion left me truly humbled. I am so proud that AKP has played a part in achieving some of these goals,” said Kerry.

Wheelchair beneficiaries

AKP in focus

AKP was set up in 1982 to raise funds for conservation efforts in the Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya. Since then, it has gone on to develop 46 projects on all seven continents, that focus on four core pillars – conservation, education, health, and job creation. 

AKP has supported the Bwindi Hospital for many years. During a tailor-made journey to Uganda, guests are invited to visit this rural village to see how the community has partnered with AKP to grow the remote medical outpost into a thriving health care oasis serving 100,000 Ugandans.

AKP and the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, have helped it grow to a 112-bed facility providing healthcare for 40,000 patients annually. The dedicated staff also sends outreach teams to surrounding villages. 

The Uganda Nursing School Bwindi invests in promising local students who will be the region’s future health care workers. Since one in three students can’t afford to pay the $750 annual tuition, AKP and A&K guests have come together to provide scholarships to ensure the success of the school. 

In turn, this ensures that the people served by the hospital and surrounding villages have access to certified nursing school graduates who are from the region, speak the local language and understand local customs. 

“Our guests can visit these projects to see first-hand the positive impact these projects have and support further developments,” said Kerry. 

“I try and visit these projects whenever I can on my travels and they never fail to touch my heart and humble me, they are experiences that will live with me forever.”

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy in action