Saturday, April 21, 2012

Youth donate food and clothes at Hargeisa mental hospital

HARGEISA, April 21 - The mentally ill patients at the Hargeisa mental hospital woke up on Saturday to a surprise visit by youths who brought them food, clothes and other essentials worth $1000 USD locally collected among the youth volunteers as part of celebrations to mark the Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) that encourages youth to volunteer for community service events.

Volunteering under the banner of the USAID funded Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI) and the Global Citizens Corps (GCC),the youth presented the donations to the guest of honour and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Ali Said Reigal who officially handed the foodstuffs and other essential to the management of the hospital who were really touched by the benevolence and kind gesture from the youth.

Speaking at the fun-filled handing over ceremony at the heavily fortified mental facility, Mustafe Khamrile, head of the mental unit was full of praise to the youth saying that he hopes their kindness will not stop and that they will always keep the forgotten patients close to their heart.

“This kind gesture by the youth is really encouraging because they are actually helping their peers since most of the patients are youth. We cannot remember the last time when anyone or group has remembered us and brought us so much donations like this, we say thank you, thank you and thank you again.” Khamrile said.

Olad Farah, Mercy Corps Deputy Chief of Party for the SYLI program that help to facilitated for the youth mobilization promised the patients and the hospital officials of many more similar voluntary activities by the youth.

“All the food, clothes, soaps and other essentials you see hear was bought by the youth who contributed $1000 USD amongst them to donate them to the patients of Hargeisa mental hospital as part of the GYSD celebrations in Somaliland. This is the first of many similar voluntary activities under the GCC community service events that you will be seeing in near future. I can promise you all that this will not be our last time to support the patients,” Olad said amid ululations and claps from the dignitaries and women patients.

Guest of honour at the ceremony, Minister Reigal praised the youth for their benevolence and thanked the health workers at the mental hospital for taking care of the mentally handicapped patients.

“I expected to see chained patients and a lot of commotion and chaos as is the case in most mental hospitals. But that is not the case as you can all see and therefore I wish to thanks the nurses, doctors and administrators of the hospital for a job well done. To the wonderful youth who remembered their sick mothers, brothers and sisters I can only say may God handsomely reward you for your kind gesture. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will always support you in all your endeavors,” Minister Reigal said.

Elise Ranveig, a Norwegian nurse working at the hospital was also so impressed by the gesture from the youth that she came to personally thank them all.

“This is so kind of the youth because these patients have no one else to support them. Please keep up the good work and am sure your compassion will be rewarded. Your gesture will surely encourage members of the society to also support these poor and sickly patients who cannot fend for themselves,” Elise said with a grin.

With his perfect English, one of the patients had but only praise for the youth.

“Thank you Mr. My name is Abdullahi. I am good and very, very happy. What is your name? You are good people because you give us food, clothes and even football to play. God bless you,”

he said while enjoying a cold canned juice fruit with cookies and looking smart from the new shirt and trouser that he received from the donations.