24887269649_ba7ed651f2_zCelebrating to Caring

It was a time of celebration, the annual Officer’s Ball for the Parachute Battalion. The dinner menu was amazing; Mushroom soup as a starter, followed by a large buffet made up of Beef, Goat, Chicken, Whole fish, Rice, Nsima, Potatoes, Pasta, Cabbage Salad, Greek Salad, Chinese Cabbage, Rape, Roast vegetables with wonderful desert of Banana and ice cream. Everyone filled his or her plates with this delicious feast. All the guests ate until they could eat no more. I noticed however, that a great deal of food still remained on the buffet. More food was coming. Wow so much food.


Arthur, the Salima District Nursing officer, and I started chatting. He then commented on how we were all enjoying such a feast, yet patients at the hospital were not eating. He explained the hospital had no food due to government shortages. Some of the patients had no guardians and no food, and others had guardians but they also had no food.


24624306344_e97d201400_zNo Food at the Hospital

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; No food at the Government District Hospital. Salima District hospital has a catchment area of plus or minus four hundred and eight five thousand people. The beds are usually full and this means there has to be in the area of 300+ people on medication without food. Wow! it put the entire evening in a different light.


With out thinking or hesitating I said we at Cool Runnings and Cool Projects would donate 50kgs of rice. As the night went on I could not help but think of the patients. Here we were eating, drinking, all in excellent health, tummies so full we struggled to move onto the dance floor. There had to be something we could do. I decided I would try to raise awareness of the situation. Perhaps others would help.


Early the next morning I made several phone calls, with an unbelievable response. We received donations of maize, sugar, eggs, bread rolls, cordial orange, cooking oil, salt, sweets & money. We would be able to give the patients a celebration. Nothing fancy, but a decent, healthy filling meal.

After collecting the donations we went shopping for the food items; vegetables, tea, bananas, etc. It was the best feeling. I shop for my business, Cool Runnings, everyday and can’t say I ever felt like I did that day. Shopping with a meaningful purpose, gathering all the donations.


It’s a short time later and I’m at yet another function, again there are mounds of delicious food at the buffet. I wondered how many of the patients, were not eating that night whilst once again we were blessed to be at a party stuffing our selves. I found myself comparing plates with others around me. Being a vegetarian I merely took a spoonful of the vegetables and salad from the buffet. Others at the table had their plates overflowing with all that was on the buffet. Every one’s plates were full and the buffet still looked untouched, I wondered what would become of the leftovers. How we could give a few extra meals to the patients at the hospital. I asked the manager what would be come of the leftovers and he informed me that the soldiers would receive it tomorrow. At least it wasn’t being thrown away.


Real Smiles Were Coming

Back at Cool Runnings beside the beach it was amazing, guests were happy, weather near perfect, sky full of stars, but most of all I knew in just a few hours I would be able to see real smiles. Smiles on patients and guardians faces, as they received morning porridge, followed by mid-morning tea with a bread roll & hardboiled egg. Later it would be followed by a nutritious meal of rice, beans, green vegetables, banana and a cup of orange. We had enough food to give dinner and the same again for the next two days.


Arriving at the hospital seeing the enthusiastic staff accepting the food donations, then preparing the food for the patients. They worked as an amazing team.


Thank you to my friends & associates for making it possible to feed 200 patients a simple yet nutritious few meal as well as being able to give them morning tea two days running.


Truly blessed, THANK YOU for your support.


  •                                                                                                                                                                                                             by Samantha Ludick
  •                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cool Runnings

Editors Note: See the story about Cool Runnings, and Samatha’s commitment to her community in Africa Geographic


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