A delegation from Kenora's inner-city church, Jubilee, is hoping to provide more help for African orphans.

"We saw something that we didn't see before, where they actually locked the wells up at night to keep people from taking water, so they don't run out," said Pastor Frank Kowal.

As a result, the delegation are hoping to raise money for additional wells. They would serve the Linda Miclash and Tom Newell children's homes.

A well would cost about $2,000 (U.S.), which is a hefty sum for a church mainly focused on serving those on the margins. It's also in addition to existing commitments.

The church has been helping children's homes dedicated to the memories of Linda Miclash and Tom Newell. Linda and David Miclash served together as a couple for 50 years, including work with 100 Huntley Street. Newell served as the chaplain for the Kenora Jail, after helping to create the Canadarm for the space shuttle.

"Children are drinking out of the river water there. There's a small creek that goes through the community, and it's very unhealthy to drink that water. They end up drinking it, because it looks clean, but it's full of parasites," Kowal added.

Health care in Liberia, he says, can also be a trial. Kowal recalls how hundreds of people can line up to see a doctor or nurse. Some arrive at 2 a.m., only to wait patiently.

"At the end of the day, when the sun has been hot all day, when the sun has been hot all day, they've been waiting all day, and they still don't get to see the doctor because 200 people have lined up, it's really heartbreaking," he added.

Kowal says he helped with the triage for about 700 patients, who waited to see a doctor and two nurses. Two other members of the delegation helped others with glasses. They gave out more than 300 pairs.

"It's amazing. You walk away from there, and they have this big smile on their faces," he says. "We take for granted vision, in Canada, but there are people over there who don't have glasses and don't have access. When they do have access. It's life-changing."

 

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