Sri Lankan peacekeepers share time, meals and other gifts with patients at Bor hospital (Gideon Sackitey)
The Sri Lankan initiative was prompted by Vesak Day, a religious and cultural festival
We thought we were here to receive medical care, but here we are, also getting food and water, biscuits and clothing for the children
When you are hospitalized, your immediate concern is to get prompt and adequate care to recover as quickly as possible. It can be a dull experience, at the best of times, but bed-ridden patients at the main hospital in Bor have recently been in for a surprise treat.
“It’s a happy occasion for me. These presents were not expected. We thought we were here to receive medical care, but here we are, also getting food and water, biscuits and clothing for the children,” said Akon Alier, who is expected to give birth at any time.
Sri Lankan peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and running its medical facilities in Bor have just spent time with Akon and her fellow patients, distributing about 300 meals to them, and donating clothing to the children’s ward.
“The donations are very welcome and make us happy. I am glad that they decided to come here and I wish to say a big thank you to them for their good work,” said Ajare Doul, who has undergone appendicitis surgery but is hopeful of being discharged shortly.
The Sri Lankan initiative was prompted by Vesak Day, a religious and cultural festival celebrated in the tear-shaped island nation on the day of the full moon in the month of May. It is a day commemorated by sharing food and drinks, singing and lounging under the soothing light of colourful lanterns.
“We see them [the hospital patients] as part of our community and making the donation was our way of fostering good relations,” Dr. Major Nandana Pushpakumara explained.
The Sri Lankan aviation team based in Akobo also did its part, by gifting stationary to a school in town.
Sri Lanka has contributed uniformed personnel to United Nations peacekeeping missions since 1960. The country is a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).