May 25, 2013 was an auspicious day in the history of the Pabalelong Hospice in Metsimotlhabe, in greater Gaborone, the Capital of Botswana. On that day the Hospice organized a ‘Sponsored Walk’ to Raise Funds for the Hospice, a first of its kind. A group of twenty enthusiastic supporters gathered at the Hospice at 7:30 am to walk a distance of 25 kilometers to the Cathedral in Gaborone. Though the group was small, they did manage to get many sponsors for the walk. With great resolve they walked, singing songs and reciting the rosary. They even managed a few dances in between which invited the passersby to take note of the Hospice service available in their community. It was very encouraging to see people joining the group along the way. A couple of vehicles accompanied the group to offer assistance to anyone in the event of an emergency. Halfway to their destination they stopped to re-energize with refreshments.

The group was so focused they arrived at their destination — the Cathedral — earlier than anticipated. By then the number of walkers had increased to 40. Bishop Emeritus, Rt. Rev. Boniface Setlalekgosi had been asked to address the group, but their early arrival did not make it possible. In its place they concluded their walk with prayers in the Cathedral. The Administrative Team of the Hospice, SCNs Sunila Erumangalathu and Vinaya Chalil and Fr. Tony Rebello, SVD, walked all the way with the group. It was an enriching experience for all the participants. The Hospice received over P 70,000 from the generous sponsors. The success of this event has motivated the Team to plan for other fundraising events in the future.

Pabalelong Hospice: Pabalelong means a place of Love and Care. This Hospice is the Catholic Church’s Institute of Charity in the Diocese of Gaborone situated at Metsimotlhabe, with admission facility of ten beds. It is committed to the provision of accessible high quality palliative care, love and support to people who are terminally ill, as well as to their families.

Story by: Sunila Erumangallathu, SCN