The Leona Clinic
BH 36 as it’s known, was in terrible shape. Approximately 200 students attend BH 36.
Four days after the Buy a Brick Foundation volunteers arrived in Zimbabwe to work on the Vulindlela High school project, Leonah Sibanda, a 15 year old orphaned high school student, was attacked by a water buffalo approximately 1000 yards from the new school grounds. At the time, the closest medical clinic was 20 miles away. Injured, Leonah spent an hour alone in the bush before help arrived. She was brought to the school in the back of a old pickup truck. We had with us some basis medical supplies but nothing that would care for a compound fracture. Together, we waited nearly three hours for the arrival of an ambulance. Finally, Leonah was transported to Victoria Falls Hospital and treated for severe leg and jaw injuries.
Within the hour of Leonah being transportated to the Victoria Falls Hospital; Chief Bishop Sibanda (no relation to Leonah), the Buy a Brick Foundation founders Sheila Farthing and Gib Leonard, along with builder Jonas Sibanda (also no relation) and Project Director Kumbulani Tshambo were discussing the situation when it was discovered that a medical clinic had been part of the local community’s master plan for over 30 years. Jonas, by sheer coincidence, had a complete copy of the architectural plans for the clinic on hand. The Buy a Brick Foundation immediately committed to build the community’s clinic on the Vulindlela High School campus. Within hours, the CEO (Governor) of the Hwange District, Phindile Ncube, arrived on the job site with the head of the government survey department. Using the existing clinic plans, ground was broken that same day. The Hwange Government donated the first 5000 bricks for the project, which were delivered the following day.
The first phase of construction was complete 60 days later. The Zimbabwe Government is currently sending a registered nurse to staff the clinic every other Thursday. The clinic, Phase One became operational June 10, 2014. The Government has promised to provide an additional two nurses upon completion of all phases of the project, and the Buy a Brick Foundation is now actively working to meet this commitment with a completion date of September 2016.