Odyssey of hope takes group more than halfway around the world

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The Rev. Robert Aliunzi, third from left, and E3 Africa board members

The 14,000-plus miles that stretch between West Chandler and Uganda have been bridged by a local group devoted to improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable humans.

Connie Sunday, president of the board of E-3 Africa, travelled to the East African nation recently and says she saw for herself the overwhelming needs of the inhabitants.

E3 Africa, named for the organization’s goals to educate, enrich and empower the people of Uganda, was founded by the Rev. Robert Aliunzi, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in West Chandler.

“Visiting Uganda this year and the refugee camp, I personally saw firsthand how simple and basic medical equipment and supplies saved and improved quality of life,” Sunday said.

“Fighting in neighboring countries has pushed over a million refugees into Uganda borders and has put intense pressure on a system that still struggles to meet the needs of its own people. Hours and even minutes can determine if a life can be saved when supplies and testing equipment are present in the rural areas.”

That urgent need for basic medical equipment was the impetus for E3 Africa to partner with Project C.U.R.E., a non-profit organization that has been providing vital medical supplies to developing countries for over 30 years.

At a warehouse in Tempe, volunteers work to pack up supplies destined to save lives.

Project C.U.R.E. doesn’t transport the supplies, however. For that, organizations like E3 Africa have to find a shipping container and come up with around $40,000 for transport.

Aliunzi turned to Pipeline Worldwide which had dug a well in the Moyo district of Uganda where E3 Africa is building a school.

“Instead of just a small container or a small few items, it turned out to be a huge one which is going to be available now not just for the school but for the whole district, supplying the major hospital and also supplying some clinics on the outskirts,” Aliunzi said.

“This was a huge miraculous intervention of God.” Aliunzi, who travels home to Uganda at least once a year, said the last time he was home, his niece was due to give birth to a baby. Tragically, after being in labor for almost 24 hours, the baby died.

“I held the baby in my hands … and we buried that baby. And then I reflected: That would never happen here [in West Chandler]. That baby would be alive if we had good medical care if we had good facilities and doctors and so on,” Aliunzi said.

Among the supplies to be delivered to Uganda via the collaborative efforts of E3 Africa, Project C.U.R.E. and Pipeline Worldwide will be an ultrasound machine, something that might have helped to save his niece’s baby boy.

“Project C.U.R.E and E3 Africa are a perfect partnership helping the most vulnerable and doing good globally,” Sunday said. “We wouldn’t have had this opportunity without Pipeline World Wide initiating the fundraising for the container; not only having one partnership, but three dedicated organizations equally working together in one world mission.”

The container shipped on June 7 and will reach Uganda in 2-3 months.

“Access is still the greatest challenge to health care,” Sunday said. “This container will save lives and provide technology and basic medical supplies for much-needed care and healthcare testing.”

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