November 21, 2013
Betty Foster, a Force of One"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." John F, Kennedy
by Stephanie Mesick, Omaha, NE 11/21/13
Betty standing on the equator during her trip with
Opportunity Education to Uganda
With so many challenges in our world today, what can just one person do? If you are Betty Foster, it is a lot. Betty uses her dominant strengths of a constant desire to learn, an ability to come up with new ideas, and a comfortableness of being able to go with the flow in order to make an impact.
Betty, a retired schoolteacher (she continues to substitute teach) and artist, follows her passions. She credits her husband Gary for supporting her desire to help where her passions lead.
So where have her passions led her...everywhere from Colorado to Uganda. Her focus on Uganda started with her being the coordinator for Opportunity Education's Sister School Program, a pen pal program for kids between developed counties and third world countries. She then traveled to Uganda with Opportunity Education and learned first hand of the need there.
After Betty's trip with Opportunity Education, Betty felt a close connection with Uganda and desired to do more to help. Most people at the end of a trip have too much to pack into their suitcase. Not so with Betty. At the end of her trip, she left her clothes and shoes to those she had met and only took home what she had purchased from local vendors. Uganda is one of the poorest counties in the world and has an average age of around 20. Many of the older people were killed off in the 60's and now illnesses such as Aids and Malaria shorten their life expectancy.
One day on Facebook, Betty noticed an individual named Prossy who was from Uganda and a friend of one of Betty's Canadian relatives. Betty contacted her, which resulted in Betty helping Prossy complete her college education at Uganda Martyrs University, a real achievement for a female in Uganda.
After graduating, Prossy's entrepreneur spirit had her raising chickens and even growing mushrooms, but she wanted to do more, and thus, the start of a medical clinic.
Entrepreneur & Role Model
A shining and visible achievement to Betty's ongoing efforts is the Gary & Betty Foster Medical Center which was opened near Kampala, Uganda in June 2013, a tribute for Gary and Betty's 50th anniversary. The center was named in honor of their support of the clinic's founder, Prossy Namirembe.
But the opening is just a start. With the help of Betty and others, a solar energy system for electricity was installed in July. In addition to getting more stable electricity, Betty is also helping gather needed items for use in the clinic such as:
- - Centrifuge Electrical
- - Refrigerator
- - Hospital beds & Mattresses
- - Computer Set & Printer
- - Blood Pressure Machine
- - Stethoscopes
- - Waiting Chairs for Patients
- - Television Set
- - Glucometers
Gray & Betty Foster Medical Center whose mission is
to provide essential and basic health care to people.
Beyond the medical clinic needs, Betty is currently collecting clothing donations to be shipped after Thanksgiving in time for Christmas.