On a recent visit to South Sudan, Partners in Compassionate Care's Executive Director, Kevin Kinsinger, met with village chiefs to sign a land use agreement for the property on which Memorial Christian Hospital is built. PCC has been a guest of the village of Werkok since 2005. We've operated on a 40 acre plot, in cooperation with the village, with a verbal agreement for the use of the land. The need for a formal agreement came about as we work towards the goal of turning the management of the hospital over to local leadership. We want to make this transition with all paperwork up-to-date so that the new administration is able to assume their new role as smoothly as possible.
While there was no opposition to the land use agreement, these types of things take time to make sure that everyone is well informed and comfortable. There were some who questioned why the agreement needed to be in writing since we've cooperated with a verbal agreement for so long. We explained that this was a requirement of the government of South Sudan in order for the hospital to be in compliance with non-profit status. It was agreed that the document was necessary, but to make sure that all the chiefs were able to have input and sign the document, the Executive Chief asked that the meeting regroup in two day's time.
The second meeting began mid-afternoon and went well after dark. On Saturday, November 22, 2014 the village of Werkok and Partners in Compassionate Care agreed to formalize the land use agreement on paper.
The vision for MCH from the very beginning is for the hospital to be self-sustaining and independently operated under South Sudanese leadership. This agreement brings us one step closer to that reality.