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Cambridge doctor publishes children’s book to combat bullying

Proceeds from the book will be donated to Cambridge Memorial Hospital, to raise money for the Women and Children’s health department

According to Safe Canada, 47 per cent of parents have at least one child who has experienced bullying, and that one third of both children and teenagers report they’ve been bullied.

One local doctor is hoping to change that with the release of his first children’s book. 

Dr. Asa Ahimbisibwe is a gynecologist and obstetrician who practices at Cambridge Memorial Hospital and the Cambridge Medical Centre. 

His children’s book, ‘Squirrel the Bully,’ dives into bullying and what children can do to stand up against it, while celebrating differences. 

This isn’t his first foray into the literary world.  He released a memoir titled ‘Hopeful’ in 2019, documenting his journey from growing up in a rural village in Uganda to becoming a doctor in Canada, advocating for maternal health. 

Since it was published, the proceeds from the book go to the Women and Children’s Health department in CMH, to help buy necessary equipment for proper care. 

The proceeds from ‘Squirrel the Bully’ will be donated to the department as well. His goal is to raise $10,000 total. 

The book follows a funny squirrel who everyone wants to befriend, and what happens when he starts bullying them one by one. 

“In the story, I was trying to get to the point that even the outwardly nice-looking person can be a bully,” Ahimbisibwe said. “Or that those students who may have some distinguishing characteristics that others desire may use this to feel more important and treat those not like them with disrespect.”

He added that bullying is a learned human conditioned and can therefore be unlearned.

He wrote the book to be used as a tool by parents and teachers to create safe, accepting environments for children, “so that children can approach them when they feel unsafe or unwelcome.”

He also hopes “children will recognize that bullying is wrong. I want children to be able to stand up to bullying,” he said, even if it’s not directed at them. “They still need to call it out, report it and resist it.” 

Ahimbisibwe said he’s so passionate about helping others, as both a medical doctor and an author, because “our lives are as valuable as the value we place on the lives of those around us.” 

“Our lives would be richer if we treated others with the respect, dignity and humanity we each desire for ourselves. And in the end, our lives are really a sum of what we have been able to put into others, more than what we have received ourselves.” 

He promises that “if you try this one principle out, you will be happier.”

“Nobody is made happier by how much they have, but by what they do with what they have to make the life of another person valuable.”

You can purchase 'Squirrel the Bully' and 'Hopeful' here.
 

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