A couple days ago I accompanied a counselor from the NGO on outreach to follow up our previous visit to child headed households. (You can read about my first visit in a earlier posting called ‘Child Headed Households’).
First we visited Naume’s home…you may recall, she is the girl in Primary 5 (maybe 11 years old?) who we had left money with to have her school uniform sewed by a tailor in her village. When we arrived, there was no one at the property. The children in primary are in final exams right now as the school year is ending in December so their schedules are different than usual. We learned from neighbors that the children were likely at the market close by. News spreads quickly and soon Naume, with a huge grin on her face came running up and, after kneeling her hello to me, threw her arms around me in a big embrace! A happy and heart filled moment indeed! See here how ‘smart’ (a very Ugandan way of describing someone who looks great in their clothes ) Naume looks holding up her new uniform. This visit, we left a pen and scribblers for her and gave her a little more money to have a new blouse sewed to complete her uniform. There is a long list of needs that this child family has…it feels like I have only just begun my association with them.
From Naume’s we traveled to see Morning and his family once again. At the compound I was greeted by 3 children sleeping on the ground (in the photo can you see how the middle child has encephalitis or ?), an older woman sitting nearby, and soon Grandmother (who we had met last visit) came around from somewhere. Morning was not there, or at least did not show himself. Older sister Betty, the 16 year old primary caregiver at this property, was not present either. We learned from Grandmother that she had gone in to the market to sell some of the maize they eat to survive, in order to buy salt and soap.
I learned a little more about the children’s story. After their parents both died (I’m not sure when that was) relatives split up the children taking them here and there. The oldest sister, Betty, heard that the little ones (I think there are 3, including Morning) were sad, crying, being mis-treated and not cared for. She took it upon herself to gather together her younger siblings and bring them back to the land and hut their parents had left behind. Once they had all returned their paternal Grandmother came to stay with them, perhaps not so much to help out but rather to have a place to stay. This increased Betty’s work load and concerns to provide for them all. Lately, Betty’s auntie has dropped off her 3 children without food or money, we are not sure for how long…
Perfect timing prevailed and we met up with Betty just as we were leaving. When she saw we were there, like Naume she came running up grinning a big smile and embraced me, her Spirit exuding beautiful Joy and Light. This is one incredibly strong girl who is so obviously filled with Grace and Love as she appears to completely accept her circumstances and spends her time searching for ways to care for everyone around her.
This is by far the situation that I have come to understand requires the most immediate focus of our Love. I understand now, that is what Morning was telling me the first time I met them. Including Naume and her siblings, these 2 child families are at the top of my UPLIFT NOW list. As I learn more I will continue to share…
Some photo info, all taken at Betty and Morning’s…
~Look at the wonderful artwork on the inside wall of their hut.
~Those are dried cow peas in the bowl and a chicken roosting on the floor below.
~Can you see their toothbrushes in the rafters by the door?
~And here, of course, is our Beloved Betty.