Blessings and Love ~
I received news yesterday by email that the rainy season has continued to cause flooding and mud slides in Uganda for weeks now, uprooting thousands of people and causing hundreds of deaths. Until recently the child care center we support in Sironko had escaped problems, but due to flooding in the low lying area where it is located, along with the weathered state of the children’s dorms ( the buildings were constructed 2 years ago out of temporary materials using mud and sticks and roofed with iron sheets ) it has become necessary to move the children out of their dorms and away from the center for their safety.
Speaking last evening with Vincent, the Director of “ACIO Child Care Center”, I confirmed that 30 of the 60 children usually in full time care at the center have been taken in by guardians and caregivers ( read “Grandmothers” in many cases ) of other orphaned children in the community, and shall remain in their care for these next months.
The remaining 30 children have been moved to a rented space in the village where Vincent lives with his wife and 7 children and are being housed and cared for there by him and other members of ACIO. Please see here for more details about ACIO and our child care center.
Vincent has employed one person to stay in residence at the center to ensure that all the chattels including desks, blackboards, tables, chairs, doors, windows, books and shelves in the library, etc. are kept safe.
He also explained to me that the poultry house that has recently been built remains in fine shape and will be able to receive the first 200 chicks due to be delivered in early June. The caretaker of the property will stay full time at the property and see to the needs of the chicks for these next couple months while we organize our next moves.
Vincent went on to say that, seeing the great need, a caregiver in the community has donated to ACIO an acre and a half of land on higher ground and it is now proposed that here is where we shall build our permanent child care center for the children, hopefully during these next 6 months. In this case, “permanent” refers to the style of construction we shall use. As opposed to the traditional and temporary mud and stick construction, locally made bricks that have been baked make for very long lasting, sturdy and safe housing, and it is this style we shall use, beginning first by building the dorms for the children.
We shall call this Phase 1 – and the dorms will include an attached admin office and library for the children, as well as detached latrines. We shall plan to follow with Phase 2 – the cooking and eating area… Phase 3 – the new daycare ( an income generating activity for ACIO )… Phase 4 – we shall move the poultry house from the existing land to the new land… and Phase 5 – a vocational training facility where the older children can learn trades. We shall be able to re-use and recycle many of the materials we already have on hand at the former center, including hundreds of iron sheets used for roofing, as well as the timbers we’ve used as trusses, the doors, windows, etc…
These are our beginning plans, and of course some, many, things may change as we proceed… but as friends and I agreed last night – after a very successful poultry project “gift card” program we’re now turning our focus “from chicks to bricks” just like it was meant to be! I’ll be joyfully asking for help and sharing ways you can become involved with the project as we proceed!
So as of today we are officially on our way toward building our first permanent child care center! Let’s rejoice! The children are safely sleeping right this moment… let us keep all of them in our hearts as they accept and adapt to being uprooted, once again, in their young little lives. Bless them.
And let us Bless and thank Vincent the children’s primary caregiver and a local Ugandan man named Michael for getting us started on the path to our new child care center with the incredible donation of an acre and a half of land, on higher ground, upon which to build!
In Love, Cath xoxo
ps… Yes, these two little darlings are among the many who will benefit from our new center ~ LoveLoveLove ~