Projects: 2008

Imagine! It is now over 5 months I’ve been in Africa with all of my time so far spent in eastern Uganda! Who knew that I would stay this long in one place? I do still plan to move on one day to Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and beyond… For now, as the time flies by, relationships with the children and adults I am involved with here deepen, continuing to inform, inspire and enlighten me. I am filled with wonder and even amazement some days as I experience life here, learning more and more about what it means on many levels to say that fa miliar expression you may have heard in movies, the one that is said here constantly… namely that… ‘THIS IS AFRICA!’

Let me begin this update about ‘project’s’ I am involved with by saying THANK YOU most sincerely for the encouragement and support many of you continue to send this way for me and the children I am working with. In addition to tangible results listed below, your involvement and interest in this journey serve often to renew and replenish me and therefore the children, and we are all very appreciating of your Love. As I carry on my way it becomes quite clear that my heartfelt desire is to continue to serve the orphan children I am meeting and these days, I look to be shown the way to do that, both well and long into the future! Their number is many, their need very real and knowing this as intimately as I do now, I move forward in trust, holding these children in the very center of this life I am living, right here in my heart!

I have come to understand, speaking VERY broadly, there are two distinct groups of orphan children living in different circumstances in this area of Uganda (and assuredly many other areas in Africa) whom I am most guided to connect with in Love.

FIRST…

There are children who are living in what can be described as ‘CHILD HEADED HOUSEHOLDS’. In general, these ‘TOTAL ORPHAN CHILDREN’, usually with the oldest sibling stepping up into a ‘parent’ role, have remained living together in rural areas, with either minimal +/or no assistance from extended family, on land their parents owned up to their deaths. Starting where the children are with what their parents provided them, and by gaining understanding of how they are currently managing their circumstances, I can begin to realize what form of guidance and empowerment they are most requiring. Priorities reveal themselves to be quite simple and consistent… they are ‘the basics’… food, shelter, health care, education and income.

Beginning by addressing each area I learn to keep one unwavering eye focused on empowering the children’s ability to self determine and sustain over the long term any improvements I may be able to assist them with in the immediate. I am finding it keeps things clear for me and the children to emphasize often that while I will surely be LOVING them forever, I am seriously wanting to work myself out of a ‘day to day job’ with them and wish to leave the children empowered into their future while I continue on to assist others who are needing the same attention they are now receiving. I am continually asking the children questions like ‘what will you do about this or that when I am not here on a regular basis’ or ‘how will you manage this in the long run’ or ‘what is a plan about this you can come up with that does not involve or rely on me’ or…?

I witness remarkable strength, courage and openness in the children I meet in this kind of circumstance and I see how truly Graced they have been to survive so long on their own, awaiting some one to come around in answer to their prayers. Indeed, I consider being part of that answer a great responsibility and a great privilege all in one!

Once their current circumstances are understood I ask questions about the children’s hopes, their dreams and wishes and then aiming to build upon their resilient foundation, we move forward considering ways to:

1) Create/expand the growing of ample food for themselves on their land; (although there are many different areas, climate and soil conditions etc. here in Uganda, in the area where I have spent my time so far the land is very fertile, water is generally if not abundantly available at times and there is the probability of at least two harvests of several different crops per year)
2) Ensure there is adequate clothing and basic household items for the children;
3) Ensure there is safe, solid and secure housing for the children on their land;
4) Provide assistance facilitating access to and education about proper health care;
5) Enable the younger children to begin/continue their education;
6) Support the older children to continue their schooling +/or attend training in a trade +/or initiate or expand an income generating activity on their land;

My overall intention is clear… do the above within a context that showers and empowers the children with PEACE and JOY and LOVE!

TWO ‘CHILD’ FAMILIES

Over recent months as many blog postings mention, I have been learning with and working extensively alongside 2 families living in rural Bukedea who are headed by children. During the time we have been getting to know one another, my intention has been to put into practice what I’ve described above. Countless Blessings along with your support have enabled me to assist and uplift these families to date in the following ways…

GIDEON’S FAMILY ~ Naume, Helen, Silis, Gideon, Lillian Grace and Martha

GIDEON’S FAMILY – Gideon 16 yrs , Senior (S) 4, (dreams of being a Vet like his father before him), Martha 14, Primary (P) 6, (dreams of being a nurse), Naume 12, P6, (dreams of being a nurse too! ) older sister Helen with her 2 children Lillian Grace 3 ( can barely wait to start school) and Silis 15 months

Since meeting this family, together you and I have supported the entire family with:

~ sugar, salt and soap weekly
~ mosquito nets~ safe water collection vessels and education
~ access to health care for malaria +/or other treatments required
~ education about HIV/AIDS
~ used clothing for each member
~ a new bike, lantern, digging tool and a deck of cards
~ the hiring of return transportation to see the children at least once a week
~ the plowing of 4 acres of their land to make ready for the planting of maize, cassava, ground nuts, millet and a cash crop, as weather dictates.

Approximately: CDN $180

 

Supported Gideon with:

~ registration and school fees for first term of S4, starting Feb ‘08

~ a new uniform, socks and shoes~ school ID, text books, scribblers, pens, a calculator and a back pack

Approximately: CDN $225

 

Supported Martha and Naume with:

~ new uniforms, socks and shoes

~ school scribblers, pens, math sets and back packs

~ education about and supplies re: feminine hygiene

Approximately: CDN $60

 

Supported Helen, Lillian Grace and Silis with:

~ a set of beginner readers, a backpack for Lillian and a ball for Silis

Approximately: CDN $9

 

Family Total = Approximately 810,000Ush or $475CDN

As we continue uplifting this family into empowerment, Gideon, his sisters and I ask for your consideration and support in achieving our present intentions:

~ Sponsoring Gideon with school fees for the balance of this school year and for the 2 years beyond until he finishes senior school (S6) at the end of 2010. Approximately: CDN $150 for the balance of 2008; $425 for 2009; $500 for 2010;( 2009 and 2010 fees include the probability of boarding and transportation costs for Gideon as it is likely he will have to attend school in Mbale for these 2 years, returning home on weekends)( During this time Gideon and his sisters will be working to increase their ability to earn and save income by way of the growing and selling of cash crops alongside their poultry business with the plan that in 2 years they will afford the girls fees when they enter Senior School in 2009 and Gideon’s fees when he enters University in 2011).

~ Sponsoring the immediate planting of the 4 plowed acres ie: seedlings, seeds, fertilizers, etc. Approximately: CDN $200

~ Sponsoring the initial expansion of the family’s existing small poultry business Approximately: CDN $175 ( this will provide 10 hens and 1 rooster along with feed and meds for the first 6 months by which time the first hatchlings will be full grown and ready to market)

~ Sponsoring the building of a 3 room brick and iron sheet home* Approximately: CDN $2,000 Currently the family of 6 share one aged small mud and grass hut with Gideon sleeping on one foam with Helen’s 2 little ones, while Naume, Martha and Helen share a 2’nd single size foam. Because it has been determined the existing brick home on the land Gideon’s Grandfather willed to him is not stable enough to re-roof as we had once hoped, it is our plan to use that building as a home for an expanded poultry business and to relocate the family from their existing hut into a new 3 room iron sheet home we will build that will serve them all well for many years into the future.

2 room brick/iron sheet home ADD PHOTO

The new family home will look similar to the one drawn on these plans except that it will be a 3 room structure (one private entrance sleeping room for girls, one for boys, and a sitting/cooking area in the middle) with drums attached to eaves troughs for water collection and storage in rainy season. It will be built of bricks made from local material, secured with metal exterior doors and bars on screened windows, with a one sided sloped roof built with local wood and covered with iron sheets.

BETTY’S FAMILY ~ Rose, Stella, Morning, Moses, Peter, Grandmother, Betty

BETTY’S FAMILY – Betty 17 yrs, (completed up to mid primary level at school until parents died, dreams of being a tailor) Moses 15, P5, ( has not attended school consistently since the passing of his parents and is several years behind children his age, dreams of being a Doctor) Morning 10, P5, ( dreams of driving a ‘piki piki’… swahili for motorcycle… just like the one we arrive on when we visit!) Peter 8, P3, ( dreams of being a math teacher) Cousin Rose with baby Stella 20 mths, ( when Stella was born with hydrocephalus both were abandoned by baby’s father and it was at that time they came to live with Betty) Grandmother ( weak, prone to sickness )

Since meeting this family, together you and I have supported the entire family with:

~ sugar, salt and soap weekly
~ mosquito nets
~ safe water collection vessels and education
~ access to health care for malaria +/or other treatments required
~ education about HIV/AIDS
~ used clothing for each member
~ a new bike, a ball and deck of cards
~ new blankets, sheets and foamies
~ 2 large cooking pots
~ an emergency care package of food
~ millet and maize for 3 months while Betty is at school
~ the hiring of return transportation to see the children at least once a week
~ the plowing of 4 acres of their land to make ready for the planting of maize, cassava, ground nuts, millet and a cash crop, as weather dictates

Approximately: CDN $450

 

Supported Betty with:

~ enrollment in a 3 month tailoring course

~ 3 months of lunches while at school

~ a back pack, tailoring scissors, tape measure, thread and fabric

Approximately: CDN $140

 

Supported Moses, Morning and Peter with:

~ new school uniforms, shoes, socks and belts

~ school scribblers, pens, math sets and back packs

Approximately: CDN $60

 

Supported Rose and Stella with:

~ Transportation costs to and from hospital in Mbale

~ Medication for Stella~ Shoes for Stella

Approximately: CDN $15

Supported Grandmother with:

~ a framed picture of herself which she requested and hopes will be viewed after her death

Approximately: CDN $4

Family Total – Approximately 1,140,000Ush or $670CDN< /span>

As we continue uplifting this family into empowerment, Betty, her brothers, Rose, Stella and I ask for your consideration and support in achieving our present intentions:

~ Sponsoring 90% of the outstanding balance for the operation to treat hydrocephalus that was performed on Stella, leaving Rose with a realistic 10% amount to pay off. Approximately: CDN $400

~ Sponsoring the immediate planting of the 4 plowed acres ie: seedlings, seeds, fertilizers, etc. Approximately: CDN $200

~ Sponsoring the purchase of a sewing machine and start up fabric for Betty once she completes her sewing course end April ’08 Approximately: CDN $150

~ Sponsoring the building of a 3 room brick and iron sheet home (as above) Approximately: CDN $2,000

To try and put into words how the children feel about the Love being extended to them seems challenging for me… she who so enjoys to write!I witness changes in their very beings, I see their smiles, hear their laughter and feel their embraces. I know they are amazed that we have even shown up in their lives let alone that we care about and value them and their happiness.

One local man in the trading center near where the 2 families live said to my friend the other day…’I am so grateful for the way that lady is helping those kids because those kids were really in a bad mood and she has really wiped their tears.’

That same friend, who interprets for the children and me, says it this way…”like, now, the way their lives are changing, they are very happy, according to the connection they are having with you… cause like the other day, the families were saying they are very very happy, they are so grateful. They were saying that your assistance is really appreciated, they have said that if you leave this country they will always Love you and never forget you…’

Perhaps it is our Martha who sums it up most simply for us…As my friend and I were riding out of their compound on the piki the other day, she was running alongside us laughing, saying ‘bye-bye bye-bye!’ I called out to her ‘Martha I Love you!’, to which she replied in her very best English ‘I Love you too Cathalin, I Love you like a feeesh Loves waaater!

‘THE CHILDREN AND I THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF YOUR LOVE! Cath ~ Feb 18, 2008

SECOND…

In ‘snapshot’ format, by far the majority of ‘Partial +/or Total Orphan Children’ I have met or learned about here in Uganda are currently living with either extended family +/or a guardian. As the numbers of HIV/AIDS orphans are many, there appear to be countless situations where several children can be found in the care of one adult, most commonly a Grandmother or a widowed mother who has taken in other children alongside her own. I have begun to understand the tremendous pressure caregiver and child alike are often feeling in this circumstance.

Many times, because they are physically unwell themselves, +/or of advanced years, +/or unskilled and inexperienced in an income generating activity, caregivers can be severely challenged to provide for the basic needs of the children and themselves. Frequently we find Grandmother (or caregiver) must leave the home early in the day in search of income/food leaving the children in their own care, which will include getting themselves off to school if they are enrolled, (often there are no funds for uniforms, school supplies, health care etc) remaining on their own until their guardian returns to the home late in the day to prepare the meal of the day. Among other things, this results in many children experiencing daily a lack of nutrition and health care, adult guidance and direction, most often missing school, spending their days without supervision or much chance of acquiring basic life skills, knowledge, positive habits etc. An additional effect often felt by the caregiver is abuse and anger directed towards them from the children who themselves are very unsettled in their lives…

ACIO ~ AIDS CONCERN INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, SIRONKO, UGANDA

As mentioned in many postings, months ago I met a school teacher named Vincent who ‘ heard and began answering the call’ 3 years ago to initiate community based action that would address the growing numbers of HIV/AIDS orphans in the district of Sironko, Uganda where he resides. After gathering together like minded adults from the many sub county’s in Sironko and coming up with a collective vision and mission they formed a CBO (community based organization) ‘AIDS CONCERN INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION’ aka ACIO with Vincent as Director. Over time, Vincent, the board of trustees and program coordinators (all volunteers) of ACIO have made themselves very familiar with the names and needs of the orphan and vulnerable children aka OVC’s in their district while growing the membership of ACIO to include caregivers of these children as well as concerned community members.

ACIO Vision ~ ‘An empowered and healthy child who can build the nation and serve God’s people.’

ACIO Mission ~ ‘To have children who are enlightened with modern skills to sustain their livelihood.

ACIO Child Care Center Blueprints

As a group, ACIO acquired approximately 1 acre of land upon which is envisioned will one day be built a ‘Child Care Center’ (pictured above) that will provide day and full time care including housing, health care and schooling facilities for the approximately 400 OVC’s in Sironko district.

At present, ACIO are in the process of completing 4 temporary buildings on their land made out of sticks and mud to provide for the children who require immediate full time care.’

Bldg#1~ Completed. Currently there are 30 boys staying in the first temp building ACIO has completed. At one end there is a separate admin office where 14 girls are sleeping.

Bldg#2~ Originally this building was to be the kitchen, but it has become necessary to use it as a temp dorm for the girls. Once finished, the girls currently sleeping in the admin office will be relocated to this building.

Bldg#3~ A nursery center is planned to provide care and early childhood education for 4-5 yrs olds from Sironko town is an income generating activity aka IGA that ACIO plans for on the property. It is envisioned that parents in Sironko town and nearby villages requiring day care for their children will pay for the services provided here with the resulting income helping to cover the costs of food and basic needs for the resident children. Holes are dug and beams for the walls have been brought to site…

Bldg#4~ A kitchen…yet to be started. All cooking is being done outdoors at present.

ACIO’S IMMEDIATE REQUESTS:

~ Currently the 44 children in full time care are being fed by donation by ACIO membership. Help with these costs is requested.

~ All of the children (aged 8 to 15 yrs) living at the center are enrolled in the village school. Many of them require school supplies and uniforms. ACIO members will sew uniforms for the children with reduced labor costs. Help with the purchase of fabric, back packs and shoes is requested.

~ In the past we have provided sheets, blankets, foams and mosquito nets for the 14 children in care at the former ACIO orphanage. Now, having relocated to the larger temporary building on the ACIO land the number of full time children at the center has grown to 44, and there is a need for more of these items. Help with the purchase of sheets, blankets, foams and nets is requested.

~ Completion of the girl’s dorm. Help with the costs of mud (it needs to be trucked in) is requested.

~ Completion of the nursery/day care center. Help with the costs of mud for the walls along with iron sheets for the roof is requested.

~ Completion of the kitchen…Help with all materials including beams for walls and roof, iron sheets for the roof, mud for the walls and cooking equipment is requested.

~ Transportation for Vincent, who currently rides a bicycle, is required to facilitate timely travel for him to the number of small villages and sub county’s (some are in the mountains…) within Sironko District enabling him to more effectively reach and mobilize ACIO membership. Help with the purchase of a motorcycle is requested.

ACIO’S LONG TERM GOALS:

As explained and pictured above, one day a permanent Child Care Center will be built on the land that ACIO owns, the goal of which is to provide holistic care ( housing, health care, primary schooling, vocational training etc…) for the orphan and vulnerable children in Sironko district.ACIO has met with the local government officials in Sironko and received approval and support for the Child Care Center along with the municipality’s commitment to date to provide at their expense:a) a survey of the land ( competed as of Feb’ 08)b) the installation of water to the landc) the installation of electrical power to the land. It is planned the child care center will be built in phases.

Phase 1 – Boy’s and Girl’s Dorms and Latrines

Phase 2 – Kitchen and Dining Hall

Phase 3 – Administration and Staff Housing

Phase 4 – Primary School

Phase 5 – Vocational Wing

Phase 6 – External Works (roads, landscaping… )

Plan Preparation and Bill Of Quantities Costs
Contingency and Administration Costs

IGA’S ~ INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES

~ Recognizing the need exists to come up with ‘income generating activities’ that will contribute to covering the on-going expenses associated with long term operation of the Child Care Center, in addition to the temporary Day Care Center under construction now ACIO currently propose 2 IGA schemes for which funding is required:

1) A Secretary/Office Supply Business in Sironko town…a detailed business plan is available upon request

2) A Micro Finance Scheme supporting small business for local guardians and caregivers of OVC’s…a detailed proposal is available upon request

With Vincent, ACIO Director

Why do I support ACIO and this Child Care Center…
Inspir ed by Love, this is a well conceived, comprehensive, community initiative!

In Love, ACIO has managed to effectively organize and educate, empower and mobilize their community members with the insight that they are the primary stakeholders needing to come together to co-create and invest in viable solutions that address OVC issues within their community for the benefit of all!

As life seems to have this great way of preparing us for more, it appears many years of positive experiences in people, project and business management have empowered me to what feels like a perfect part for me to play here now … a mentoring, supportive and background role to ACIO and projects such as this one! Learning what I have about empowering communities, these days I am ‘all over’ supporting OVC solutions that are conceived and birthed within a community. Contrary to many ideas/solutions introduced from ‘abroad’ it makes great sense to me that project’s initiated within a community have unlimited chance to be successful as they are respectfully and effectively based on what a community decides it needs for itself as well as what it will be willing and able to sustain over the long term, thereby empowering the community to take care and ownership of itself, moving forward collectively. ‘Outside’ support on various levels is a very important and necessary component that I think may be best added to the mix once the main ingredient called for has been recognized and developed… which is to do what ACIO has already done in Sironko!

Presently, I encourage and support ACIO to seek expansion from CBO to NGO ( Non Government Organization) status with the Government Of Uganda (at time of writing, ACIO has received the local and municipal government support required before taking their request to the national level for consideration and approval) thereby paving the way for the organization, over time, to: begin education and mobilization in communities within other Ugandan districts; broaden its membership base by offering tax receipts to donors; open doors to potential national attention and support for the project’s it undertakes.

Understanding orphan and vulnerable children concerns are numerous and widespread it seems reasonable to entertain… perhaps this locally initiated progressive model can be successfully duplicated elsewhere in Uganda and (once I have the opportunity to explore them in detail…) conceivably even in other African countries facing similar situations.Beginning right now with 44 children in Sironko, Uganda this ripple could reach, empower and uplift the lives of countless orphan children and their caregivers who today, among other things, appear to be on the lookout for LOVE 🙂

Knowing Divine Blessings and Endless Possibilities accompany us ALL each and every moment, I’m inspired! I embrace the gift to join our collective effort and action in LOVE!

Thanks so much for sharing!
With Love, Catherine ~ Mar 4th, 2008


With my time in Africa just over 9 months now and my return date to Canada approaching quickly, I’m thinking it’s time for me to share a ‘final update’ about the people and project’s I have been focusing on throughout this journey!I remember when I was considering how long to come to Africa for… 1 year sounded a bit too long and 6 months a bit too short!

And then I realized… I’m coming here to learn about the situations and circumstances of children who have been orphaned… and each one of the little BeLoveds spent 9 months growing in their mothers womb before being birthed into their life… so aha, yes, 9 months sounded like the perfect gestation period during which to develop my understanding, awareness and connection with some of the children here. (It even worked out that I would return home the day before the remembrance of my own Mother’s birth day!)

And without question what an amazing, life altering and most fulfilling kind of Miracle laced ‘pregnancy’ this entire journey has been! It could probably even be said that I, together with the children I have been so Blessed to nurture and Love here, have blossomed in new and unexpected ways during these months and perhaps we’ve all never ‘looked or felt’ happier!!!

Understanding most of the following as a ‘work in progress’ I will be continuing to apply my energy and focus towards, it feels like a great moment for us all to consider how, by sharing our collective Love in the form of prayers, uplifting thoughts and material support, the lives of some children here have been richly empowered so far…Building upon the previous updates..

TWO ‘CHILD’ FAMILIES

GIDEON’S FAMILY 

When bidding Gideon’s family ‘fare well for now’ in May ’08 we had accomplished and/or were continuing to work on the following:

~ Gideon’s school fees for 2’nd term of S4 had been paid

~ Naume and Martha had been supplied with supplementary school text books in Science, Social Studies, Math and English for P6

~ 4 acres had been plowed and planted with maize, beans, g nuts and cassava that the children will be harvesting, eating and storing by July!

~ A new, larger, temporary hut had been built by the family and was being roofed~ All family members had coats, blankets, sheets and foams

~ The family had been supplied with new bowls, cups, containers for food, cooking pots and wash tubs

~ Helen had been supplied with capitol to start a dried fish business and was earning the needed weekly family income for the purchase of food, etc

~ Gideon had been supplied with capitol to expand his poultry business with the purchase of hens and a rooster

~ We had established a relationship with the nearby clinic ensuring their help for the children in times of malaria and other sickness even in the event that the children do not have the money to pay for such service…I will be notified by email from the clinic over time…

~ We had established a way for the children to get a message to me by them contacting a volunteer in the area from an NGO when need arises who will also visit the children periodically and be able to reach me by email anytime

Longer term plans we are continuing to work on include:

~ The building of a 3 room brick and iron sheet home

~ School fees for Gideon’s final term of S4 as well as fees for S5 and S6

~ Continued expansion of the family poultry business

~ The building, stocking and opening of a small ‘restaurant’ on the well traveled road alongside the families new compound that Helen will run

~ The growing of a cash crop to help raise the funds needed to be saved for Martha and Naume’s senior school fees that will start in 2010.

BETTY’S FAMILY  

When saying ‘bye bye and see you soon’ to Betty and the family, we had accomplished and/or were working on the following:

~ Betty, having successfully completed 3 months training in tailoring, received her new ‘Singer’ sewing machine along with 36 meters of start up fabric, lining, thread, elastic, zippers and buttons
~ Rose had been supplied with start up capitol for a dried fish business along side the selling of cabbage and the income resulting was supporting the family in their weekly food needs
~ Moses, Morning and Peter had been supplied with supplementary school text books in Science, Math, Social Studies and English for P5
~ 4 acres had been plowed and planted with maize, beans, g nuts and cassava that the children will be harvesting, eating and storing by July!
~ 10% of the OSB for Stella’s operation to treat hydrocephalus had been paid off and our little darling had joyfully taken her first independent ‘1,2,3…10′ steps!
~ Moses was in the process of building a small hut for his future poultry business
~ All the children had been given coats
~ We had established a relationship with the nearby clinic ensuring their help for the children in times of malaria and other sickness even in the event that the children do not have the money to pay for such service…I will be notified by email from the clinic over time…
~ We had established a way for the children to get a message to me by them contacting a volunteer in the area from an NGO when need arises who will also visit the children periodically and be able to reach me by email anytime.

Longer term plans we are continuing to work on include:

~ The building of a 3 room brick and iron sheet home
~ To pay 80% of the remaining OSB for Stella’s operation
~ To assist Moses with start up capitol to begin a poultry business.
~ To establish a cash crop, probably tomatoes, that will increase the families ability to save for future school fees for Moses, Morning and Peter.

ACIO CHILD CARE CENTER ~ SIRONKO

As of May 2008 we had accomplished and/or were continuing to work on the following:

~ We had helped with costs for the completion of the girl’s temp dor m
~ We had supplied iron sheets for the completion of the temp kitchen
~ We had supplied 2 weeks of food for the 60 orphans in care
~ We had supplied 5 soccer balls, 2 decks of cards, a board game, 7 pkgs of felt pens, 500 sheets of paper along with 14 dz school scribblers, 6 dz pens, 12 dz pencils and 2 dz math sets for the children in care.

Longer term plans we are continuing to work on:

Many of the ‘Immediate Requests’ and most of the ‘Long Term Goals’ noted in the earlier update continue to require our attention with special mention at present of the following:

~ Help with the purchase of fabric for school uniforms, backpacks and shoes is requested.
~ Help with the purchase of sheets, blankets, foams and mosquito nets is requested
~ Help with the purchase of kitchen equipment is requested
~ Help with the purchase of a motorcycle for Vincent is requested
~ Help with the completion of the temp nursery/day care center
~ Help with 2 IGA schemes to support the ongoing expenses of caring for the children in full time care…

1) A Secretary/Office Supply Business in Sironko town…
2) A Micro Finance Scheme supporting small business for local guardians and caregivers of OVC’s

Please accept my most heartfelt thanks for helping to bring about all of the positive changes noted here and on this entire ‘Project’s’ page throughout my journey. Whatever form your contribution has been, be it your interest, your encouragement, compassion, your prayers, uplifting thoughts and/or financial support … however you have given of yourself to these children it has added very valuable energy to a ripple of Love that I know, and hope you do too, will be felt in countless ways through out their entire lives.

That we care, that we told them and showed them they are not alone, they are special and so Loved… this is the stuff ‘beyond’ Miracles for these children and we wish you to know that your involvement will be forever treasured by them and me. With so much Gratitude and Love they are praying for us all!

Blessings One and All!
In Love,
Catherine ~ June 2008

 

November 2008 ~ Here is a message I received recently from a friend in Uganda who has checked in on Betty’s and Gideon’s families…

I am so very grateful to be able to share that Peter writes:

“every things seems to be well. betty has progre ssed with the sewing machine. according to her she gets between 3000 to 5000 per monday which is a market day. she also supporta others at home.  she has bought some 5 piees of cloth the commonly referred to as kitenge.”

( FYI – at this moment, 1000 Ugandan shillings = about .70 cents Canadian. So 3000 to 5000 income = $2.10 to $3.50 CAD. On average, when I first met Betty she used to earn around 500 shillings on market day ( .35 cents ) trying to sell water, so this is a huge increase in income for her and the boys she is supporting… Cath )

“Stella, the child is always being taken to cure hospital and the next visit is on 03/03/2009 and the previous visit was 17th/09/2008.”

( FYI – Stella was born with hydrocephalus and is being treated at the wonderful, donor funded “Cure Hospital” in Mbale, Uganda … Cath )

“The family has 2 sacks of dried Gnuts and there plantations of cassave and potatos are doing well. they harvested some maize and it is what they have been feeding on.

( FYI – When I first met Betty and her family, they had no food growing on their land, had no food stored and often did not eat for 2-3 days… so we helped the children to plow and plant and this is the food they are still eating, storing and continuing to grow today… more details are in the archived project pages for 2008 … Cath )

GIDEON. sat for his S(enior).4 and says the papers/ezam was fair and hopes to continue with his ambition of agriculture/vet at advanced level. they have finished the new home and he is about to start using it this holiday.’