CHILD HEADED FAMILIES ~ UPDATES
I welcome you to read more about Child Headed Families and my involvement with two – Betty’s Family” and “Gideon’s Family” – by visiting archived updates from my first journey to Uganda from 2008.
September 2009 ~ I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Betty and the members of her family when a local friend of mine in Uganda visited with them and I called from Canada to his cell phone at a pre-arranged time! Very fun, very exciting for us all!!! ( I know I cried to hear their voices… ) The children sounded well and very happy asking “When are you coming Mammie” ?!
The boys are in school and Betty says she’s “trying” with regards to her sewing business. Baby Stella is walking now and Rose continues on with her cabbage and dried fish business.
My friend said he could see ample crops growing on acres surrounding their compound, the children each taking responsibility for one, and he mentioned the children look healthy and strong and of course, taller than when I last saw them!
He also mentioned that the recent season has been very dry and crops have not produced well. He thinks the children may be short of food for storage. As well, it appears one of Betty’s aunts who has many children has come to live with them recently, and so there are many more mouths to feed now. ( this can be a common occurrence with child families… when they start to advance the very family members who perhaps would not help them or treat them well when they had nothing, can come to their land in order to benefit from help the children may be receiving and in worst cases can actually take over and expel the children from their own land … ) We shall watch this situation ( albeit from afar ), I have asked local counselors to advocate on their behalf, to check in on the children when possible, even if not as frequently as I would be doing if I were there, and we shall see what happens next…
My friend also tried to reach Gideon’s compound but found no one there.
February 2009 ~ A local friend has visited the child families and through him we have helped 5 children from both families return to school this month with new school uniforms, shoes, and all the supplies and text books required. Betty’s 3 brothers are now in grades 6, 5 and 4, and Gideon’s 2 sisters are repeating Grade 6 for the second time. Gideon has not been at the compound and I am not aware of what he is planning to do regarding schooling.
ACIO POULTRY PROJECT – This is ACIO’s 2’nd income generating activity to help the org take steps closer to self sufficiency. Through a “gift card” program at Christmas ’09 donors helped generate the capital required to start the project.
Sponsoring chicks for $11 each – which included funds for the building of the hen house – donors supported the purchase of one chick and all it’s medicine and feed costs for the first 6 months until it would begin to lay eggs. In total, I am most grateful to say, the equivalent of 312 chicks were sponsored!