Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.

In Wonder Land…


Love to you!

I have just returned from a few unexpected getaway’s… one to Kampala to confirm approval for an extension on the extension on my visa for Uganda (which now has me here until the 10th of May…!) then, on to a couple lovely days at Sipi for some rest and replenishment, followed by a great day yesterday with the children in Bukedea!

Strange, foreign and at times even emotional for me to consider… my days here appear to be approaching some kind of final stretch and it is more than an interesting moment I presently find myself in! My ‘work’ begins to come to a time of bearing delicious sweet fruit and, like yesterday watching Morning, Moses and Peter as they scrambled up and around huge heavily laden mango trees hurling fallen green fruit at the ripe ones to knock them free and give as gifts to me, I am savoring these incredible moments as I taste the joy and excitement of this time in the children’s lives!

Betty completes her sewing course soon and we will be giving her a machine and an assorted pile of start up fabric and supplies for her to begin her new business with…. Yesterday, she proudly asked if it was ok for her to sell a couple of the outfits she has sewn from the material we have been supplying her to learn with… can you imagine the joy in that! YES! YES! YES! was just about all I could say, as we hugged and laughed, hugged and laughed, dancing our

way around the newly planted field of sweet potatoes beside the compound!!! Maize is being planted along with beans, cassava, g-nuts, millet… soon there will be a steady stream of income possible along with fields of food growing to feed this family who I recall, where so very hungry in a multitude of ways when we first met. Rose (and Stella!) start a paraffin supply business (fuel for lanterns) from the compound this week, the boys are doing well and keeping up in school…

They are all joyful, peaceful, comfortable at night on foams, with warm blankets and mosquito nets, and lately I’ve brought them all used coats to help them stay healthy through the rainy cold times that are slowly becoming the norm now… it is ALL very good!

Gideon has been hard at work too… together with Helen, Martha and Naume they have planted 2 acres of maize which when sprouted will be surrounded by beans… and in the center of that huge field he has started work on a new, large hut built out of hand made bricks (which we will help him complete by paying for the grass bundles and wood supports required for the roof) that will serve as a temporary home for the family

of 6 to live in until the day comes when we will afford the more permanent home I described in part 1 of the recent project’s update. Two other fields are being planted with cassava and gnuts, Helen’s fish business is growing each week and with the income earned she has been able to supply the family with food (allbeit just the very basics so far…) right from week one. By her and Gideon’s design, she started slowly, carefully, buying less fish than we had first planned, giving herself time to understand the business, to let it grow slowly, and this week looks like it could be her very best to date! Today she will purchase wholesale a large amount of fish the supplier has prearranged to bring exclusively for her..! Here again, the school goers are all doing well in their classes, Gideon has been asked to be Chairman of a couple clubs as well as Class President, Martha is Head Prefect in her class and Naume is Head Playground Monitor… they are all happy and excited about life, cosy and comfortable on foams, warmed by blankets and coats, protected under mosquito nets and feeling very Loved and Loving… again… All together VERY Good!!!

Along with huge amounts of Love and gratitude I am feeling, these days I find myself dreaming, envisioning and wondering about what will come to be next… I know in both the short and long term I am inspired to continue here, it all feels more than right, I know there are many child households and I have come to understand so much about how to empower them from these 2 remarkable families… and there is Sironko and ACIO and what is envisioned there for the many, many children who need care and attention in that district… and of course, there are many other districts… And even if I leave Uganda for a time, I don’t feel like I’m even near ready to really leave Africa just yet, and I wonder if I could really ever ‘leave’ now. Of course while it will be so lovely and I look forward to see everyone including dear Caleb back home to share Love face to face, catch up on stories and adventures about lives being lived there and to share more from this journey than I could ever possibly write about here, there are so many children to Love here… And there are all those other countries I have yet to even set foot in and learn about… and… somehow I feel I have only just begun to begin!

Simultaneously, being in the midst these days of all these great income generating activities taking hold, an interesting reflection becomes ever clearer for me. Lately, after I perform the repetitive task of climbing the stairs to visit the ATM and withdraw another few hundred thousand shillings from my personal account and then do the conversion of the balance from the rather great sounding Ugandan value to the hmmm Cdn dollar value, I am reminded that the equity

from the sale of my home that has supported this journey so far is magically diminishing in perfect accord with a growing requirement to create some kind of my own income generating activity, soon! 

Today, over a ‘Stoney’ (that’s a soda…! kind of like a ginger ale) I ‘discovered’ it all feels like this… I was telling a friend a story about a home my brother and I shared years ago. I was remembering how one day I started to explore the ground around the face of this large flat rock that was showing itself through the lawn… eventually, after some scratching and clearing of soil, a beautiful stone pathway that had lay hidden just a few inches below the grass was revealed… one that ended up being maybe 3 feet wide and gently wound itself through the back yard… and when I finished the story I realized – this is exactly how I am feeling today! It is as though this journey so far has shown me, in many ways, there is something previously designed and so very

beautiful to be found just below this surface I have now grazed. And I write this today wondering… wow, in these highly creative and expansive times what could I possibly imagine these next few weeks will reveal to bring more of this incredible path I am on into the Light! Peacefully, Joyfully, Lovingly…Onward!

Many Blessings, Much Love,
Cath xoxo

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