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.

Thursday’s Joy


~ Arranged a special hire, Alfred and his van, who came to the house in Sr. Quarters around 10am and picked up me, 5 foam mattresses that the Wagner family slept on and donated, more mosquito nets destined to protect our little ones as they sleep in their new bunkbeds ( once they have all been built and make their way to the center ) a couple boxes, some bags..

~ Along with a growing line up of mzungus, I had huge trouble at the ATM at Barclay’s, but finally, whew, worked out a cash advance on my VISA card from Crane because of problems on the other bank’s end. I really needed cash today to pay for blankets and to put another 400,000 ( $180 or so ) towards beds..

~ Paid the balance owing of 180,000 ( $80.. ) shillings and picked up 30 new blankets for the children.. stuffed them into the van that was beginning to look somewhat bloated!

~ Enjoyed a lovely drive to Mutufu where I was met by Vincent and 8 of our little ones all waving me “welcome”! We all unpacked the van’s contents into Toppy’s store in Mutufu and sent Alfred on his way. We organized the children to take most of the items to Vincent’s and then he and I set out to run an errand.

~ We dropped by the police station in Budadiri on bodas to thank once again the officer who helped me the night I was robbed. I had promised him a gift and so today was the day to bring him a “Canada Hat” and a LITA t-shirt. It was very fun to see how surprised he was to see me again.. thank you Officer George, you wear it well!

~ Visited a man in Mutufu who uses a 3 wheel wheelchair to thank him – Thanks to a church group of women donors in Kamloops BC who are sponsoring a wheelchair for our little Vincent who currently crawls around on his hands because his legs don’t work, we are ordering a chair for him just like our friend’s – and we wanted to let our friend know that he has helped us very much by putting us in touch with the people who made his chair in Kampala. He promised to help Vincent learn some driving tricks once his is delivered. Big Vincent and I are ordering it Friday – 450, 000 ( just over $200 )! So exciting! Blessings Ladies!

~ Headed to the center and started to figure out how to lay the new flooring.. pretty exciting.. brought along an xacto knife and taught everyone about it, cut and placed three long pieces in the boys dorm.. wow, looking “smart’.. moved a bed into the boys dorm in its two parts and played with how we are actually going to fit them all in.. they’ll fit, squished, it’s just that maybe the children will be crawling in from the ends while they are still living in the small mud stick buildings.. ( that is until we build the permanent dorms for them once ACIO has the property surveyed and title is officially registered in their name.. a pre-requisite of LITA’s.. one they will hopefully fulfill during these next few months while I’m back in Canada ).

~ It took hours to meausre, cut and lay flooring in the boys dorm, then the teacher’s room and the admin office, then the girl’s dorm, at Vincent’s.. really special, really beautiful! At the end of fitting both dorms I called all the boys into their’s and later the girl’s into theirs.. it was so cute, all these darling little children rolling around on the floor, laughing with pure delight, simply thrilled.. even promising to sleep right on the flooring tonight without their old mats while they await their new beds.. such joy, Thursday overflowed with it!

~ Passed Canada pencils and little animal “I Love You” stuffies to Vincent’s children who were around at home.. ( with the start of the new school year 3 of his daughters have gone away to boarding school ) His children are often around at the center but haven’t often been receiving some of the perks that the orphaned children have these weeks.. so this was their turn, and they were truly delighted.

~ Left the center late again, but the sun was just coming to set and despite my deep and growing weariness another special hire felt like “too much”, so I braved it and hopped a boda for that crazy ride from Mutufu to Sironko trading center, and then made it the rest of the way to Mbale in the front seat of a transport truck for matoke that had a few dozen people sitting in the back.. always relieved and grateful when we all “reach well”!

Onward to Friday, I find my eyes filling spontaneously with tears many moments, there’s lots of Love around, lots of joy, and.. I can’t imagine I’m leaving in just a few days from now. It’s a bit odd not to be telling most people I’m seeing..

I know the children know it on some level.. they are all more tactile, affectionate, and expressive, running towards me for hugs when they see me, taking my hands, writing and singing songs of Love to me, taking all opportunities to tell me about their Love for me, and how happy they are, how grateful they are, calling me Mommy with every few words uttered.. squeezing all their Love in..

Blessings in Love ~

Cath xox

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