Harriet's Family Home
In June 2015, I visited Harriet (along with Daniel in Rwanda). In addition to seeing them I wanted to see what was the most important priorities to make a difference in their lives. It wasn't about changing the face of Poverty in Africa, after all we are two very ordinary private individuals who really shun publicity, but at the same time have a love for people, especially children.
Harriet's family lived on the floodplain bordering the tiny settlement of Kakuuto in the South West of Uganda. Most live near to the main highway (well an unmarked secondary road in most other countries) that takes you into Tanzania. The poorer the people, the further away from the road. Harriet's family live deep on the flood plain. I calculated Harriet would have to travel around 100kms a week in swampy and dangerous conditions and often on foot. For up to 7 months a year her mud hut would have been flooded out - there is no running water, no electricity, no toilet facilities, no roads - every day was a struggle to survive.
I don't mind admitting it traumatised me. It was something that kept reminding me every time I turned on a light, walked on a paved footpath, had a shower, went to the toilet.
I knew from asking, that Harriet's deceased father had a small area of land nearer the road off the flood plain and of course that got me thinking. So with the additional help of a handful of close friends we raised enough money to build a very modest home, with concrete instead of mud floor, a roof that did not leak, as well as a small separate kitchen and a long drop toilet.
Before: Harriet in front of her mud hut. This photo was taken in a ten minute "sun shower " in the dry season of my 2015 visit....imagine 7 months of the wet seasons!
After: Group shot outside the new house. With the people who have benefited from this house ... minus children who were at school
The results you can see are spectacular! Not only are they in a much better place to live, the small cost of buying tools and several (black) cattle has meant they are able to be self supporting growing green beans, green vegetables and maize (corn). The family have been able to spread out slightly - the only thing to remind them of their previous house being the little solar powered lights that we had installed for them in 2015 which I was shown proudly still gives them their much needed light. Truly a miracle happened in this place!