There's so much to tell you of what's been happening in Uganda since we've returned from our ventures. We're excited to have even more of an impact in the community of Kakuuto .. and a little further-afield.
Our ENTCAS recipients continue to amaze us with the quality of workmanship and ownership of their projects. They will soon be able to repay their loan and someone else will benefit from setting up a small business.
At the Bakehouse, the 'bread run' route has expanded, with a second van being hired to keep up with demand. How fantastic is that? We're thrilled at the quality of business management - and of course the quality of bread! You can see on the map the Sembabule District where bread is now being delivered to.
We are also continuing to work on funding for the Kakuuto Church and Community Centre. I met with the Pastors whilst I was in Kakuuto to talk of their plans and how we can help. This is a huge project, but one I believe we will see happen soon as people, churches and organisations work together to make a difference. I'd appreciate your prayers to see doors open for funding!
In my last blog, I also reported that we'd decided to help an Orphanage in Kabale (South-west of Uganda). Dee's Orphanage is in dire need of support. Cogan Tumwesigye is a school teacher with a little bit of land, and a HUGE HEART. He started the orphanage by taking on, and caring for children back in 2007. Since then the amount of children in need has grown, but his funds haven't. He has created the Dee Orphanage and Project for Needy Children in the hopes that kind hearts like you will help support him, by donating or sponsoring some of these children. There are currently 152 orphans that are being cared for in some form or another by the Dee orphanage project in the Lake Bunyonyi area. They range from as young as a week old to 15 years. Some of the orphans the project supports are day-orphans. They are sent to stay with relatives at night as there is not enough room for them to live at the orphanage. The children who live at the orphanage sleep in groups of 5 to a bed and at night time the older ones care for the younger ones. All of these children need your help. To create a better life for these children, they need the basics which we take for granted - Food, Shelter, Clothing and Education. Poverty is extremely high in this area. A lot of these children have been abandoned on the streets because of this, or have lost their parents due to the deadly AIDS virus.
Firstly, we sent mosquito nets to protect the children from mosquito bites leading to malaria and other diseases. Next, we sent over $2,000 to rebuild the toilet and wash block that was unhygienic and spreading disease. We have also created a campaign to 'buy a bed' - at $80, a new bed, mattress, sheets and blanket can be given to a child. If you would like to support this campaign, please reply to this blog.
Since returning to NZ, I have been in close communication with Cogan of how the Orphanage can be self-funding to support these orphans. Currently the children only receive one meal a day, and these are often bland and not nutritional. We want to create a way to feed 180+ orphans today, tomorrow and into the future. So - hot off the press - we have just bought two acres of quality agricultural land that borders Lake Bunyonyi. Cogan had some land previously but there was no water supply, the area was prone to drought, and it was too far to travel to tend. This section is a less than 15 minute walk, next to a water source and we have locked in a 3-year lease with the possibility of buying after this. What a difference we believe this will make to Cogan and his team as they look after these Orphans. Now we need to purchase seeds of beans, peas, irish potatoes and maize - as well as work the land and add fertiliser, pesticides, stakes, transportation and equipment. Will you help? Our firm belief is that collectively we can make a difference - every dollar goes directly to our projects.
Our other exciting news is the development of African Safaris into the nearby National Park to see live gorillas, giraffes, elephants and all sorts of wildlife! What an opportunity for people to not only experience an African Safari, but also contribute to Dee's Orphanage with all profits going into this project. More on this to come shortly!
And so it is with excitement that we have renamed Dee's Orphanage to 'ORPHANAGE OF HOPE' ... Hope is one of the cornerstones of the Christian Faith. If you can imagine these children (despite incredible adversities) have love, they have a faith, and by what we are doing with Gods guidance and provision, they are finally getting HOPE.
Will you come onboard and make a difference together?!
Excited for what's to come - Lindsay and Dalaine