MARY is back in Uganda!!! Visiting Kids First, she kicked off her visit with an exciting event, but more to come on that later :)
She is sending us regular email updates, which we will continue to post on here, so you can come along for the ride! (I recommend reading to the end, it's an awesome story)
T.I.A. THIS Is Africa....when I first came to Uganda five years ago I learned quickly if you complained about cold showers, no internet, crazy traffic, or "Uganda time"...you would be told TIA!! I do not complain.....life is fluid here and one must appreciate the culture and lifestyle.
Today I want to share with you a little more about the life of our Aggie. We met five years ago at the baby home where she works. Aggie is the co-ordinator for the craft side of Kids First. On Friday we went downtown Kampala to do some errands and I learned first hand how difficult this work is for her (on top of her own job and raising two boys). Picture Aggie on a bodaboda (motor cycle) with 50 pounds of crafts on her back and a box in front of her. This is crazy dangerous in Ugandan traffic!
I want to share one recent life change for Aggie in this email so that you will know this woman and see her strength and her heart.
Since my last visit in 2013, Aggie has moved into a new place...a place with more room for her family, two rooms about 12x12 each. She must carry water to her door and she has had no electricity since moving four months ago. She has two boys, Martin (13) and Jeremiah (5). Upon arrival to Uganda I learned that she just adopted a little girl, whom she has named Martina Gemimah Sannyu (Sannyu means 'Joy'). This little girl arrived about a year and half ago at the baby home where Aggie works at the approximate age of 2.5 years. She had been abused by her mentally unwell mother, having been bitten all over her little body by her mother. A woman who sells corn by the road had been witnessing this abuse and finally managed to grab the child away from her and took her to the police. The mother has disappeared, the baby arrived at the baby home where Aggie has been caring for her. Now the child is too old for the baby home and she has not been adopted....she was going to be taken to a large orphanage where she would remain through her childhood. In Aggie's own words "this child has endured enough suffering...I could not see her living her life without a family...she needs someone to belong to". Aggie tells me that it will all work out, that God will provide....and I believe she is right! We were both in tears as she shared this story the first night together.
There are 2.5 million orphans in Uganda (the size of our state of Oregon) and 50% of the population is 15 years or younger. It is my hope that you can all picture this...Aggie who lives in poverty, like all of the women of Kids First, yet they continue to reach out to meet the needs of others less fortunate
In my attempt to set the stage of this visit...this email is long. I will try and keep them short in future.
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!