Parish Project 2006
Becca's Letter from Uganda
I want to say to the readers of Focus "Thank you so very much". We have received a cheque for £2,000 from St Mary’s Eaton Bray raised through various events, including the Open Gardens in June and, as a result, we are purchasing two vital pieces of equipment - a pulse oximeter and a blood pressure monitor.
The pulse oximeter will allow us to measure peoples’ saturation levels - in the UK it is a basic item of equipment and I'm very excited about having one available soon, as I miss it so much. The blood pressure monitor will enable us to constantly monitor patients who are very unwell. As soon as they arrive I will send some photos.
We have decided to buy new rather than renovated equipment and we will procure the equipment from a source in Uganda who offers a better guarantee and maintenance support in case there are any problems. Having this equipment will be wonderful and will make such a difference to the work we are able to do here in Kagando.
We have much to thank God for here. This year, in contrast to last, the rains have come and given us fresh water. It means that power supplies are more reliable, which is always nice. The rainy season here is vital for the well-being of the people here - pray that it continues for, due to the previous lack of rain, we are getting patients with cholera and typhoid because there has not been enough clean water in the villages.
Having been in Uganda for over a year I can tell you about some of the tremendous initiatives out here to support the poor and orphaned. I want to tell you about two such projects, Compassion and the Watoto Children’s Village.
We recently had a child of 10 admitted onto the paediatric ward. Her name is Janet – brought in by neighbours, she was diagnosed with malaria. The child was severely malnourished and looked like a 4 year old. Her mother had learning disabilities and her father was mentally ill. There were three other younger children in the family. Her parents were unable to look after any of the children, so Janet was left to find the food, and cook it to feed them all.
The nurses and doctors quite shocked by this, so whilst Janet was in hospital a couple of the nurses visited the village. They found that the father’s mental illness seemed to be due to poverty, and wasn't too serious, but that the family were extremely poor. They spoke to the village council to try and encourage them to take more responsibility for the children. Most importantly, Compassion, a charity that works in our area to organise sponsorship for children, agreed to sponsor all four of the children.
I've been really impressed with what I've seen of Compassion. The children they support are well dressed and fed, they have their school and health care paid for, and any extra money goes to the family to help them set up income generating projects. For example, they may buy a goat, which not only supports the child and their family but, when the child is too old for the charity, the family have something to generate income to continue to pay for their education. So in Janet's case she'll be 10 when she starts school and, by the time she's 20, the family should have generated sufficient income to be able to afford to continue her education. Her father will also be helped, as bringing the family out of extreme poverty should help his mental condition.
Also, look out for the Watoto Children's Choir who travel round Europe, America and Australia. The Pentecostal church in Kampala was established by a Canadian pastor and once it was successfully running and growing he was inspired by God to do something to care for the orphans in the locality. Instead of just building an orphanage, the Watoto Children's Village was set up. It has many houses, each containing 5 or 6 children of different ages with an adult female to act as mum, so they live in family type units. There are schools on site (which other children can attend) and the children really flourish. Every child gets one opportunity to participate in the Village Choir and The Village is funded by the choirs that go out on fund-raising tours.
As for me things are pretty good at the moment. We have a new physio arriving, I'm then off to Jinja to meet up with some people from my home church in York. I've become involved with the Kagando Sunday School and we've done training for the physio staff and the midwives working with ante-natal mothers to help relieve these expectant mothers of some of their back pain etc.
There is so much to thank God for - Love Becca
- Thank God for the rain. Pray that it continues.
- Please thank God for the many charities that sponsor children and for the people who support those charities.
- Janet is now home, but please pray for her and her family.
- Pray for the work done at the Watoto children's home.
- Joanne (the new physio) should have arrived at Kagando in early October so please pray for her as she adapts and settles in.