Hello to all my friends, family and supporters. We are now preparing for Christmas and finishing another year here in Uganda. Christmas here is quite different from Christmas as I remember in US. The Western culture of many toys for kids and huge numbers of gifts for everyone has not quite reached the people here. The main celebration for the holidays is family and a good meal plus church services. Many people travel across the country to be with family members during Christmas time and there seems to be more joy and peace among the poverty than is often seen with more affluent people.
This year the crops have not been as good as usual with rains that started late and then flooding that hit many areas. The hunger in villages is high and as a program we have identified the most vulnerable families and bought food that will help them during festive times and when kids are home from school. We bought rice, beans, gnuts and different flours for porridge and a food called Posho that is a local staple. We have bagged it all up and delivered it to some distant families while others will pick up supplies at our office. David has worked incredibly hard doing all of this preparation.
MRH caregiver meeting
The Manna Rescue Home kids will also be going home for the holidays and we give the caregivers each a food package. They came to pick up the kids and shared a small party with a good lunch of meat and matooke and some small gifts for each kid. These people are elderly grandparents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members. We also try and teach them that AIDS does not mean death as it used to and try to have this knowledge brought to the villages where these kids come from. There is still too much stigma associated with AIDS but when people see the kids looking healthy and happy we hope things change.
Four of our students at the home have now finished their primary level of schooling and are headed to the next steps for their education as well as leaving the home as they age out. Joshua is one of them as he tries to look so “cool.” As a program we continue to follow the graduates from the home and help them as they continue their education.
Amaani Rwenzori! Has also been active during this Christmas season. They have produced a lot of beautiful pottery items and also had a fashion show at a local craft fair where they participated. It is exciting to see the progress with the vocational school and students.
I continue to thank God for having called me to this beautiful country and people. My Christmas decorations are not much but my Christmas joy is great. My back continues to heal and I am stronger daily. Let me finish by wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and New Year.
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