For something completely different, Helping People!

 

Of all of the African countries that I have been to Uganda remains my favourite.  It has all of the elements to make a country a thrill to visit.  The landscape is stunning at every turn.  Massive blue skies over green hills and red African earth.  Impres­sive volca­noes, stunning lakes, and dense jungles fill the country.  The wildlife is spectac­u­lar.  Incred­i­ble animals that can be found no where else world (in the wild).  From goril­las, to hippos, to millions of colour­ful birds, this country has an animal lover’s head spinning.

Ugandans are special people.  They are always ready to share a smile and a laugh with anyone that may cross their path.  The people of Uganda are genuine and kind.  I felt at home instantly.  I fell completely in love with their friendly spirits and the ladies beauti­ful fabrics (that’s another story).

Unfor­tu­nately, Uganda has its share of tragedy.  Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa to be struck by HIV in epidemic propor­tions.  In the late 1980’s, 25% of Uganda’s popula­tion was infected.  Today 6.5% (1.2 million people) of Ugandans are HIV positive.  A conflict in north­ern Uganda is now into its second decade.  In the north many children have lost their families as a result of this 20-year war.

Poverty, unsafe drink­ing water, war, alcoholism, and HIV all contribute to making this beauti­ful country a troubled one.

For many reasons Uganda is full of orphaned children.  The UN states that Uganda has 2.5 million orphans, and that 20% of the children in the country live without parents.

These numbers are diffi­cult to compre­hend from a western perspec­tive.  With next to no social services these orphaned children and babies are liter­ally left to fend for themselves.  While travel­ing through Uganda these reali­ties got easier to grasp.  There are liter­ally children every­where!  The median age in the country is only 15.  The numbers of children clearly out weighed the adults.

Many of these children were living on their own, on the streets, and in need of help.  In Jinja, Uganda there are 2 extra­or­di­nary people helping these children.

 

 

Moses Easyyoh Kiyimba and Damali Mirembe Wattier both grew up as orphans.  Now in their adult lives they have taken it upon themselves to help other orphaned children. They have now both started their own organi­za­tions to provide loving homes to children without families.

Moses is the founder of African Street Children Organi­za­tion (ASCO) where he and several others provide a safe home for 18 boys between the ages of 6 and 15. Before ASCO they had all been living on the street, sniff­ing paraf­fin and begging for money.  After spend­ing 2 weeks with these boys I can person­ally vouch for the outstand­ing work that is going into saving their lives and making their futures brighter.  They are all incred­i­bly sweet and smart boys who deserve a chance at a success­ful life.

Damali is the founder of Sonrise Baby Home .  A visit to Sonrise is an unfor­get­table experi­ence.  The warmth that flows from Damali’s heart would melt even the tough­est of the tough.  She is inside and out pure beauty, with more than enough love to share with the 21 orphan babies in her care!  Oh, and the babies.…. each one of them could stop your heart with one glance.  All of the babies that live at Sonrise are under the age of 3.  They have been abandoned or their mothers have died and the rest of the family can not afford them.  On arrival most of the babies where malnour­ished with health problems.  Damali caught wind of a bad situa­tion, rescued them, and the rest is history.

The people at Sonrise Baby Home work around the clock to provide a comfort­able and healthy life, full of love for the babies at the orphanage.

If you are heading to Africa I recom­mend Uganda, and volun­teer­ing with either or both of these wonder­ful organi­za­tions.  These children can quickly change your life, and warm your heart.  I know that they did mine!

If volun­teer­ing is not a possi­bil­ity, please consider making a donation.  For more infor­ma­tion on either of these organi­za­tions please contact me or check out their websites and facebook pages.

Here are the links:

African Street Children Organ­i­sa­tion (ASCO) on Facebook.

Sonrise Baby Home website

Sonrise Baby Home on Facebook

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3 Responses to For something completely different, Helping People!

  1. Tina Takach says:

    Very beauti­ful people in a very sad situa­tion. If I ever think I have something to complain about I will think back to these pictures.

  2. kate Lawrence says:

    Fabulous pictures with noble words worthy of our atten­tion and more so of our response. Thank you!

  3. Jon Warner says:

    Thanks for this. Absolutely amazing. I recently returned from a trip to Uganda. I had the honour to meet both of these wonder­ful people, spend­ing a bit of time at both ASCO and Sonrise. Experi­enc­ing both of these works in part left me longing to help in any way I could.

    Thanks for highlight­ing these signif­i­cant contri­bu­tions to Uganda!

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