Another branch of my Ugandan family are the Kasenke brothers who, since 2008, my family and wonderful friends who have joined us along the way to help give assistance to the brothers at different stages of their education and careers. Before I met them their father died and their mother was ‘chased away’ from their village because ‘uncles’ wanted the family land, leaving the six boys to fend for themselves. Something that seems unthinkable to us but was, and probably still is, common practice in some communities.
During my recent visit to Uganda you ‘met’ four of the brothers. Firstly Bosco who, though only gained low grade A levels, last year qualified as a nurse with extra skills in dentistry. Bosco was so surprised and very grateful when I took out to him many dental tools donated by dentists in Poynton, mainly from Doctor Lisa-Marie at Chester Road Dental Care who wants to keep updated on Bosco’s progress, and also Doctor Arde from MyDentist. A big thank you to both dentists. Your gifts have given Bosco opportunities he would otherwise not have had.
Elder brother Mike has a job working in a restaurant in Iganga, a big town in Uganda, and always travels to see me on a Monday, his only day off. He is now head of the family since his big brothers Alex and Robert moved away.
Paul, you will have heard me speak about a lot, as I spent several days helping him deliver mosquito nets in the very poor and inhospitable environment of the outskirts of Kasozi where he had surveyed the area previously.
While I was in Uganda Paul received his long awaited A Level results and we were so pleased he had passed them all, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Agriculture and General Paper. Incredible! These results qualify him to go on to university to study his chosen course of Clinical Medicine & Community Health, so long as he receives the financial support necessary.
In 2008 when Godfrey, a very good friend of mine who I depend on for advice at every corner, found Paul hungry and alone in the homestead, he could not read or write and certainly couldn’t speak any English. Amazing to see what a little help from us and his own hard work over the last ten years has achieved!
Without financial help none of the young people I talk about would not have had the opportunity to gain a decent education. With this help they have been lifted out of the never ending circle of poverty. The boys as I still call them, though most are now in their twenties, are all so so grateful as you can imagine! It’s been a privilege to be with them as they took their different paths knowing we had a small but very important part to play.
Lastly there is step brother Emma (Emmanuel), who we only started helping last year, with help from another kind donor. Emma is a bright boy and I’m sure with the love and care from his family and a little help from us, he will do well too. I enjoyed spending a few hours visiting him at school during my stay.
Taken from a post by Paul on Facebook: You might have something that seems minor to you but when you grant it to another person, it means a lot to them. Gerry Hambridge, it has been my pleasure working with you, and to all those that have made it possible. Thank you so much, may the Lord God reward you for spreading smiles across this beautiful pearl of Africa.
When Paul wrote this he was referring to the mosquito nets but this quote can be used in many contexts where giving is concerned. For the price of a new coat or pair of shoes that we probably don’t really need or the cost of a few meals out we can all help a child gain a valuable education. I’ve loved and still love going without that coat!