Month: December 2020
Alex was ‘adopted’ by my friend and Project Manager Innocent two years ago. Alex’s father abandoned his family due to his mental health issues and his mother didn’t have the money to feed her family and pay school fees for her children. Innocent, who appreciates all the help he has had from my friends and family over the years, felt he wanted to ‘give something back’ by helping young Alex and welcoming him into his family which he has done wholeheartedly even though life is a continual struggle for him.
Alex has been a great help to Innocent and his wife Betty since he arrived, doing jobs around the home compound, collecting water from the borehole, looking after the pigs, digging in the ‘garden’, and being big brother to young Norman while there has been no school. Actually he had only just started at secondary school when Covid struck! Alex struggled with all subjects because he didn’t understand English so we got Innocent to hire a teacher to give him lessons in preparation for his return to school as soon as schools open so we hope he will find learning easier now. At the moment Alex says he wants to be a car mechanic and he’s been gaining experience at the local car repair shop. Innocent says he is enjoying his work experience a lot but has reminded him that he must go back to school and pass his exams if he wants to go to college which is his aim. Hopefully schools will open in February. Through me telling Alex’s story, I am pleased to say that another wonderful donor came forward to help us help him with his education. I’m so grateful. x
Next, Emma (Emmanuel) Paul’s younger brother who has had no schooling since his primary school closed in March. He’s been back home living with his mum in the village and is finding it difficult to keep an interest in his studies when most of the other children in his village don’t go to school. Emma’s favourite pastime is playing football! I took two footballs out for him in January, a gift from a sponsor, (thank you Helen and Joshua!). He has already worn one ball out on the rough stony ground he plays on! His mum says he isn’t allowed to play with his friends though, until he finishes his chores such as collecting water from the borehole, taking the goats to pasture, digging, playing and other work in the garden! Earlier in the pandemic Emma and Paul made a hand washing facility called a tip-tap, basically a small jerrycan hung on a rough wood frame which is worked by a foot ‘pedal’. They made a tip-tap so that they could wash their hands easier and more safely.
Primary schools are due to be opened again in early February, the beginning on the Uganda school year so let’s hope that the pandemic allows this to happen as Emma and his classmates have already missed a whole year of education.
News about my young friends in Uganda
Now an update on the young people my husband and I support, along with help from several wonderful sponsors. Paul, Emma, Alex, Nico and Innocent.
Firstly Paul: Since March when the virus hit Uganda, and up until three months ago, Paul had been at home in his outlying village living with his mum but was continually worrying about missing out on his uni studies and training. He is studying Clinical Medicine and Community Health. The university was sending out study notes but the remoteness of Paul’s home is such that it’s often difficult to get a signal for mobile phones and especially not to download lots of material. This, added to the problem of charging his laptop, was making it very difficult for him. Though his mum and little brother Emma love having him at home and he’s a great help in the garden (farm), he jumped at his older brother Bosco’s suggestion that he move to the large town of Jinja and work alongside him at the hospital. Bosco is a nurse who has also previously had our help with his education.
At first I was a bit dubious as it would be taking Paul into a less safe environment with the Covid situation. But after talking to Paul and hearing how he felt I realised he couldn’t just sit back and wait for this pandemic to pass. I’m happy to say that Paul is finding the work at the hospital very interesting and fulfilling. I was amazed that within a couple of weeks he was giving immunisations and doing procedures such as attaching cannulas! He tells me he was particularly nervous giving a vaccination to his first baby! I am sure all the experience will benefit him in the future. Importantly he is now able to keep up with his studies too and is preparing for his return to university in early January, though I’m still rather doubtful about this actually happening but do hope all goes to plan for him.
It’s worth one mosquito net!
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