Renewal (by AJ and Ana Overton)
As most of you know by now, we have been busy over the past month working alongside the 36 volunteers that traveled from the USA. It has been an exciting month of accomplishment and we look forward to sharing the facts in our next newsletter, but for now we wanted to share how we and our partners here in Uganda have been impacted on a more personal level.
Working in any development field, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of needs and requests for assistance. It is not uncommon for us to be approached every day, sometimes several times a day, by someone asking for something, school fees or some other form of educational assistance in particular. At some point you hit a wall, and while the response to the Ugandan’s legitimate request may be friendly, inside you feel broken, helpless, and at times apathetic.
We are extremely grateful to the teams, for through their energy and compassion they have renewed our strength. Through their ideas and thoughtfulness, they have provided us with fresh insight and direction. Through their interactions they gave hope, encouragement, and renewed strength to many of our Ugandan partners. We stand alongside our partners refreshed, with new perspectives and direction on the many challenges ahead of us. We have never seen our partners more energetic, and the following are a few examples of this.
In Koreng, we had announced that EU would be funding the construction of a borehole (deep well) at Kadacar Primary School; today that well will be completed. Yesterday, we passed the District Local Council 5, Mayor, and other government officials on their way to visit the well. Most likely, the well will cause school attendance to increase, and perhaps the construction of the school buildings will resume now that a water source is nearby. At the same school we announced that EU would provide funding for 4 additional teachers, and an account to insure payment of these additional staff once hired has already been established.
At Agape Children’s Village (ACV) there was much anxiety surrounding the fact that a previous sponsor (which has funded the children’s village for the past few years) will be withdrawing funding of the project at the end of next year. The house mothers and children had already begun making arrangements to resettle back into their respective communities, although, many of them had no true homes in those areas. Now that EU has announced their intention to help fund ACV, the mothers have even begun new income generation activities to do their part to supply the needs for their children.
In Kaihura, Bringing Hope to the Family’s management staff are enthusiastically requesting a follow-up report on the many meetings held by some of the team members who assisted in organizational development and administrative training. The staff members are eager to get to work on the many objectives and action items listed in that report. At Dorcas Vocational School, the girls are excited about the newly learned skills of bead and print making, crafts that will help generate income for themselves and the school. We look forward to returning to Kaihura to see what more they will have completed by then.
There is one common factor in all of these communities: the friendships that were either started or strengthened between team members and the people of these communities. The people on the team not only gave of their time and resources to help Ugandans, but they also gave generously of their hearts. The hope that has been kindled in the Ugandan people that they touched cannot be quantified.
We just wanted to send a big THANK YOU to all of you who participated in the summer’s mission teams. You have made a tremendous impact in hundreds of lives, ours included. We pray that God will continue to fill you with energy to serve Uganda with your time, talents, and treasures. Again, thank you for all that you have done.
Until next time . . . much love & many blessings . . .
AJ and Ana Overton