Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes during my recent trip to Uganda, particularly when there was concern about me being in the area of the recent devastating mudslide and for the prayers for those affected by it.
Thank you in particular for the prayers directed towards Alice, the girl whose education Liane Legey and I are sponsoring. She has responded positively to the malaria medicine we had delivered for her and the other child infected and she is due to be released from the hospital on Monday.
I have heard that once you visit Africa, a part of you will never leave. I know that this is true for me. HHF-Africa had recently received legal status in Uganda and I traveled there to work with the local team in setting up operations and to further define the scope of our mission there.
Uganda is a land of great extremes. It is blessed with fertile land and natural resources. The people are unfailingly open and friendly. And yet, great misery has been forced upon the country. Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army inflicted 22 years of war and terror on the people of northern Uganda and preventing the country as a whole from developing to its full potential. At its peak, 1.7 million people had fled their homes in fear and crowded into refugee camps.
With a peace treaty signed, a new spirit of optimism has been reborn in Uganda and the country again moves towards the prosperity that is its birthright.
And yet, there are many who still lack hope. 22 years of war have created an entire generation who has known nothing but a life of dependency in the camps. Many cannot return to their traditional homes. Those that do, often lack the capacity to survive without assistance. Orphaned children are everywhere with parents having been killed by Koni’s reign of terror, natural disasters like the recent mudslide and the scourge of HIV-AIDS.
The reweaving of this generation back into society is a task of monumental proportions.
But as they say, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. With your friendship and support, Humanity Healing Foundation is working to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and communities that have lost hope. Our initiatives in Uganda currently will fall into four areas:
1. IDPERRI – Internally Displaced Persons Empowerment, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Initiative. This is a major project to help resettle the most vulnerable of the IDPs and to empower them to be active participants in the resettling of other IDPs – an action that will help reweave their place back into the fabric of society.
2. Educational Empowerment. Many schools lack the resources to effectively teach the children so that they may reach their full potential, particularly with the massive influx of orphaned children.
3. Woman and Family Empowerment. Many women and children have lost their husbands/fathers and lack the vocational training or materials to lift themselves out of poverty.
4. Prison Initiatives. Human rights issues, a change in policies concerning remands and the reintegration of former inmates back into society.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing in more detail about my experiences in Africa and how each of these initiatives will be developed. In addition to your input and support, we will also be working to build a community of organizations who together can create a greater impact than each could create individually.
Come join me at the elephant.
Humanity Healing Foundation