Hello to all my friends, family and donors,
We are well into the rainy season with many roads quite muddy and difficult to use when checking on the kids (this picture is a road, not a river). All of our 260 or so kids who attend 64 different schools have finished first term and are bringing in the school reports. Those with sponsors also are asked to write letters. The office has been so very busy as there are always situations that need interventions or counseling.
The kids at the rescue home also are allowed to go home for two weeks. We called all of the care givers of these kids in for a meeting where they are told about their child and any health or behavior issues that need watching. We do not want the kids to lose contact with village life and any family they still have. We continue to work on lessening the stigma these kids face with both families and villages.
We received very good news that the Manna Rescue Home has been accepted as one of only 17 homes in the whole country to be approved. The ministry is very strict on the qualifications for orphanages and we worked hard to pass all regulations.
The construction for the Amaani Rwenzori is also coming along well. They are now doing roofing. There is still a lot to be done and interior work on construction always seems to take longer. The training buildings will also need to be equipped with things such as sewing machines, salon equipment for the beautician building and some very huge items for the ceramics studio. It will be an amazing program once things are ready and we look forward to a grand opening sometime late in the year.
I will be away for some time as I am flying out on June 20th. I will be visiting my home town of Skaneateles, New York. It has been 40 years since I have been there. I will meet my brother there and also I hope to connect with some of my classmates from the graduating Class of ’62 (Skaneateles High). I am really looking forward to this visit. I will be in NY for 4 days and then will fly down to Florida where some good friends live. They are going to help me have a “vacation of a life time” going to theme parks and other places of interest. I also will be getting my back problems evaluated at the Florida Spine Institution. My pain is chronic and I hope to be able to resolve things and find a way to continue with my work here for as many years as God allows me.
I ask you all to continue to keep our kids in prayer. They are incredible and brave young people who face so many issues but continue to look ahead with courage. As my logo for the Manna Home depicts, God holds all children of the world in the palm of His hand.
I continue to thank you all for all of your love, support and prayers. ~Carol
Hello friends and supporters of YES,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and are now enjoying the start of spring. I do see that some of you are still having snow but at least you know that it will not last much longer. My Easter dawned with some clouds but ended up a beautiful day. That old saying, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning” does not seem to apply here.
The kids at the Manna Rescue Home are doing well. Some new young kids are learning to play the band instruments and the older ones are always helpful with them. They are all back in school with some being taught at the home while others walk to the nearby primary school. As our kids get stronger they play and run a lot which does lead to accidents. Our youngest, Ronnie, fell and broke his arm but it does not slow him down at all. Our new teacher Deanna from US is adjusting to Ugandan life and the kids adore her.
I am now in the countdown waiting for the West family who plan to come here for several years and help in YES. They hope to get here by September. I really need their help in many directions. They have been to Uganda several times and understand the conditions and challenges involved. I really pray that everything will work out for them.
The buildings at Amaani Rwenzori! are coming up fast. It is so exciting seeing this happen. If there are any people interested in volunteering their talents in teaching different skills please contact me. I really would love to have a ceramics expert who understands the trade with kilns, wheels and clay quality to come here to advise us. We expect construction to finish by late August. We could also use anyone who understands design and fashion for our sewing students as well as anyone interested in beautician work for our new and modern salon. We hope to have hair styles for the expats as well as for the local population. It is exciting times and we would be happy to have some of you be apart of this new venture.
Lastly, I have joined the modern world—sort of— with a selfie stick. I tried it out with my country director David and myself. It is sort of obvious that I am using it but lots of fun.
Best wishes to all and have a beautiful spring.
I recently had a man named Jim West, who is a long time supporter, come and visit me. He came at the same time as my new school teacher, Deanna Baboi, so he was able to help her arrive here and get settled into her new place. Jim helped me with a number of projects in the 8 days he was here which included repairing things at the Manna Rescue Home. I am so thankful for people like him. Their first Sunday here, we visited a crater lake.
Construction on the youth development center is going on very well and it is so exciting seeing the progress. I am also very grateful that the development of this program is under the German organization Welt Hunger Helfe because my staff and myself are quite busy just running the existing program.
The Uganda elections have finished and despite some chaos it has been mostly OK and now all is quiet. People here take their politics very seriously. First term of school is now underway. It began late because the elections were scheduled for the same time period. The kids were anxiously wanting to get back to their studies by the time it began. I am so proud of my Rescue Home kids who have learned how to make school sweaters on a knitting machine we bought for them.
Our country manager David is excited about his upcoming wedding in May. It has been a struggle for him with the culture demanding huge bride prices of many cows. He wants to do it correctly and not just take his loved one to live with him as many do these days.
The rain is back!!!!! We have been in a drought for three months with much dust and brown grass. It amazes me just how suddenly and hard the rains come back and in the city of Kampala there is now flooding and much damage. Here it is good and the grass is growing and greening quickly. I love the smell of the first rains after such a dry spell and all of the frogs are setting up a huge chorus in the evenings.
I hope all of you who are in the cold climates are starting to see the promise of spring and I wish everyone a great March.
My gratitude to all, Carol
Hello everyone! My days have been full with so many things happening. The major event is the laying of the first brick ceremony for the Amaani Rwenzori youth development center.This is the fulfillment of a dream for a place for vocational training that I have had now for several years. It is being made possible by very generous German donors. It’s exciting seeing the progress and the finish date is August of this year!
Along with the ceremony many other things are also going on. The first term of school is delayed because of elections but the senior 4 students and primary seven students have received the results of their government exam and we have about 50 students finishing those grades who we are now counseling for the next steps in their schooling. Along with that we have about 240 other students who will be collecting supplies for their first term. We have just finished buying all the supplies to last for the three terms of 2016 so we could get the wholesale prices.
I’ve also had a lot of visitors. I had a couple and their two sons, who were visiting from Rwanda, stay with me and they were able to spend some time meeting some of our sponsored families and play with the kids at MRH.
A good friend who has adopted two kids from MRH was also here with 4 of her 7 children and she spent some time at MRH and threw a party for them. She’s also involved with helping ladies in the area set up small businesses so they are able to care for their families.
I also had good friend of mine from Canada visiting me, that supports YES. It has been a very great time seeing these people.
School starts on February 22 so our teacher Peter, at the MRH, has been giving the kids extra teaching. We are looking forward to welcoming our new teacher from the US, Deanna, who is coming on the 18th along with another good friend from Colorado who has been a huge support to YES.
I hope all of you are doing well in the winter months and my US friends are handling the crazy election times. At least our Ugandan presidential elections finish on the 18th and things will slow down a bit.
My best wishes and gratitude to all.
I hope that each one of you reading this has had a wonderful Christmas celebration with family and friends. Christmas 2015 is now past and the year 2016 is coming very soon!
In YES we have been quite busy leading into Christmas. Thanks to some very generous people we have bought some food for some of our most needed families as well as new clothes for a child headed family. We also got that family some firewood to cook with as well as some food. Here without firewood people have no way to cook which is hard to even imagine back in the developed world.
Happy kids wearing their new clothes
Firewood and supplies
A Happy Family
We also had our staff Christmas party and now they have all traveled to family homes, some near and others quite far. The program will start back on January 4th.
I personally had a quiet Christmas day which consisted of a nice church service, relaxing, reading and listening to music. After the hectic rush I very much enjoyed some down time to just recoup, pray and remember so many of you wonderful friends around the world. I re-live trips and good times with the pictures on my computer.
I look forward to 2016 with anticipation of many new things and visits from friends. I especially am excited about the West family who are coming here to assist in the program that just continues to grow. I am also looking forward to meeting our new teacher Deanna who will be coming for the 2016 school year to teach our kids at the Manna Rescue Home.
As we head to 2016 I am thankful that God holds us all in the palm of his hand and I know that He continues to lead and guide us in our lives.
May you all feel God’s love and have a safe and wonderful new year!
Developments continue with our program here in Fort Portal. I am so happy to announce that we have a volunteer coming from the US to teach our kids for the year 2016. Her name is Deanne Baboi and she is well qualified for the job and also a dedicated Christian. She is coming on a very tight budget as she is still paying on a student loan. If anyone feels led to donate towards her upkeep it could come through PayPal. She has not asked for anything but I know she would be very grateful.
We now are finishing the bathroom for the boy’s dorm at the Manna Rescue Home. They will have running water with flush toilets and a shower facility. I continue to be grateful for the donations that have made all the progress at the home possible.
Very exciting news is that we now have the go ahead from the National Environment Management Association to build our youth center where we will be having several vocational skills taught along with business management and basic life skills. If the rest of the paper work goes through construction could be finished by August or September and classes in ceramics, hair dressing and beautician, along with sewing and design, would be started and we would love to have anyone with these interests come to teach either short or longer sessions.
Layout of the new Youth Development Center
Lastly, I want to share a success story with you about a girl trained in knitting. Rachel is a total orphan who finished senior 4 under our program and then went into Knitting. We have given her a knitting machine (shown in the picture) and the woman shown has a building where she wants her to set up to make sweaters for schools. Having a business woman behind her as she starts out gives her a greater chance to succeed.
Let me wish all of you in the US a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and everyone a safe and happy Christmas season.
I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying lovely autumn weather in some parts of the world.
Things at YES are ongoing. Our current project at Manna Rescue Home is the construction of a toilet/shower building for the boy’s dorm. It is still in the beginning stages as the picture shows.
With the US Thanksgiving holiday coming up, my mind has been on many things. I realize the lives we live and the privileges we have become normal and expected, but I do hope everyone there can stop, think and thank God for the many many wonderful things in life. Running water, electricity, houses with furniture, beds, machines, good medical care and shopping places and so many other things that are seen as “normal” and a right to have. I want to share these photos so you can see how most of my kids live.
Clothes and dishes are washed by hand with water they often have to carry from long distances. This man has running water so he is fortunate.
Houses are often in very poor shape with old people trying to survive with orphaned grand children.
Medical care is scary. The boy in the picture had to wait 3 days to get an xray and we searched three hospitals before we got him a bed in a junked up storage room. We supplied the bedding and mattress and his food and care had to be done by family members.
Douglas with broken leg
Many things are transported by bicycles and people work hard to raise small money selling produce.
heavy loads of matooke
This sounds as if I am painting a very dark picture of Uganda and life here. However, what is amazing is there is much joy and happiness among the people who have so little. The picture of the ragged children does not make a person feel pity because they are happy. They greet each other on the streets and I can not walk anywhere without smiles and hellos from everyone I pass. The Christianity is strong here and Sundays will find the roads filled with people walking long distances to church.
Lastly, the beautiful sunset from my back deck shows the beauty all around. I continue to thank God for calling me here to be a part of this adventure.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and happy days to my European and Canadian friends!