Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

Our student, Natasha and her family have been through a devastating time. Their home was demolished in Bukinda, a village within the Kyangwali Refugee Camp in Uganda.

The story is complicated. Many Ugandan families were living in Kyangwali Refugee Camp. The land had been given from the government to the UNHCR for refugees. There are thousands of new refugees coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the camp now has more than 120,000 people. When we first began coming to Kyangwali, there were around 19,000 refugees. The Ugandan families in Bukinda were all evicted, but sadly it was done in a violent manner. Homes were destroyed and unfortunately people were killed. (according to an article from an eyewitness -see below at bottom of page.)
The good news is, they were so fortunate. Natasha’s sponsor has paid to help move her family outside of the refugee camp and paid for six months’ rent as well as donated toward food.They will soon have a new start to life.
The first photo is their destroyed home, the second is showing their kitchen destroyed, third moving and lastly, the food.

natasha family

father of Natasha on empty land

Natasha's famly in moving truck

Natasha with all the food donated

Once they were moved the family was so grateful to the sponsor of Natasha, Larry and Mary Hereford. Below shows the family of eleven in their new locations. Natasha is one of our top students at the Think Humanity Girls’ Hostel in Hoima. We hope that school resumes soon.

natash fam moved

We are not able to help all Think Humanity students with emergencies, but we are so grateful to her sponsor for helping them in this case.

This is a happy ending to a terrible situation.

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SECOND LAND EVICTION IN BUKINDA KYANGWALI 1st August 2020.*

By; *Kyomugisa Frankline*

Land grabbing is no longer something new in Uganda. For many years now, many people have been forcefully removed from their land. Some compensated and others left in the middle of nowhere with nothing. Families have been displaced and abandoned, children have dropped out of school leading to early marriages, people have committed suicide and others have been beaten and killed in the process.

This week has been another week of cries, bloodshed, death and lamentations from the local communities of Bukinda, Kyangwali sub-county in Kikuube district western Uganda- a new district, and it should as well be known that Bukinda comprises of 28 villages.

It is a tough week, since the second Eviction merged after the visit of Minister Moses Ali in Kyangwali.

It’s on record that he called for a meeting at Kasonga, Kyangwali Refugee Camp that aimed at giving and implementing new orders on the second eviction on the people (nationals) in Bukinda.

After the order, the week has been one of tears, bloodshed and death since many people have been arrested by security organs and toured, others over five by now have been killed in cold blood as others are nursing wounds in nearby hospitals of Ngurwe, Kituti health center 4.

Houses have been demolished, properties destroyed, gardens put on fire as others have no more access to their gardens even when their children and themselves are starving.

The communities have resorted to killing each other since the land demarcation/serving isn’t proper and transparent.

This report includes children who lost their parents and those who were abandoned by their parents for so long and live a desperate-lonely life. Some of these children risk their lives daily in a bid to help themselves and others depend totally on their neighbors who afterwards subjugate and impose heavy works on them. Some of these children have benefited from Think Humanity with past relief food that has been distributed. As we could not find most of the children in their homes, we talked to them from where we found them. Some are so young and couldn’t speak a word.

Below are photos and summarized stories of the children we were able to find.

Balikagira Chance, 8 and Faith Namagembe, 13 were born from Kasambya. They shared the same mother, but different fathers. Their mother passed away in 2018 with breast cancer. The father of Faith died in a fatal link-bus accident occurred in Kiboga as he was traveling to Kampala. The father of Chance has never been seen since April 2019. Faith takes care of her brother.

Chance and Faith. We had given them some soap.

Tusabe Robert and Treva Byamukama, also known also as the Agasti boys. They are the two young brothers living in Kasambya village without parents. They were part of the beneficiaries of Think Humanity food support last July. I learned that the Agasti boys grew without a mother. They only knew their father who also left them last March this year and has never communicated to them. The Agasti boys have never been to school before but they have hope to get their education. Tusabe is older than Trevor. Tusabe cooks food and Trevor fetches the water.

Tusabe Robert and Trevor Byamukama (Agasti boys)

Catherine Mercy said, “My Dad died in 2014. He was bewitched by his brothers due to disputes over land issues. Later my mother shifted to this location. When we reached here she married another man. When he realized that my mom was pregnant he ran away. When the child was born our mom lost her life due to pre-eclampsia. The younger child, Priscilla had grown from the Catholic Church. Last year however, they brought her to me. I am in primary 7 class in Kikonda Primary School, a government aided school.”

Mercy is 13 years old and Priscilla is 4 years old. Below was a visit where we brought them soap. (Last June a man broke into their home and forced himself on Mercy. She screamed for help and he is now in jail, however the experience was terrible for such a young girl.)

Mercy 13 and Priscilla 4.

Samson Dagalaus benefited from Think Humanity food support on July 24th. Dagalaus used to live with his father, but the father went to an unknown location up to now. Dagalaus told me he has not finished the food we gave him. He has never been to school and he doubts whether he will have that opportunity. ( we are in the process of getting more information on this child. He also goes by Kiiza Soul. His father may have just returned but with another wife.

Samson Dagalaus (Douglas?) or Kiiza Soul

Arinda Joseph is now one and half year old and his sister, Kajungu Sarah is almost three years old. They were orphaned after their mother, Kebirungi Goreti succumbed during Arinda’s birth. No one knows the story related to their father. Right after death, a widow whose name is Kalekwa Florah volunteered to keep these young children in spite of her resource limitations. We do not know how long she can do this.

 

Arinda 1 1/2 and Sarah almost 3

 

Katerega Moses is a 10 years old boy living alone in a seemingly old grass-thatched house. He fetches water for people to make a living. Moses’ mother became sick in August 2017 and was taken to a nearby hospital. After two weeks she passed away. The chairman and the surrounding neighbors told me they have never seen Moses’ father. Moses couldn’t understand what I needed from him. He kept trembling in horror until I left him.

Moses age 10

 

Below is Kiiza Fred. During this visit he would not speak. We will get more information soon.

This child also cried after the photo. We will try our best to get information without scary the children.

 

Olando Sharon and Lwalamba Deborah are siblings with ages 14 and 8 years old. They are seen below with soap donated by Think Humanity.

Olando Sharon male 14 and Lwalamba Deborah 8.

Namumpa Peace is two years old and was found with her two nephews while their guardian had gone to the nearby center to find ways of making both ends meet. Peace is still too young and almost cried when we tried talking to her.

 

 

Joan is three years old. We will get more information on her life soon.

Joan age 3.

Conclusion
The area chairman had a list of more than 20 children. A few of the children failed to talk to us. The chairman said they were either scared or had an inferiority complex. Two young girls and one young boy (each living apart) of between 7 to 10 years shed tears instead of talking to us and they are not therefore included in this document.
Finally, I would like to thank Think Humanity directors, donors and managers for the continuous efforts to improve the lives of many people in different places of Uganda. God bless you.
I am proud to volunteer with Think Humanity.
Wilson Katima, Think Humanity volunteer.

 

“This is Kabatembuzi Yosinta . She is a single mother who stays with her son Ismail. The smile, laughter shows it all. They were so happy for 10kg of rice, 10kgs of maize flour and 10kg of beans offered to them by Think Humanity. They asked me to convey their sincere thanks to all that helped give them food relief,” – Alinaitwe Herbert Akiiki, TH Clinic Officer

This is Nyamumbubi Nyansiano of Nyamyehebo Village in Kyangwali sub-county. She is an elderly woman who stays with her three grandchildren.

Dr. Herbert said, “When I reached the home, one of the children came running up thanking us for bringing them food. They were so happy and grateful to Think Humanity donors for their generosity and for thinking about them in the hardest of times.”

Nyamumbubi Nyansiano from Nyamyehebo village Kwali sub

 

Marion Nyandera

When the Ugandan government announced a lockdown in March this year, it took Marion Nyandera by surprise.

The mother of three lives in her one-roomed rented house in Hoima town in western Uganda. She did not anticipate that the Presidential announcement on a national TV would have far reaching impacts on her livelihood.

On March 18th, President Museveni announced a lockdown of the Ugandan borders and limited various economic activities as some of the preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID 19. The president barred vending of food and retail trade. Even when he lifted a lid on selected sectors on 4th May, retail trade remained barred.

Marion Nyandera who used to sell porridge before the lockdown was left without a source of livelihood. To-date, she remains unemployed and she lacks any stable source of food.

“The lockdown was announced when we had not stocked enough food. We ate the little food we had and by last week it was done,” said Marion.

Since then, her family was surviving on sourcing for vegetables from the wilderness in her neighborhood.

“This food has restored my home and livelihood which were uncertain,” she said. She is married to a primary school teacher who used to earn a living at a private primary school.

But all schools were closed in March as one of the precautions to fight the COVID 19 pandemic. But the Ugandan government has not announced an exact date of re-opening the schools.

Amidst such uncertainty, Marion breastfeeds a three-month old baby boy yet she is uncertain of whether she will get her next meal.

She says the donation of food from Think Humanity will guarantee the livelihood of her baby and family.

Written by Francis Mugerwa, journalist/volunteer for Think Humanity

Nyamahunge Harriet (1)
Nyamahunge Harriet suffered a stroke last year and has been living helplessly in her one-room rented house.
Before her sickness, she was employed in a tobacco company. However, the sickness incapacitated her from continuing to work.
She had not accumulated savings to enable her live a comfortable life when she was not working. She was a casual worker.
The sickness left her helpless. She had to look for money for her medication much as she was not sure of the source of the money she needs.
She lives with her 3-year old daughter but food and medicine are her biggest challenges.
“I do not have any source of income to buy food. I also do not have a garden where I can get food. Am here helpless,” Nyamahunge said in a sad voice.
At this point, we revealed to her that donors have sent her food through Think Humanity. She bursts into laughter. She wears a wide smile on her face as she appreciated the donation.
“Thank you so much for this donation. May God bless you,” she said.
Nyamahunge has been living off handouts from concerned neigbors. But the neighbors are equally affected by the lockdown.
“The neighbors know my problems. Once in a while, those who can help me. But it has not been easy getting food,” she said.
Submitted by Francis Mugerwa, Journalist and Think Humanity volunteer
Darlison Mugisha is a gospel singer. Before the Ugandan Government announced a lockdown as one of the preventive measures of preventing the spread of COVID-19, Darlison had a happy life. She had a retail shop that would earn her income in the outskirts of Hoima town.
She would earn from her local musical concerts and spare time singing in services at a Pentecostal Church. Her husband was one of the senior officials at a local Non-Governmental Organisation. The lockdown drastically changed her life.
Suddenly, her concerts were no more. She stopped singing or attending prayers at her church since social gatherings had been indefinitely suspended.
When Government closed all shops and markets, Darlison’s shop also closed. All her livelihood was practically locked.
The mother of three has been struggling to get food for her family.
“This is a timely intervention because having meals has been uncertain” says Darlison.
She has been occasionally receiving food from her mother who lives in a distant rural area from Hoima town. But the food has not been coming consistently because of transport challenges and costs needed to transport food from the village to Hoima town where she lives.
Despite her challenges, Darlison is generous. She shares the little food she has with the vulnerable families in her neighborhood.
When Think Humanity delivered food to her, she opted to share it with her neighbor, Davance Agaba.
Davance lost her husband on September 23rd, 2019 in a motor accident that left her helpless. The husband who was an agricultural officer at Hoima District local Government was a sole bread winner for his family. He had set up a small retail shop for her. The shop remained as her main source of livelihood.
When the lockdown compelled commercial shops to close, her only option became was the food items and essentials that were in the shop. Her family started feeding on the posho (maize flour) and using soap, salt and other essentials in the shop.
“We ate all the food that was in the shop yet I do not have any source of income. I have been helpless. It’s like I have been in the wilderness and Think Humanity is giving me new life,” Davance said.
Whether the lockdown is lifted or extended, Davance said that her life is likely to remain the same, because she lacks a stable source of livelihood. In the face of adversity, she sees no solution in sight.
Besides struggling to look for food for her family, she has another uphill struggle to get school fees for her children.
She has twins who are twelve years old. She also has boys aged six and eight years.
Davance has no relatives in Hoima who would give her social protection. Her ancestral home in in Mbarara, more than 300 kilometres away from Hoima.
Without a reliable source of income, the predicament of Davance remains uncertain.
Darlison (in Yellow) with Davance Agaba and her children
Submitted by Francis Mugerwa, Journalist and Think Humanity volunteer

Mildred in Kyarwabuyamba 11 children

We have been raising donations to help families in Uganda during this difficult time. So far we have been able to help 113 families from different areas. We have been to three refugee camps and one IDP Camp. We have delivered food in four districts and will continue as long as we can.
Depending on the family, we have given some 20 kilograms of each; rice, beans and maize flour and others 10 kilograms of each; rice, beans or maize flour (posho).
Here is a little information on the Food Relief Program: We are raising donations to feed families in Uganda. Most of the families depend on a daily income, which they can no longer do because of the crisis. Even when they did it was day-to-day work with no promises of customers. Some examples of those that need food are a mother who sells maize on the street in order to take care of her four children, boda-boda and taxi (matatu) drivers who are not able to work due to the lockdown, a father who cuts hair for a living, a woman who cleans at a school, teachers, school cook, tailors and others. A mother in Buliisa sells pancakes on the streets to feed her children and another mother made her day-to-day living by working in people’s gardens. A father of a large family went to the lake to find food and was locked up for being out of his home. The children are now left hungry. They don’t have unemployment or a food bank. No church is handing out food and neighbors cannot afford to help each other.
One of the fathers that we have helped in Kyangwali Refugee Camp said, “Think Humanity donors have saved me and my family.” One woman helped said, “We were really down. I am appreciating what you gave us.” Another mother of five said, “Thank you for the food. We are in a better place now. We were going to die of hunger before the sickness (COVID-19) will come.” A mother with a family of four who is a tailor said, “You have done a lot, because we were in trouble and we didn’t have what to do, but you have given us something.”
From Ndelo Peter, volunteer from the Acholi Quarter Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP): “The women of Acholi Quarter Internally displaced persons camp first and foremost were so surprised to see food being delivered to them. They are so grateful and thankful to Think Humanity and all the donors who have sacrificed and contributed for the food given to them. They said the food given to them has relieved them first from stress of food as the lockdown came abruptly something that had never happened before, given their nature of living by daily earning. They were over thinking more of food than the corona virus because all the children are at home and the only demand is food which was stressful. They said the food has restored their happiness and smiles on their faces and the children. Most importantly, they are able to tell their children to revise their books during this lockdown and how to keep themselves safe from the corona virus which was very difficult with empty stomach. Finally they thank Think Humanity for always reaching to them.
Brief information on our volunteers: Our volunteer in Buliisa District is delivered food for eleven families. The government is not allowing cars so he was overloaded on his motorcycle. It is important for our donors to know that we make sure to follow the government restrictions by delivering to each family privately instead of asking families to come together in groups to pick up their food. While a group would be much easier we don’t want to put our volunteers in any danger for Covid-19 or to be arrested. In the Acholi Quarter Camp, our volunteer carried food traveling all day on foot up and down hill and going door to door. We really appreciate our volunteers for going above and beyond.
We thank our donors, staff and volunteers for all that they are doing during this time of unmeasurable need.
Beth Heckel, Founder and Director
If you wish to help feed families please consider the Donate button on the Think Humanity Facebook page. www.facebook.com/ThinkHumanityInc
Also there is a fundraiser on the Think Humanity page from Connie England. www.facebook.com/donate/223848609044223

 

 

 

main building construction Jan 2020

We have come a long way in one year and we continue to keep moving forward. In 2018 at the Annual TH Women’s Leadership Summit the topic was “What is Your Life’s Blueprint? This was based on a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. to a junior high in 1967. The most notable quote from this speech was,

“If you can’t fly, run.
If you can’t run, walk.
If you can’t walk, crawl,
but by all means, keep moving forward!”

This topic was important at the time because our first group of hostel students made it through the program and a new group was there with them, together. Our program was moving forward.

These future buildings on our own land seemed so distant. Something we called “Blue Sky.” This is a term used for something strongly wished for, but only seemed to be a dream.

Now today I see this video that came in of the construction of another building at our future girls’ hostel. I thought that when we began last year that it would take at least three years to get near this point. Now today I look in amazement and all I could think of was this quote from Martin Luther King. “KEEP MOVING FORWARD.”

 

main building - jan 21, 2020

Right now those words “Think Humanity Secondary School” are not rolling off my tongue easily. That’s because I know that this will be a lot of work ahead and many years before it is actually a school.

However!…

We have the land and it is cleared, a brick wall is being constructed and we have blueprints…it is becoming a REALITY.

The plan is to construct a hostel with latrines. If all goes well, we construct an office and one classroom. The classroom will actually be an area to eat, study and to hold Parent Visitation Days and meetings.

Behind the office and first classroom building will be latrines.

This is what I envision today.

I have to dream more. Make more goals. Continue to believe.

But, here we are today. Further than we were yesterday. This is going to happen.

Think Humanity Secondary school