Thursday, July 30, 2020

Lately in Uganda

The last few months have looked a lot different than they were supposed to! This was going to be a busy season of school in Uganda, construction projects, several teams and visitors coming to serve, and then our family getting ready to spend a couple of months in Vancouver. 

Although it has been a very different few months, they have been really good! We are so encouraged by all of the staff in Kibaale we get to work with, they have been amazing! Everyone is working around the new rules and restrictions due to the pandemic to make sure the community of Kibaale continues to be helped in every way possible. 

Our kids have also embraced all of these changes really well; they are doing a lot of school, helping out in Kibaale and getting creative with cooking and new activities. 

Early on in the lockdown we had a meeting with the Heads of School to figure out how even if all the students can't come to school we can make sure they are still learning! Education packages with bible studies were put together and have been given out regularly, either the students come to school in small groups or they are delivered to them at home. 

Food delivery! Our social workers are going out every week to check on families and deliver food as needed, we love to help out with this too when we can.

It's really different to see only one or two students at the school at a time these days! 

Our good friends Arthur and Sylvia had to change their wedding to be much smaller, we were honoured to still be a part of it! 

Esther and Isabelle came to stay with us for a week! We often are helping out with one of these sweet girls but having both at the same time was a lot of fun! 

Mazzy and sweet Natasha

Usually there is a daycare for these sweet staff kids but of course that is not happening right now, Mazzy was very happy to help out with entertaining them though. 

Photo shoots, a new kitten (Fiji), corn hole and growing a lot of herbs and vegetables! 

The kids working on school while Fiji naps close by. 

Spent the day in Masaka with 2 of my favourites! 

Mazzy was happy to entertain Micah while her Mama was working. 

A very quiet Kibaale. 

Jeff made the kids a slip and slide, which has provided hours of fun!! 

Betty got a brand new house!!

Uganda has been a lot more strict with their lockdown, we actually aren't even all allowed in one car yet. But if we're going to be stuck somewhere this is a very beautiful place to be! 

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Construction, Community and Corona

Our days have definitely looked a bit different lately. Schools are shut down, our ability to drive between Masaka and Kibaale is very limited, construction continues but on a much smaller scale and there are strict guidelines in regards to giving out food assistance. Our health centre is open still, but it's not without some fear towards COVID-19. During this time we have been working with our staff to continue creatively helping our students, their families and the community of Kibaale. 

One of the biggest changes to our normal work day was the new rules put in place by the President to not give out food in the community. At this time when our community is especially hurting by the work restrictions and rising costs of food and soap, they are more in need of our help than ever. Thankfully the Kibaale Community Centre has a long standing relationship with our local government and they have realized that they can not help everyone in this community without us. So they have asked us to continue giving out special gifts and food assistance to families in need. We are keeping with social distancing rules, the new curfew, and are involving the police and government to make sure our community is helped. We are so thankful for all of your donations and support to help Kibaale in this way! 

Twinning with Cossy! 

This is not what a usual home visit looks like, I just wanted to give everyone a hug, sit down, and visit, but we're thankful for the opportunity to still help in this way. 

Construction can continue but everyone working has to live on site and we are only able to use materials we had on hand. So yes things carry on, just slowly. 

Jeff and Dominic, our construction manager, are staying at a distance while walking through the maternity clinic to check on the progress. 

One of the four delivery rooms. 

Shaban is doing some painting and touch ups in the reception area. 

Grass is being planted outside, this is the overnight ward building. 

Our family is doing very well; we are so thankful to be in Uganda where we feel right at home, to continue with our work, school, and to have this beautiful weather and yard to enjoy together! 

If you are in a position yourself to help a family in Kibaale, you can can donate Family Food Assistance which will provide them with maize flour, rice, beans and soap for the month.

Thank you!!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Greetings from our family in Uganda!

We started 2020 with everything going as planned! 

 The construction crew in Kibaale had been working hard through term break to get the primary school renovation complete for the first day of school.

Although the majority of work was to the outside buildings; a new roof, and installing a new water collection system, the inside was also freshened up! All the classrooms were painted, given new chalkboards and the windows were replaced. 

First day of school!

Meeting all the new nursery students is always a highlight of our day. 

Finn was very excited to have all the kids back to play soccer with. 

Mazzy loves being in the classrooms with the younger kids. 

Just a couple weeks after school began our first visitors of the year arrived, Erin Clark and her 3 girls. This was their fourth trip to Kibaale and first time coming without a team, which was a unique experience for them. It was such a great trip! It was so nice to see their family continue to build relationships with staff and students that they have been getting to know these past four years. Our kids all had a really great time together; organizing crafts, going on home visits, and also being creative making videos, writing songs and having Survivor challenges. 

Although this was to be the first group of a busy team season, it was actually the only group that went as planned!

 As news of COVID-19 came out we decided to be proactive and have the families of all our new students come to the centre for education on hand washing. The families all left with soap and a new goat. 

 Uganda does not have a lot of cases of COVID-19 but they are taking drastic measures to maintain that. We are on lockdown from April 1-14 and schools are closed until the end of the month. However, an updated list of rules seems to be changing daily. 

We are working alongside the other Directors in Kibaale, our social workers and the local government leaders to best help the vulnerable community of Kibaale during this difficult time. Our hope is to be able to give food and supplies to families as needed. The price of food and soap has risen significantly in the last week and it's very hard for people who live day to day to meet the needs of their families right now. 

If you are looking for a way to practically help out in Kibaale you can donate Family Food Assistance, for $40 you can provide a family with food and soap for an entire month. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and for Kibaale