Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open House

Don't forget your children when you come to the Open House, they are most welcome!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scott Michelle Voyage: Greyhound, INC--Low Down Dirty Dog

Scott Michelle Voyage: Greyhound, INC--Low Down Dirty Dog: Another long day of traveling down the ICW. We are just outside of Charleston, SC. Another 11 hour day. UGH. I must say the pace we've been ...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Asanti Sana (Thank you very much-in Swahili)

This is our last night in Uganda. It's been an amazing journey. Our Safe Birth Project has been even more successful than we'd imagined. We are very proud of our students who will continue to implement the Home Based Life Saving Skills training with 8 new students starting next week. This will be their 2nd training since we first started the program with them only two weeks ago! We were pleasantly surprised at how we were welcomed, accepted and valued by the community of True Vine as well as the surrounding community that also participated in the training.

We are so excited to come home, but know that Uganda will always be in our hearts. Thank you to all who have helped us come to Uganda and impact this community more than you will ever know.

We hope you have enjoyed sharing in this experience.

Lala Salama (Sleep Well - Swahili)

Friday, November 5, 2010


Today we went with the Hope4Kids team to Juba, a village near Tororo. We were entertained by delightful children at the Vision Nursery School. They're energy was infectious and the drums made us want to dance. There was no shortage of small hands that wanted to be held. They claimed their "person" and stuck like glue. It made leaving challenging as everyone had children firmly attached.

The M&Ms have arrived (thank you Lisa!) oh yeah, Jennifer and the team, too. Now we are not the only "white folks" (or Muzungus as Africans call us) in town. Our temporary status as "Rock Stars" has now diminished.

People are meeting their sponsored sons and daughters (Hope4Kids program). Debi's son, Eddie, is coming from where he's attending University. He's about to graduate with a teaching degree. This was a boy who was unwanted by his mother and would have been a "street kid" without a future. Marianne has a new son named Jordan. The soccer ball she brought to him broke all language barriers as his ear to ear grin spoke volumes. Marianne is in love.

Jennifer met her new daughter, Josephine. Even though Josephine is 8 years old, she is only in kindergarden as she has not had resources to attend school. The sponsorships make a huge difference for these children enabling them to attend school, have uniforms, shoes, mosquito nets, free medical care, mattresses and knowledge that they are special and cared for.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Passing the Torch

Yesterday we went to observe/mentor the students we had trained. They successfully (and very quickly) mobilized 10 traditional birth attendants for their first class. One of our students secured the location for training in a health clinic about 8 miles from here in an area called Osukuru.
We were impressed with the interest and interactive discussions in English, Swahili and Japaola. The newly minted trainers surpassed our expectations and embraced their roles as master trainers. They acted as if they were veteran trainers.
We gave them tools in that assist in conveying important, simple, life-saving information in a culturally adaptive format. They were very successful with incorporating the "adult learning" principles we offered. Women shared their ideas freely and seemed excited to be a part of this new community education program. They already had brainstormed ideas such as forming a group of birth attendants to help get the message out to women in their areas.
There were women in the waiting room of the clinic who had heard (through "bush telegraph") what was going on and wanted to be a part. THIS is the heart of the program, having this information spread throughout their communities. This energy in the community encourages us that our trip was worthwhile and that this project will continue to flourish after we're gone.

Missing photos

Sorry about the loss of pictures from the blog. They were there and then they weren't. We've tried to locate the problem, but the answer is eluding us. There are lots of posts on the help menu of others who have lost their images, too, so we're not alone. We may go back and re-post, but it takes so much air time here to upload photos that we may wait and re-post some of them when we get home.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Smile Africa

Saturday we went to see a partner of Hope4kids here in Uganda called Smile Africa. Smile Africa has nothing to do with dental care and everything to do with caring for the most vulnerable women and children in this culture.

Pastor Ruth started with a piece of land and a desire to care for the children of the Karamajong tribe who had migrated from Northern Uganda where there was a war. These people had nowhere to go. She started taking the kids to her property during the day and feeding them while their parents were in the dump trying to get food. The tribe is a despised tribe in this country, something akin to gypsies in our country, without education or social skills.

This ministry has come a long way. Pastor Ruth showed us children who had been starved and burned by their parents. There are now 40 children living at the property. We arrived in time to watch the babies sitting in front of a plate of rice and special nutrients for malnourished children.

Those babies can really pack away the food!! There are a total of about 300-400 children who are fed there daily.

Lunch always tastes better when you use both hands.

Pastor Ruth also helps women in the community who don't have the skills necessary to work and support their families. There is a craft store with items hand made by the women. This is a microfinance project which supports many of the women. We assisted with supporting these women, the crafts were hard to resist.

Pastor Ruth's mother lives on the property and we visited her in her home. She even adopted us all as daughters (except Lylaine who she adopted as a sister). She took off her scarf to show us her white hair.
Here's a few pictures of children you can see around the campus.