Tag Archives: Team Uganda 2011

Team Uganda Update – Part 3

3 Jul

It’s hard to believe that we are reaching the end of our journey. We’ve experienced so much in such a short amount of time, yet it feels as though the time has flown by! On Thursday we spent the day at Watoto’s home for orphaned and abandoned babies. As most of the ministries started by Watoto, the facilities were stunning in comparison to most of what we’ve seen so far. We started by cleaning cribs and changing sheets, and then spent the rest of the morning feeding, changing, and holding the babies. When the babies went down for a nap, we broke for lunch, and then continued the afternoon with sorting donated clothes and then spending the rest of the afternoon feeding and holding the babies until it was time to go. Continue reading

Team Uganda Update – Part 2

2 Jul

Our team is doing GREAT and everyone is healthy! We have seen so much in such a short amount of time. Words in this email can’t really describe to you the variety of things we’ve seen and the experiences that we’ve been through. We have laughed, cried, played, sang, taught, cooked and fed more in 5 days than most of us do in any given month! The last two days have been very different from the first few. We went to the oldest orphanage in Uganda yesterday and visited a place that takes in abandoned or orphaned babies and helps to care for them until they can place them into an adoptive home or into foster care. We were told that these babies are found in pit latrines (holes in the ground used for toilets), on trash piles or just left in farming fields. Police or people in the community find these children and bring them to this facility in hopes that there is space for them to take them in. The goal is to find placement before the child turns 4 or otherwise they will be transferred to another orphanage and probably be institutionalized for the rest of their childhood. That broke our hearts, but the good thing is that MOST babies are placed before that happens. Our team assisted with various activities at the orphanage, including cleaning windows, feeding babies, changing diapers, and feeding lunch. Most of us just spent the morning holding babies and showering with them with as much love as we could because there are never enough hands in the place to help care for them in this way. Continue reading

Team Uganda Update – Part 1

30 Jun

WOW – where to even begin?!

These past 3 days have been action packed, hence the reason you haven’t heard from me yet. I am going to try to recap everything for you here, although these few words won’t even come close to describing all that we have seen and experienced in this short time.

We arrived really late on Friday night and got settled into our first place and in the bed around 11-12pm. We were up and on the road at 9am and went to the Greenhouse Orphanage. Our team LOVED it there. It was the perfect place to start our time in Uganda because it was so action-packed. Jet lag had NO chance with us that day. : )  We arrived to children singing and welcoming us to their place. They haven’t had visitors in several weeks so they were so excited to see us. Once we were welcomed, we got a tour of the place and learned about the history of Greenhouse. Quite amazing that Kevin, the founder, was actually an orphan himself at an early age and started the orphanage when he was 16 years old. Now he is 24 years old and cares for about 70 children along with his wife and other volunteers. It was evident that those children were loved. They were so joyful and loved spending time with us! We broke up into groups; several of us joined the children and cooked various dishes for lunch and the others set up a volleyball net that we brought as a gift and played outside (along with other sports and arts/crafts). We had an amazing lunch with them and then walked down a dirt road to a nearby community field where we had races and other games. We laughed our heads off as three teams competed in wheelbarrow races, one-leg hops, crab walks and izzy dizzy. : )  However, leaving was a different story. The kids didn’t give us a “typical” orphan departure experience. Instead of closing off toward the end of the day because they knew we were leaving and acting apathetic, they were crying and very sad as we started loading up the bus. It took a while to finally say goodbyes because we didn’t want to leave, but we eventually pulled ourselves away. There wasn’t a single dry eye of those on our team. Super hard experience to go through, so we are trying to figure out how to process that and see what God wants to do in us as a result. Continue reading

15 Seconds

9 Jun

Blog post by Emily H., Team Uganda 2011

15 Seconds….

Did you know that in the time it took you to click on the link you got in this email and begin reading this blog post, another child in Africa has become an orphan due to AIDS?  Read two or three more sentences and you have a second AIDS orphan.  Finish this blog post and you have another 4 or 5 depending on how fast you read.  Did you also know that in the same time span, 7 orphans have aged out of the system and have no place to call home and no family to turn to?  “But, people are adopting children all the time, aren’t they?” you ask.  People are adopting, nearly 250,000 children are adopted every year, which is a blessing, but think about the children who don’t get adopted?  Continue reading

Child Soldiers

8 Jun

Blog post by Carol D., Team Uganda 2011

Children are defenseless.  Children are vulnerable.  When rogue forces sweep a village for resources, they sometimes kidnap children and brutally force them into various forms of servitude.  When that service includes arming children and forcing them to fight, maim, and kill, the children become child soldiers.  Children as young as five and six may be abducted.  If a child is not strong or coordinated enough to carry a gun, they may be used as look-outs or spies.  Children are sometimes drugged or raped into submission.  Sometimes they are given an ultimatum of kill or be killed; or kill or your family will be killed.  They are brainwashed and shamed for the atrocities they are forced to participate in and then are told that their families and communities won’t accept them back any longer, so they have no one else to turn to.  Globally there are at least 35 conflict zones where children are used as soldiers.  Continue reading

Absolute Poverty

7 Jun

Blog post by Rachel D., Team Uganda 2011

The poor carry the burden of many social injustices currently present in this world.  It is estimated that approximately 600 million children worldwide  survive on less than $1 a day, which is considered absolute poverty.  Additionally, every 5 seconds a child dies from a hunger related cause.  Unfortunately poverty is a complex problem and the causes are numerous.  Some of the causes include AIDS and other diseases, lack of education, illegal property seizure, single parent families, economic issues and many other injustices.  Continue reading

Child Trafficking and Its Various Forms

6 Jun

Blog post by Trista H., Team Uganda 2011

Many people believe that we have made great strides in our fair treatment of human lives.  In many parts of the world, however, this is far from true.  While slavery is not legal in most places, it continues as a common practice in most countries.  Poor, uneducated, and marginalized people are often drawn into false promises of better lives.  Among these people are women and children who are commonly forced or tricked into various forms of slavery.  Continue reading

What Ever Happened to Moderation?

5 Jun

Blog post my Jenny G., Team Uganda 2011 

In our advanced intellectual Western culture of 2011, we don’t really even consider gender when it comes to most everything. We had the 70’s “Women’s Rights” movement that brought about major cultural change for women to the point that I think we have completely abandoned God’s plan for the family. His example for us is Christ’s relationship with the church. Christ is our head and the man is to be the head of the family. Christ loves us, the Church, unconditionally and completely, just as a man is to love his wife unconditionally and completely. With “women’s lib” we have taken that privilege and God-given position away from men in our society in the name of gender equality. Continue reading

Aging out of the System….Then What?

4 Jun

Blog post by Janice O., Team Uganda 2011             

A child growing up in a loving home has hopes, dreams and desires of the life they will eventually live, the person they will become some day, and their future as a happy adult.  How is that different from an orphan child in Africa? In Africa 11 million children die each year before the age of 5.  Many of these orphan children don’t think of their future adult lives, because most are thinking of when they will eat their next meal, where they will sleep tonight, or how they will survive another day.  There are approximately 143 million orphans worldwide and in Africa, 2,102,400 children are becoming orphans each year.  The lucky ones may enter into an orphanage system, to be cared for by strangers with the hopes of being adopted some day by a loving, caring family.   With only 250,000 African adoptions annually, there is a desperate need for a change.  Continue reading

They did not get to choose….

1 Jun

Blog post by Stephanie J, Team Uganda 2011

They did not get to choose….

They did not get to chose to watch their parents die a slow a painful death.  They did not get a choice in becoming an orphan.  Their childhood has been stolen from them.  These children orphaned by AIDS do not have a voice loud enough or strength strong enough to fight for themselves but we do!

UNICEF 2009 statistics estimate that 1.2 million children (0-17 years) in Uganda have been left orphaned due to the AIDS.  UNAIDS 2007 statistics estimate that 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both of there parents to AIDS.  AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa account for 37% of parental loss from all causes (Richter, 2008; UNAIDS, 2008*) [1]

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