by KareMeKuc co-founder Max Clary
A shorter blog post today, Today 6/9 has been a good day. Nellie and I met with Jane Ekayu (our partner with Children of Peace Uganda) and we discussed the ground work for the peace center we will be building and we went to see the land she has which is a beautiful 15 acres. The peace center will 1) provide an emergency shelter for children that are being beaten or are sick or are in other immediate danger. 2) provide intensive training in vocational skills so instead of training once a week at peace clubs this will allow the kids to get away from their current tough situation and be trained intensively for a year and then after the program they will be given a micro loan to get seed for their own farms. 3) Lastly, the center will collect the children affected by war so that they are not spread out all throughout the Lira district ( Districts are equivalent to our states) this will allow them to build community with people who understand what they are going through. In addition, because eventually there will also be a school we will have a lower tuition cost so we can bring more kids through school and the vocational skill will be turned over every year so more and more kids will have access to the vocational skills which will including farming, cow management, bee hive work and honey collection and fish farming. Now we start the big undertaking of how we will be implementing this and all the logistics and planning that goes into this. So I am strapping in for a ton of reading on prices for various agricultural development throughout Uganda and Central Africa and finding builders to make blue prints and crunch numbers on how we will make this work.
Yesterday was beautiful but also again emotional difficult for my heart. I visited a family in this small village called Agweng. This family had the father abducted and killed by the LRA and the mother went crazy. Now the mother and four children live in a small 8’ by 8’ hut. One of the kids is sponsored through school but Durene (a staff at CPU) explained that the kid would be doing well at school and then they would come home and get depressed at the living situation and would have to start over on building himself back up when he goes to school after break. Meanwhile, the 16 year old girl that is the head of the household because the mother is crazy is struggling immensely. She has been given bee hives to take care but for whatever reason she has not worked on them properly and only 2 of the 10 have been used. She has no money even for female products and they have no flashlight. So I walked into this small hut where three of the kids, the mother and a chicken sleep and I just started to cry. I am okay but their suffering is intense and it hurts me. For almost all of us we have a couple struggles in our lives but we also have good things to make those struggles okay. For that young girl she has nothing to make it okay. I told her to hang in there and I will do what I can to help her. I left and I have a kid that is a leader in the peace club there and has done very well for himself some money to invest for her. I ask him to help take that money and make more money through it whether it is investing more into the bee hive project or starting a small shop. I will be buying her a flash light and some female products to give to her at peace club this Saturday. Despite how painful it was to watch this young girl and her even younger siblings suffer and do all they can to not cry and hide their bloated bellies, tt motivates me highly for what I have done so far and what we will all create together. I took no pictures while I was there because I want to develop a relationship first. It is important to that they don’t think I thnk of them as a zoo so you all will get pictures at a later date.
Mediation and poetry has really been helping me find some inner light to give to these kids and myself. That’s really all I have to say on that. I have been making a lot of friends in Uganda like A LOT! I am going to play soccer right now so I have to go. I am still struggling but honestly it’s a good thing and I will grow to be a better person than I am now and that is worth every bit of loneliness and empathetic pain. Much love to my family out there. You all are on my mind.