* A plea for education help & A plea for clean, safe water for many *
It has been my privilege to be aiding several young women, men and a couple of families in Uganda, Africa, for the past several years. During this time many lessons have been learned in how well Americans live, even those at poverty level, compared to the majority of Ugandans. We have been isolated far too long from the human suffering in this country, from the genocide, the capturing of youth for purposes of slavery, army and prostitution, the corruption of officials and the disregard for human life, all things we have not seen in our news broadcasts or papers. Never the less, it is real, it is a fact of life, and it is time to come to the aid of these wonderful people.
A brief idea of how help can be given:
One young gal wanted to gain an education to then help her family and her community, but the family had no means to do this. She is now attending an Accountancy School to obtain what we call a "CPA" certificate. She is smart, hard working and extremely generous with what little she has. I have learned much from her during this time. I have contributed to her tuition fees, housing costs and food. She also runs a little tiny store that she put together and earns some little funds through that endeavor. This young woman helps her mother raise 3 other sisters, and she took on a new born baby when it's mother died at the young age of 23. Her 18 year old sister died in January from heart failure - at least that was what doctors told us. The question I ask myself - "could I do this if I were her?" Answer - I am not sure for it takes much strength, courage and determination to crawl out of darkness into light - something a majority of us in the USA have no concept of.
Others being supported, who also come from families with no means whatsoever, have wanted to attend school to obtain an education that would then allow them to help others. This is where I entered by paying their tuition fees and providing some little other help. One is in nursing so that she could help her community in the future. She has worked hard and attained outstanding academic grades. The Headmaster has kept me informed of her progress. The same is true of the other young woman.
A young man, whose father died a few years back, considers himself the man of the house, and this at age 16, with 3 sisters. His goal is to learn brick laying and electrical installation, with help for his tuition, room and board, equipment for this learning, he is enrolled now for a two year course. The future for this young man is looking much brighter as of today.
I also corresponded with the headmaster on a regular basis during that year. The school he administers is St. Catherine's College (540 students) located near Kampala. He had talked about the fact that the school needs a water supply system, but they did not have the means to do this. Meantime the students carried water in "jerry cans" over a very long distance (several miles) so they each have drinking water and some to bathe with. Although they were able to obtain this water, it was not clean or safe and many diseases came from water borne bacteria. Photos of school and description can be seen here - St. Catherine's Photos pdf format opens with Adobe Reader (download if needed)
This water project (see the used proposal here) was a most worthwhile cause - not only would it provide the facility and it's staff and students with good clean water, but also enhanced their life as well as that of three small surrounding villages that also had access to this water. The population that benefitted from this water project numbered about 7,500 men, women and children. This water project was not even a "running water" situation as we are all used to, but a closer source and less distance for each to carry, plus it is clean and safe.
We wake up, flip a switch and have light. We turn a faucet and have immediate water, both cold and hot. We can shower daily with hot and cold water, tuned to a temperature we like. Any time we are thirsty, we simply fill a glass from the faucet in our comfortable homes. If we are too cool, we turn on the heat; or if too hot, turn on the air conditioner; when we are tired, we crawl into a nice cozy bed; and if we are unaware of suffering humanity - ignorance is bliss.!!! However, just take a moment, close your eyes and imagine being where you have none of these conveniences, no means to obtain them, no jobs available, no government assistance, - and imagine what you would do ....... how you would feel ......
After learning of this water situation, ignorant bliss no longer existed and it was easy to agree to help in raising the necessary funds to enable the drilling of a couple of wells. It was easy to accept this task as the people had no means (and still have none) to obtain funds on their own, but a large enough amount that it is more than one individual can contribute. It takes a community to help another community, a country of caring people to aid another country of loving people.
These two wells were installed in the fall of 2006 with the students, staff and villagers watching with excitement as the first drops of water came out of the newly installed pumps. Now that is rewarding.
Task completed with barely enough funds to meet the drillers expenses.
This is where we can come in - providing a means to an end - providing assistance for the life force of life - WATER! Providing the means for willing young people to obtain an education, so they in turn can help their families and communities. How can we refuse?
If you feel you can contribute to the worthwhile cause of supplying clean water, and/or education, no matter how much - water is the source of life - education provides for the future of this country - you may make those contributions now - we may not be a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with over 29 billion dollars, or a "U2" Bono with millions to spare, or an Angelina Jolie also with millions, but we can make a "difference" no matter the amount. $25 multiplied by 100 people - is - $2,500.00 --- $25.00 multiplied by 1000 people - is - $25,000 - and that can make a huge difference!!!
These people in Uganda, with so little, show us more kindness and gracious thanks then one can imagine humanly possible. Most of us gripe when we do not get whatever "it" is we want, be it far removed from the necessities of life itself. Amidst the genocide that takes place all around them, they are thankful for life itself, and for our gift of help, so they in turn can help themselves.
Send your contributions made out to:
Compassion Care Foundation
Uganda Water Wells
PO Box 728
Twisp, WA 98856-0728
Compassion Care will see that 100% of your contribution goes to water wells or education projects in Uganda. The funds received will be transferred via a "Bank Transfer" or other secure methods such as Western Union or eMoneyGram.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, your caring, your sharing and your prayers and good wishes.
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Questions? call me (Jim) - 509-997-0204