News from our Children in Uganda

06/15/08

We recently received an update on our twenty-six children in Uganda. Last fall we opened our first children’s home in Lira, Uganda and welcomed twenty-six orphans into our full-time care. Last month was characterized by many successes, though we’ve received reports of a few challenges as well.

Worship

COTN–Uganda recently acquired some traditional African instruments such as xylophone, tambourine, flute, adungu (a stringed instrument), drums and others. The children have begun to learn to worship God using these traditional musical instruments. Edward Olara, COTN–Uganda Spiritual Empowerment Coordinator, is involved together with uncles/aunties in the home in training children to play local instruments, perform drama, and sing. The children enjoy it and are picking it up fast. Morning devotions, Wednesday prayer fast, Bible studies, and memorizing of scriptures continue to be carried out with success.

Education

Last month, our children returned back to school after a one-month holiday following completion of their first school term. Academic performance has been good considering that many have never been to school or had dropped out prior to coming to COTN last fall. Many children scored highly in many subjects in school: Solomon Otema got position 5 out 221; Vicky Oyella got position 7 and even beat the whole P3 class in mathematics; Lameck Olwit Lameck got position 11 out of 178 pupils. This has been so remarkable and we are all the more encouraged. Over the holiday break we engaged our children in remedial classes, going through their books and past examination papers, making corrections together in all the subjects the children performed poorly.

Health and Hygiene

The children are healthy, and are feeding well with good balanced diet given to them. We’ve notice good gain in weight as a result of physical growth. The children’s diet includes proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. We have milk, eggs, fish, ground nuts, beef, chicken, beans, peas, potatoes, rice, yellow bananas, pineapple, mangoes and pawpaw. Safe drinking water, which is boiled and cooled, is provided to the children. Store items such as charcoal, cleaning materials such as soap and detergents are well managed so as to avoid any wastage. We engage the children to do and learn some kitchen chores like washing plates, lighting the stove, and mopping the kitchen for the boys; while for the elder girls they can now prepare delicious dishes, mop and arrange the kitchen neatly. Cases of ill-health this season has been one of Mumps Lymphadenitis and malaria attack especially Vicky, it led to her admission in a health center for two days. She has since recovered well. Cases of malaria fever have been frequent, attributed to cold weather.

Social Life and Behaviors

There is good team spirit among the children—they are doing things together and love and care for one another. For instance, the children have developed a strong group-defense mechanism which they apply outside home. (e.g. Hellen Apio was being bullied by another pupil at school and the others collectively rose up to defend her. We have counseled them to instead report cases of bullying or any violence to class teacher.) The children have also become so generous in heart, those with many clothes gives to those who have few.

(Report by COTN–Uganda staff: Akao Christine Feddy, House Mother; Akullu Adriane, Auntie; Alira Janet, Auntie; and Ongura Hudson, Sponsorship Officer.)