All Systems Go!Leave a Comment
Life at Adonai Family Uganda is never dull! Each day brings its own challenges and achievements, highs and lows. There have been many of both since our last update – read on for some of the latest developments.
Great news! After two years of immense struggle following the borehole becoming contaminated, work is finally underway to install a clean water system on the Adonai site. Funded in the main by friends in America and being installed by Water Mission Uganda, the system will transform daily life. We’ll keep you posted on progress – all should be complete by Christmas.
Now for one of the major lows of 2017. Back in April, we received news that one of our sponsored children had gone missing. Lillian has been with Aloysious and Abby for more than 10 years, long before Adonai Family Uganda was founded. They made a promise to her family that once she had no living relatives left to care for her, they would take her in. They honoured that promise and brought her up as a member of the family. Imagine the pain then when one evening in April, Lillian was on her way to Adonai to join the other sponsored children for a letter writing session and didn’t arrive. She was using public transport (a minibus network) and the whole bus disappeared. Incredible, isn’t it? Aloysious spent many frantic days driving around to search for clues, networking with the families of the other passengers, doing all he could possibly do…. but to no avail. The trail went cold. We sent funds to help with the search but apart from moral support could not do anything more. The situation is still in the hands of the police and we believe that special detective agencies were also employed but there is still no sign. We give grateful thanks to Lillian’s sponsor who has stuck with her all these months. If she returns, there will be a fund waiting to help with her recovery. The photo was taken a matter of weeks before she was abducted. What a lovely young lady she has grown into! If you are someone who prays, please include Lillian in your petitions along with her Adonai Family who are missing her and are desperately worried.
Of the numerous projects on Aloysious and Abby’s wish-list, security around the Adonai site has been thrust to the forefront as a result of Lillian’s disappearance. There are two aspects of security in which we intend to help:
A Safe House for the teenage girls
Ugandan regulations dictate that children’s homes such as those at Adonai cannot house primary and secondary school aged children under the same roof. Whilst making some sort of sense in terms of safeguarding, it actually creates quite a serious situation for the Adonai team. Where can the older children go? At present the solution is that the most vulnerable live with Aloysious and Abby in their own home whilst the others are found rooms with trusted members of the local community. This was the case with Lillian. The fact remains, that however good the vetting procedure and however good the surrogate family, the teenagers are still away from the direct supervision of the Adonai team. Lillian’s carer was in no way to blame for her abduction, but had she been living with the other Adonai girls in a safe house, the evening journey on her own would not have been necessary. (The older boys are less vulnerable than the girls hence our focus on the latter.)
We hope to have plans and a budget for the new ‘home’ soon so that we can start planning and fundraising but as yet there is nothing concrete to work on. While we wait, we will be pleased to hear any ideas you may have for raising funds. A ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign maybe? Or is there anyone out there willing and eager to undertake a sponsored event of some kind? Keep thinking and please let us know your thoughts.
In the more immediate future, we will fund a perimeter fence around the entire site of the school and children’s homes (area marked in yellow on the map, please excuse the wobbly line!). Whilst not impenetrable (we don’t want to turn the site into ‘an open prison’), it will clearly demarcate the boundaries and should act as a deterrent to any would-be intruders. Aloysious and Abby tell us that retaining night watchmen has been an issue without a clear boundary and also that the outdoor play equipment for the younger children has been deliberately vandalised. Added to those issues, the authorities are piling the pressure on to the Adonai team to get a fence sorted so it is ‘all systems go’. Our latest Gift Aid Claim, coupled with our share of the profits from Rotations Charity Shop this summer, will cover the amount needed so basically, job done! Gift Aid – it really is a gift! It has saved us many a funding headache.
SCHOOL EXAMS and CHRISTMAS
A big thank you to our child sponsors who have responded generously to Christine’s appeal for money for gifts. Each sponsored child will be given a present of equal value at the end of term Christmas party. They will be ready for a celebration – November is exam time. In Uganda, the academic year runs in tandem with the calendar year, so it is ‘all systems go’ at school too. The Adonai staff have been visiting the older pupils at their secondary schools to wish them well and present them with equipment for the exams e.g. new stationary. At Adonai Primary School, the children will be working hard to ensure their results are such that they can move up to the next class in February. Those in the top class – Primary 7 – will be studying hard as these exams determine their eligibility to move on to secondary school. Those in P6 will be hoping to do well enough to be allowed to stay on to P7 so that they can work towards secondary school…. the November exams are a very big deal.
Once school breaks up at the beginning of December, the children who do not live on site will return to their families for the long break which is why the Christmas party happens so early. In February, the staff will be watching anxiously to see who returns and a little way into term, Aloysious will be out and about rounding up any children who have not been allowed to come back. Highs and lows, challenges and achievements.
On Christmas Eve, the widows and needy in the community will be presented with a portion of fresh beef – a rare treat in Uganda. If you would like to help us provide this, funds can be paid directly to our bank account (Account Name: Adonai UK; Sort Code: 30-18-45; Account no: 00977725) with the reference Christmas; handed to a trustee as cash or cheque (payable to Adonai UK); paid online at Virgin Money Giving or via the Donate Now button on this website. The same methods apply to any donations you wish to make; simply word the reference to reflect the specific project you are supporting.
Phew – what a lot of news! We expect to give updates on the water project, the perimeter fence and the end of term party before Christmas and hope that details for the safe house will follow soon after. I’ll be in touch again soon!
Bless you all for your continued support,
Hazel on behalf of the Adonai UK trustees – Richard, Hazel, Christine, Dave, Dina and Sue.