We finished our last annual report by saying that schools had finally reopened in January 2022 after almost 2 years of closure due to Covid. We had just received the class lists and were delighted to see that most of our sponsored children had returned to school. Sadly, this was not the case more widely in the school; Covid has left a sad legacy of children being thrust into the adult world prematurely without the gift of a good education to help them find a way out of poverty. We are incredibly grateful to our child sponsors for continuing their support during the long two years – many more children may have found their education and childhood ended abruptly without this support.
DROUGHT AND FOOD SHORTAGES
The amazing support of our sponsors and supporters during the Covid years ensured that Aloysious and team could feed the families associated with Adonai. As well as buying food, they purchased seeds to plant more crops and make Adonai even more self-sufficient. The farm at Mubende and the ‘Lockdown Gardens’ at Adonai produced a good harvest earlier in 2022 and not only were the families fed but excess food was sold to raise more funds. Alas, just as things were starting to feel settled a severe drought across East Africa in late spring/early summer of 2022 made it impossible to plant new crops as early as hoped following the harvest and so food had to be bought for longer than expected. Prices already inflated by Covid rose even more due to the War in Ukraine and shortages caused by the drought. Things got really tough… thankfully, we were able to send £5000 in August to purchase more supplies and get things back on an even keel (although not before Aloysious had traded in his phone for beans after going without them for 3 days). Planting began in earnest once the rains started and the team looked forward to another good harvest in the Autumn but once again they were beset by difficulties. Ebola hit. The initial outbreak was in the district of Mubende… and that is where the farm is. Schools closed early (but thankfully after the P6 Leaving exams) and travel was restricted so access to the farm was near impossible. However, as with Covid there was exemption for trucks so we were able to fund the hire of one to fetch the bountiful harvest. A huge relief all round. The Ebola outbreak was declared officially over on January 11th. All restrictions were removed so travel to the farm at Mubende became much easier and a bountiful harvest was collected and taken to Adonai for distribution. The harvest was collected on January 26th and comprised 30 sacks of maize 🌽 and 8.5 sacks of Irish potatoes 🥔. Each sack weighed about 12kg.
THEN CAME THE RAIN
The drought was followed by a period of very heavy rain which although welcome in many ways also caused its own problems. The ‘new’ Give Her A Chance home for older girls was a casualty. With only one storey currently constructed, the flat roof was no match for the rain and significant water damage occurred. Christine, our child sponsorship coordinator, visited the Adonai Centre in October and saw the water damage for herself. Her report confirmed that this building should be our main project for the start of 2023 and we are delighted to report that following an appeal for funds, a second storey is under construction and the current one has been made water-tight. Approx. £11,000 was raised and sent via this appeal. Unlike the other homes, this one is on the site of Aloysious and Abbi’s family home rather than at the main Adonai Centre. The ‘Give Her A Chance’ project is intended to provide food, shelter, safe water, and a loving home to young girls aged 13 to 19 who are in need of a safe refuge. They have the opportunity to further their education and to receive technical, spiritual, and mental support, and to gain skills of self-reliance.
SAFE WATER PROJECT
Phase 2 of the water project that we reported on last year also encountered delays and problems. Covid, the sudden death of a key worker of the contractor, vandalism…. however, work did recommence, and we are delighted to report that phase 2, safe water for Buddo and the surrounding district, is complete. Again, Christine was able to see the system in action and reported her delight in seeing children able to fill a cup with clean water from a tap, rather than trekking to a bore hole.
CHRISTMAS 2022 AT ADONAI
This year it was Ebola rather than Covid threatening the Christmas celebrations. However, we are pleased to report that with all appropriate permissions granted, Aloysious and team were able to host a camp to which all sponsored children were invited. There was much fun and feasting but also counselling, learning, and thanksgiving. As usual, Adonai UK footed the major part of the bill for this.
BETTER THINGS FOR 2023!
We sincerely hope that the coming year will be one of moving forward rather than fire-fighting emergency situations such as Covid, Ebola and Drought –although we are aware that nothing can be taken for granted. We were delighted that Christine, our child sponsorship coordinator was able to visit Adonai in Autumn 2022, just prior to the Ebola outbreak. As well as the school and children’s homes, she was able to visit the new Skill Centre funded by one of our sponsors where young adults can learn tailoring – vocational training to allow them to access the world of work and become independent. Her report also includes updates on other projects at Adonai that we don’t directly support but are delighted to see going well. You can read that report on our website here: https://www.adonaiuk.org/christine-at-adonai-autumn-2022/
As we write this report, we eagerly await a visit to the UK by Pastor Aloysious Luswata in May 2023 when we will be able to meet with him in person to ascertain progress and priorities for the coming year. We will report on that visit next year.
P.S. You can read about that visit on our website here: https://www.adonaiuk.org/aloysious-in-the-uk/