I'm sorry for the loooong delay on getting this blog out! I can't begin to explain (at least in this post) what all has been going on, but we have been busy. And I am finally finding time to upload some pictures and give you a report on where the money has been spent.
This is our good friend, Lokong Simon. Lokong was a huge help to Kenneth in buying all the supplies for distribution. There is no Wal-Mart in Karamoja. Instead, everything had to be bought little by little at various shops and various prices. Not exactly the most efficient system. However, Lokong kept meticulous records of every item and its price and was a big help with communication.
Every bag of sorghum had to be weighed and loaded onto our rented truck.
These men are carrying about 300 pounds between them, and sometimes one would hoist it onto his shoulders and carry it alone!
We were finally left with thousands of pounds of sorghum stacked outside one of our huts. Along with sorghum Kenneth bought blankets, cooking pots, jerry cans (for carrying water), and basins.
These women were thrilled to get their things, as you can see by their faces. Actually, I'm sure they were, but getting a Karimojong person to smile for a picture is like pulling teeth. They prefer the serious, angry face :)
We are so thankful for the support that poured in for our village. All together we received over $11,000 in donations, much more than we needed to help every family who lost their home. We were then able to do a second distribution, this time for the elderly and vulnerable widows in our community and still had things left! We then turned to the long-term projects we are involved in such as Akiru and the Moses Project.
This picture was not taken the day we brought our Akiru ladies supplies, but it's a tamer version of their reactions to new blankets, basins, and jerry cans. They are always a lively bunch!
Our Moses Project babies and their families were the last (so far) to benefit from the excess money. We have 11 babies who, depending on their ages, either receive formula or sorghum every week along with soap and medicine as needed. Many of these babies have lost their mothers or have mothers who are unable to provide enough milk as in the case of these twins. So far we have distributed over 650 pounds of sorghum and boxes and boxes of formula, and even have money left to see them through the end of the year at least!
What a huge blessing this has been, not only for the families affected by fires but for our community as a whole!
Thank you for being a part of this. We are grateful for your monetary support and your prayers as the families around us rebuild, as our Akiru ladies continue to work to support their families, and as our Moses Project babies grow and thrive.