Friday, January 20, 2017

Rosa Mystica Rest Home Grain Grinder Income Generating Project

Gulu Region;  Rosa Mystica Rest Home Grain Grinder income generating project is finally up and running, however not up to par.  There is sediment in the grain. The service person is charging these poor elderly sisters way too much! Although they have made some money it is a very slow start. Thanks to Terence, we have brought a trusted technician from Awere to help and he says the settings were all wrong!  He has to take it apart and re set it. At least we now know how to help them better. Sister Palma walks with a crutch and is there every day trying to eek out a living for them from this project!  We also buy wood burning African scenes to sell with our crafts for their income generation as well as hand made cards.  They are putting in a proposal for a chicken - eggs and broilers income generating project.  We think we have to start slow though - maybe with 50 rather than 150 and if they live grow it from there. The building they have for it has no ventilation and the chickens die so will have to be modified or new constructed. Lots to review with our board when we get home!  Three more groups in this area are requesting help at this time, yet we have some priorities up north. We have relayed that it could take years for us to have enough funding - patience or try looking for other funding sources as well. So hard as so much need!!
Bosco will help set up their quarter acre drip irrigation kit, fix some parts and plant the vegetable seeds brought by Brenda!  We actually bought cabbage, sumawiki, egg plant, tomatoe, onion, green pepper seeds for all areas for drip irrigation!  Fun to give these out. So dry they will need to wait to plant till end feb or march.

Opit Farm - African Boer Goat Breeding

Gulu Region: Hope 2 One Life (H2O) and Community Foundation for Development (CFD)

Opit Farm and Boer Goat Breeding Project.
- A partnership with the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu.  Sr Zhiporro is a trained agriculturist and is getting her masters degree with a lot of training in animal husbandry as well.  Her Masters project is on raising IMO pigs using bio degradable substances for the feces and food. The pigs are contained and do not roam free, do not smell and grow very well!  They are in the same compound with our goats. Fenced 10 acre area allows the goats to graze protected from the range, outside illness danger and theft. The goat breeding project is an income generating project to help sustain Emmanuel Clinic. Our 3 year MOU with Emmanuel clinic for staff support is up now - we will extend another quarter then turn it over to Family Empowerment Uganda. The goat project started with 20 female local goats and 2 male full bred Boer goats. We have 15 babies born - 13 female and 2 male. 2 others died and the other 3 are pregnant. The 13 females will be cross bred with the male boar goats and then their offspring will be the cross that will survive well in this harsh environment and also provide bigger meatier goats. The males will be castrated and sold. We are looking at some income generation potential in 8-10 months. The project is a bit over budget as the building of the fence and goat house etc with paying workers took a year to accomplish in this hard climate - all hand done. She also added another pig keeper so there are 3 tending goats cows and pigs. This has now become a Reginal center visited by many people interested in these projects. We hope to replicate the pig project as well and toured another facility that had even bigger structures and more pigs in Gulu.  This land was a complete overgrown bush and sat idle for many years in this war torn area. We started with drilling a borehole for water.  Sr is requesting an extension of the fence to the farm land on the other side of the borehole to extend farming and fodder feed without the local neighboring animals getting into it. She already has a super bucket drip irrigation kit and was trained in farming gods way. Others will be trained as well.  Each project relays their successes and challenges and struggles. We give feedback with team visits. Mentoring and financial accountability is managed through CFD.  We have high hope for this project. It is a partial gift of many people at home who donated during the adopt a goat for Emmanuel clinic sustainability campaign (approx $9000) and partial loan ($ 4,000 interest free) to teach budgets and business planning with sustainable income generation.  It is a joint venture 45/55 split.  We are so hopeful for this project. This well also has great solar power capabilities to further farming and drip irrigation similar to the farm. Tom's list is growing!  Thank you to all at home who donated for this project!  We will be looking for further funding. We are ESP grateful to our H20 board member John John Standish for his wise counsel and business plan oversight which helped this project get off the paper and on the ground in Opit!  We are grateful and praying for the success of this project, also unique in this area!

- note the contrast between the dusty dry windy blown dry season vs some photos from my visit in Sept. There will be two more months of dry season. Many Jerry cans of water need to be hauled each day for the animals from the well. Thank God for the well.  Pray for rain!

Awere Village. Side by Side Ludok Community Farming Group

Gulu Region: Hope 2 One Life (H2O) and Community Foundation for Development (CFD)

Awere Village Side by Side Ludok Community Farming group.
- this group has probably the most successful farming. They were able to pay a little out to each for Christmas, have some stored to sell when prices go up and have some saved for the next season. It is such a drought here in this dry season and will be for 2 more months. Terence had an idea for a drip irrigation system for vegetable farming from a water hole with a pump. We went across the road to see it after Tom assessed the well we fixed with new pipes and a new pump.  Tom excitedly cries, " This is a hydro geologist dream". There is water here!  See how these rock formations are sideways - this is rare. Water is between the cracks. An "artesian well" can be drilled and the water would spout free flowing up up up - could go into a tank without the expense of a solar or generator pump!"  This could become an amazing farm land!"  He even called Draco Drilling - yes it could be done!  I say let's do it!!  What a find. Now to figure out how to secure the funding to drill the well. Tom will be putting on his thinking cap for this unique opportunity!  Praying for this artesian well that will bless these people immensely!

Remarkable people in our midst of spreading "HOPE"

Appoyo Achua mebe (good morning) from Uganda virtual team and followers!!  I apologize for the delay in posting! We have very long tiring yet joyful days, once we move north from our successful pilot and larger infrastructure projects that have been implemented for years on the Family Empowerment - Canaan farm.  Please permit me to explain a little of how this experience goes as we head to Northern Uganda and work our way through numerous villages and towns staying 2 nights or so each place with a home base in a hotel. The services and quality of the accommodations get worse the farther north we go. The team is out all day for 12 or more hours to usually 2 villages or projects.  Bugs and geckos inhabit our rooms an even mosquito nets. Red dirt is imbedded in all of our skin which is now ravaged and cracked. Travel is remote and along dusty bumpy small paths of dirt roads. There is typically no internet or service in these areas. The router works in some areas and the hotel lobby may have wifi but we are often too tired to do much more than write or call home to our families that we are okay. We eat in the villages sometimes which consists of posha beans goat chicken rice cabbage and malawuan (g nut sauce if lucky). This time due to the drought and impending famine we feed whole villages. Also, It is hot hot hot here!  The age of the team is above 50 to 69 years. And they are troopers and amazing...flexibility, letting some of the tension fly right off your back and not taking things too personal is key!  We are family!  We survive each other in communal living and bumping shoulder to shoulder leaning on each other travel thru lots of laughter and silly sarcasm at times. Each person adds a special uniqueness and gifts of service to the poverty stricken people and villages...hearts of love. We don't always know how we are going to organize the outreaches and training until we get there, even with the best itinerary and schedule and groups that I may place in writing or planning ahead of time.  Always, we feel it out have a general plan with some materials and projects ideas with us, was to speak to the Ugandan project leader on the ground if a project is stalled or over budget for some reason, pray to God for guidance, lots of guidance and wisdom!  We ask the village elders and leaders of the water boards, community farming groups, village health workers and women's groups, deaf school, elderly rest home, farms we have trained, fund in income generating projects, water and farming such as drip irrigation projects, educational or health care training/support  what they think will help them best.  And then we wing it...letting the angels carry us along, hopefully giving hope and light in all we do.  Yes, I make it up as we go which often involves changes in prior plans or adding a "site visit" or assessment that may be out of our way, extending the day.  This requires incredible openness, willingness and patience since it extends the day...perseverance and faith...forward ho with a smile!! Almost always...Lo and behold the outcome, by the grace of God, is better and more fruitful than anything we could have ever imagined!  New ideas develop and renewed excitement and energy!  As you may recall from my solo trip in Sept...there was a restructuring and re organization of all of our projects under the local CBO/NGO Community Foundation for Development (CFD). This team is visiting the dream of Hope 2 One Life war recovery empowerment and sustainability models to multiple villages and areas in northern Uganda, the prior killing fields of the LRA war.  What an honor and a privilege it is to have this veteran team with me giving feedback and advice - sharing talents I couldn't even dream of!!  Tom Osborne, Hope 2 One Life board member, hydrologist "water specialist" and wife Angie, a nurse and lover of children; Brenda Gilmore nurse practitioner, VHT program starter and trainer, paper bead craft and tailoring projects starter and trainer for many years!!  Carol Stanley, nurse and our "Ja Ja" ...visionary of the Emmanuel clinic and dreamer, believer we can and should help make lives better no matter who how or what. Just do it!"  They are all massive prayer warriors!  This team and service, selflessness ...Humbles me immensely and I am forever grateful for their service, sacrifice and love love love!!  There are so so many friends who spend tireless energy at home volunteering and living from afar - H20 board members and project designers, financial accounters, planners, advisors - Ranae Parker, Steph Bond, Leigh Taggart, Bill Hart, Dulcy Niemella, assistant Diane Hart. Many volunteers, supporters and donors - event coordinators and committee members for our annual fundraisers - Spaghetti Dinner and Auction and World Water Day - Walk for Water. Thank you all! Each and every one of you has made a big difference!  Our gratitude runs deeply and will never be forgotten.  Keep also in mind none of this could be accomplished without our trusted and loyal ugandan partners and friends on the ground!  CFD founder and Ugandan director, Terence Acaye; Denis Odong, graduate from Makere University in Development studies; Bosco Tolit graduate from Mbarara University in Development studies and Mariel Rieland, our good friend, developer of the current VHT Manuel and trainer who now works with women's training and projects at the Akola Project in Jinja. This allows our work to continue throughout the year - we are forever grateful!!  Bosco and Denis have trained with Tom and all of our teams on water projects, bio sand water filters,  drip irrigation, farming, crafts, and have been our team escorts Year after year, since 2007. Tom, Angie, Leigh and Matt sponsored Denis thru his university studies. Our friends, The Jacques, also sponsored Bosco.  As relayed by Tom Osborne, ". I'd like to introduce followers of our Uganda mission trip to these two remarkable young men, O'dong Denis and Bosco Tolit. Both are recent graduates of Makerere University and now work for Ugandan NGOs we support (Incl our partner org CFD). They are among the first of their families and clans to attend and graduate with college degrees. They chose to return to their homeland of northern Uganda and apply their new skills and energies to improving the lives of  people still struggling to recover from the infamous LRA war. They are implementing a wide array of projects including safe drinking water,  women's micro businesses,  rural health outreach,  crafts, tailoring and more. With them on the ground progress is now being made year-round.  We salute them and we love them."
Terence was the founder of the Kitgum infant orphan care center, our partner and friend since we met in 2006. Mariel interned with me and Hope 2 One Life while at SPU, we have travelled many times together in uganda. She volunteers her time in between her work with akola project to train VHT's. this also keeps things moving between our trips! So grateful!  Her parents are also special friends and supporters of Hope 2 One Life. Through all of this and years of faith, not really knowing how it will all work or turn out - following God's call and will, with great humility I pray - years of perseverance by all, a foundation of trust and loyalty has been formed through the love of God, while sharing the love. Music to my soul as unity abounds. Glory be to God!  May this set the stage for the posts to come...which we feel is a major breakthrough in the potential for this post war recovery community development. This is also accomplished with a very small working budget of approx $50,000 or less in donations, fundraising and grants and an all volunteer organization.  Just think what we could do with even more...oh to find a large grant would be fabulous, God willing development is not easy, takes a long time and hardly ever funded (which is likely why most NGOs don't do it). Still I believe it is the only way out of the extreme poverty we have encountered. Even with this veteran team...they were brought to tears by witnessing the extremes of poverty in villages we visited...(which to me and the ugandans who visit often are so much better than prior visits!).  I we will carry on...come along my friends as we share this journey of faith and love....and Hope 2 One Life...that ripples to many many more....

Brenda's heartfelt reunions!

Brenda's heartfelt reunions!

My good friend Alice! I love this lady! She is one of the strongest women I know! She is a big part of the Women's group! She was in the very first VHT program taught in 2009! Her past history is amazing and she has survived many many hardships in her life including being a survivor from the LRA! She continues on ! When ever I have a bad day I think of Alice and her hardships and struggles and put my problem in perspective and know obstacles can be overcome and to live each and every day to its fullest!!!!

The twins "Leigh and Brenda" and their mama "Jennifer " Jennifer was in the very first class of VHT( village health care training) in 2009! She was in the class Leigh and I taught and was due to deliver any time ! Bless her heart no one had any idea she was having twins and she was so uncomfortable with swollen feet and ankles! She was a trooper! The class was taught outside under the tree in high 90 degree weather! We rotated the class around the tree during the day to try and capture some shade! A week after we left she delivered twins and had complications with the birth but they survived and lo and behold named them after Leigh and I! What an honor!  They are very happy little girls! And Jennifer is doing well! So proud of them!!!!

- From Brenda Gilmore

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Living Water!!

Good morning team!  We are catching up on some posts as our travel throughout the country has been fast and furious with this amazing team!!  It is even more sweltering hot as we travel north to all of our projects. This team perseveres with a smile!!  And lots of laughter!  Giving hope and love wherever they go!!

Hope 2 One Life has drilled of boreholes -10 (including a large solar well) for clean water in Uganda under the supervision, assessments, advice and grant writing of our faithful serving hydrologist "water specialist" Tom Osborne. Tom and his wife Angie join us once again together on a team. Their first visit was in 2008. Tom has been on the board of Hope 2 One Life ever since and they are still going strong!!  Kampala Village is a special well for all of us as it was a long time in coming - raising funds and three attempts at drilling with many many prayers!  The women's group will now also be set up with a 1/4 acre drip irrigation bucket kit and sent to farming gods way training!  This is a wonderful excerpt from Brenda as the village celebrates Tom and "clean water". "Water is Life". God's living water...

"Such a changed village with clean water! Kampala village is very proud of their bore hole!Tom christening bore hole, with his signature move! What a change seen in village! Water we take for granted everyday is such a blessing and reason for celebration!!! One village at a time......available clean water  can make the difference between life and death in a village such as this!"
- Brenda Gilmore

We are currently fundraising for Mboira village borehole. Also we have come across a unique geology and hydrology area that could provide an artesian well of naturally flowing water that would flourish the Awere Side by Side Ludok community farming group near Gulu!  So blessed to have this expertise on the ground to assess these areas of potential development. Drilled wells cost approx $9000 each via our long term trusted partner Draco Drilling.

"I am now able to buy salt without asking my husband"

Wow - our women's empowerment micro loan projects are a joy and a blessing and so much more....these ladies have come a long way from the first time they made paper beads under a tree, rotating with the sun, as taught by Brenda Gilmore 7 years ago!  Hear the Heartfelt words from Angie Osborne.

" It's been an amazing journey once more here in Uganda.  It has been a little over 2 years since my last trip here.  The changes in the farm once more are profound.  People are healthy, solar power lights in the huts, women working with renewed purpose. The women received small business loans interest free for sewing crafts and also growing vegetables to sell.  We had a meeting with about 25 of the ladies present.  Each gave testimony in how these work projects have changed their lives.  It touched my heart to hear, "I'm able now to buy salt without asking my husband.  I can pay school fees for my children."  These women have received new self-worth & dignity.  It has been life changing.
I want to thank everyone who buys their crafts & donates to Hope2onelife.  You are making a difference.

Many Blessings to everyone".
From Angie Osborne