Dear Friends, Nothing I say could possibly express the urgent needs of our friends in Uganda, so I will share with you a personal letter I received from Joseph Onyango, who heads the Rayland Rural Development Project (RARUDO): Dear Jaya, I take this opportunity to send you warm greetings from Rarudo, Tororo, Busia and Bugiri. We are okay only that I have been busy in the village with garden work since am trying to settle my family at home. I have moved them from Kampala back to RARUDO, where at least they are safe. Generally there is great outcry all over, poverty is on its climax, there is terrible famine (hunger), no food completely some are surviving on a meal day or none other hot water. This is all due to long drought which has caused late planting and late harvesting coupled with high cost of fuel and commodities which sparked political unrest. During the time of violent demonstrations in Kampala, I lost my digital camera, monitor, printer, they were stolen from my place of work, along with almost everything I owned. Two of your old friends, Samburo and Blandina, are very sick. Samburo of course with AIDS, and Blandina is on treatment she is having malaria and high blood pressure. I am so broke I could not get our financial report from auditors, they finished the work some time back but am yet handicapped. Please send my regards to all my friends. – Joseph Joseph’s letter made me cry, because he has been such a strong leader in all the places he mentions. If Joseph is feeling so disheartened, then things are bad indeed. These little communities, where people have worked so hard to make a better life, are in danger of being crushed again under the weight of world-wide economic and environmental crises. I realize you may be feeling a little bit crushed yourself, but even small donations go a very long way. Thank you. Jaya
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