As 2013 ends, we've nearly met our fundraising goal to complete Phase II of the land purchase. What this means is that we need $6000 more by the end of January in order to make the final land payment. That's just a short distance to go out of the $100,000 that was initially needed. We're excited about how close we are and we hope you are too.
We expect to make the final payment in January 2014. We will then be busy working with the beader group members and other volunteers from the U.S. to help move the project to its next phase of Home Building. We will be working on things such as getting electricity and water to the site and determining what sort of interior road/street is needed, drawing up architectural plans for both the property and the buildings, and talking with lenders and donors about what sort of financing package can be assembled to get the homes built while still having affordable home loans that each woman is able to repay.
We're incredibly excited about what long-term impact this project can make on the lives of our Jinja women. We thought you'd like to hear directly from them what problems they face on a daily basis where they are currently living in the slums. It explains why they are thrilled to have the opportunity to have their own home in a safe area.
Here are some of their responses regarding the bad conditions where they currently live:
1. Okidi F. - The houses [in the slums] are not strong. I worry the house will collapse on me and the children. Rain comes through cracks in the house.
2. Achan C. - [Where I live,] it's swampy, no good toilets (we use the bucket system and have to offload), and it's very muddy when it rains. It's one single room for many children.
3. Rose A. - It is very, very difficult [living in the slums]. The children are mistreated by neighbors. My boy was beaten into a coma three months ago. He's okay.
4. Betty A. - You share a house with a total stranger. You have fear. What if she poisons my food. What is she kills me during the night?
5. Santa O. - My neighbor is so terrible she killed my cow and put it in a pit and covered it with rubbish.
6. Akot R. - I stay where they pour rubbish from all of Jinja. The bad smell goes even into my food. All the bad people hide there in the rubbish. It's hard to sleep at night because they can come in and kill you. Thieves steal what little you have, even during the day. They stole my clothes, sauce pan, plates, case for the clothes.
7. R. A. - A neighbor poisoned one of my twins. It kills the child slowly. She tThe neighbor] said, "You still want to live in this place even though I killed one of your children?" I leave everything to God.
8. B. O. - One of my daughters is lost. I don't know if she's alive or has been sacrificed.
We are happy to report that through generous donors, craft sales of our African beaders' products here in the U.S., and through contributions by our women beaders, we reached the first milestone in our land acquisiton project in September. We successfully raised over $60,000 for the land purchase. Now, we have another three months to complete the total fund raising needed before actual site preparation work can begin. We are very grateful for all donations received to date. But we still do urgently need another $13,000 in total from all sources before we can begin actual home building activities. Please let all your friends and family know how critically we need this final help to reach our final fund raising goal.
Our Ugandan beaders are greatly excited. Outreach Uganda will be meeting every two weeks with the women's home ownership committee as we make final plans on how to progress with the home building portion of the program in 2014. Even now, the women are able to do some clearing and fencing of the land, before the final funds are paid to the landowner.
The attached photo shows our beaders' joy when we visited the land again in July. We see the tremendous possibilities for progress that this land offers these women who were once living on less than $1 per day. Purchasing the land is a critical final step in helping our beaders rise out of poverty forever. Even though they may have money for food and medicines, they can never move out of the slums where they live without help to buy the land on which to build their own houses.
Please consider helping complete this very important project.
Our fundraising campaign is nearing the completion for the first phase with only $2,000 additional needed. We have been fortunate to receive several additional donations for this campaign via mail. Our Jinja women's group is in the process of forming a development committee to assist with the next phase of the project. We hope to complete this first phase within the next few weeks. Additional donations are urgently needed to successfully complete this phase. Please consider donating now to help our Jinja beaders begin the home ownership process. They are very excited with the thought of using their bead monies and business earnings coupled with Outreach Uganda's help, to move out of the Jinja slums forever.
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Women's Development Initiatives