The people of Uganda are known for their generosity. When I was in Uganda, despite their poverty, the villagers were most generous to me. I was given plots of land, looms of Ugandan fabric, a hand-made dress, skirt, gifts for my family. I was always a celebrated guest often going to a village home where I would be fed until I was so full I was gagging. Villagers walked for hours to bring me gifts. These gifts were given from what they did not have.
Similarly, the Ugandans have been most generous to refugees. It’s now a famous picture. A three-year-old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, appears to be sleeping on a beach. Instead, he has perished in a perilous journey from Syria to Europe. The picture has caused outrage and provoked an international response. Long before innocent Aylan washed ashore on a Turkish beach, the Katulikire area welcomed over 12,000 South Sudanese refugees to their community and schools over the past 2 years. UNICEF estimates 60 to 100 new refugees are arriving in Katulikire every day. The goings on in South Sudan are similar to those in Syria. War, rape, slavery, child soliders. What if Uganda, a country struggling with great poverty of its own, had decided it did not have the resources to allow the most poor and vulnerable, built fences, and closed its borders? Instead, they were welcomed into Katulikire where they attend the free, public schools. Attendance is swelling. Malaria season is coming. We are trying to help these poor, vulnerable refugees prepare for malaria by continuing our distributions to the approximately 2,000 refugee and Ugandan students at Chanrom/Bidong Primary School, but we do not have enough money. To make this distribution possible, we would require an additional $5,000 USD. We would appreciate any help.
The refugees face numerous, seemingly insurmountable problems. It’s difficult to know where to start. I believe the lowest cost, most effective intervention is working with malaria prevention. Malaria kills, stifles education, cripples the workforce, and drains financial resources. I could not be more grateful for your generosity to my friends in Uganda. I know that you have many needs, see many needs and your sacrifice may not be so different from that of my friends in Katulikire who did my hair, hung beads around my neck, prepared a rabbit, scaled trees to pick fruits and watched proudly, joyously, but hungrily as I ate because there was not enough to go around.
If you are able to help us protect the children of Chanrom/Bidong Primary School, $5 purchases a net for a student. We have funding for about the first 1000 students. We could not be more grateful for any help supporting the next 1000 students.
In 2011, I was in Uganda when South Sudan became the world’s youngest nation. The Sudanese who had fled to Uganda as refugees celebrated in the streets and excitedly explained their plans to return home. I don’t think that anyone anticipated how much pain this young nation would have already experienced less than 5 years later. Returning to Uganda in 2014, I had the privilege of living among the Ugandans of Katulikire and the refugees they hosted from several surrounding countries including South Sudan. Tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese had fled to Uganda in the past year. Thousands have resettled in the Kiryandongo refugee camp just down the road from NETwork’s home base in Katulikire. Meeting these refugees, the women and children told stories of profound violence and great suffering: rape, starvation, murder, mutilation. In Uganda, they are safe from the battling armies, but they experience all the problems surrounding those who are relegated to great poverty. These people who have escaped unimaginable suffering arrive particularly vulnerable to sickness, especially malaria. The Southern Sudanese refugees arrive in Uganda with hope. Their children have enrolled in local public schools in numbers which have surpassed their capacity. We are working to protect every single one of these children who have already overcome so much against malaria. Now that they are safe and are attempting to achieve an education, we want to help them by protecting them against malaria. With your support, we have already covered 2 schools, but we are currently working to protect an additional 2,000+ students against malaria.
Tony is a P3 student at Opok Primary School. He goes to school during the day, and he helps his family around the fields when he is not in school. Tony is providing a good example for his younger brothers and sisters encouraging them to follow in his footsteps. His parents are dedicated to keeping him in school even if that means there are less hands in the field with the same number of mouths to feed. Tony's parents know that his education is key for a better life.
Tony is the future of Opok. He has the potential to change his future, elevate his family, and influence the wellbeing of Opok Village. Thank you for helping Tony. Tony received a net through NETwork Against Malaria. He has not since gotten malaria. Tony's good health is keeping him in school. His strength is improving that of his family. Please help us continue to help children like Tony including his siblings.
Thank you for making 2014 our most successful year yet.
It is difficult to articulate the life changing nature of giving a child a mosquito net. it provides them with the opportunity to stay healthy. It helps ensure that they can stay in school. They have the opportunity to study and to help with the crops. It helps with food security, saves the family money on medical costs, and makes the family's finances more secure. It truly changes a recipient's life and the life of their family. Children who receive the net sleep under them what their siblings multiplying the effectiveness of this intervention. It also changes their future and the future of their family. Educated children elevate the status of their family. How can we begin to thank you?
Perhaps the best thank you comes from a mother. On hearing that I had arrived in Opok Village, this woman wanted to thank me for the net we had provided for her children. She doesn't speak English and did not know how to convey her gratitude to me. She took down the net and brought it to me. Through a translator she said, "Thank you for this net. I am bringing it to you to show you that my children are using it, and it is protecting my family."
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