Today our local Chairman, Joseph, came by for a visit. He is the LC1 and 2 (Local Chairman). He is the first step in government for our area, actually in Uganda, he is a pretty important person because everything goes through him or needs his approval, he will be writing our letter of introduction so we can get our Post Office Box and he is one of the first steps in getting our NGO status in Uganda. We have met with him on quite a few occasions and he has become a friend of The Door of Hope Family, and he really appreciates what we do for the people.
Today he brought a lady and her grandson for an interview to see if the grandson was able to get some assistance from us. The boy is 15 and lives with his grandmother. They were very pleasant to talk with. Because of the nature of our business we have to find out a lot information. We need the background stories and the present situation; regarding, family history, health, and financial. This is a lot of personal information that needs to be discovered.As Robyn and I sat with this family asking personal questions I was feeling very strange and as I find out later from Robyn, she was sharing some of the same feelings. This women was widowed in 1977 during the Idi Amin regime. Her son, the boys father, was killed in an automobile accident and the mother of the boy lives about 100 miles away and has not seen the boy for a couple of years. The grandmother was remarried but that husband also passed away. She has a small street business selling used shoes but business has been slow and she is only making about 3000 UGX a week, about $1.50 USD
Did you see the movie "The Last King of Scotland?" I am recalling this movie as I am hearing first hand the effects of what Amin had done. This was what I refer to as "real life." Who am I to be asking these questions? Yes I am the one responsible to gather this information, but this is really very humbling and at times uncomfortable. It would be a lot easier to just tell people at the gate that we are full and don't have any room for more children. But when you sit with people face to face and hear the stories that, let's face it, I never new anyone with stories like these in America, except for the refugees we knew in San Diego.
We have experienced this same thing several times before. We have sat with children and heard how their parents were murdered during the Rwanda war, did you see "Hotel Rwanda"? We heard a mother tell us how her oldest child was murdered and cut into pieces. Sometimes when I hear these "true" stories I have to fight to hold back the tears! I hope I don't get desensitised to these stories. This is their life here in Uganda, and somehow these people continue to carry on despite their hardships.
We had to place this boy on our waiting list. We served them lunch so they wouldn't go away hungry and we knew their situation at home so we sent them on there way with a bag of rice so to last them for a few days. That is how God works sometimes to get people through hard times. He gives opportunities for us to help others the best we can when we can. It is our choice!