My how the weeks have sped past! It's a bit hard to believe, but I'll be finishing up at the end of next week! This has definitely been a challenging deployment, full of lots of surprises, but most importantly, a wonderful team of people (which is growing by the week). We've had a lot of visitors, senior staff from Kampala, from the regional office, and from HQ, as well as a huge media visit. What's great about having visitors (apart from the advice they provide) is that I usually take them to the field, and get to see more of our work in action. So I thought I'd just share a few stories.
On one visit we met a woman who had 8 children with her. She was 8.5 months pregnant, and her husband had been murdered. As had her sister. So she fled with her 4 children, and her sister's 4 children, the oldest being 15. This was the house she'd built when they'd arrived 6 months ago. All of them slept in here. Since we built them a temporary shelter, the children all sleep in that, and she stays in here with their precious food rations. She had concerns about the security of her family but she hadn't been able to convince the local committee to relocate her. Thankfully, the next day our staff were able to organise for her to move, so hopefully she has delivered her baby safely and they all feel safer now.
The need here is so great - there are now over 1,000,000 refugees from South Sudan in Uganda, along with 300,000+ refugees from other neighbouring countries. So many come with only the clothes on their backs - I saw one girl who was in a school uniform, which she must have been wearing when it was time to leave. The stories I've mentioned above are not usual - everyone I've spoken to has lost family members, lost their livelihoods, lost everything. Some have hope that they'll go home, others have decided to concentrate on making their lives here.
There is a ridiculous amount of need around the world at the moment, from conflict and natural disasters, so if you have the means, please consider donating to a reputable aid agency to support their work. You may not think your donation makes a difference, but believe me, when we receive money from the public, we can do a lot.