Friday, December 30, 2011
At Christmas I spent a while talking with Uncle Fred, who grew up in Daughters of Charity (COU's partner organization) believing that he was a total orphan. It wasn't until he was about to graduate from university that he met some people who encouraged him to find his family. Through personal connections and the use of a village loudspeaker, he eventually managed to reconnect with his aunt (Shirah's grandmother). The family had assumed he died in the war of the 1980s along with his parents. It was a joyous reunion of course. And as he began to re-integrate with his long lost family, he saw how many of his nieces and nephews were sitting at home without attending school. He decided to help Shirah and her sister (a small family, it's just them and their mother, as their father abandoned them a long time ago). Shirah was brought to COU and is now sponsored by my parents, and Uncle Fred personally sponsors Mercy. Their mother does whatever tailoring work she can, but she also struggles with poor health. It's hard to imagine how the family would have fared without Uncle Fred and the Daughters of Charity / Children of Uganda connection.