We have a hand-over project Friday at a school where the Church has supplied 15 sewing machines. Employment opportunities are limited here and the school uses the machines to teach the students a useful skill that may provide opportunity later in life. Just before the Beans left to return to the U.S. we had a hand-over in the Nile Valley with seven villages who were given cattle, goats and pigs to help sustain them. We partnered with an organization that works with women and families impacted by HIV/AIDS, which is still a massive health issue in Uganda. The villages are supplied with pregnant animals. When the young are born they are then given to one of the other villages to repeat the process.
Every Wednesday we meet with organizations which bring us project proposals for our consideration. We then go through them to decide which ones are sustainable and will impact the most people. It is difficult to have to decide who we can and can't help because the needs are so great here. The projects are going forward in Rwanda and the Sudan and there are 9 open projects in Uganda which are in various stage of completion. We are now going through all of the proposals to identify new ones to start in January. The large Mpigi water and sanitation project is in the final planing stage and we are trying to resolve some stumbling blocks with the local water district. Hopefully the rehabilitation of the old wells and drilling of the new will start within the next two weeks.
We met yesterday with a little six year old girl who had both of her legs amputated below the knees due to complications from measles. We fitted her with a wheel chair provided by the Church. The effect of measles among the Africans is quite different than what we are used to. Most of them have not been vaccinated and 1 out of 4 here die from complications of measles. It is still the largest cause of blindness in Africa. Since being here we have really come to appreciate how blessed we are in our own lives and how truly unique our living circumstances are in the United States compared to much of the rest of the world. We have also reflected on our freedom and political system of government as voting for the President occurs tomorrow. Different factions here are already talking about stock piling weapons in anticipation of their Presidential election in 2011. Even in a hard fought campaign, that thought process does not take place in America.