Map of Uganda

Map of Uganda
The Uganda Kampala Mission includes Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan. Our assignment covers all the areas except Ethiopia.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

REFUGEE PROJECT IN RWANDA


The day we went to the Gihembe Refugee Camp it was raining and cold, especially by African standards. The camp is high in the hills of Rwanda 60 km. from Kigali. It was 55 degrees and the sky was dark with low hanging rain clouds. The camp was established in 1997 to host Congolese refugees fleeing the fighting between rebel groups and the government. Twelve years later, continued and renewed fighting has sent a new wave of refugees to the camp. There are 4,000 mud houses holding more than 19,000 refugees of which 11.000 are children. On days of heavy rains, walls of some of the houses collapse or are carried away by mud slides.



Today, the children huddle beside the buildings or under blankets for warmth.



The Church, through Deseret International Charities, has partnered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and sent 10 containers of supplies totaling 180 tons of clothing, wheelchairs,blankets, shoes, hygiene, school and newborn kits. We were there to begin the distribution of the supplies. They were sorely needed, especially by the children. The hygiene kits were desperately needed. In the camp every pit latrine is shared by 27 people and proper hygiene is a major concern.



The warm clothing, blankets and shoes were especially needed and appreciated. One item slightly out of place was a lime green toilet seat cover...in a camp with no toilets. However, one young boy made an excellent winter hat out of it.


This baby, born the day before our arrival, will receive a new blanket and one of the new born kits.


These children posed for us in their newly acquired clothing. As we were leaving, the rain stopped and the sun came out briefly. We hoped that it signified a brighter day ahead for the residents of Gihembe. As we left, more UNHCR trucks were coming into the camp with additional supplies from the containers.

2 comments:

belk-elk said...

Thank you for sharing these pictures. Our ward just completed 60 Hygiene kits and other projects to send to SLC. One lady in my ward does 36 newborn kits a year. What a blessing for those of us who get to serve. It's wonderful to know that everything will go to those who really need it!

Mikelle Auman-Williams said...

Wow! This is so amazing, what a great organization to be a part of.

I was asked to speak in Stake Conference about (are you ready for this) service and marriage and Uganda. I was just wondering if you had an extra minute this week? If you do, could tell me a tiny bit about how serving in Africa has changed the way you see your relationship with one another, any particularly poignant stories, and any things else you feel inclined to share?

If you don't have any time, don't worry about it. I am pretty sure you have much better insight into my topic than I do, so I thought I'd ask.

I hope all is going well!

Mikelle Williams
milliwik@gmail.com

"Everything must have a beginning"

"Everything must have a beginning"
Children at an orphanage in Entebbe, Uganda. There are so many children here it is incredible; there are orphans everywhere. The people take them in and it is not unusual to see families struggling with 8-10 children. We talked to a woman yesterday who has taken in twelve children. She said, "sometimes I feel sad that I cannot do more, but everything must have a beginning". We have decided to use that as our personal reminder to guide our actions here as we try to help.