Jan 22, 2018 – It has been awhile since I have communicated. There is never a dull day. They are active and filled with interactions with good people.
Last Friday we had a final meeting for the Empowerment Retreat which begins today, Monday. I met the two main facilitators for the retreat from an organization called GEN (pronounced with a hard-sounding G). The name is a northern African word meaning HOPE. They work primarily with educators for the training and mentoring of children/teens, but also work directly with children. PCAU felt they would be a good asset to the leadership of the camp because of the emphasis of their work. We reviewed the schedule, presentations and some activities. They asked PCAU to provide various items/supplies for the camp and since it was end of the day there was little time to get the items. I managed to do some shopping over the weekend, but this morning will be busy with preparations. The children arrive this afternoon/evening.
My communications over the years always involved some “stories” of a boy named, George. He was the first child in the Road to Hope….and it was because of George’s story that the program was developed for other children who were care givers for their parents/guardians. George is growing up and is now about 12 years of age. He is a thoughtful boy, has a smile that never disappears and “smart” in many ways, but presents challenges to us with his formal schooling. We are going to try to remove him from his home district to a new school. Friends of PCAU in his district (former PCAU Board member) put him in a taxi on Friday for his journey to PCAU. He had to be present to be tested on Saturday for admission to the school as a boarding student. George is positive about the change and agreed to it. He is staying at Rose’s home, will come to the Empowerment Retreat and be taken to the school when children begin to report next week.
Saturday I went with Lydia, Coordinator of the Road to Hope, to take George to the new school. We waited for George to take his test, which took some time. George was all smiles when he came out of the classroom and said he did good in English and math, but science and social studies were hard. We will find out this Thursday about his placement.
Yesterday I went to begin to do some shopping at the craft markets. My neighbor, Ritah offered to accompany me. I was so thankful for her offer. The heat of the day usually adds to the exhaustion of this event – and dealing with the vendors. The items will be used by the Center for Hospice Care for their fund raiser for the Road to Hope. We so depend on you and others for the success of fund raising for these children.
Saturday night I went into Kajjansi town, along with Ritah, to hear the band and dancers perform from Saint Mary Kevin School. The walk on the dark roads to get there was challenging for ME – and I often thought I was not wise to venture out – but there was no turning back. By that time turning back was just as long as going forward. We arrived safe, our presence was noted and appreciated, we enjoyed ourselves and hired a driver to get us back home.
This is the beginning of a new week and I need to join Lydia in our preparations for the retreat. Thanks for your continued interest in my journey, PCAU, and especially the children.