At the recent gradings, Sensei Kidby launched our latest charity appeal. It has been decided that we will try to help Lira, a village in Northern Uganda on an ongoing basis.
It is not possible to paint too dark a picture. Daily life in the village is hard. There is too little too eat and too few seeds to plant to grow their own. Although there is land on which to grow it but too few implements with which to farm the land and too few with the knowledge to do so.
Most villagers do not receive an education. This is a fundamental requirement for any community to grow and realise its potential. There is no school, no teachers and no equipment with which to teach them. Many children are taken out of the village by guerrilla soldiers for fighting or to be used for sexual purposes! Many other children simply live on the streets, only owning what they stand up in surviving by scavenging.
We in this country moan about the weather, what is for dinner, or the cost of things, and just take for granted all the things in our daily life. To have nothing is reason to complain yet the villagers of Lira do not.
These are some of the reasons it has been decided to help this community. In the first instance, we will be raising £1000 to purchase a motor bike and maintain it, tax and insure it for one year. This is something that is needed to take workers to far-away fields to work and to collect provisions from town. We are told this will make a significant difference to the life in the village. It is better for us to have a specific goal in mind rather than us simply ask for money, clothing, books, provisions or equipment etc.
We will follow this up with other specific ideas of assistance for the folk of Lira so if you have any ideas of how to help or raise funds please share them with your instructor or contact Sensei Kidby directly.
This is the message received from Moses, Lira:
"Photos of the bigger bike attached. A big one costs 1935 pounds and the smaller kind about 850 English pounds all price includes insurance for a year, number plates and traffic registration, but could be different varying because of exchange rates, sometimes high sometimes low. The larger one is what we need to take boys back to their villages, sometimes we take 2 at a time and then have to do visits throughout the year. At the moment we are hiring this to do that but it is only on occasions However, the smaller one is great for doing the day to day work that needs doing like transporting food, charcoal etc so I think that would be perfect for what we need now and we can hire on the 6 occasions we need to make longer journeys.
I am happy to say that I have a few more sponsors for children but many people are saying that although they cannot sponsor they would like to help by sending small items out to Uganda which is wonderful and what can they send. I can suggest a few things. Things like t shirts, boys shorts, second hand, good condition are perfect ,you don't have to go out and buy new at all. In fact any clothes would be great as they can be used in the wider community. Free sugar that comes with your coffee in the restaurant, even the salt and pepper too. Pencils, crayons, felt pens, writing paper, pencils, a letter about yourself and maybe a photograph. Soap, flip flops and pants for girls and boys, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, drink bottles, reading material although it can be heavy to post. Even the smallest thing will be put to good use.
They can be sent to One step at a Time c/o Moses Ogwal PO Box 493 Lira Uganda Africa.
Thank you again for all your support."