We have been given some pictures and information about the people of Lira and the village they live in, to give us some idea of what their daily life is like..
BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF LIRA AND SOME OF ITS INHABITANTS
The photo of the boy in orange is Kenneth Ogwal aged 14. He is an orphan, but his parents died so long ago that he does not know how they died. He was taken in by an aunt but as her family grew she could not feed him and he was sent away from the home. Since then he has lived on the street and he joined us from day 1. He is a shy boy and always seems to be on the edge of everything but is delighted to now eat 2 meals a day, be able to wash and have clothing, a toothbrush, to learn life skills of washing and repairing clothes, planting food and cleaning the compound. Kenneth has received counselling and is now gaining in confidence and beginning to talk about his experiences. This is all because One Step at a Time care about how he feel and about giving him a future.
We have found a teacher in Rushden who wants to sponsor Kenneth to go to school. He doesn't know this yet but we have taken him to sleep at our building so he can get used to sleeping inside with a sleeping mat and a blanket. It will cost £250 to provide Kenneth with education, school fees, scholastic materials, all his food, health care, blanket and bedding, school uniforms and casual clothes and real lace up shoes. He will have a metal trunk to keep all these things in along with a photo and background of his sponsor. His sponsor has already received his photograph and later will be free to correspond with him. At last he has many people around him to care - school, one step at a time family and the sponsor. His life is definitely moving forward ONE STEP AT A TIME.
Next shows the boys eating meat. Many of them had not tasted meat for years and had survived on slops from the rubbish and what they could buy from selling metal they collected from the streets. The bigger boy is Bosmic who was a child soldier and is now sponsored to do a 3 year mechanics course. It costs again £250 for the mechanical training and care for the boy per year.
The boy in uniform is Joe and is sponsored by a consultant in Hertfordshire.
Just to clarify some facts about Lira:
The history of Lira is that of most of Northern Uganda it has suffered 20 years of war by the Lords resistance Army rebels. The rebels attacked the villages in the north of the country and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and made their way to the local towns for safety. Children were abducted as soldiers and the girls as bush wives. If you have seen the film Blood Diamond then you will have seen how the children were treated. These are the boys we are dealing with.
Men were murdered and maimed, and women killed and raped and displacement camps housed others for many years. HIV took over and life was hell. Hundreds of thousands of these children are orphans or abandoned as parents cannot afford to keep them. Poverty is rife but we are not about hand outs. We are there to lift people from the poverty trap and enable them to have education and the means to support themselves for the future. Everything is done with love, to give hope.