Majorine is one of our primary sponsorship coordinators and during this break from life normality her job is extending way beyond her job description. Maj handles the coordination of a special type of sponsorship for a young boy from Butangala named Pius. Pius is a 10-year-old boy who is hearing impaired and unable to fully speak. His sponsor is supporting his education in a special school for the deaf in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, where he is thriving.
When schools temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Maj went to gather Pius to take him back home to his village where he resides with his grandmother and 6 other people with disabilities. He lives in the village of Butangala which is about a 3-4 hour taxi ride away from his school. However, upon getting Pius, the government announced a shut down of the roads and banned all public transport. This left Pius stranded and Maj to care for him during this quarantine as she lives in Kampala near his school and was able to get to her home before the total lock down began.
Fortunately for Pius, who at home is often sent out to beg for food to eat and doesn’t get much devoted attention, this was a huge blessing as he now has regular food, shelter, and most importantly – a loving caretaker. As for Maj, she shared that her family treats Pius like a prince and enjoys his company tremendously. His smile is contagious and he makes every day meaningful. Even better is Maj and Pius set up a routine where she helps with his school lessons and his speaking skills are improving day by day. They also have leisure time where Pius enjoys watching cartoons and playing games, a rare commodity for this special boy.
It is so comforting to know that our sponsored students in Uganda have our staff who see them all as family members and would give anything for them, jumping in to help them in the face of a global pandemic. We thank our sponsors who support vulnerable children in Uganda like Pius. We thank our staff in Uganda who are so dedicated to the well-being of each student. Lastly, we thank God for giving us this positive story of love and unity in an otherwise unclear and low-spirited time.
As the world continues to be at a complete standstill, we all have more time to think about the things that are truly important in life. As we settle the fear and anxiety of the unknown and the yearning for our “normal” lives to return, it is valuable to remember how important those around us are and have always been. While our “communities” are much tighter these days or are limited to a computer screen, their worth is no less significant.
As our staff distributed soap to our students and their families, we learned that one family was using sap from a tree to wash their hands. They were so fearful that they and their families would get sick, they resorted to whatever soap like resource they could find. Needless to say, they were immensely grateful when our team pulled up with large bars of hand soap. As our team was leaving the village they were reminded from a parent that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” When we as a community, locally or around the world, need assistance, the people that show up are truly friends to be treasured.
I think we can all look around our communities and not only be reminded of how lucky we are to have the support we do, but to remember to be a friend to others around us in need. This is just another instance that displays how united the human race is even with such obvious cultural differences – we all need each other.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.