«we» instead of «I»
In our work with the orphans, we make sure that their relationships with their clans remain.
Focusing on the individual is unfamiliar to African thinking. In Uganda it is always about the family community and the clan. We recognize strengths and weaknesses in this cultural thinking.
We ask ourselves: How can we support an orphan with free access to education and medical care without his or her being more privileged than others? How do we reach the goals of including the whole family clan community?
For example, during an extreme drought, when food was in short supply, we brought a sack of «Posho corn and red Beans» when we visited our FEP children, thus supporting the entire foster family. We help unbureaucratically in medical emergencies in a family. When we further the foster parents («guardians») education, there is always a generous amount of food and their travel costs are paid for.
In our work with the orphans, we make sure that their relationships with their clans remain. That’s why the children consciously spend their holidays in the villages of origin. Another goal of our education is that young people can learn a profession that gives them a chance to gain a foothold in the labor market. In this way they can also found and feed their own familes.
If necessary, GHU helps the entrusted children and adolescents to secure their inheritance. An example is Paul: relatives wanted to take away the land he had inherited from his parents. In cooperation with the Swiss youth organization YMCA, a few young people were given time off to help build a simple house for Paul on his property. When he was still in the GHU home, the house was rented. After he had finished his apprenticeship, he moved into that house himself and lives there today with his family.
Innocent Kirabo Zziwa is responsible for the GHU branch in Kampala. In the spring of 2018, she visited several families in nearby villages after hearing from a pastor that families there needed urgent help. Visits like that always move us deeply.