Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Uganda Situation

My friend would like to make this message as public as possible. The following is an excerpt from a newsletter she received:

Kibaale continues to need your help….

First of all let me say thank you for all of your prayers and financial support during the famine in the Kibaale area. The Kibaale Community Centre has had a significant impact on the community in which it exists. People have been fed and been treated medically for many illnesses related to the famine crisis. Our hope had been that the December crops would be ready to reap and the crisis would wane, unfortunately this is not the case. Although some rain has come it has not been enough to produce a crop to harvest.

Things are not getting better… in fact desperation is now setting in. Over the weekend I was in touch with Kibaale following an email from Jackie (KCC Community Coordinator) stating how bad the situation is in the area around Kibaale, let me quote from her email: "The famine and drought continue to worsen. Yes, we have been getting a bit of rain, but a shower once a week is far from adequate. We should be getting 2 or 3 hours of rain every other day for two months straight in order to bring everything back to life. People are actually beginning to die of hunger. Everyday we are having hungry and needy people coming for help. I can’t really describe the difficulty of the situation. On Monday, about 20 people came to the community development office pleading for help. Justine (a KCC worker) came and told me about the most heart-wrenching case of the day: a 10 year old girl came asking for food for herself and for her siblings aged 8, 6, and 4 whom she was looking after. Their parents had died and they were living with a grandmother who was currently in the hospital. They hadn’t eaten in 3 or 4 days. Justine said the girl was just shaking. We also had a grandfather who was caring for a baby grandchild. He had no milk to give the baby – we gave him 6,000 schillings (about $4) to buy milk for one month. The needs are endless and people are now saying the crisis far surpasses that of ’92."

Karl (KCC Director) echoed the concern: "there have now been deaths confirmed because of the lack of food in this area. The need seems to be getting desperate for many families. Our Kibaale staff are reporting that some of their crops are being stolen during the night, people are taking food from others in order to survive. It looks like the situation may be getting worse than it was in Apr-June."

I realize that we have asked previously for donations during this crisis and the response was very good. I feel obligated, however, to let you know of the desperation which now surrounds the Kibaale Community Centre.

Please Pray:
1. For rain to fall
2. For crops to grow
3. For wisdom for the staff in Kibaale as they are dealing with heartbreaking situations daily.
4. That KCC will continue to be a light in a very dark time for those living in the community.

Financial Situation:
The last of the money donated earlier in the year will be used up within the next ten days, however the need continues to grow. We have set a target of $75,000 to be used over the next three months to assist the desperately needy. Any donations will be greatly appreciated Please contact Heather at the PAOS office, 604-634-3159 or email
info@kibaale.com if you have any questions or would like to give.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No public washroom

Story of the day:

So yesterday night, I was coming home and had to go really bad. I get off the Skytrain at Broadway, and went to the A&W, knowing that they only allow customers to use the bathroom. With this in mind, I buy an apple pie (well, hot apple turnover, according to their menu). I'm told that it will take 5 minutes to prepare (what kind of fast food dessert snack takes 5 minutes???). Then I'm told that the washroom is out of order.

Great.

So I wait my 5 minutes (I paid $1.05 for that thing!) and give the pie to someone looking for money outside. Then I rush over to the McDonald's down the street (why does the red light have to come on just as I arrive at the crosswalk...) and buy an apple pie there. Then I ask to be buzzed into the bathroom. Just as I get to the bathroom, someone else enters it first! Argh! I wait for 10 minutes, and the guy doesn't come out?? Time flies when you gotta go, I didn't even notice how much time had passed. I could only think of how badly I needed to go.

Finally, I rush back to the counter, and the girl's all smiley, handing me my apple pie. No, no, I explain, I need to get into the handicap washroom, the guy still hasn't come out of the male one. I rush into the handicap washroom and experience relief.

Altogether, I had to hold for over half an hour. It was horrible.