Friday, December 21, 2018

Would You Like to Help Paint an Orphanage? Help Feed Children In Uganda?

Idah Mhangye (center) when Santa visited Samaritan's Way last year.
In early 2017 I was introduced to a young man who at the age of nine months was left on a sidewalk so that he never knew his parents. He was raised at an orphanage in Uganda. When the orphanage closed in his teen years, he lived a foraging kind of life near a university. His soccer skills were quite developed so that he received a scholarship there. He had also became skilled at drawing and painting, which drew him to my own attention when he was here in the Northland. Cheerful and gregarious, Steveboyyi won a lot hearts while he was here. Had there been no home to take him in, he would have certainly perished.

Samaritan's Way, 2017. (Click to enlarge)
There is much brokenness in the world, but those who suffer most are often orphans, people with disabilities, vulnerable women and the elderly.

The visit from Santa warmed many hearts. (Click to enlarge)
We in America are often forgetful of how blessed we have been and unaware of how even our smallest gifts can make an enormous impact in a Third World culture. It was through Steveboyyi, who is now back in Kampala, Uganda, that I learned of an orphanage run by the Hon. Idah Mehangye. A Graduate Teacher by profession, Idah has briefly studied at Oxford and in India, and served in the 7th Parliament of Uganda for 5 years (2001-2006), Representing Kamwenge District. She was later appointed Resident District Commissioner (RDC), by the President for 5 years, 2006-2011.

Her passion to help women and children, especially the vulnerable like the orphans, led her to start Samaritans Way Kindergarten four years ago with the help of her family. The support for this orphanage comes from her husband Henry and their six children. "A few friends chip in once in a while," she says, with gratitude.

When I asked Idah for details on the children's home and how they are funded she replied, "We have 45 children between three and six years. We currently have no regular revenue source or specific funding." As indicated, family and friends have helped support the Orphanage.

"Others are very welcome to contribute by supporting with regular funding for food and general upkeep; and by supporting or sponsoring individual children," she said, adding, "We also would appreciate regular Prayers for the Orphanage."

Samaritan's Way is not affiliated with a larger bureaucracy so that whatever money is sent will go directly to the children and Samaritan's Way, minus cost of sending.

When I sent a note to Idah that I was writing this blog post she thought some additional info might be helpful.

Two things you may want to know. One is what inspired me to start an Orphanage. My sister Margaret's husband died of HIV/AIDS. Margaret died six months later. They left two young girls. Henry and I took them on. I realized that there are many such helpless orphans who need help, especially education to enable them live to their full potential. Thus we started the home.

The second thing is our biggest challenges are food for the kids, plus rent and general upkeep of the kids including health care. This does not include stationery, utilities, overhead costs or staff emoluments.

What triggered me to want to create this blog post was a desire to raise funds for a painting project. There is a need to paint some areas of the children's home. Steveboyyi has volunteered to do the work, so all we need is $200 for paint. But to be quite frank, I would not want to see the buildings look nice and have the children hungry, and you probably feel the same, so I don't know what to say here. If you wish to designate funds for food or medical needs, great!

Essentially I am pointing out a need. These kinds of needs are everywhere. Maybe some of you reading this have wanted to give in a manner that you know makes a difference, but aren't sure how. As I've gotten to know Idah and Steveboyyi, I can tell you the needs are real and none of the money will go to accountants and organizations with staff folk driving fancy cars.

If you are a member of a church, you may wish to bring Samaritan's Way to the attention of your Mission Board. A small contribution goes a long ways.  (Am hoping this seed will find some good soil!)

If you want to get connected, send me a note: ennyman3 AT gmail DOT com
or you may also contact Idah directly to Idah Mehangye idah.mehangye AT gmail DOT com

Thanks for reading, and sharing this post with your friends.

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