A wheelchair for Sarah

Joel and Sarah

You may have seen from previous posts, that New Forest Aquaponics CIC is working with Joel Odongo in Eastern Uganda and TANU.  This bit of help I am very pleased to have been involved in. 

One of the people that TANU ( Transformation Agency Network Uganda ) is supporting is Sarah Ajiko. She is 28 and trained in tailoring.  At the moment she has been living with her grandparents, in the Teso region of Eastern Uganda. 

She has a disability that she was born with.  Persons with disabilities account for 8.5 percent of Ugandans. Most live on UGX 2,400 per person per day which is equal to 50p.  The Ugandan government has just produced The persons with Disabilities Act 2020, with the aim of getting more help to people like Sarah. I asked Joel who runs TANU about it and how much help was really available. Joel is a very polite man, I cannot write his reply. 

TANU now have built their youth training rooms, and are excited to start the next phase which is training the young persons who come to them with skills that they can use to earn a living to support themselves, and families and TANU so they can continue helping others to develop skills. 

Sarah has amazing sewing skills, and has the ability to teach the others to sew. using a hand cranked sewing machine. But to do that she needs to have a wheelchair, her grandfather cannot carry her for ever. And she will need to move to TANU from her village, so a plan to achieve this has been put in place. 

I am super pleased to report the first stage of this plan has been achieved with the help of a few people here in the UK. 

Joel had applied for a wheelchair for Sarah from Father Heart Mobility Ministry – who give out wheelchairs for free, check out their work http://fathersheartmobility.org/home

The only problem was that they fit the wheelchairs to each person, making sure they know how to care for the chairs and that the fit is comfortable. That meant a journey of 300 plus miles each way.  To make this achievable for Sarah, they needed to be able to take the faster, better, safer coach.  This was going to cost them far more money than they had, and they had already delayed the journey once and stood the chance of missing out on a chair for Sarah.

So I put out a request on FB, and a few amazing people donated to the cost of the journey. 

Sarah got her first wheelchair at the age of 28.  Thank you to those who made this possible.

On the coach to get the chair.

Joel and Sarah travelled the first day, they treated themselves to bread for lunch, a real treat!  Traffic was bad so they arrived too late to find somewhere to stay. It is not deemed to be safe to walk around many parts of Uganda at night especially in a strange place. So Joel made Sarah comfortable on the coach station seats and made sure she was safe for the rest of the night.  Being in town at first light meant they were first in the queue and by 11 am she had her chair and was fully fitted and shown how to care for it. 

Joel and I talk a lot via fb messenger, sometimes he is sad and worried, sometimes he is happy, but nothing like the call I got from both of them as she received her chair. 

Imagine someone in the UK not getting a wheelchair till they were 28? 

Now think about how much this will change her life. Not only does Sarah have the dignity of being off the ground without someone holding her, she can come to Tanu and work and teach others with the aim of being able to support themselves as a group and individuals.  

Changing Sarah’s life is helping change the lives of those around her. 

Tanu are making ramps to make sure Sarah can get into all the buildings, and have been collecting materials to make her a small home at the skills centre.  Normally for homes they use rammed earth floors, they have made one in the skills centre, but for Sarah and her chair they would like to be able to give her a concrete floor. 

If you would like to help with the next stage of Sarah’s journey the cost of the cement is around £45. You can make a donation here.   

 https://donorbox.org/cement-for-tanu-uganda

We pass all monies directly to TANU, once her home is built we will need to get her a hand cranked machine as hers was stolen last year. Any extra towards the cost (import tax and delivery of the machine has to be paid) would be a huge help.

Meet the youth at TANU

See the purses that were sent here

https://thewatercressqueen.wordpress.com/2021/09/13/transformation-advocacy-network-uganda-tanu/

We have been sent 4 purses to raise funds for TANU. When they arrived they were accompanied by lots of letters.

These have been written by the youth who use the skills centre.

They were written for them to introduce themselves, and I would like to share them with you.

Although we might read them as begging, they are not, all they want is help for the skills centre so they can continue to learn – most of them have not been to school, or had to leave when very young.

For me the most powerful aspect I wish to share is that every person on this planet has the right to equal opportunities.

What those opportunities are and how they should be shared out across the globe is something we need to address. Equalling doesn’t have to be ‘upwards’ it can’t be if we are to regenerate our biosphere to redress the damage we have done.

Let’s look at how we achieve equality differently.

Hello Lucie
Greetings to you back this way Am also pushing on fairly and the family is brisefly Am Susan aged 20 years a female from Soroti. Adamasiko A student at  TANU doing weaving and making of local bathing sponges to sell to earn a living I am an orphan I lost my father last month one of HIV/AIDS. Where I am now struggling with life with my mothers and the rest of my siblings being the first bourne of the family. 
I kindly request your assistance supporting my vision of selling my products to other countries. 
I will be very grateful and waiting to hear from you. 

Susan 07
Hello Lucie 
Greeting to you from (TANU) here in Uganda we are faily doing well and we are so great for the wonderful support you sent to us to support the training in the skills centre, we were able to receive camera, pencils, mark pens, colour pencils, Art books, chalks and pairs of scissors, we are so thankful and because these items did a great job to us. 
We look forward to hear from you and we shall be very grateful for more support from you.
Hello Lucie 
Greettings to you in Jesus name Back to me I am also doing fairly. I am salume Anyudd aged 19 years from eastern region Teso, Soroti Dalabela Ojom Adamasiko learning weaving from TANU Skills centre, right now I am pregnant and the country is locked down again due to covid 19 which will give our work of weaving  difficult again. I there feve ask for support so I can continue doing this to earn a living. 

Thank you 
Yours faithfully

 Anyudd Salume
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jeues Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic. 

Am Sharon female aged 27 years from Teso region in Soroti, Adamasiko, ojorm. Am a student of Tanu doing weaving in order to support me to earn a living.  Am a total orphan without parents and all my siblings died. Struggling to look for ways for support. I kindly request for your support that I can be able to make purses to earn a living. 
Today our country is on lockdown for more two month period whereby I look forward seeing that I continue making purses in order to make a living. 

Thank you 

Yours faithfully

Acorn Sharon
Helo Lucie and friends   I great you in the almight name.  Am called Okello Ames aged 24 years old. A resident a damasilko ojom as well as a student in TANU. Am am half cursed. My dad is Langi and my mum is an Itosot by tribe. We are 10 (ten) in number in our family 4 boys and 4 boys and 2 parents.In Tanu am doing handcraft work by making wallet beads and clothes. But things are not working well due to covid – 19 epedermic is affecting our work as i talk now new lockdown has been set from 2 day for 2 months where by life is going to be hard because markets, transport, schools are closed. As me , I need help from you my friend so that I continue harzoling with life. Thank you

Yours faithfully okello Ands
Hi Friends in the UK ( Lucie & Robbie)
How are you?

I am proud of you and your support and future willingness to come and visit us. 

I am Oliavito John, an orphan and now doing hand / money purses weaving to support living here in the village. 

So, I am seeking for a friend who can support us to move our project of making hand purses. 

I look forward to hear from you. 

Wishing you all the best 

John
Uganda Africa
Warm greetings to you lucie , I congratulate you for your daily roles as mama and in your workplace. Am Sarah Acango aged 25 years. Am a single mother with 3 children.I was forced into early marriage due to some circumstances when i was still young (16 yrs) but i divorced my husband when he failed to fulfil family needs and end up beating me and that made me to divorce him. But as per now am doing small business weaving work and in the evening I make porridge at the centre where by learn living and for taking care of my children. But I need some help so that i continue running up my small business

Thank you 

Yours faithfully 

Acango Sarah
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side 
Things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic
Am Gabriel Obol aged of 24 years from Teso region in Soroti Adamasiko ojom Am mechanics instructor at Tanu learning teaching in order to support that I can be able to do teaching to earn a living
Today our country is on lockdown
For more two month period whorbs I look forward seeing that I continue doing teaching in order earn a living teacher

Thank you 
Yours faithfull

Gabriel Obol

Transformation Advocacy Network Uganda – TANU

I met Joel Odongo online via ecobricks. He could see how much plastic there is in Uganda and would love to be able to do something about it. But as with everything in life sometimes we have to do lots of groundwork before we can look at achieving our goals. And that has been very true of Joel. You can read the first post I did about him and the TANU youth centre here

One of the goals we have with working with them is to find a way of creating an income for TANU so they can support more young people to learn the skills to earn a living, support themselves and their families.

Now they have built there skills centre, they can start the real work they wish to achieve. Building the skills centre took all of there money, (thank you to those of you who helped with the last bit of cement) , so they are going to be baking cookies to sell locally. They have found this helps to get the centre known within the local village and is teaching skills – cooking, selling, money management and working together. All very import things to learn.

And this is where I need to ask for your help. To test the post between Uganda and the UK, back in the spring they posted a small packet of four purses they had made.

They are made using plastic beads, in traditional patterns, using traditional weaving techniques. They made linings with zip pockets, on the one treadle sewing machine they have – we hope to get more of them for them in due course.

The next purses they make will be with natural plant fibre weaving – which they have been learning to make.

But to kick start the whole process they need to be able to purchase the ingredients to make the cookies. For every £3.50 of ingredients they can make a profit of around £1.50 which will go to buy the supplies to make the purses.

If you would like to buy one of these purses they would be super grateful. I think £20 each would be a perfect amount ( plus £3.50 postage) You can order one using this link a https://donorbox.org/purses-from-tanu

Please let me know which one you would like – but please understand their is only the four in the picture.

The four purses
Inside

And if you would like to know more about the people who made the purses check out their letters

Determination

9th July 2021

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This was first published on The Watercress Queen page – we managed to get £60 to Joel And they managed to get the cement on time.

They have now finished the youth centre but do need on going support if you would like to donate we will pass the money on to them.

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What do you need if you want to provide a youth centre for young people, to equip them with skills for life, a trade they could use to earn a living, and a place to make friends?Here in the UK you need DETERMINATION. You would need to find a building to use, funding to pay for the bills and the running costs. Including wages for adults to work with you, and for any equipment you may need. What if you want to build that youth centre in Uganda?You still need that DETERMANTION. But how different would it be?Firstly save until you can buy your plot of land £3000 ish. Then start working together to make by hand the bricks that you need to build the centre. Not a quick process, as you need to make about 20,000 bricks, then fire them. Then you have to save up for the cement, the stones for the floor and tin for the roof. You have to have enough to pay the instructor who can help you build. You know this will take time, but you have determination. You have rented a couple of rooms so you can start working with the youth, some of whom are young pregnant girls, some of whom are orphans. All of whom are keen to learn and are determined to help themselves. Then covid hits your community again, and this time your landlady has said she needs the rooms back at the end of lockdown. What do you do?You build your youth centre!!! How amazing are these guys? Led by Joel (my friend), they got the bricks they had made to the right place, an instructor to guide them through the build. You dig the 20 ft deep hole for the toilet – 5 years worth apparently! And you start building. In contrast I have just packed my 18 year old off for a weekend camping trip with a group of teens. As they went with all the tech they can’t live without, fairy lights and one of the mums to put the tent up……The Ugandians are amazing and so so determined! But they have run out of cement – can we help? A bag of cement costs about £6, or UGX 29425.65. They need about 10 more bags. I have set up a donation link for them, if you are able to help them even with just one bag, they would be really grateful, there is no big funding pot they can apply to. The long term goal is for them to be self-sustaining and earn their own money. We have started on that plan, the build has had to be brought forward so caught us all on the hop.

https://www.facebook.com/4TANU

https://donorbox.org/cement-for-tanu-uganda