Saturday, 19 July 2008


It seems a long time since I updated you all on the progress of One Step At a Time.
We can now say we are 4 months old and we continue to move forward and change the lives of so many people.

In Uganda more than 20 children are finishing their first term in school and we are so proud of all of them. They go to 2 schools in the area, Amballa and Lira 7. They are the 2nd and 3rd best out of the 7 schools in the area and both head teachers are so happy with our children. They are attending school every day and participating fully in school life.

Some evenings and each weekend they come to our building where they share their stories and shave their heads have some good healthy food and enjoy being part of the One step at a Time family. The children who do not yet have sponsors are clearing land and getting it ready to plant, cooking food, doing washing, cleaning the house, receiving councelling and learning many life skills preparing for the day when they too will go to school which is their most important wish. Staff visit each school weekly to monitor the childrens’ progress and happiness.

We have one very sad story to share. We took one boy from school to live with us back in our office as he was not coping and has struggled to live with the trauma of his past. He saw his mother murdered when the rebels burned his village and abducted him and his siblings who he has never seen since. On his escape he was set on fire but managed to get to Lira town where he lived on the street for 3 years alone with these memories. The last few weeks have been difficult, as his behaviour changed and he was influenced by some older bad boys from the street. He has been detained by the police and we find that the gang had robbed a woman in the street. He was not involved, but implicated by his presence and must adhere to the Uganda law. We think this new trouble has enabled him to start to speak about his trauma, which he has not been able to do, even in his counseling sessions. The shock of this has brought everything to the fore and I quote from his latest letter which may shock you.

‘’Sandra and Moses gave me so much love and now I think I have spoiled it. God did not make me a bad boy. It was only when the rebels took me and made me to kill my friends and eat human body. My head burns and then I do a bad thing’’

I tell you this to show you the kind of situations we are dealing with and how committed we are to not just taking the easy route but will love and support these kids who have lost all hope of a future.

Trustees and staff are totally committed to getting this boy and others like him to a place of peace where they can grow and make a great contribution to the future of Uganda.

I am being trained, at no cost to us, by Sue, a local therapist, in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which helps to relieve the trauma. I will pass this on to children and staff as a coping mechanism when times are difficult.

Let’s cheer things up with a great story about a homeless 15 year old and his mother. He sleeps on the street and his mother sleeps wherever she can each night. He comes to us every day for love, food, clothing and teaching. During a conversation he stated that he could build a house. The staff questioned him and were so impressed with his determination that we gave him the money for materials. That boy has almost finished a mud and grass hut for his mother and is so, so proud. We are also so proud that we have found a very kind sponsor, Helen, who will pay for him to do a 2 year carpentry course.

That is another 2 lives turned around because of the generosity of ordinary people in this country.