Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Douglas grad’s Uganda home for children grows

Community Social Service Worker (CSSW) graduate Carli Travers and her husband Robert visited Douglas in September and did some fundraising for Abetavu Children’s Home, which they run in Uganda, Africa. They are now in the process of formally adopting the nine children they have taken in at the home and have two biological children. Carli recently sent out an update on what’s happening in their lives. Here are some excerpts from her November, 2009 newsletter:

By Carli Travers, Community Social Service Worker graduate

It was so wonderful to be able to come to Canada, share more about our family and projects and meet many of you face-to-face. We had great success through our silent auction, private presentations and private donations. We were able to raise over $10,000.

Thank you to everyone for all the support that you continue to give us. You play a very significant role in raising our children up and out of despair, giving them hope for a bright future.

We have expanded
Since we received enough financial support, we were able to reach our goal of renting a larger space for our education program. We now have a space with one large room, two small rooms, and two pit latrine toilets. We now have enough space for the 90+ students who now attend our free school.

A sad loss
Through the support of one of our contributors, we have been sending boys to school who were in desperate need of education. Sadly, six of the boys and the grandmother that we had arranged to care for them died in a flood. We were able to give them a respectable burial and small funeral so that they could be remembered in a special way.

Registering for NGO status
We are officially well into the registration process for NGO certification in Uganda. Through the support of our friends, we were able to hire a lawyer. We have met with family services who came and did a home visit and have approved our home. They have also signed care orders for Abetavu to be the legal guardians of all the children, and since we have had Julianna (left) the longest, they have approved us and signed the necessary papers for the adoption of Julianna. We are hoping to get a date in November with the Supreme Court to give the final approval for the adoption.

The next step
Since we have started the registration process with family services, we are now considered one of the child placement homes for abused, neglected, abandoned and orphaned children. We went to go and introduce ourselves to the reception centre where children are placed temporarily, before being assigned to a children’s home.

They have over 100 children, children who have suffered from being burnt with acid, children with cerebral palsy, children who have escaped child sacrifice; overall various forms of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

The need for all these children is to have a loving, nurturing, and stable family environment. The number of children that require this is exorbitant. We believe every child deserves the equal opportunity of a bright future, in a Uganda where no child is left behind.

We need to take the next step and raise the funds to purchase land and begin construction of our new facility. We need to bring more children out of destitution and into a family, where they will be cherished, loved and given a bright future.

The next step: building plans
We have met with an extremely qualified architect from Ireland, now based in Uganda, who is helping us cost out our building plans and design our site. He is helping put together the essential figures and layout of our proposed project site so that we can make a proper business presentation in order to raise the necessary funds.

We would greatly appreciate financial support for our children’s education outreach program:
· Breakfast for over eighty children: $150.00/month.
· Staff (teacher and assistant): $300.00/month.
· School building rent: $230.00/month.
· Writing books and educational tools: $200.00/3 month.
· Help towards the increase in our rent of the $350.00/month. (In total our rent is $1000.00/month.)

Our goal is to get each of our children permanently sponsored for $100.00 a month - this would be a very personal experience with emails, pictures and letters updated when possible.

So far we have had one of our children sponsored: Christie (left).

Tax deductible donations to support Abetavu Children’s Home can be made to DMI Ministries and sent to 32171 Ashcroft Drive, Abbotsford BC, V2T 5C7.