Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Visits in Rubingo

We have just returned to Mbarara and Canada House after spending a very busy but rewarding four days in Rubingo. We made home visits to the Bitengye ladies living in that area, met with students who are being sponsored by Kitambaa and friends of Kitambaa, were treated to a performance by the Hope Choir, made up entirely of HIV positive individuals, and of course, we visited Alice and went to see how progress is being made on her new sewing school. It was so exciting to see the Bitengye ladies again. We had hugs all around, and then they served us ginger beer and told us about how much their lives have changed in the last year, now that they are earning an income. Many have been able to buy a plot of land, several bought chairs for their homes, and several more bought a table. Three had bought beds, so no longer have to sleep on mats on the floor. One bought a cow, one is paying school fees for two siblings and another is putting her daughter through tailoring school. So you can imagine the celebratory air of the gathering. I think most poignant for me was Anna's comment - "We left our miseries behind in Ruharo" (the location of Canada House and the workshop). As for Alice's school (pictured here), it has five rooms, including one large classroom, one small display and sales area, and three bedrooms, one for Alice and the others will be dormitories for her students. The building up to and above the windows has been completed, and now it awaits more funding to buy the metal sheets for the roofing. I've told Alice that she will need to make more bags!! We were so impressed by all these women had accomplished in the last year, and will tell you more in later blogs.


  1. Incredible stories, Pippa!!I love the photo of Alice and her school in progress. It is a stark reminder of our blessings here to learn that it takes a year of hard work sewing to purchase the things we take for granted, like simple furniture. It is great to hear about the different ways these women are supporting their families with their sewing enterprise. Thanks for the updates!

  2. These stories are so encouraging - seeing the reality of the concrete changes in the ladies' lives must be a thrill. I have asked that my husband take the budget for my next-week birthday and make a donation to ACTS for your work there. I will email you separately about the amount; direction for which person/project to support will emerge as your stories are posted for the next month.