Thursday, May 21, 2009

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson

The whole process of starting BULA Children's Home has been... well, it has been quite a process and I've learned a lot along the way. I've learned loads of Luganda, I've learned a lot about Ugandan government and the legal system, I've learned how to twist the knobs on my car battery before starting the engine, and I've learned that the children who are in our care have families.

We've known the children for years but in their previous orphanage they were forbidden to talk about their families. Some of the children even lived a few feet away from the houses where their families reside and were not allowed to talk to them. Now that they are in a safe environment the children started to talk. You can only imagine our surprise when the children spoke about brothers and sisters, Aunties and Jjajja (grandparent), even mothers and fathers.

Immediately BULA Children's Home set out to find the families. The process took time, but was relatively easy. About half the families live in the village of Gganda where St. Kizito Primary School is located. The other half of the families live in a village called Ntuuma, about 2 hours west of Kampala.

Contact was made... mpola mpola (Slowly slowly) and arrangements were organized for the children to go home for one or two weeks over their school holiday. Parents were overjoyed. Children were ecstatic. It was an amazing experience to be there while families were reunited after years of separation - in some cases guardians had not seen their children in 5 years.

I felt as if I was relearning the children who I thought I knew so well. Family resemblances were amazing. Tears of joy, hugs, and laughter filled the moments when guardians saw the children who they love and brothers and sisters were together again.

Keep checking the blog, as I will be writing more about reuniting the families. I will discuss child policy, vulnerable children, and describe the conditions of life for some of these families.

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