Returning to Uganda this summer has evoked a variety of emotions in me. Being greeted by the team with warm hugs and recognizing the families and children has made me feel “at home” in a very short period of time. There are a few changes that are super exciting. The new SOH centre in Kangulumira is absolutely wonderful! It is beautifully decorated and has ample space to treat children on a regular basis. Having a home base for the team for meetings, paperwork, and treatment is a real blessing! Some of the children have made great gains and some have regressed due to illnesses and untreated epilepsy. This is the devastating part. After going through my photos with the team, I realized that there was a substantial number that are now deceased a year later. I assumed when returning, that some children would pass away due to their complicated medical histories but not to this alarming number. Unfortunately the causes were mostly due to untreated illnesses and malnutrition. After spending some time thinking about this horrific tragedy, I came to think about the wonderful work that SOH is doing and how much they need the support and prayers of fellow Christ-followers. The SOH team works very hard to try to ensure these children have a higher quality of life than they had previously. I am truly blessed to be able to work with such an amazing team and know that God is using their strengths and abilities to serve those in need. Proverbs 14:31 says “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” Thanks Moses, Charles, Teresha, Mawazi & Emma for your hard work and reaching out to the needy!
Melanie Gushnowski, Returning Canadian Volunteer