Caroline’s Kids: The Middle of a Story in Uganda

They are not her biological children, but they are growing up in her household. These kids are here because their mothers came to Caroline’s as a place of peace, safety, and health. Caroline is a widow with older children, but she embraces her life’s challenges as avenues through which God demonstrates his love and provision for her. She is smart and generous, wise and joyful. The children here, mostly young girls, are learning more than the difficult tasks of daily life in rural northern Uganda. They are witnessing a powerful story unfold – a story where they matter. It’s a story where they are not extras. They may be small, but they are surrounded by people who are fighting for them.

 

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The Kids
It’s our privilege to introduce you to some of them. All of them work hard. All of them are curious. All of them have dreams.
Elizabeth is the oldest. Like most eldest siblings, she looks out solemnly for the smaller ones, especially her little brother, Christopher, who is just old enough to sit up on his own. Elizabeth holds him, bathes him, plays with him, and carries him to their mother when he is hungry. When they go to fetch water she carries him on her back, even though she will also carry 40 lbs. of water on the return.

Sandra is the boldest. She carries water, helps keep the kitchen fire hot, and proudly offers the chicken she and her sisters chased down – for lunch. Keredia is her close companion, a little younger and always observing.

Topista is the most comfortable with visitors. She is always nearby, watching, dancing, or napping after a morning of hard work. Wendy is smaller and shy, but we watched her spend a good half hour ferociously beating open a fallen coconut with a stick and another half hour eating the spoils with Topista.

Their Best Chance
These kids are in some ways a lot better off than they were a few months ago. They lived with an abusive father before their mother came with them to Caroline’s home. They came here because they knew Caroline would take them in and that they would be safe. They also knew Caroline was respected in her community for the cleanliness of her home (among other things). They have a rain catchment tank in the rainy season and a safe water well not too far away. They have a clean latrine and a handwashing device. They have a drying rack and a private bathing area. These may seem like small amenities, but for women and girls, they mean safety and dignity – uncommon comforts for the rural poor. They also mean this family had the opportunity to be healthy and spend their time and money on other things.

 

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What is Caroline’s Biggest Goal? To send these girls to school.
They don’t have the money for it yet. But they have a small farm, and the women work tirelessly on growing corn and groundnuts. They hope to sell the excess produce and buy uniforms and supplies for every one of the girls. Because they are all healthy and don’t have to spend all day fetching safe water, productive work and school attendance is a real option.

Spending time with these kids, we saw so much life – a joyful energy that wasn’t there a few months ago. We’re also exploding with hope. These kids are amazing, and they deserve the chance to get an education.

We’re fighting for them.

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