Easing the trauma
How BMS has helped dozens of people made homeless on the Nakawa estate in Kampala, Uganda
In July we reported how the Ugandan government evicted 17,000 people from a poor area of the capital, Kampala, because it is designated for commercial development.
A BMS relief grant of £3,000 assisted the Baptist Union of Uganda (BUU) in distrbuting aid to 100 people made homeless by the mass clearance.
BMS mission workers Deb and Dug Benn have been involved in practically helping those left with very little in Nakawa.
Dug writes, “Some people travelled back to their family villages, even though they may have never lived there. Others have found somewhere closer to settle. However, even those who found a home still had no belongings.”
Going for seconds
Each family helped by BUU received bags of beans and posho (maize flour), two cooking pans, a cup and plate, a jerry can to carry water, a blanket and a mosquito net.
Whilst Pastor Peter Mugabi from Nakawa Baptist Church organised a registration system to try and ensure that the most needy would receive the help, sadly this scheme was not always fool-proof.
Deb says, “One man who came round for the second time was very shocked when I recognised him, denying completely that he’d already collected a share of food and equipment.
“I reminded him that he should get a better belt – it’s not difficult to remember someone who started to lose his trousers when lifting the bags… twice!”
Faith and friendship
A woman, aptly named Faith, asked Deb to hold her baby whilst she gathered her things. “We spoke with her for a while”, says Deb. “Her baby, James, was just under a week old and she also has two year-old twins – Elijah and Elisha. (Pictured: Deb with baby James)
“Her husband left her when she refused to have an abortion having become pregnant with baby James. She and her babies had been able to shelter at a nearby Pentecostal church but now had been told they would have to move on.”
Rose, who works in the BUU women’s department, was particularly moved by meeting with Faith, and has stayed in touch offering friendship as well as immediate relief.
Deb adds, “Faith has now found somewhere to live and is slowly replacing the roof to give proper shelter to her children.”
Pray that the practical and spiritual witness of Christians may continue to have a positive impact in this traumatic situation.