2014 has been an amazing year. Early in the year we made a decision to start our sustainability programs rather than bringing in another 35+ children right away. The reason being, many of the children we are choosing are sick and for us not to give them protein and the other nutrients they need, it would have hindered their development. These are a few of the programs that are in progress at the moment.
Thanks to everyone who donated towards our chicken project. We were able to purchase and successfully raise 1000 layers and 1,650 broilers so far. The layers will be laying eggs very soon and the broilers are selling as fast as we can raise them. David has established a good market for selling our eggs, in fact so good, we are thinking about just raising layers in the future. The children will also benefit from the protein they so desperately lack.
We recently planted a large passion fruit garden that will be starting to produce fruit in the near future. Our gardens are full of vegetables and greens and our maize crops are the best yet. We were able to store some for future use.
As soon as the concrete poles and chain link is installed, the 200 goats will be purchased and we can start raising them to sell. The sale of meat on the international market will be another source of income to help with our costs, and in time these goats will multiply. Thank you again Thomas for this wonderful donation.
In the meantime, it is the Christmas season and we truly rejoiced. We shared the story about the birth of Jesus with many and at the same time were able to feed both the elderly and the children with soup from the Gleaners.
We have been blessed once again by Northview Community Church. Funds have been put in place for us to complete our second children's home along with funding to finish our team apartment. All of us at Home of Angels thank you very much for caring and hope you will be one of those teams to visit one day.
Edwin's father (75 years old) has generously volunteered to let us use his 30 acres to raise goats. In order for that to happen, we have had to set up concrete poles and chain link on 7 of those acres to keep them contained. We had 3 trucks of concrete posts and 4 trucks loaded with chain link make it's way through blinding dusty roads to his remote village north of us. George was there to meet each truck to help unload, while his village friends were working to install the fence. No one asked for wages as George had planned to pay them in food that he himself planted in his gardens.
George also planted a banana plantation for me a year ago. He planted 300 trees and it will reproduce to 600 trees in a period of 2 years. Once he heard we had two ovens, he assumed I would need bananas in Uganda to make banana bread. I have started and have it almost perfected. I am now in the process of teaching our girls to bake this bread and with the results I am seeing, they might have a little business going here one day. It's better than mine.......
Our little Ivan is so excited to be able to go to school in February. Edwin is working with him to teach him is ABC's and his 123's. The other kids are also working hard with him every day to teach him the basics. He is now one of our "angels" and will get lots of help to catch up.
Our showers went in last month thanks to Sandra Sequira and her friends. What a blessing this was for the kids. Jowell wanted to experiment first and feel the water falling on her. It's amazing what we take for granted in the Western world.
We had a HUGE Christmas party for the little people in our community. Only the little ones were invited. We started preparing the Gleaner food the night before and at 6am, we met together again in the cookhouse to finish cutting the cabbage and onions. Guess who got the onions?? Aunty Aidha and Aunty Joy love working for us and continue to give endless hours in helping the less fortunate.
We have 20,000 children in our immediate area. I was so worried how Edwin would ever pull this off without a riot. We could only invite approximately 100 kids but little did I know Edwin had a plan. He went to one area and told the mothers that he needed 40 children. They all knew him so 40 appeared within minutes. No one knew where they were going but because it was Uncle Edwin, they trusted and followed.
By the time we finished, a total of 177 kids had eaten and enjoyed a soda. Before they ate, Edwin told the story of Jesus and how it was His birthday today. That's why they were there....to celebrate His birthday. He explained the importance of the meaning of Christmas and as he spoke there was silence. Sula, one of our workers then preceded with a prayer to bless the food.
OK, your right....I was having far too much fun here. Every one of these kids said thank you and were the happiest we had ever seen them. Next year we will definitely do this again but increase the numbers to 250 children and also show the Jesus video. The rains came this year so we were unable to do that.
Now it was time for our 2nd Christmas party for our Home of Angels kids. Again with balloons, meat, rice, matoke and soda, they were so grateful. Little Alan even say "fankyou" three times.
Thanks to a generous donor, the elderly and mentally challenged home just down the road from us had the chance to celebrate with food at Christmas also. The oldest gentleman in the front is 96 years old and this was his first real Christmas. He insisted because he was so old that he get 2 sodas. No one argued.
We would like to express our thanks to all of you, whether it be following our journey, donating to special projects, sponsoring a child or just helping me with a banana bread sale...."Thank you".
We have a wonderful team of people that are very dedicated and we are so grateful to you all.
Please remember that as of January 1, 2015, all donation and sponsor cheques are to be written to TOIS. You can send them to the same address which can also be found at the top of the blog under donations.
God bless all of you and we wish you all a very Happy New Year 2015.