Instead of merely helping individuals with their personal needs, our organization has moved to a form of international support that encourages community development--empowering our cooperatives to engage in developing not just their own lives and environments, but also those of their neighbors around them. The woman mentioned in this article, Regina, is a widow that our East African cooperatives have known for some time. Following their education on the importance of sanitary and finished toilets, this has been an area of need that they feel empowered to help others in--particularly those in who are in severe need, like Regina. Below, G.O.D. East Africa cooperative Peter Kimbugwe shares about a development project that he and fellow cooperative Francis Lubega participated in.
Statistics say that 3 million Ugandans have no toilet and over 13 million have unsanitary ones. Learning how to build safe and sanitary toilets is truly life-saving, and we are so proud of our cooperatives for taking initiative in this task!
Regina Namusisi, is a widow staying in a small house that was left behind for her by her late husband, in the outskirts of town. She is in her mid 60s, she once had a blood hypertension that led to a stroke causing her left side to be paralyzed; which made her weaker and vulnerable. She now moves around selling vegetables that she picks from farmers in order to earn a living. Regina, for some time, has been living without a latrine on her plot of land. After filling the one she had, she began using her neighbor’s. She had someone dig a 20 foot pit for her, but she still couldn’t afford to meet the requirements for covering and building a latrine. Because of this, her neighbors have begun complaining about it, saying that if their children fall in it, they will knock down her house.
Regina is now very happy that G.O.D. Int’l has raised some funds for buying building materials. Also, a local church has pledged to pay a potter for two days, provide food for the workers and someone to cook it. The community around her too was unable to participate in any way. So Francis, one of the G.O.D. Int’l cooperatives (and a skilled mason) and other two men did work. We hope that the community around us could be open to helping with development projects that would help those in need. Sadly, right now, very few care about the poor, weak, and less privileged, and seem to be more occupied with his or her own affairs. We have learned the importance of caring for our neighbor, as the bible teaches, and we hope that in our efforts to do this, others could be inspired to participate too.
Regina now is so happy to have a new latrine, and she is very thankful to G.O.D Int’l for assisting her in this matter.
Written by Peter Kimbugwe, Bombo Town, Uganda