East Africa has been making headlines all over the world recently for a variety of different reasons…
The Uganda Cranes are taking on Kenya tomorrow in what promises to be a very interesting football game qualifier for the African cup (which Uganda hasn’t been in for over 30 years – and they are in with a good shot this time!).
Wangari Muta Maathai the inspirational Kenyan Nobel peace prize winner sadly died. It’s wonderful to see how many people across the world honour her and her work and to know that many more trees are being planted in her memory. Check out her incredible greenbelt movement and why not get out there and plant a tree or two yourself?
Land grabbing in Uganda has also been making the news. The fact that over 20,000 Ugandan people have been forced out of their homes to make way for a British forestry company is utterly shocking. Land grabs have been becoming more and more common the world over since the 2008 food price crisis. Check out Oxfam’s land grab report to find out more and think about raising your voice to demand justice for the people being affected and fair business practices in future land purchases!
Even closer to where Salve is based is the beautiful Mabira forest, which is also at risk of being land grabbed and cleared to make way for sugarcane plantations. The Salve family went there on a trip in January this year and we are all against the forest being cut down – why not join the online campaign to save the forest with us?
Our work at Salve may not be making the newspaper headlines – but we are really thrilled about it and how we are growing. This week we confirmed our participants for our new carpentry program and they are all really excited to get a chance to learn a new skill and work themselves out of poverty! Our new street drop in centre is looking brilliant with a fresh coat of paint – we can’t wait to open the doors to it very soon! We’re even interviewing for a new Ugandan volunteer to join the team on Monday – it’s going to be a busy week! And for Sunday we want to wish all the students taking the Pestalozzi scholarship exams with us the best of luck!
Finally I want to leave you with a story that helps to epitomise what Salve means to me. This week one of the members of the Mafubira women’s group came to the group with a problem. She has many debts to pay, but one of her children had become really sick and malnourished and she didn’t have enough money to pay for food or treatment for them despite her bead earnings (which she had to use to try to clear her debts). The other members of the group are all really struggling for money themselves, but decided to do a whip round where each woman could give what she had to help her and her baby out. You would never hear this kind of story in the media – but I think it’s an incredible example of the kind of community or family spirit that makes working with Salve so rewarding.
One last thing before I finish (I promise) – this beautiful photo of the children at home enjoying art and crafts with Uncles Ben and Neil deserves to be shown too! Have a wonderful week!