“We can’t be everywhere with everyone, but this is excellent work. It’s great to be a part of something so special.”
Ron Kihara has a personal and passionate connection to Beautiful Response and the people of Uganda. As one of the very first board members at BR, Ron has seen our growth from two people with a passion to a thriving nonprofit organization.
Prior to working with Beautiful Response, Ron and his wife already had a connection to Uganda. “We had gone with a missionary, James Whitty, through Action International in 2010 and helped support an orphanage and school in Gulu.” Ron continued, “When Sonja and Caleb formed Beautiful Response, they knew about my connection with the country and asked me to join the board of directors…we shared a love for the Ugandan people.”
Ron has been to Uganda 9 or 10 times. He had many inspirational and encouraging stories, but one stood out above the rest. “As we were preparing for one of our trips to Uganda, one of the orphans at RUHU was cleaning up and getting ready for church. He electrocuted himself and tragically died. That changed the nature of our visit. Something you need to understand is the culture in Uganda is to shut down and not talk about tragedies. When we got to RUHU, we had a meeting with the staff, and they explained that. My wife is a marriage and family therapist, and she was able to coach them into allowing children to talk about their grief and feel their feelings about losing a friend and family member. We gathered with some of the extended staff and went around the table and allowed each person to talk about their own response to the tragedy. It was tearful; it was beautiful; it was healing. After that, we were able to gather supplies for the children to express their memories on paper of their lost brother. Some wrote stories and some drew pictures. We went out into the courtyard and the children were able to express their feelings in their own ways. We went back to RUHU a time after that and met with the staff. One of the teachers thanked us and expressed the impact that exercise made on their community and really showed them how to open up about how they are feeling.” Ron and his wife were able to create a lasting impact on the staff and children at RUHU by using the skills and abilities they already have. No matter who we are or what we do, we all have something we can share, even if it’s just offering a listening ear.
Furthering the mission of Beautiful Response is important to Ron because “It’s all about our faith in Christ and being Christ’s love in the world. That’s what we’re doing when we join hands with RUHU. We can’t be everywhere with everyone, but this is excellent work. It’s great to be a part of something so special.” Ron continued to say that one way of furthering Beautiful Response’s message is through our photos, videos, and messages. Ron noted, as someone who is legally blind, he doesn’t have the privilege of seeing the new website and posts from recent trips. “I have a recording of an interview I did with a gal the last time I was there, and I still listen to it periodically.” Maintaining those connections from his travels to RUHU is very significant to Ron.
Ron emphasized the importance of going to Uganda to build connections like he has been able to do. “Get over there as much as possible. It’s an arduous trip. The political climate is challenging. But it’s worth the journey.” He ended by saying that we should be working towards RUHU’s independence. “Anyway to keep them growing and thriving would be great.” Your personal and financial contributions are what make our mission possible.