If we all do something small, something big happens by Lori Davidson
I am a grassroots kind of gal. I like to meet that one person. On a bus, on a plane, even when eating by myself at a restaurant I’ll strike up a conversation with another person. Therefore, when I hear about big national problems, it can be overwhelming. But if I can do a small thing, help one person… well then, I’m all in. I love the kids I have met each time I have been to Uganda. I went for the first time in 2012. The boys and girls had recently been rescued from the streets and were being fed, loved, and kept safe for the first time. Now in 2022, ten years later, they are young adults pursuing a higher education or a job. I watched them gathering together sharing stories like real brothers and sisters. You and I made that happen. We each have done a small thing and together we have made a big thing happen. The bible talks about being a cheerful giver. I love giving. When I see kids feel safe, or I talk with these Ugandan adults who passionately tell of their ideas to educate, love, train, and pray for the next generation, I want to help. My priorities shift, and that one life matters. If you are like me, you sometimes wonder why the country itself isn’t doing a better job…. But then I just decide to do my little thing and trust that with all of us doing it together it might turn the tide of the nation. Join me. Pick a number, and send it. I guarantee not a penny will be wasted and you can know you are making a difference. And if you want to hear more of the stories from any of my 4 visits, just call me. Lori Davidson @ 831-277-2153. And thank you!
Caleb’s Personal Reflection: I’m brought near tears when I think about the shared history of the first generation of kids at RUHU. Honey, Hanifah, Simon, Francis, Alex, Vincent, Hasifah, and several others. Today they are in their early twenties living on their own or at universities. But when we gather together for dinner, the years of persevering as kids and teenagers don’t seem long ago. They laugh together at how little they had in the past. William reminds them of when they would go without food during the fledgling years of RUHU before there was consistent funding.
These were the kids we fell in love with. These were the kids that made us want to respond beautifully. And as we were able to provide funding, these kids flourished. They got into good high schools, they began to believe that a life off of the streets was not only a possibility, it was a reality for them.
Today, Simon lays tile, one of the best post-pandemic industries to be in now in Uganda. Simon helped repair and lay new tile at the Boy’s House where we first met him.
Francis is working for a businessman in Entebbe who sells outdoor furniture locally and internationally. The work helps Francis support his family. He also received photography equipment through a Beautiful Response New Beginnings loan.
Joan is a fashion entrepreneur who is working on a plan to start her own business.
Stuart received a small business loan through Beautiful Response to start a small electronics repair shop. His store, not much bigger than a phone booth, is in Kampala.
Alex, Honey, Hanifah and many others are still in school finishing degrees in law, finance, and agriculture.
When I was with them in February, I asked whether it was more difficult to be a child or an adult. They all answered in unison that being an adult was more difficult. Daddy Patrick and William did everything for us, they said. Now, they are figuring out how to pay their bills and make their way in the world. It’s harder, they say, being an adult.
I think, perhaps, they have forgotten about the days without food or when RUHU couldn’t afford shoes for school. That’s okay with me. I’m glad they can forget. Things are certainly still difficult for them. There are no easy paths in Uganda. But when I see them together and remember the past they share, I am profoundly proud of who they are, and I am profoundly grateful to have played a small part in their story.
Raising Up Hope (RUHU) has 23 young men and women enrolled in University and Technical/Institute programs. Their areas of study range from Law to Plumbing and everything in between. Beautiful Response will send almost $65,000 in 2022 to cover this tuition. Even the smallest donation helps big things happen!