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1 mama & 29 kids on 29 sqm, Real Life Children's Initiative 2/3

Funding: 10 USD Isabelle Kardelind; 20 USD Paulina Wilson & Anders Bäckman; 51 USD Moa Åström; 51 USD Linda Hammar; 97 USD Till Smigay (Germany)

This was a great day! We went back to the Real Life Children’s Initiative home. Fredrik and two friends from the backpackers hostel, Luise and John. This was great to get some help from other foreigners, engaging and helping out in this project, showing our treasure and discovery of the value of giving. It is so fun.

We set of on our bicycles all three of us, Luise borrowing Christian’s because he had some errands so he could not come.

We find our ways though the crowded, noisy and chaotic traffic with boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) and matatus (killers/taxibuses). Bicycles and motorvehicles with an amazing amount of cargo. Best one so far is a motorcycle with a 2,5x1 m glass for a truck and two persons, the passenger in the back holding on to it straight up.

It is really fun cycling in this, as long as you are not scared and as long as no one gets hurt. You may think it is strange, but it is a bit of a rush, knowing there are so many accidents, but we made it today once more without crashing. Am I disturbed thinking this way? Have I changed? A lot has happened in four weeks, so yes maybe I have changed a bit.

We arrive at the supermarket and start making a great pile of washing buckets, soap, washing powder, biscuits, maize flour, a ball, floor mops, buckets, school books, pencils and a lot more. Then we ask for a discount and they say no, even if we buy half the store and even if we walk of to another store they do not do discounts, it really surprises us since you can bargain your way on most stuff in this culture.

We reach the orphanage and some of the children recognise us and greet us happily but probably doesn’t really know what to expect, since they did not get much from us in the last visit. We also meet our contacts from Real Life Children’s Initiative there, Meddie and the administrator Nasser. I spend allmost the whole day with Nasser on my side and I get a very honest and good impression of him. They are not asking for much and sometimes he tells me that they do not need things we want to buy for the childrens home.

We want to start right away, so we ask them to take out all the kids belongings so we can clean the place up. We also take out a bed. Then we clean the wall and also the floor. We talk about painting the walls but later decide not to because they really need a bigger building and they are trying to get help from the ministry and maybe they will move within a year. So instead we arrange the beds differently, making it much more easy to move in and out of the rooms. We also get a carpenter to help us, for most parts he has tools, but skills… well it is probably like in most countries…

So we come up with the idea of a shelf hanging in ropes, because the walls are really cheap and week so we can’t put screws in them. Adding to the fact you can hardly find screws in Africa. We also don’t want stuff to stand on the floor, making it difficult to clean the place.

So we go to a place a block away to buy boards. We also buy nails (they have four kinds and no screws). After that we visit the welder. We ordered four new levels for the bunk beds yesterday and he is almost done. We give him some more money so that he can buy the last materials needed to complete the project.

We get a big sheet of a colorful wax cloth (instead of painting the walls) to make the room more fun. We change a big board in the door of which is half rotten or eaten by some insect from the look of it. We also get a new supporter for the kitchen roof.

Or kitchen, it is basicly a patched tin roof and two half walls leaning in towards the house, no normal swede would ever define this as a kitchen, it more looks like a chicken house with some pots in a corner and someone has at some point had a fire here in this small shed. But no, this is not Sweden, this is Uganda and this are 29 abandoned children being fed daily from this fireplace. So this time, the shed is the kitchen.

You may also be interested in the fact that these kids are living next door to a prostitute, not in the same house but literally 3 m from their door. And we do not need to ask about this, we can see she is. Half naked with a messy hair and some make up. After what we hear prices starts at half a dollar for this service and up, in the package there is of course the bonus possibility of a life changing experience, since almost all prostitutes here have HIV. There are also drunk men coming and going during the day, some 50 steps from the children’s home are the toilets, yes the same toilets being used by the bar and there guests which is on the other side of the toilet facilities. Just imagine being nine years old and you have to share going to the bathroom with drunk men going to prostitutes every day. Rise and shine!

If you look to the left of this picture you see the bar and you also see John cycling and all the kids love to chase him in this rubbish dump style yard by the toilet facilities.

Actually it is a dump, this whole area, it is trash everywhere, and I tell the guys of the organisation of real Life childrens initiative that they should get bags to put all the litter in so it looks and smells better. They ask me what I mean and then I see that what we are standing on is for for the much part just trash and dirt and trash again.

This is the worst place we have visited but the good part is that it is a little nicer now compared to when arrived. And we actually feel proud over the small things we did today.

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