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Build a Home for Orphans in Uganda
$1,212 raised
121% of $1k goal
26 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jun 3, 2013
Hello, Friends!

As you may know, I spent the Spring of 2012 in northern Uganda doing an academic Peace Studies program with the School for International Training. There I had an opportunity to conduct a research project on the most vulnerable war-affecte
Hello, Friends!

As you may know, I spent the Spring of 2012 in northern Uganda doing an academic Peace Studies program with the School for International Training. There I had an opportunity to conduct a research project on the most vulnerable war-affected populations – people that had been forced into enormously congested, poverty-stricken internally displaced persons camps (IDP camps) as a result of a twenty-year-long violent insurgency. IDP camps are exactly like refugee camps, except that inhabitants are interned in their own country. The people I had the privilege to interview are still stranded in the camps, though the camps themselves have been dismantled now that peace has begun to settle on the region. These vulnerable individuals and communities include the frail elderly, the mentally and/or physically handicapped, orphans and child-headed households (yes, there are a lot of those), and young mothers, usually teenage mothers who have no family or partner to help care for the children. They are all extremely resource poor. Aside from being stranded in the dilapidated camps, they also lack basic necessities such as basins, soap, clothing, jerrycans (for carrying water), cultivation tools (they are mostly subsistence farmers), as well as clean water and sanitation.

Needless to say, these are challenges that will not be overcome in one quick shot. Fortunately, in the course of my fieldwork research, I met 2 wonderful guys, George and Julius, who started up a community-based organization (CBO) in Pajule Trading Center, Pader District (that’s where I did my research on the folks stranded in the dismantled camps). George and Julius are from Pader District and grew up in IDP camps just like everyone else. In fact, George and Julius were both abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in their youth, and forced to become child-soldiers before they were rescued and rehabilitated. They founded ‘Pader Support to Extremely Vulnerable Initiatives’ (PASEVI) on the principle that extremely vulnerable individuals and groups deserve to live dignified and self-sufficient lives. PASEVI is registered as a community-based organization with NGO Forum in Uganda, and is a legitimate, responsible organization. I was so impressed with George and Julius that I implored Jerry to travel up to Pader to meet them and see what we could do to be of service. Jerry kindly obliged, and spent 2 memorable days touring around to the homes of various beneficiaries and farmers’ cooperatives that PASEVI is responsible for. The four of us have enjoyed an enduring friendship since that time.

PASEVI’s mission is this: To restore the lives of the most vulnerable individuals and communities from internally displaced persons camps in Pader District, northern Uganda, by reintegrating them at chosen resettlement or return sites. This will be done by building secure and affordable homes for beneficiaries. Efforts also include projects to improve sanitation and access to clean water at resettlement sites, as well as equitable road access and enhanced agricultural production and other income generating activities. These activities will promote self-reliance and a sustainable community.

Basically, George and Julius’ little organization, PASEVI, builds secure, spacious, traditional grass-thatched houses (that’s what the majority of the population are accustomed to living in) for the vulnerable individuals and families still stranded in camps, and helps them to participate in income-generating activities that involve the whole community.

The following video, made by my friend George, shows a group of orphans in desperate need of a new home. A traditional homestead in Pader includes a house for sleeping, one for cooking and storage, and a ventilated pit latrine and shower stall. The homes are made from available materials and cost around $900 to make, which includes transportation to inconveniently located sites, local construction workers, administrative costs, and meals. PASEVI does not currently have the funds to build for the orphans in the video. We are sincerely hoping that we can all work together to fund the building of a clean, safe, secure home for these children.

The guys at PASEVI, as well as Jerry and I, ensure to you that we will keep all donors updated throughout the construction and eventual completion of the homestead. This way we can all feel like we are on this journey together with the folks in Pader.

Thank you so much for participating in this very simple, yet very life-changing act.

With Love and Gratitude,
Jess Colin-Greene & Jerry Schwab
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