The price of rice and beans, post-traumatic stress , hunger and a need for prayer

Today they are celebrating their monthly feast at Teen MOPS in Kampala. It is an exciting event. No one wants to miss this meeting. The women do not get the chance to eat as much as they want. And eating meat, even chicken is generally too expensive. So the feasts are a major source of joy. This months feast was cooked by our new soap team. I do not know what they cooked, but I am sure it was good! Sylvia told me that at this feast there was"
 Lots of eating and Lots of talking
The girls prayed for the others who haven't got a chance to learn a skill...
I said, "the  women are so generous and I am so proud of them." And Sylvia told me
"They all wish each other the best" It has become a family. I am so grateful for the love they have.  
As Sylvia worked this week in the new soap workshop she made some hard observations. Olive, who just moved out of the slum is beginning to experience post-traumatic stress. I guess this is not uncommon. When you are busy just surviving you do not have time to think about your feeling. All the tragedy and horror gets stuffed down. It does not get processed.  But now she is feeling safe. And it all comes to the surface like a nightmare. I will not go into details. Her life has been really hard. But please pray for Olive. That she can manage to process her past. I'm grateful she feels safe enough to do this emotional work. One day she will be free. There is another young women in the group who needs your prayers. She is 19 years old. Her baby was born 3 months ago. Her situation at home has become violent. She is beaten and starved. And we want to take her out of this situation and move her into the soap workshop. She wants to learn hairdressing. Right now we do not have the funds to support the hair school. But we can employ her at the soap shop. We can feed her and provide a safe place for her to live. For her safety and privacy, I will not post her photo. But please pray for her.

One of the requirements of the NGO is we feed the soap shop workers breakfast and lunch.  I asked them for a budget.  They gave me something very high.  So instead Sylvia and I spent hours discussing the price of rice, beans, sugar, and tea.  Our goals are simple.  We are not trying to improve the women's lives so they resemble our lives in Europe or America.  Instead, we are trying to help them move from absolute poverty to middle-class Uganda.  And people in Uganda eat rice and beans, portage and peas, sweet potatoes and bananas.  It took hours but we came up with a realistic food budget.  It amounts to 100 dollars a month for 3 women. And it puts us one step closer to our NGO license.  We still need a way to sell our soap.  Our women do not want handouts.  they want hands up.  Opportunity to sell what they have made.  We need people to partner with us towards this goal.


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