It's Friday and I am asking you to pray for Suubi Teen MOPS in Uganda.
Every time I think I have heard it all Sylvia will tell me one more thing that reminds me why we are working in Uganda. She tells me something new that makes me realize how poor the nation is. How desperate people are for opportunities. And it makes me weep. Yesterday we were discussing our budget. How can we reduce the budget? We are running out of money. Ukraine and the immediate needs there has sucked the oxygen from the room. The needs in Ukraine are real and great, but so are the needs everywhere. Our needs continue but our revenue has dropped dramatically since the invasion. I don't wish to complain. I am certain we are not the only nonprofit in the world struggling with higher costs due to inflation and lower revenues. The needs everywhere have gone up. I could say a lot more on this topic, but I am digressing. ANYWAY...I asked her if they had checked on jobs at the local factory. There is a big and fancy Chinese factory near the center. We thought maybe the women could work there. They have jobs there. To my shock, I learned that people get paid 60,000 shillings a month working full time. That's 40-hour weeks for 16 Euro or 20 USD per month. Uganda doesn't have a minimum wage. There is an egg farm nearby. Labor gets 2000 shillings per day. That's about 50 cents a day for 40 hours of labor in awful conditions. And if you think education is a way out of poverty, you are right. But in the village over 50% of the children do not attend school. How could they? School fees are 630,000 shillings a term. Anyone making 60,000 shillings a month could never afford rent, let alone school. The world health organization defines extreme poverty as living on less than 2 USD per day. You get 2 USD a day working full-time in a Chinese factory in Uganda.
We send school money in the coming week. We have no new sponsorship families. No miracle of affordable subsidized programs. So our kids will remain in tutoring. And 10 of our kids remain unsponsored... even for tutoring. We need 1400 euros or 1600 USD to cover these 10 kids for this term. What we really need is 10 new sponsorship families. But until we find the families I am not about to let these children fall behind in school. If you wish to be a bridge for this term, you will find ways to give on our website.
They receive food, medical care, books, and private tutoring. We are still praying for subsidized programs to fit them into so they can attend school full-time. But school fees have doubled across Uganda. And our sponsorship doesn't provide us the funds to cover more right now. So we continue to pray for new doors to. open. I try to remain optimistic. I always think of this scene in a Disney movie called the Emperor's New Groove. They are bound to a log racing toward a giant waterfall. The Emperor says sharp rocks at the bottom...the reply.is most likely....and the Emperor says bring it on.
Nantongo Sylvia and some of the Suubi leaders attend a MOPS leadership meeting this weekend in Jinja. Pray they are inspired and encouraged. Pray they have health and safe travels.
We have two kids that remain sick with Typhoid. They are getting treatment. We need to build toilets and dig a well at the Suubi center. But we lack the funds. The toilets are about 4000 USD and the well is about 8 000 USD. We got the plans for the toilets this week. The bid is reasonable. And it's necessary to build the toilets to prevent sickness.
I have been very sick this week with Covid. I probably picked it up at the Frankfurt Airport last week when I dropped my mom off. I am weak and remain dizzy after days of fever and intense flu symptoms. But I have listened to the Bible as I lay still in my darkroom. The light seems to hurt my eyes. And I try very hard not to dwell on needs. The needs could swallow me up. The storms are real. But I am hidden in a cleft of the rock. And I know honestly that Suubi center is also a hidden place of safety for our women and children. The two Lilly Avenue stores in Kampala also are safe and helpful to the many who receive food and resources there. And I pray for more resources so we can continue to be what we are. Sometimes I wonder how we can make it....or even how we have survived the past years? But we have because you pray for us. And I am so grateful.