Monday, August 6, 2012
The Future Is Now
Last week, Kaitlin, Katie and I visited an orphanage called The Future is Now. The orphanage was started by a young man named Denis when the war ended in northern Uganda. He now gets help from another young man, Justin. Currently, the orphanage is housing 16 children due to limited funds, however other services such as counseling and education are offered to women and children in the community during the day. Denis and Justin have big plans for The Future is Now. They want to buy more land to be able to provide a bigger orphanage for the children and allow more children to be part of the orphanage. It is also important that all the children have the money to go to school. Currently, not all of them are able to attend school. Denis and Justin have plans for the child mothers in the community as well. They want to teach them income generating activities so that the mothers may be able to provide for themselves. Right now however, the orphanage is lacking many basic supplies. The children living there do not have enough blankets, mattresses, and mosquito nets to name just a few problems. Denis also informed us that at the beginning of July, there was no money to feed the children.
Even though Denis and Justin struggle all the time to provide a better life for these children, they continue to move forward and have not given up. Denis explained to us that these children were his family and no matter what happens, he will never leave them. What amazes me most about this orphanage is how young Denis and Justin are and how much they want to do for children and the community. Denis is only 25 years old. They both have huge hearts and they love these children as if they were their own.
When we arrived at the orphanage, we were greeted with singing and dancing. Our visit felt like a huge event. It was amazing to see how happy the women and children were to see us. Katie started a game of duck-duck-goose with the kids and later, all three of us joined the women in dancing an Acholi dance. As we left I remember feeling such joy and happiness. This was one of the best and most memorable days I have had in Gulu. All of these people struggle every day for basic necessities and yet they still took time out of their day to make us feel welcome.