A Report from our HOPE+ Sisterhood Uganda Program Director, Dawn Patterson:
In January 2011, I made my first trip to Uganda. While there, I was blessed to meet a beautiful mama named Robina. She was HIV+ and so was her son 11 year old son Julius. He was a sweet quiet boy who was often taunted because of his status. When I said goodbye to him, he put his arm around me and whispered “I love you.” My heart was so moved by him. In October 2011, I received news that he had died to AIDS related complications. I was broken.
I’d been involved with Project HOPEFUL since 2010 when a chance meeting with the founder, Carolyn Twietmeyer opened my eyes to the truth of orphans living with AIDS. After learning of Julius’s death, we began to investigate whether we could duplicate their HOPE+ Sisterhood program in Ethiopia that had proven to be a success.
In April 2012, I returned again to Uganda and met a group of HIV+ mamas under the care of True Vine Christian ministries who call themselves maama watumaine which means “Mamas of Hope”. After discussions with Project HOPEFUL, it was decided that we would launch the HOPE+ sisterhood, Uganda.
I met about 14 women on that trip and one of them was Ida. She was so full of joy, LOVED Jesus and her smile was as bright as the sun. Just a few weeks ago, Ida died from AIDS related complications. Sadly, Ida was a widow and a mama so now her daughter is an orphan. It became aware that the time was NOW to get this program started. So, I will be returning to Uganda in January to get this program up and running.
But, we need your help!
The first need is travel. This is a great time of year to travel and tickets are fairly low so approximately $1300 is needed for this trip.UPDATE! TRIP IS FULLY FUNDED!!! GOD IS GOOD!
Second, we will need sisters for these women. What does that look like? Although it could be compared to a “child sponsorship” program….it’s much more than that. You are “sisters” with these women. Your monthly donation allows her access to meds and proper nutrition as well as the opportunity to start her own business so she can become self sufficient. Uganda is nutrient rich country where you can grow anything and many of these women would love to have their own produce to sell. Some of them do crafts and some of them would like to raise animals to sell. You can be a part of all of this! Once you become sisters, you will receive photos of them as well as their bio. You will have the opportunity to write them letters (via email) and offer them your prayers and encouragement.
And here is the really cool part…..when you make a commitment to be a sister, you will be offered the first opportunity to travel to Uganda on the Project HOPEFUL HOPE+ Sisterhood trip and meet your sister!!!
Interested? Please email me at email@example.com
We have been beautiful blessed by the gift of adoption, however, adoption is not the answer to the orphan crisis. It’s just a part of it. I believe the bigger answer is family preservation. Help Project HOPEFUL bring real change to these beautiful women in Uganda.