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2013 Good Health and HIV/AIDS Learning Tour's Blog

Written by: Suzanne Christie

We are safely back home, experiencing the things we formerly took for granted and realizing how blessed we are.

One of the first things I did on arriving home was to have a drink of water from the tap. In Uganda, all water must be boiled before drinking or treated in some way, even to wash vegetables.

In thinking back over the wonderful 12 days in Uganda, some things stand out. The joy of the people who live with...

Written by: Maria Oliveira

On Monday afternoon, we stopped by at Susan's home in the Ayum district of Uganda. Susan is a Home-based HIV/AIDs Caregiver who works for the Church of Uganda, one of World Renew's partners. Susan is uniquely suited for her position as caregiver because she is HIV positive. 

Susan married her husband at the age of 19 and did not complete secondary school. After they were married, she noticed he seemed to be getting quite sick. At first, they...

Written by: Maria Oliveira

This past Monday, we visited the home of Marino Oni in the Oyam district of Uganda. Marino is HIV positive and has two wives that are also HIV positive. Altogether, they have 13 children and thanks be to God that none of them have the disease. 

If you're anything like me, learning that he had two wives was difficult for me to wrap my head around. Polygamy is culturally accepted in Uganda, however it is not a common...

Written by: Suzanne Christie 

Saturday we visited a community about an hour and a half from Lira.  In the past when we visited communities we were greeted by women singing and dancing and giving their joyful cries.  In yesterday's visit, we were greeted by children and men.  The chidren put on an amazing programme of singing, dancing, drama and instruments.  During the performance, the women sat on one side of the church and all looked very sad.

This community had been devastated...

Written by: Maria Oliveira

This past week we visited a community that has been affected by HIV/AIDS. World Renew, together with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, has been implementing a project called Embrace AIDS. The community consists of five support groups of 9-12 people, all of which are living positive with HIV/AIDS. The five groups are called: Have Hope, Fear Kills You, God is Good, Come Out into the Light, and Kampala. 

When the project started, each group was given a pair...

Written by: Suzanne Christie

In one community we visited we felt a strong connection with the women, particularly.  They shared moving stories of being sick and unable to look after their families, which often included orphaned grandchildren.  The programmes being carried out by World Renew and its partners is called Stepping Stones.  Small groups of women in similar circumstances would meet to share resources through micro-financing banks and help each other through challenges.They were so grateful and thanked us many times,...

Written by: Suzanne Christie

Visiting the tiny communities and seeing the work being done is overwhelming.  One of the partners is working with three hundred children who are either orphaned or considered vulnerable.  These children go to school but also learn farming techniques to support their school fees.  Children learn by planting orange tree seedlings, each child receives about 10 trees.  They prepare the soil, plant and weed around the trees.  They also learn to graft the trees so that they will produce fruit more quickly.  A few...

Written by: Maria Oliveira

The tour has been an overwhelming experience so far. The last couple of days have been a whirlwind - we have seen so much in just a short amount of time. We have been welcomed into communities with the African women's cry of joy. We have been swarmed by groups of children eager to see their first glance of a white person. We have heard stories from men and women ...

Written by: Jacob Mantel

Today (July 23) was a day of much learning and many emotions for myself and I am sure the rest of the team as well. For myself I have been educated on the issues effecting the African people, but have never seen this with my own eyes. I know that the majority of the North American world would say something similar, that they know the issues surrounding poverty in Africa and that it's...

Written by: Maria Oliveira

After spending the last couple of days in the Netherlands visiting with relatives, they kindly drove me all the way to Belgium to the airport. When I arrived there, I met Suzanne Christie, one of the other tour participants at our gate. We were also supposed to meet Jacob Mantel, another tour participant, at the airport. We had seen a picture of him before we left, but with lack of sleep and jet lag setting in, our...

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