The Arise ground team lives in an urban community on the edge of Kampala Uganda. At first glance this neighborhood looks like many others in Uganda, but a walk behind the main street exposes living conditions that can only be described as slums. Garbage piles, standing dirty water you don’t want to step in, and small dwellings with cracked walls surround tight streets. This is my home community and it is called Kosovo by locals.
In Kosovo we see all extremes of life. Some people here seem lost. Others are hustling to make a living. Some seem drunk and some are amazing friends. Some are working hard to build a career while others are struggling to feed a family one meal each day. Some people really need someone to reach out and love them.
One family in our community lived in a house with no walls at all. This place was home for mother and father as well as 7 children. We first encountered this place one Christmas when our 92Hands team (youth serving in this community) delivered a Christmas meal to the family. Since that first encounter, we thought about this home often. We wondered if they were eaten alive by Mosquitos at night. We wondered what they do when it rains and the water flows through the community.
How did they cope? There was really no option for them but to deal with their uncomfortable reality. When the bugs came they would cover up with a blanket. When the rain poured they would grab things off the floor and huddle on a bunk-bed and try to stay dry.
As we looked out the window of our house on the hill overlooking this scene, we became troubled. These neighbors had no means to change this situation. Clearly this family needed our help.
In this case, we partnered with people in western countries to raise the funds needed to build walls for this family. In addition to fundraising, a Canadian mission team provided both funds and labour to create a solid home for the family.
The Arise team felt this was a very compelling need and more than $5000 was raised in one week toward the house build. These funds were added to funds from our mission team and this not only finished the house but also did other work in the community.
The build was done by a resident of the community who works in construction. He had the excavation and foundation work done before the team arrived. The mission team helped complete the building and saw the family take posession before leaving Uganda.
The Arise ground team decided to leave the building unfinished. There was a concern that completing every aspect of the house would leave the family no option to participate in their own success. It was also considered that we could create resentment in the community if this home was too beautiful.
Jessica Nalongo is the owner of the House with No Walls. She has 6 biological children and has taken in a orphaned relative. Jessica sells fruit and veg at a small stand nearby and makes just enough to feed the family a meal each day.
Jessica owns this small piece of land but cannot afford even some cement to mix with mud to close the walls. Her children have little hope of an education and their futures look difficult.
Children Arise Ministries
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