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EDUCATION VS STARVATION

RABS Ugandan students’ update June 5, 2023

Dear Mama Cyndi, RABs board, fellow Ministers and our dear ministry partners, Second term facilitation mission has been carried out successfully in both districts of Moroto and Kaabong.

I first staged at Moroto and the activities there were conducted without hindrances because most of the children had already reported to school except Lokawa who was bedridden with malaria, and Nachap. I checked through each child’s report form of last term and there was considerable improvement in overall performance except for Nechap. I also had a meeting with the parents and emphasized they must help their children report to school in time and not allow them to come back home before the term ends.

I was surprised to see Nechap again crawling and upon inquiring why, I was informed that she cannot push herself in the wheel chair. During the school term other children help push her around the school, but during holidays she stays alone and therefore resorts to crawling. I went to find out the condition of the the wheel chair and found that it needed some repairs where the seat gets fixed to the rod and the wheels are missing some of the support strips.

It was a full day traveling from Moroto to Kotido and then to Kaabong. Kotido and Kaabong are among the districts in northern Karamoja were insecurity involving murders, clashes with army troops, vandalism and robbery occur most. Traveling from Kotido to Kaabong is more risky, as karamojong warriors have raided vehicles, robbed them and killed occupants in several incidences. It was near some of these dangerous spots that the taxi I was traveling in broke down. Its fan belt got torn and as thus we could not move until a new fan belt was brought and installed.

We had to wait for three hours before mechanics from Kotido would arrive and fix the car. Most vehicles refused to stop to help us, I presume because they feared we had staged the occurance to ambush and rob them. It was after two hours that a driver of an NGO vehicle stopped and allowed to help carry three of us to Kaabong leaving the others waiting for other sympathisers.

I was deterred from going to the villages the next day because there was an operation carried out by the army to recover guns from village members. It was on Friday that I was able to travel to Loleria to meet the girls.

I found out one of the girls had relocated to another village. She was sent away by her guardian because of hunger. However I was able to visit the homes of two other girls, engaged with the guardians and prepared them to report to school. The next day I had to travel to Kakamar to meet the third girl, but found out that the village women and older girls had gone to a distant village where visitors to a certain church were distributing food. Because of the security situation, I left before 6pm when they had not come back. I left her transport funds to bring her to school the next day.

By Sunday morning, they had all reported to the boarding facilities. However Regina, a primary seven candidate, was needed to clear registration for primary leaving exams(PLE) by the end of June. I used part of the boarding fees and school fees to pay for P.L.E. and promised to top up the balance in due course.

I was able to visit Catherine at her place of work and she was very happy. She is doing well and sent greetings. She is a public testimony of how RABs ministry helps such disadvantaged children to become useful and responsible members of the community.

I used the 2 am bus that passes Karenga, Kitgum, Gulu, Luwero to Kampala because I had to connect to another soul winning mission starting Monday.

I thank Run Away Brides Ministry and it’s committed partners for enabling some of the vulnerable and needy children in Karamoja to attend school without limitation or lack of basic necessities. The Lord bless you for your generosity towards this course.!

Muwanguzi Denis Peter