The Koboko K.I.D.S. Rescue Unit — While each of our six Rescue Units are unique, Koboko perhaps represents the most challenges to our kids, and to our Facilitators/Care-Givers. Located directly on the Borders of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Koboko is a “hot-bed” of conflict due to active Civil Wars being conducted in these neighboring countries. Mostly tribal in nature, one thing remains a constant: those who suffer most are those who are most dependent: children. Kids in Uganda defines an orphan as a child who has lost either one or both parents. The causes are varied, but in areas like Koboko, Civil War plays a major role. At this writing, there are some 30,000 refugees located just inside the borders of Northwestern Uganda. Most are women and children; many husbands and fathers are either fighting in their homeland or are in fact deceased. With an increased demand on food, potable water and shelter, costs to survive there are on the increase affecting both resident and displaced personnel. Currently, there is scant indication that these neighboring conflicts will end anytime soon.
News and Immediate Needs
The Koboko Rescue Unit shallow well needs to be cleaned out — $1200
“We thank God for keeping us alive this month because we are really very sorry for what the devil has worked against us. In a way, after we had our general camp with around 250 children, some of them complained of a shortage of food in their learning centers. We managed to give them 50 kg of cassava flour, 1 basin of beans, and 1 liter of cooking oil. Then we came together as a staff to discuss how to help them on transporting this food stuff back to their place. We all agreed that Tom, one of the staff, could carry the girls and their food stuff in the van. Suddenly, on their way to the TMI base where they stay, they got in an accident. It was not so bad and only 2 girls go injured. The van was arrested by the traffic police officers, but the issue was solved and the van was taken for repairs in the garage.”
“We also received a solar panel this very week which was bought by Collins to reduce the expense on power, which is used for the carrying out of administrative programs and security purposes.”
Meet the Koboko Staff
Tom Atiku was born in Mbokolo DR Congo during the war. He is a strong christian, and is married to Harriet Bakoand they have 2 children. Tom is responsible for visiting all of our children and guardians in the Koboko rescue unit. He makes sure that their welfare is taken care of. He also helps the children start projects that help them become more stable on their own and improve their family income.
Maggie Ajonye was born in Mbokolo DR Congo during the war. Her father went to Congo during the war as a pastor and he still serves there. Her family later came back and settled in Uganda. She is a graduate of Moffat Bible College in Kenya. She is working with all of the children going to school. She makes sure that they have what they need to attend classes and offers them guidance and counseling.
Photos from Koboko
Koboko District is a district in the Northern Region of Uganda. The town of Koboko is the site of the district headquarters.
In 2012, the population was at approximately 236,900.
Like in most Ugandan districts, subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry are the main economic activities in the district. The crops grown include maize, millet, cassava and sweet potatoes. The livestock raised in the district includes cattle, goats, sheep and poultry.
KOBOKO KIDS Coordinator Report December 2017
December was a busy month of ministry and outreach here in Koboko. It seemed that all the churches and Christian organizations were eager for the school holiday to begin in order to plan camps, crusades, door to door evangelism, and other outreach events. Koboko KIDS had been planning for a full year for our second annual December camp, and lots of communication has been taking place to ensure that it is all planned well.
The guesthouse building project is moving right along, and the this first week they completed the foundation and poured the slab. We have hired neighborhood ladies and a couple of orphan girls to bring water in 20 liter jerricans to the work site, and the first week they totaled 439 jericans! We pay 300/= per jerican, which is about 12 cents each. But if they bring many, it is enough money that it is worth it to them. A chapati costs 500/= – to give you perspective.
I have been scrambling to collect building materials that have been left at various sites around the property, in order to save from buying more for this building. We have used our aggregate, sand, and bricks so far. Most of the bricks we have are not good enough for the walls, however. Actually, I have been managing the project with Tom Muzuro, as David has been down for a week with malaria and he injured a finger – the nail was removed as he tried to move a rock.
A big event that happened on 4th December was the purchase of 2 acres of land next to KIDS belonging to Maliamungu Charles (our watchman) and his brothers. We were involved because the buyers are Scripture Union South Sudan. Their supporters requested that I be a witness to this transaction. People came from Kampala and Arua, and the LC 1, 2, and 3 were present. We discussed all the details, and as it was getting dark, the signing took place by all involved.
Note: I will add here that the money to pay for this land has been held up for various reasons, and by 1 Jan. 2018 was still not received by the sellers. It seems the banks played games, or maybe even the financial person in their ministry was using it for their gain. We will report on this when the final truth is found out. Maliamungu has demonstrated extreme patience is all the waiting, in spite of some of his relatives abusing him.
Several days at the end of this week were spent by staff setting up at the Nyangilia Secondary school for the camp. Beds had to be set up, furniture moved in main halls, kitchen organized, etc. This school is nearly the only one that has facilities enough for large groups both inside and out. Because of this, Young Life also wanted to have their week-long camp at the same time as ours. We had to compromise and move our dates ahead two days. Camp began on 8th of Dec., the same day that the schools officially closed for holidays.
Collins was here for the camp and brought several staff from Bunalwenyi to observe and contribute to the camp here in preparation for their camp beginning on 17th Dec, at Son Shine.
We had a good conversation by phone with Tom Criswell that helped both is us with clearer communication of present and future events and ministry.
I shared the morning devotions at the camp and enjoyed spending time there in some of their classes. In the final count there were nearly 600 children who attended.
Meanwhile, at Hope Land I continued to work on gathering building materials from the property and purchasing other materials the builders needed, maintaining the vegetable gardens around, and irrigating plants, as the rains have stopped abruptly. This is different than most years, where rains may stop gradually.
Note: we have not had a drop of rain up to 1 Jan.
From there, Tom M. Went to the Bunalwenyi camp, and I went to Bidibidi Refugee Settlement to help facilitate a camp there with Scripture Union South Sudan. Youth and children were brought from three other camps to join those at Bidibidi where they stayed in a school and had meetings in large open tents. It was a new experience for me and I enjoyed getting to know the South Sudanese youth and leaders and ministering to them in various teachings and counseling opportunities.
Staff had one and a half week holiday from 25th Dec. to 3rd January.
KOBOKO DECEMBER CAMP REPORT
Praise the Lord!
I am very excited to bring this report of the December camp. This was a long awaited event which finally came to pass. Our heartfelt appreciation should reach to all who supported us with finance and prayer. Specific thanks go to the executive leadership of KIDS Uganda for the financial support, without that, we would have not met the objective of our camp. Of course the most ultimate thanks go to the almighty God who enabled all things to work together for the good of this camp.
The camp started on 8th/12/2017 and ended on 14th/12/2017 not as planed to have started on 10th since we had to adjust to fit within the program befitting the venue we requested to host the camp in.
WHAT WORKED WELL
Partnership; we have liked working as partners with the pastors in koboko, right from our planning, we have worked together with the churches who responded to our partnership request to organize this camp. Especially after we have shared our vision for the camp. It is through the partnership that many churches sent their kids for the camp; we had sixteen churches that sent kids for the camp. We are glad for the good will the community attributes to koboko kids, it is however due to what we hold and present in the community that church leaders feel compatible with us.
If there is anything I am afraid about, it is losing the reputation and good work we have already built in the community by what we do to the community, and because that is the only other way we attract people to the saving grace of our Lord.
The only challenge we faced from the partnership was the inability of the churches to fulfil the material contributions to support the camp as agreed in the planning that partnering churches would contribute some food staff. Practically that did not work, however we appreciate the faithfulness of nyangilia church for contributing 50kg of cassava flour and 60,000sh, Evangel community church for contributing 50,000sh, Koboko Pentecostal Church for contributing 50,000sh. Some of the churches instead of extending that support, decided to use it for sponsoring their kids inform of camp fee.
Attendance; Registered camp attenders who were accommodated within the camp venue were 440, many people came from home each day and went back in the evening. Our kitchen department faced a lot of challenge measuring the amount of food to prepare because each day the number rose up, by the second last day, our kitchen report indicated that 605 people were fed.
Topics and Facilitator; we thank God that apart from one topic whose facilitator was faced by transport means breakdown, all our planned topics were well handled. These included; Self-esteem, work and entrepreneurship, drugs and alcohol, social Media, Life skills and Understanding HIV/AIDS. The topic facilitators were well prepared to deliver what they had for each topic. Interaction with some kids about the camp tells that they had learnt good stuff from the topics
One of the most liked event at the camp was the Leadership training. I would like to present specific appreciation to Collins for pouring out himself without reservation to equip 64 youth leaders and children workers. A good number of those who attended the camp rate the training as their best class in the camp, they are particularly happy for simplifying the lessons with practical and observable examples and demonstration of leadership characters, attitudes and Discipleship.
Skills; skills training was a last thing in our planning but it turned out most wanting for future camps. We were blessed to have the team of Kids staff from eastern Uganda, who taught in the camp on how to make Jelly. This was not just a theory but practical. By the end of the camp, every camp attendant went home with Jelly made by them. I have personally received calls with the complaint of why we did not state clear in our announcements that we would have skills like that, meaning many more people would have been attracted to the camp because of the skills. Suggestions have already been presented to train on how to make both liquid and bar soap next year.
Morning devotion and evening rally; having one person lead the morning devotion and teach on specific biblical principle as the lord laid in his/her heart worked well. Initially Camille led the morning devotion and then shared the opportunity with our guest staff from Iganga. Every evening we invited a guest speaker to share Gods word with the young people in the camp.
Financial limitation; we were limited by finances to give good food for the campers, it was very difficult to implement our ideal menu we developed for the camp. We basically depended on cassava flour and beans for lunch and supper, and porridge for breakfast.
Though this was a big challenge, we praise God that with the little money we collected from attendants, one man in the neighbourhood was willing to sell for us a cow which we boughtg at 500,000sh and that made people happy.
For this challenge, we were unable to print out camp booklets and bible study materials in time. What we had for bible study was not sufficient to serve all the bible study groups well. We planned that we would print camp booklets that contain all the bible study materials and major topic points for all the attendants to have one.
Un harmonized leadership; we had a good number of leaders who were not exposed to running a camp, it was challenging to get things done if leaders did not know what their role was especially in a camp setting, despite the good number of leaders, few people worked harder to get things move on the right way, the biggest challenge with leaders was observed in the bible study groups and when it came to group work I the kitchen.
Mixed up age groups; we hoped to have kids from the age of 14, but we had kids as young as 7 years, this was just a challenge for the first two days, especially because it was not appropriate to keep all the age groups in one class due to the varied levels of understanding. We boast of the flexibility of few leaders who worked creatively to arrange a separate room for the classes for the younger kids, we could not avoid the little ones who came, but rather make up programmes befitting to their levels.
Praise God for 152 who received the Lord Jesus as personal saviour and more than 200 who recommitted their lives to the Lord during our camp fire dedication event.
We praise God for being able to raise up to 1.7million shillings locally from the camp fee and some food materials that boosted up what we received from KIDS support
We praise God that all the campers returned home in good health, though on the last night we had to provide an emergency treatment for one lady in the clinic who recovered speedily and went home well.
We praise God for not having any debt left on us, but instead saved 300,000sh which is now what we have for starting next year’s preparations.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR 2018 CAMP
- Early planning, approval and receiving of external budget support to prepare in time
- Adding more practical skills
- Conduct a leadership seminar/ training at least for two days prior to arrival of campers
- Organize separate venue (room), activity schedule, topics and facilitators for the children
- Making plastic name tags for attendants
- Organizing means to have exchange visits between the Koboko and eastern Uganda camps; so that when koboko camp is ongoing, we shall have some kids from the eastern Uganda sister units attend and vice versa
- Maintaining partnership with churches and sister organisations.
- Improve on budget since impression on this camp projects an increased number for 2018 camp
- Pray for those who received the Lord in the camp to come to the church they attend to be discipled
- Pray for clear direction, wisdom, and sensitivity in planning for the 2018 camp.
- Pray for continuous change to be experienced in the life of those who attended the camp as a result of the lessons learned from each of the topics taught.
‘NOT TO US LORD, NOT TO US, BUT TO YOUR NAME BE THE GLORY BECAUSE OF YOUR LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS’ Psalm 115:1
THANKS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Outreach coordinator- Muzuro Eliaza Tom