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.
CURRENT REPORT FROM KOBOKO KIDS
Greetings and blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ!
This month has begun with a “renewed” rainy season, it seems. We had gone two weeks without rain, and now it has rained off and on for three days. The water tanks are full, the crops are healthy and the soil is soft for digging.
Beginning on Monday morning, in drizzling rain, Mzee David started planting cocoa seedlings in the main garden. By Tuesday afternoon he had planted nearly 50 of them. We are learning from history that we should not plant only cash crops, so we are interspersing bananas, cassava, and other food crops in order not to depend only on the cash crop. The cocoa plans do not give fruit for three years. The seedlings are given free by James Baba, and he has promised a market for cocoa.
We are grateful for the provision of finances on Thursday, so we could buy items needed for the Primary camp on Saturday.
The money sent to help furnish the guesthouse was such a blessing! Thank you so much! We were able to purchase four mattresses for $160. Tom and Tom set up the four beds in the two rooms. I was working on scraping the floors and bathroom with a razorblade tool to remove all paint, varnish, etc.
Friday evening Tom, Tom, and Maliamungu Charles (guard) took a film to Ogo where a gathering of youth from 6 churches was taking place. It was well received.
Saturday’s Primary camp was full of laughter and excitement. The 57 children enjoyed everything from games, singing, lesson on Zacceus complete with a boy in the tree. Another 25 children were blessed with school shoes. It is hard to know how many genuine salvation commitments were made, because all the children raised their hands at the invitation and prayed the prayer to give their lives to Christ.
Collins arrived safely on the bus Tues. morning. The paint on the porch floor and in the room of the guest house was barely dry, and he rested well on the new bed!
Tuesday was also the day that David and Mzee David got up on the payot roof and began removing the thick grass layer by layer. They knew just where to cut the ties, and 99% of the entire roof was removed that day.
Another thing that took place on Tues. was a plumber coming to look into installing a pump I had purchased in Kampala to take water from the lower (3000 ltr.) tank to the upper (1000 ltr.) tank that supplies the guesthouse and my house with running water. The man knew everything to do. We purchased the items and he came back and made everything work!
Wednesday several staff shared in devotions and we had a brief staff meeting. Later, Collins introduced some worksheets to help staff plan their work for a month, and evaluation sheets to be done weekly.
I worked to paint most of the floor of the second room of the guesthouse and prepare the bed for Joe Twoli, who was coming for the board meeting on Friday.
Thursday Collins challenged the staff to make targets in order to achieve goals. He also explained more about the other worksheets he had given.
Collins picked Joe Twoli from the bus station in the evening, then they, along with Tom M., went to have dinner with the RDC. She was very encouraging and supportive, and promised KIDS Koboko a milk cow!
Friday was Eid al fitr, end of Ramadan for Muslims. It is a public holiday, but we had our semi-annual board meeting. Joe was presiding using the agenda Collins had made, and the meeting was very organized. After hearing reports from me and Collins, Joe challenged the Board with the responsibilities that are theirs- to oversee all activities, make policies, bring expertise, keep original policies active, etc. Joe encouraged us not to have unfinished projects.
After the meeting, Joe, Collins and I went to visit Tom & Eliza to see their baby Elrad Judah. Joe prayed a dedication for the baby. I then took the two men to the bus going to Kampala.
Saturday was a work day for the men roofing the payot (shelter). They had to lay two courses of bricks before adding the trusses.
Monday the roofers began in the morning placing the iron sheets on the payot, and almost finished, but rain came around 4 pm.
Tuesday the Vet Dr. called Tom M. to inform us that the milk cows were coming and we needed to have a proper shelter for it. It was to arrive tomorrow! We quickly called Sanya, our contractor, and he got directions from the Vet’s office on the specifications of the house.
Sanya came early Wed. morning to lay out the cow house. First, a tree had to be removed. The house is in line with the other animal houses, between Uwezo’s house and the bathroom building. All the staff got involved, even Maggie and Peace took turns with the ax to chop out the roots of the tree. It was uprooted and the foundation dug by evening! Poles are available from the payot roof that was removed, but still, the estimated cost is over a million shillings! Tom and I put our heads together and called Collins after Maggie to us there is no money to borrow. Collins said the same thing. This cow came as a gift from the government through the RDC, and it came abruptly. I wondered what the other 30 recipients were managing to do! The assistant Vet. told us the cows were coming the next day. But after Tom had gone home, he got a call telling him the cows had actually arrived that afternoon, and we had better get down there if we want to get ours! We were confused, but praised the Lord that we were informed in time and Tom went to receive our cow! A neighbor offered to take it home with hers until we could pick it the next day. Tom will report the story in detail.
Thurs. morning I went to Arua by taxi first thing because Collins and I agreed that I should get money for the cow facility from a personal account at a bank there. Things went well and I was back by 10:30 am. The exchange rate is now 3,810/=.
Mzee David went to walk the cow to Hope Land. She seems to be happy and enjoy the compound. Uwezo is confused, because a cow has never been inside the fence. Since the house is not completed she is sleeping in the carport next to the van.
Rain began right at 8 am Friday morning. Peace had arrived, but the rest of the staff had to wait until the rain stopped enough for them to come on their motorbikes.
Saturday we had a Secondary camp in the afternoon. There was a small turnout, but those who came had a good time of fellowship and learning. Peace shared from John 1:1 -The Word was Jesus. She made clear the plan of salvation and discussion followed. Then a student from Make rete University in Kampala who is from Koboko, shared some things about personal awareness. She is a Social Science major. She is a strong believer, and will come and share again.
Wednesday morning g we had a guardian meeting. It was very beneficial, and all enjoyed lively discussions about issues of performance (grades) which is a concern. Another discussion was about school girls getting pregnant. The primary schools here have just tested all the P. 7 girls for pregnancy. At one school 4 were found pregnant and others also had some. The guardians had a few ideas, but the main solutions were better supervision and relationship between guardians and children, and for KIDS to have a primary school here.
It is good to see the guardians enjoying fellowship and comradery with one another. Most of them were not in a hurry to leave after lunch. We gave out bean seeds (150 kgs total) to those who have land to plant them. They were very grateful!
Thursday the cow house was roofed and hard core stones put in the foundation of the floor. We released our engineer at this point after paying him $40 for the work he had done. We will work as a staff to finish pouring the floor and raising brick walls half way up. If we can get some orphans involved we will do it.
It is a challenge to receive a gift that costs a substantial investment of money and hard work. We will visit the District Vet. Dr. to ask many questions about keeping and raising this exotic cow. So far we have been told nothing.
Thank you for supporting this work through prayer, time, wisdom and finances!