The smiling lady above is Milton’s mother, who is 76, and below is Milton, his wife, Irene and their children celebrating his 55th birthday last month. Irene cooked potatoes and beans as a special meal and Milton bought sodas for everyone.
I mention Milton in every newsletter so thought you might like to know a little more about him. He has been the pastor in Kyemula since June 1993 after training at the Headquarters of the New Apostolic Church in Nairobi. Milton has been promoted to the position of District Elder which means he oversees a number of other reverends and churches as well as administering to his congregation in Kyemula. Milton and Irene have six children, three boys and three girls. Milton’s oldest son is now training in Nairobi to become a minister whilst the rest of the children live with him in Kyemula. Milton hopes his son may take over from him when he retires in ten years’ time.
The children under 5 in Kyemula recently received their immunisations against polio, diphtheria and measles through a government scheme – medical staff visited the village and set up a clinic outside the community home for the day. I was surprised that they did not wear masks, Milton tells me he asked about this and was told they had not been issued with any!
Subsequently another delegation from the government has been to the village and given out mosquito nets to all households – as Milton says ‘Every household got 3, 4, up to even 6 nets according to population in that home - which is not a priority at all, yet people are sleeping hungry.’ But there has still been no food aid, apart from ours, nor any government-provided masks…. The photograph below shows sponsored children collecting maize flour for their families in our last food distribution.
Meanwhile the latrines in Namayili are complete and Joseph is keen to start improving the building used as a kitchen for the school – which as you can see is currently just a shell. He estimates it will cost in the region of 500,000ugx (£106) for the materials and he may need to pay for some labour on top of this. Some of the money we hoped to use for these infrastructure improvements has already been spent on food aid but it would be good to complete this project ready for the school re-opening.
Both Milton and Joseph are concerned about the children’s welfare as the continuing lockdown is taking its toll on family relationships and many families are struggling to eat regularly. The crops look good in Kyemula but Joseph has told us that the poor soil condition in Namayili means the harvest will be small. We have started looking at whether there are ways we can increase the amount of food grown in both villages but this will be a longer term project…. And in the meantime we have made a second interim payment to the teachers in Kyemula as without a welfare system they have received nothing apart from the food we have supplied.