At the end of a difficult year, many Ugandans want nothing more than just a few carefree hours. That is why Kids of Africa invited all of the children’s village’s neighbors to a festive lunch on the occasion of the first weekend in Advent. And they all came. Put on their best clothes. And it turned out to be a luncheon for 500. I want to share a few pictures from the afternoon with you.
A celebration for many
A celebration can lift hearts and minds. What I mean is not opulence, but a shared meal, appreciation, friendship, solidarity, a few good words. Yet, during a year like this, such an undertaking requires a lot of work and approvals. But the idea of inviting our local community for a free lunch – while ensuring all hygiene and social distancing-rules – was well received, also by state officials. Under the good guidance from Florence, Kids of Africa Village-Director, a concept was presented, discussed and finally approved. Then, everyone at Kids of Africa started to prepare the big invitation.
In order not to undermine the quarantine of the children’s village, which has lasted for many months, by so many guests, we placed the food counter outside our village fence. There is a small piece of forest where we placed some chairs for the old, the weak, the blind and the state guests of honor. All the other guests picnicked under the trees – always at a sufficient distance. The main thing was that everyone got something to eat and water to drink. There should be enough for everyone. Every guest should feel welcomed, appreciated. Florence, our prudent village director as well as Ahmed, our warden, Daniel, Finance Director and, of course, our guests of honor addressed a few good words to the neighbourhood community. Ministry of Health employees explained the hygiene and distance rules. Of course we had provided water and soap.
Village director Florence was tirelessly present everywhere. She helped disinfect, handed out food and greeted all guests. Your commitment to Kids of Africa is very lucky. The common meal for many was a worthy Advent festival. It was a carefree moment of happiness for many. There was extensive discussion, laughter, and old experiences exchanged. Some guests lingered for hours.
Is that too much of a good thing? I don’t think so. Christmas is precarious for many families this year, because lockdown and floods have cost jobs and income everywhere. We can’t change that. But sharing food, an open ear and a few good words can lift our day. Isn’t that part of Christmas too?
And let’s not forget our protégés in all of this. They stayed away from the neighborhood lunch because of the state-ordered quarantine of the children’s village that had been going on for months. That was part of our protection concept. The evening in the village should belong to them all the more. And so our mothers, teenagers and village management around Florence organized a party for them in the evening. It doesn’t take much. Fair weather, a bonfire, snake bread that is baked on sticks by the fire, music, a few lights when it gets dark – that works all over the world. See a few snapshots of our happy kids celebrating the first weekend in Advent.
A good word every day, education for life and the power of a mustard seed
A good word can sometimes lift us all day, sometimes even for life. At Kids of Africa we cannot hold a party like this very often. But we can make use of the power of words. And there we are on the subject of education.
Good teachers (that can of course also be parents, siblings or friends!) can help a lot so that one good day young people can stand on their own two feet, discover their talents, develop self-confidence and moral courage. In essence, that is what Kids of Africa is committed to. Especially this year. Because the lockdown is particularly tough for children without families. And for families with children but not income.
Who knows – the education, the values of solidarity and the self-confidence that we give them may one day unfold like a mustard seed. Thank you for continuing to support our mustard-seeds, our work!