As promised, here is the beginning of Mark's journal, we will post the words from his journey every Sunday night so you can all get a better idea of what is involved at a grass roots level when we head over to our Orphanages.
May 11 - Uganda
We visited the first Orphfund project today.
50 kids between 12 and 19 years old.
Steve (Orphfund founder) hinted at the selection criteria today, sometimes the difference between being selected to live in one of the orphanages could be whether someone gave them some old shoes a few weeks before, whether they have anyone who cares.
Brutal, but necessary.
There are limited places and really the conditions are extremely, extremely basic - but very supportive, thorough and personal. All the kids, all of them, appeared happy, healthy and open, which has understandably been a long hard road from when they first arrived at the orphanage.
There were tears, our greeting was beautiful!
I met some very bright kids whose lives have been transformed by the opportunities allowed by Orphfund. I think one of the things I'm going to try to help facilitate is vocational training, as the kids are getting older and preparing to enter the world.
I'm spending some time investigating costs involved. Medical school, law school and engineering come it at $2-2500 per annum, plus ongoing life costs, and nursing perhaps $50 per month. As an ex-nurse, I'm going to research this more accurately, as I intend to support a young girl called Sowder through nursing college.
Let's all think about how we can support these brave, smart wonderful kids to support their communities in this way. They have come so far already. Sowder is now going to a good school, but has a lot of work to do to catch up after attending a not so good school.