Kiyindi Revisited

After bidding Joshua farewell, Phillip, Mary Jo, David, Moses and I went back to Kiyindi for our final visit to one of the leadership training centers. These meetings have always had some connection to all three goals of Gospel Mission Africa and this one was no different.

After David and Mary Jo finished their talks, the women of the village had to show them the crafts that they have been working on with the materials provided to them by GMA. What isn’t evident from this photo is that everyone is standing around the school that these children attend.IMG_2947-Edit

These women may have made the best use of the beads provided. As you can see from the picture below they have made a number of purses, focusing on the empowerment of women that these materials provide.

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As you’ve browsed these pages related to Uganda you may be asking why there is such a strong emphasis on empowering women. Traditionally Ugandan women do all the work. They go to the fields and raise the food. They care for the children. Men on the other hand make use of the privileges given to them in their culture, the privilege to not work and the privilege to drink the locally distilled, cheap and poisonous alcohol. GMA hopes that they can provide women with opportunities to earn more income with less hard labor and encourage men to share the responsibility of earning the food.

The children in Kiyindi are just like all the others I have come across. Shy at first but once they realize that the camera will show them what they look like, they swarm around any one person that they think I’m about to photograph. It is difficult to capture an image of just one or two children.

As with most any child in any culture you will find attitude. I came across this girl standing in the doorway to her home. A knife with no handle in her hand, chipping away at a piece of sugarcane. I motion to her that I’d like to take her picture and she seems indignant at first. Moving toward her I motion again and her body language shows that she is agreeable. After taking the shot she drops her hands to her side and marches toward me and in unbroken English says “I have GOT to see what I look like.”IMG_2961-Edit

Not surprisingly, there are things that could be done to help this church and school. The church has a tin roof with holes in it. The walls of the school are incomplete and falling apart. Yet, the alphabet is written on the outside walls for the children to see whenever they are in the area.

Kiyindi, the gateway to the island of Buvuma. Kiyindi, a village with its own issues. This is the last of these gatherings that we will take in this trip. It is hard to imagine it quickly coming to an end.

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