In September 2012, I moved to Uganda indefinitely to work with Watoto Child Care Ministries, a ministry which cares for about 3000 orphans in village settings. As you can imagine, that is a whole lot of mouths to feed! So, Watoto had begun to operate farms for sustainable agriculture – growing the food needed to feed the children. I came alongside them to assist them in putting their farms into production and eventually empowering Ugandans to oversee them.
While at Watoto, I became very close to a family who lived on one of the children’s villages – a house mother and her biological children. I also had the opportunity to work with the mother’s half-brother, James. James worked as a foreman in Watoto’s construction department as they were building the villages, and also oversaw some of the farms’ construction projects. James was always very reliable, great to work with, and strived for excellence in his work. In our third year of working together at Watoto, James shared with me his vision for Kibuutu. He told me about his idea for starting a small farm on his land that would put its profits back into the community. He asked for my agricultural expertise, and so I readily shared with him. James moved on from his work with Watoto, invested his life savings into the project in Kibuutu, and I later aided him in starting a piggery. As I began to visit Kibuutu to help him with the pigs, I saw the village, the dire need for a school, and the lack of hope. I saw that this community could not wait for our small farm to raise enough funds to construct a school (however, the farm will remain committed to the community, one goal of which is to offer school scholarships to the orphans in the village).
After three years, I had fulfilled my purpose at Watoto and moved further north in 2015 to work with another organization, Restoration Gateway. There I taught agriculture and math at a secondary school. I continued my commitment to working with James, sharing his vision for Kibuutu – a community full of hope where every child has the opportunity to learn and the people have access to the basic necessities of life.