Christmas Newsletter 2009

The children and staff of EWCV send you our best wishes for this Christmas and New Year Season.  As we reflect on our past year, we realize how God has blessed our family at EWCV here in Uganda as well as in Canada and abroad.  We are especially thankful for all of you who have stood by us to help assist us prayerfully, financially, and with encouragement so that our projects could advance.  We could not do it alone.  May God bless you abundantly.

We are including a success story written by our Social Worker, Allan Kisakye, of one of our children in this newsletter.  This child is Ibrahim Sekalaala from Family #3 who lives with us here at our home in Soweto , Masaka.  We are attaching a picture of Ibrahim Sekalaala for you to enjoy.

CHILD SUCCESS STORY

New Child: Ibrahim

New Child: Ibrahim

When you hear a sharp birdie voice with a little body running and dancing around wearing a banana smile during devotions in family three of EWCV, you just know that it is Ibrahim Sekalaala praising his God.  Ibrahim loves to sing, talk, run and have fun with the other children, but he wasn’t like this before we brought him to live at EWCV. His mother had abandoned him leaving him with his paternal uncle a week after Ibra’s father’s death. Ibrahim was very sick and extremely malnourished.  Everyone thought that he was infected with HV/AIDS since his Dad had died of the same cause. His uncle’s income was very little, yet he had eight other children to look after. The new stepmother refused to care for little Ibra and left him for hours at a time sitting outside in the hot sun on the house veranda. He would have flies crawling all over him and he would sit with wet underpants. The uncle pleaded for help from Eagles Wings and we responded by having Ibrahim included within family three. Ibra was insecure, could not talk nor walk, and he looked very thin. He came to us on July 7th, 2008. His true age is not known, but we estimate that he will be four years old in January 2010.

Ibra is now a very active boy who involves himself in all family activities. His Family #3 Mother ( Florence ) says “Ibrahim expresses his love to me daily in an amazing way.  Whenever I come back home and stand in the compound, before he gives me a hug he first looks for my chair wherever it is and then brings it for me to sit on.” Ibrahim’s great desire for schooling is daily realized as he imitates others whenever he writes and draws pictures. Even though he is still inconsistent with his toilet habits and still very selective with friends, Ibrahim loves and relates well with others. He is like a bright shining star in family three. Everyone loves him.   His sponsor, Sophia, of Toronto , Canada , is making such a big difference in this little guy’s life by loving him, praying for him, and caring for him.  We pray that Sophia will come to visit us this coming spring to meet Ibrahim along with the other nine children they are sponsoring.

Praise Items

  1. Our well is finally working and pumping very tasty water.    We have had a 10,000 liter tank installed near the new school on a pedestal 3 m high.  Water is pumped using a solar pump installed in the casing of the well through a pipeline from the borehole up to the new tank.   Thanks to our friends, George and his son, Levi, who came  from Soldotna ,  Alaska , to be with us for a week.   They brought the solar pump and generator with them.   On cloudy days we now use the generator to pump the water.   One solar panel works fine pumping the water on sunny days.    We also thank their church in Alaska for their love and support with completing this project for us.   What a blessing!
    Last year George brought a water purification kit so we are now able to purify our water.   The cooks in the kitchens of the families no longer have to boil water for a minimum of ten minutes at full boil.  This saves on fire wood and time.  The cooks were so pleased with this new progress for drinking water.  It also serves our school.   Typhoid has dropped dramatically with the provision of clean water.  Our thanks also go out at this time to our anonymous donor from Canada who made the drilling of the well possible.  Maybe someday they will taste this very water they helped to provide for so many people.   What a blessing!
  2. The new school has nearly been completed.   It remains for the doors and windows to be installed in the front of the building, perhaps this coming week from donations from our friends, Lyle and Evangeline in Texas , USA , as well as from a donation made from the Family Life Centre in Grandview .  We praise God who has enabled us to move this far with the fine looking roof also installed.  The roof was also a gift of another anonymous donor from Manitoba .   Many of the bricks for the foundation were donated by the school children in Winnipeg from Ecole St. Avila , Fort Richmond , Winnipeg under the efforts of Teacher Rupal.   Money was also sponsored initially by Teacher Alison and her new husband who asked for wedding gifts to be given in the form of donations towards the building of our new school foundation.
  3. Shoes and socks have been provided for 176 most needy children from our project.   These shoes are the first shoes ever worn by most of these children who were quite excited to be able to wear shoes.   The students now are on holidays until the beginning of Feb. 2010.    They wear their shoes when they attend our Sunday School classes.
  4. Money for Christmas Gift Bags for all the children and three special Christmas meals has been provided by Blumenort Mennonite Church in Rosetown , MB , as well as several other donors like the McBrides of Gilbert Plains.  Praise Him!   We are now feeding the children and adults who attend our church at the property, Lubumba Community Church , after each church service on Sundays.   This might be the only meal they will have that day.  On December 20th it will be an extra special meal for the community people.   December 23rd, the school children from the community will receive a gift bag to share and feed their family on Christmas Day.   December 25th will be the special meal for the three families of EWCV when they receive their gift from their sponsors in the morning as well as sharing with a Christmas Church service.   On December 28th we will have another special meal to feed the former guardians and children of families 1, 2, and 3 before they take the children home to their village for at least one month of holidays.   The day will include our Annual General Meeting for EWCV.  We will also send each child with a special bag of food items to help maintain their feeding during that month.   One donor has provided money for putting a ball and some candies into each gift bag for nearly 225 children.  We have been able to purchase the balls in Kampala and Masaka.   Most of our staff will also go for a month’s holiday on December 29th while the children are away with the former guardians.
  5. We received word this week from Deryk Norton of Mill Bay , B.C. telling us that EWCV has been granted money from the 17 Rotary Clubs of southern Vancouver Island as well as from the Masaka Rotary Club here in Uganda for the building of an ECO SAN toilet beside our new school.   Also, money is provided for water conservation for the school.   Wow!  Isn’t that great news?   However, we can’t open our new school until the new toilet has been built for the children to use.  We might also receive another grant from the Rotary Club to help us with feeding the school children for the first term as well as for school supplies, desks for the new Primary Six class, etc.
  6. Nearly 70 boxes of children’s’ books were received earlier this year for our new school library which will be opened sometime after the new school has been completed.  The books were sent from the Blumenort Mennonite Church .   We also praise God for the books received from Pat Parish in Winnipeg as well as her sister, Lynda Norton, of Mill Bay, Vancouver Island.  Now we just need Marilyn Dyck to return to help to organize our new library which will also contain a computer lab with solar computers for our students someday, good Lord willing, as He provides.
  7. We praise God for the successful Benefit Concert held in Toronto this past November 7th at the Glenn Gould Concert Studio.  Performing artist’s violinist Steven Tsitsos and guitarist Alvin Tung gave a program of Spanish and Tango music to raise money for EWCV through the “Canadian Foundation For The Performing Arts”.   Over $8000 CAD was raised for our children’s’ new school project.   Francie Humby of Winnipeg attended the concert representing all of us from EWCV Uganda and the Canadian Board for EWCV.  We praise God for the efforts of Sophia and Lee of Toronto who spent many hours trying to organize this concert.   Plans are under way for Benefit Concerts to be held in Winnipeg , Manitoba , this coming April 2010 and in Athens , Greece , next May 2010.   A Benefit Concert was also organized by our young friend Stella at the International School in Dubai earlier this year as well as last year to raise money for EWCV.   Our Canadian friend, Joe Vautour of Athens , Greece , also performed with Stella in Dubai .
  8. During the tour of Greece , Scotland , and Canada by Ja Ja’s Bill & Ann this past year, we praise God for the 82 children who were sponsored leaving us with 65 more children waiting to be sponsored among the day students from the surrounding villages.  Some of them are posted on the website waiting for sponsorship.   This has made such a difference for the sponsored children whereby we are now able to provide medical care as well as schooling and feeding for them.   We praise God for the many hosts who welcomed us into their homes during our travels and who provided for our every need.   We praise God for the airline tickets provided by Sophia in Toronto for us to travel to Greece , and then to Canada as well as tickets for our side trip to Scotland from George and Monica who live in Alaska .
  9. God knew the desires of our hearts when we were able to attend our two granddaughters’ graduations from Grade Twelve in Winnipeg .   First we attended Amanda’s graduation ceremony on the Monday afternoon and then Sheena’s graduation Tuesday morning.   It was God’s perfect timing.  We were also blessed to attend the wedding in Vancouver , B.C., of Grace and Arthur who made us feel very special in this important event.   Our daughter Linda, husband Ken, and their children Amanda, Joshua, and Jennifer also attended the wedding along with son Mike’s daughter Sheena.   Times like this were very special for us.  We were also able to connect with church friends, our town friends where we lived, old friends from the past, plus many relatives.  So it was a total blessing for us to feel the love of the people we know.
  10. For those of you who have been asking about Sam who used to work for us, he returned yesterday to a reunion with his parents and ourselves.  Please continue to pray for him as he finds his way forward.

Current Needs

  1. Sponsorship for 65 students @ $40 each per month for the students from Lubumba Community who attend our school as day students.  Some are up on the website for sponsorship.   Also, we need sponsorship for some of our staff for their monthly salary including one newly hired teacher, Dennis, @ $160 CAD per month.  They are also to be found on the website.
  2. $1000 still needs to be provided for shoes and socks for 176 children.
  3. New kitchen and storage room for food for the new school at $15,000 to include two new Energy Efficient Stoves and plumbing for a double sink.
  4. Textbooks for nine Primary Three students in Soweto for the new school year beginning February 2010.   The total cost of these textbooks is $330 CAD.or about $7.50 per textbook.
  5. Textbooks for 36 Primary Six Students at the new school.   This includes six sets of different courses of English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Agriculture, and Religious Education.    The total cost of the books for this new Primary Six class for February 2010 is $1636 or about $7.50 per textbook.

Merry Christmas from EWCV

Once again we extend our appreciation for your continued support and encouragement.   We remain truly blessed.    May we all remember at this time that:

“Jesus Is The Reason For The Season.” –  Merry Christmas from the staff and children of Eagles Wings Children’s Village Uganda in East Africa .

Please use our new email address:   bapeckham@nullgmail.com EWCV Website:   www.eagleswingschildrensvillage.com

New mailing address for the Canadian Head Office of EWCV:

Eagles Wings Children’s Village
c/o Pat Bates
300-404 Desalaberry Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada, R2L 2G3

Phone:   204- 254-5309 for financial information (Pat Bates)
Phone:    204- 257-2483 for sponsorship information or other programs including volunteering (Francie Humby)

Please note that we can provide contact information for those of you who live in the USA , UK , or Europe for making donations or sponsorships to EWCV if you wish.   Just contact us here in Uganda and we should get back to you.