Newsletter April 2012 – Eagles Wings Children’s Village, Uganda

Newsletter April 2012
Eagles Wings Children's Village ~ Uganda
Shoe Distribution ~ written by volunteer Kurt Petersen of Canada
How important are shoes to you? I remember shoes being very important to many
people back in North America with closets filled with colourful and well-made shoes
which were not only for protecting our feet and keeping them warm but also for
style. Here in Uganda, having closets full of shoes for style is simply not an option,
especially for children. We have recently been blessed here at Eagles Wings Children’s
Village with boxes of wonderful shoes from an organization in the United States called
Soles for Souls. After patiently waiting for the shoes to arrive, we praise God they have
safely arrived in a container, with thanks to the Macris family.
Joan (volunteer), Allan Kisakye
(EW social worker), myself and
some children got down to
business and began sorting,
sizing and fitting the 200+ pairs
of shoes that we have
received. As Joan and I sorted
the shoes into respective sizes
and genders, Allan traced
children’s feet on paper to help
us find the appropriate size for
each child.
Family 3 children were the first to
receive these new, bright,
colourful shoes and were
jumping with excitement! The smiles and comments they made were truly joyful. To
keep such a task of fitting and sizing manageable we took the children in small groups
of 5 – 6 children at a time, it still wasn’t an easy task but it was enjoyable and
fulfilling. Families 1 and 2 have also now received and are looking very ‘smart’ (as they
say here in Uganda).
In addition to the shoes, children have also received a pair of socks to keep their feet
warm and dry and clean. Shoes and socks are extremely important in these parts of the
world because as they walk around in their tough, strong bare feet, they’re still
susceptible to problems, like cuts, infections and jiggers. Jiggers can do the most
damage to a person’s feet, especially to a child.
What are jiggers? Small larvae that most commonly live in dust-dirt floors, which is the
case for most village homes. As a person walks or crawls around, these larvae attach to
the skin and burrow inside, under the skin and make themselves at home, feeding on
blood. They can also lay eggs, causing the problem to worsen. If not removed, they
continue growing and overtake that area of the body, which is most commonly the feet
or even hands (if walking or crawling on hands).Recently, we had a first-hand look at
how painful and disturbing jiggers are to children as we watched many children grouping
together to remove them from each other. Using pins, razor blades and other sharp
objects they cut into the skin to get at the jigger and pull it out. It’s a painful process
they carry out every few weeks that can produce blood, tears and screams – not a site I
wanted to see but opened my eyes to the importance of preventing such a thing! As we
look around and see others with closets full of shoes, lets think of how only one of those
pairs of shoes can help prevent jiggers and save a child from a lot of pain, tears and
embarrassment. Also it will improve the child’s confidence and self-esteem.
Next on our list of shoe distribution and fitting is to the community students at Beth Pipe
Primary School and Eagles Wings High School. This will be a huge blessing to many of
these children and we give God the praise for blessing us with these shoes to help
these children grow and
achieve a bright
future. Thanks again to
"Soles for Souls USA".
God bless, Kurt
Recent Return Visit
by Canadian Board Member
of EWCV & Child Sponsor,
Jaimee Schmidt
After spending 5 weeks in
Uganda last year, returning
to East Africa for a month this
year was like coming home. I
found the part of me that I
had left behind last time. To say I love Africa would be an understatement. Part of me
lives there, part of me always will. I love the people and everything they teach me, I love
the children and walking down the road taking everything in. I love that I was able to
make a return visit to Eagles Wings Children’s Village. I was able to witness the joy of a
child getting their very first letter from their sponsor, the excitement of the children
getting new shoes, and the laughter as the children play together outside.
Last year when I was at EWCV, Ibra, the boy I sponsor in Family 3, drew me a picture
and as he handed it to me said, this is for you, my Mom. This year when I was there one
of the children came up to me and told me that Ibra wanted me to know I was his Mom.
How do I handle this responsibility given to me by this child I love?
The cost of letting these children in, of loving them with all of yourself, is that one must
then return home and learn to function with the absence of that part of yourself that
stayed behind. Loving these children, is worth living a fractured existence. Each of them
has the potential to become something great, and I’m glad I was able to witness a small
part of that. In some small way, I learned that each one of you that support EWCV in
any variety of ways is part of the story too. You are part of helping that child reach their
potential, giving them a future they never knew they had. For those people that sponsor
James 1:27 says "Religion
that God our Father accepts
as pure and faultless is
this: to look after orphans
and widows in their distress
and to keep oneself from
being polluted by the
children, know that the one you sponsor prays for you, they know your name and they
want to know more about you.
For me, and I think for many people in
developed countries, it is easy to
become overwhelmed with the
bombardment of organizations out
there. Discouraging stories of
corruption abound and a person
wonders if they should give anything
at all. Watching the evening news can
make one wonder if there is anything
good left in the world. After twice
being to EWCV, I can tell you they are
doing a good job. That money you
sent? It’s being used to send a child to
school, to educate them so they can
break free from the chains of poverty.
It’s being used to build housing and classrooms for the children. They have a vision and
that vision is slowly being made a reality, one brick and one sponsored child at a time.
And although it may seem far away and although you may never have met the people
who you are helping, which can make it seem impersonal, it’s personal to the
Grandmother who can’t afford school fee’s for her grandson who now has the
opportunity of an education. And that goodness in the world? It’s there, it’s in the
laughter of the children, in their infectious smiles, and their silly games. Last year one of
my Ugandan friends came up to me, touched me on the shoulder, and looked me in the
eyes and said “Jaimee, Thank you for your heart.” So I want to say the same to you,
because I know that’s what my friend would tell you if you could meet her. Thank you for
your heart. Thank you for loving Uganda.
Gifts, Gifts, and more Gifts for the Children ~ by Ja Ja Bill
On Saturday, March 17th, the Macris family came over to present the children of family
#3 (who had been baptized several months ago) with Bibles donated by their friends,
John & Elaine Dimoulis - a big thank you from the children. This was the first of several
gifts which the children of
EWCV received from the
Macris family on behalf of
others who had made
donations. This was a vision
of Maria Macris to give Bibles
to the children of
EWCV. These Bibles had
come in boxes in the large
container shipped from the
USA. Along with the Bibles
came clothing, shoes, toy
trucks, material, wagons, teddy
bears, and storage bins from
our friend, Sophia Syrros of Toronto, Canada. Thanks, Sophia, for your generosity and
love for our children.
The gift distribution continued on March 28th when an organization called Star Times
set up some tents in our front yard. They wanted to present our family #3 with some
gifts of food and scholastic materials. They invited the Mayor of Masaka and our local
representative of the
President of Uganda, the
LC5 Chairman, to attend and
make speeches. We were
all featured on television and
in the radio and
newspapers. Many people
have now heard of EWCV as
we were on National
TV. Our children had the
opportunity to sing many
songs to entertain
them. Everyone was given a
soda to cap off the day. The
food donation came at a time
when we were short of food
for the children due to a
shortage that month. It was God's perfect timing. Many thanks go out to Star Times
and their organizers. Well Done!
The following Thursday, the Macris Family drove to the property with us to
distribute gift bags to the children at the Primary School. Besides bringing over
212 pairs of shoes (featured in the first article by Kurt), in the Macris container from the
USA, the family worked together back in Chicago to put together 300 gift bags for our
children. Inside the bags were a note pad, pen, small rubber ball, blow up ball, small car
for boys and necklace for girls, and a teddy bear. The children had already done some
decorating by coloring the pictures of Jesus on the front of the bags. These gift bags
were given the day before the
Easter weekend. Many people
who know the Macris's in the USA
had made donations towards
purchasing the items for the
bags. The children were so
excited and went back to their
homes with an extra bounce in
their step. Thank you, Macris's
and all those who made donations
for the childrens' gifts.
On Easter Sunday, we hired a
coaster van to take Family #3
children and staff to the property
for church and to eat together with
the other children of families 1 & 2. Full Bibles were handed out in church to the
children of families 1 & 2 who had been baptized. The church had been nicely
decorated with bright colored curtains surrounding the inside walls of the church along
with balloons. Each family sang a song reflecting the Resurrection of Christ and these
songs added to the Easter Sunday message given by Tatta Moses of Family #3. After
the meal, all the children of families 1, 2, & 3 were given the gift bags from the Macris
family. These children were all wearing their new shoes donated by Soles for Souls of
the USA along with the new socks we provided for the along with the new socks we
provided for the children. Pictured below are Families 1, 2, and 3 together:
Incomparably talented guitarist, PHIL KEAGGY, in concert at BUHLER HALL (MCI
campus), GRETNA, MB, SATURDAY, MAY 26th @ 7:30 pm. Seats for this concert are
FREE of charge; a free-will offering will be taken, with all proceeds to Eagles Wings
Children's Village. All donations tax deductible.
Contact Information:
Eagles Wings Children's Village
C/O Pat Bates
#300-404 Desalaberry Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R2L 2G3
For Financial Information:
Contact Pat Bates: 204-254-5309
For child/staff/general information:
Please contact Francie Humby:
¨ UK - contact Love in Action; Email:
¨ USA - contact Real Partners Uganda; 523 Lafayette Blvd., Brigantine, NJ
08203 USA; Email:
¨ Europe – contact Hellenic Ministries; Lydias 12, 11527, Athens, Greece; Phone:
+ or Email:
**Please indicate that your donation is for Eagles Wings Children's Village in Uganda. **