Newsletter – September, 2009

Greetings After a Long Absence

The children and staff of Eagles Wings Children’s Village send you greetings since our last newsletter in March 2009.   Ja Ja’s Bill & Ann Peckham were absent from Uganda since April 1st until August 23rd when we returned.    We spent the five months traveling to Greece , Aberdeen , Scotland , Canada , Israel , Crete and back to Uganda .   Everywhere we went we were welcomed so much and given such fine hospitality.   Besides the wonderful warm hospitality we received in Canada , when we arrived at noon at the property of EWCV, Families 1, 2 and 3 as well as all the school children and all the staff greeted us as they were lined up along the path from the gate.    They all sang, danced, staff included and they had a wonderful meal prepared for us. Wow, it was awesome to feel so welcomed and loved.  It was a whole afternoon of entertainment and fun.  We were given gifts, as well as Rev. Christopher and Harriet for the work they did during our five months of absence.

We praise God that during our trip abroad we were able to attend the school graduation of two of our granddaughter’s Amanda Vandenakker and Sheena Peckham from Grade 12 in Winnipeg as well as attend the lovely wedding of our other granddaughter, Grace Lee, who married Arthur Kam in Vancouver , B.C. on July 18th.    These three events were highlights for us of the whole trip as we were able to be together with our family.   We were planning to send this newsletter out as soon as we returned to Uganda , however, we both developed malaria and a persistent cough and then political tensions developed in Uganda .

Rioting in Uganda September 10th

Rioting and chaos developed in Uganda which affected most of this country, especially in Kampala and our home area of Masaka including the area of our house and compound where shooting persisted during the day in every direction.   Our children were very frightened with the shooting as it sounded like someone was lighting fire crackers in our front yard.   The children rushed from the classroom into the hallway for protection.   This situation occurred due to political differences between the President and the Bugandan Kabaka (King).

That same day, three of our young employees were trying to return with our EWCV truck from Kampala to Masaka with Allan Kisakye (Social Worker) driving.   They came upon a vehicle being attacked and burned ahead of them and the people were being beaten.   Allan immediately backed up, only to realize that three motor cycle drivers had pulled up behind him in the dark.   He hadn’t seen them and he hit them.   Immediately a mob rushed on our truck and smashed the windows.   The three men ran for their lives from the truck.

Four of the five suitcases of cargo were stolen from the back of the truck and the mob forgot about torching our truck and causing further damage as they became engrossed in rummaging through the suitcases and dividing up the lot.  This included many gifts which had been given for our children and staff during our travels including vitamins, toothpaste, clothing for the children, books for the new library, and gifts for the staff.   However, we told the guys that their lives were more important than these gifts which were used as a sacrifice for the three men as we see it.   I’m sure that all of you who gave these gifts would agree with us.  The guys were able to get back into the truck, but Allan was taken by the gang and had to provide money for the damage he had caused.   One motor cycle driver pleaded for Allan’s case and he was freed after paying some money.  We praise God that He protected our workers.  They arrived home the next morning after finding a guest house in Kampala for security and rest.

School Students’ Sponsorship Program

During our travels, we gave many Power Point presentations on Eagles Wings at various churches where we were invited to speak.   We also received extra invitations to speak, but couldn’t fit everyone in.   Everywhere we went we displayed pictures and write-ups of some of the students who attend our school at property from the nearby villages.   These children were chosen from the most needy, many of them orphans, and some of them living with HIV/AIDS.   We have been feeding them two meals per day, providing uniforms, scholastic materials and textbooks, purified drinking water, sports equipment, and qualified teachers.    We saw that all this was providing beyond our means financially due to increased costs in food and everything in this country.

Our Social Worker, Allan, advocated on behalf of the students that we needed to start seeking sponsorship for each of these 148 children who joined us at school everyday from the village.  We were able to find nearly 80 sponsors to commit themselves to sponsoring one or more of our children at $40 CAD per child per month.   This has truly been a blessing for us to continue to provide programs for these children and to move forward to provide medical/dental care, casual clothing/shoes, mosquito nets, mattresses and bedding for them.   Due to the drought which has hit Uganda , many people are starving.  We have another 70 children who still need sponsorship.   Some of them are now on the website:   www.eagleswingschildrensvillage.com under the link child sponsorship.   If you wish to check this out you can even sign up and fill out the form on-line.

We have hired a new secretary for our office as this students’ sponsorship program was developed.   Her name is Agnes Mawanda and her email address is:    agnesnakato68@nullgmail.com If you are already sponsoring one of these school children, you are welcome to send an email to them through Agne’s email address at certain times of the year.   She will print it and see that it is directed to the school at the property.  Our workers are presently setting up a letter writing procedure and we will need to let you know when the dates are appropriate for you to write.   Right now some of the children are receiving messages from their sponsors and others are not.   The teachers in the school will also work with their children at certain times of the year to write replies to your letters and to answer any questions which you might have asked them.   Their first letters to sponsors should be written before they write exams in November.    In December all the children in Uganda will begin their two months holidays at the end of their school year ending around December 4th.   Then they will begin school again the first Monday in February 2010.

Our former secretary, Edith Namara has been promoted to “Student Sponsor Relations Supervisor” and she is now living full time at the property.   Edith will have her office in the new school when it is completed.   She has been busy with the list of names and sponsors of the children.   She has recently been given this list after we returned from our trip and will be working closely with the Social Worker, Head Master of the school, and the guardians of these children.   During Edith’s transition from her secretarial position into the new job, she hadn’t checked her emails here in town.   This delayed her from answering emails which some of you had sent to her.   We apologize for this delay, but if you have any concerns regarding the child you are sponsoring, Edith will now be printing any messages at least once a week when she comes into our office in Masaka.  Her email address is still:    namaraedith@nullgmail.com or you can forward your message to our secretary, Agnes Mawanda at the above email address.  We also need sponsorship for Agnes and Edith’s salaries which can be done on our website.

Families 1, 2, and 3.

Due to the increased cost of food and needs for the children, we have to ask the sponsors for all of these children in families 1, 2, and 3 to increase donations from $35 CAD per month to $45 if you are able and willing to do so.   Thank you to those of you who learned about this problem during our travels and have arranged several months ago to make the change for the monthly donations.  The money we are presently receiving at $35 per month clearly does not cover the costs for feeding, clothing, providing medical and dental care, providing all the needs for educating them with qualified teachers, uniforms, and scholastic materials.   If you are able to increase to $45 per month we would appreciate it so much.  But remember, if you are definitely unable, that is okay because God truly does provide.   This will be the first increase since we began taking in children in 2006.  Here’s some news for you of each of the three families:

In family #1 we have just received new House Parents who arrived yesterday replacing Christine Kawuma and Eddie Katongole.    The new parents have met with the 24 children and are today (September 25th) settling into their new home.   Their names are Sarah and Akisofery Angambo who are both used to working with younger children.  Yesterday they were given a wonderful welcome from the students at the school with singing and dancing after they arrived at the property.

Family #2 has a new Night Security Guard who is Joseph Kubwimana replacing Deus.   A fire burned the thatched roofing of the dining hut of family #2 and we had to recharge all of our fire extinquishers afterwards as they were all emptied in fighting the fire.   Thankfully, none of the other thatched huts was burned.  Also, none of the animal/bird paintings on the dining hut was ruined by the fire, thankfully, after Mary Oughtred did such a fine job of creating the paintings for the children.

Family #3 has a new laundry/ironing lady Harriet Kisakye who replaced Juliet.  Also, Stella Kisakye of family #3 has given birth to a new baby girl named Grace Deborah and they are living now with Rev. Christopher and Harriet Muwonge in the hospitality center.   Ja Ja Ann was chosen by Stella to give the first name which is Grace.   It was by natural child birth and an easy delivery.   We praise God for Grace.   A new teacher, Judith Niwamanya will be starting teaching Nursery/Primary One here in Soweto , Masaka, this coming Monday taking over from Ruth who has also had a baby and will be staying home with her baby.

Construction for Family #3 Housing – Once we have the new school up and running next year, we will then concentrate on channeling funds towards the construction of 8 new buildings for housing our 24 children in family #3.     The total cost of that project will be around $70,000 CAD.   Each of the four children’s’ dormitory huts will cost $6000 CAD, the dining hut at $8000, the kitchen/store at $10,000 CAD, the Parent’s House at $12,000 CAD, and the latrine at $8,000 CAD, wiring/fixtures for solar lighting at $4,000 CAD, and plumbing/fixtures/water tanks at around $4,000 CAD.

New School

Our new school has reached the completion of the roofing.   We praise God for this progress when we are trying to see the job completed by February 2010.  If you wish to see a picture of the school, please send us an email and we will send you an email with the picture.   We now have to install doors and windows, do the plastering, complete the wiring for solar, painting, build an ECOSAN toilet and a kitchen/storage room.  The huge roof will enable us to harvest rain water.

Benefit Concert for EWCV in Toronto

Steven Tsitsos (Violin) and Alvin Tung (Guitar) will perform on November 7th at 7 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto with advanced tickets sales only at $40 per ticket.  You can contact Sophia Syrros at    sophiasyrros@nullrogers.com or    Lee Poka at     lilip7@nullhotmail.com

Rev. Christopher and Harriet Muwonge of EWCV Uganda will not be able to attend.   Francie Humby of Winnipeg will attend representing  EWCV.

Appreciation

Ann and I wish to extend our hearty thanks to everyone who hosted us during our extensive travels for the five months we were out of Uganda .  We were able to rest In the Lord and saw wonderful love and care given to us by those who hosted us. We were provided with the best of hospitality everywhere we went including over 23 different beds. (Guess what?  We didn’t stub our toes going to the washroom at night – ha ha).   We also send our thanks to those of you who dug deep into your pockets to make donations for EWCV so that we have been able to continue moving forward with projects like our new school, and now in the future, we need funding for the housing for family #3 as well as a medical/dental clinic on-site (We have the land).

Please note the personal email address change for Bill & Ann Peckham from:       bapeckham@nullugandamail.com to      bapeckham@nullgmail.com

Pat Bates in our Winnipeg office has changed residence and the new Eagles Wings Children’s Village Canadian office address is:    Eagles Wings Children’s Village,

#300-404 Desalaberry Street, Winnipeg, MB. , R2L 2G3 .     Pat’s new phone number for our EWCV Canadian office is:   204-254-5309.    The number for Francie Humby to answer any questions regarding EWCV for children’s or staffing issues is:   204-257-2483.    The mailing address for EWCV office in Uganda is:   Box 842 , Masaka , Uganda , East Africa .

Calendars: If you are able to find any calendars over the next few months for the new year of 2010, we would appreciate it if you could send us some with pictures of Canadian/International animals as well as scenic pictures.    We give them out to staff and also for the classrooms of our two schools.

Prayer Items – Please pray for:

  1. peace in Uganda between the President and the Kabaka (King of the Buganda Tribe).
  2. the completion of school construction to be ready for February 2010 and for the construction of housing for Family #3 children.
  3. unity and peace amongst the staff of Eagles Wings and for God’s wisdom for us (Bill & Ann) with the many decisions being made daily.
  4. the success in ticket sales for the Benefit Concert in Toronto for EWCV for November 7th.
  5. EWCV to have a medical clinic with proper lab equipment and medical staff to test and treat all of our children as well as people from the nearby