Freddie is one of many.

See this photo and more at: flikr.com/photos/dldt     Photo by|Erin Huber

Photo Reflection Blog by| Erin Huber, Director of Drink Local. Drink Tap.

 

Freddie IS the reason we need to share LOVE.

I met this handsome young man on my last day in Mulajji and he made me smile and cry all at once.  Mama Maria (who you will  meet in the coming weeks) introduced this new student to me while he was teary eyed, hungry and well, recently orphaned.  Mama said, “Freddie just lost his dad to ‘fever’ and his mother left with another man (I will explain later) and he has no ‘grants’ (grandparents)”. What is this cutie supposed to do? We all need love to survive.

I took one look at this little guy and picked him up to hug him.

I truly want to be more frank with you right now, but in the name of not turning you off from reading, I will refrain from how angry I was that this little guy was all alone.  Being an orphan in Uganda means that one parent can pass away and the remaining one can go with another person to marry- that new person rarely accepts your existing children. The kids are left in the red dust unless a caring person overextends their means to take an orphan in.

I told Freddie that I lost my daddy when I was little too and everything would be okay (even though in my heart I knew the possibility of that was fairly low at the moment). I tried to tickle him and make him smile…and then I had to leave Mulajji after one last hug.

I felt absolutely helpless.

For a split second, that moment took me back to pre-planning Africa. Looking online at the VISA web-link Laura sent my way, the first thing I clicked on (without thinking or realizing until after it happened) was ‘how to adopt a Ugandan child’.  So tempting.

None of the orphans in Uganda deserve their deck. They are LOVING, playful, sweet, kind, and most of all, they want the same opportunities in life that our kids in the states have easy access to (although not all take advantage of that).  Like always, with the many frustrations of feeling helpless to impact these incredibly difficult to grasp issues in Africa (and in the states sometimes), I had to take a step back and remember one thing:

I can help people like tiny Freddie by SHARING water and LOVE.

The impacts of both are powerful.

I miss Freddie, and the many other similar children I met, hugged, and love. I am so thankful to have all of YOU supporting the work of DLDT by sharing water and love with this school and community, especially with Freddie.

 

Read more about our work visit our Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda Project

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