In the last two years, Ms. Afuwa Nakato, and her five children lived in a container. That is now like a bad nightmare.
The nightmare was a continuation of a typical single motherhood where the father of the children abandoned them. They were chased from their rented house, its then that Nakato sought shelter in a container.
The family can finally sleep easy after getting the keys to their new two-roomed house at Kakembo Road in Makindye, a Kampala suburb. The credit for this goes to Zion Children’s Orphanage, a local non-governmental organization (NGO).
The Chief Executive Officer of ZCO, Alex Pius Ssebakiwa, described the resettlement as one of his most proud moments. He, in-turn, credited a Swedish NGO, help@hand, an organization in Sweden that helps vulnerable children in Philippine and Uganda, for their compassion towards vulnerable people, especially children. It is ZCO that linked with help@hand to rescue Nakato from her predicament.
And this link goes to a Swedish national, Kristian Rankloo. When Rankloo saw the problem of the family, it touched his heart, and back in Sweeden, he posted their story on his page. Then, one of his friends offered to pay rent the two-roomed house in Makindye for a full year. He has also made a commitment to pay rent for the family for another full year.
More than that, he gave a complete set of furniture and beddings for their new home. The eldest child, Leila Lukwago,who is in Primary Seven, said that the idea of sleeping in a proper bed with bed sheets and blankets is like a feeling out of this world. “There are no words of describing it,” the young girl said with special thanks for Rankloo, who made this happen.
For Nakato, it was simply, “An overwhelming feeling of joy,” with her children dancing around her utter with excitement. In their happiness, they started allocating beds amongst themselves on the double -decker beds. Apart from the beds, the family got, towels, curtains bed sheets, blankets, jerry cans, basins, carpets, a charcoal stove and mosquito nets and other household items.
It is a far cry from their previous life in the container. As Nakato recalls, living in the container had many problems. When it was raining, the container was leaking and when it is sunny, the container used to be too hot. The children would not sleep, sometimes forcing her to sleep without locking it up. This was dangerous for fear of all kinds of harm.
Kristian has promised further help for the family. He was in Uganda recently on his annual trips to monitor the projects that he had left behind. He came along with a friend, Kim Olsson, with whom they visited Mugalula Community School in Gayaza.
The school has benefitted in this partnership in many ways from help@hand. Alongside ZCO, they have given cloths and other gifts for the orphaned children. They also pay school fees for the vulnerable children.
Now, they are planning drilling for water at the school and connecting it to the toilets and the showers.