Babies

Better late than… naked?!

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I don’t know about you, but when I go shopping for clothes, I browse, scrutinize, reject, make piles, sort, try on… it’s exhausting! (And let’s not get started on bathing suit season…!)

Did you ever stop in the middle of TJMaxx and think, “Wow, this is quite a luxury?” Yeah, me neither.

When girls who join our residential program get to the point where they are in crisis and come to us, they have nothing but the clothes on their backs. And those are almost always infested with bed bugs, so into the fire barrel they go.

From Day 1, they have to rely on us for literally everything from a toothbrush to shoes to sanitary pads to clothes for their children. Choice, as a concept, is pretty limited — but that’s true for everyone living in the Namuwongo slum.

Donations have been slower this year, and inflation and wars make people justifiably afraid. Some of our larger projects, like clothing for the babies, have been slow to fund.

But YOU!

As you always do, you came through with much-needed clothes for our babies yesterday (hence the belated newsletter). And let me tell you how they shop:

  1. Call a vendor on the phone.
  2. Tell them we have a dozen babies and toddlers who need clothes.
  3. Wait a few hours.
  4. Receive a (literal) vacuum sealed brick of clothing in a tightly wrapped bundle.
  5. Team up with friends to even lift it off the boda and carry it inside.
  6. Carefully cut open the clothes from the UK and see what surprises wait inside. (You can watch the video on our Instagram page!)

It was like an early Christmas, and the clothing spread out everywhere gave the girls plenty of choice for their little ones. We also have some put aside for later needs.

Not every “win” is an exciting gotcha moment, but for girls who have learned to expect nothing from life, what you provide by supporting their basic needs as well as their education is HOPE. In humanity, in their futures, and for their children.

There is nothing else more valuable.

Mwebele nnyo,

Jennings

PS We’ve got some new projects up on DonorSee, like providing a Thanksgiving dinner for the girls in the residential program, November’s diapers for the 20 teen moms in Skills for Life, and more art supplies for the Literacy program. We’ve raised over $116,000 on the platform thanks to you!!

Here’s a THANK YOU video from all of us!

THANK YOU!

WHAT A MONTH JANUARY WAS!

At Ten Eighteen, we have always promised to use your funds in the most transformational ways possible. And WOW, did we outdo ourselves in January!

The Literacy Class launched, with 20 girls who are eager (desperate!) to learn basic reading, writing, English and math. Our own teen mom Gloria, from the Ross and now Suubi House, is the most dedicated student there. (She’s on the left with her son Imran.)

Skills for Life Tailoring and Hairdressing courses did their 2-week-split, dividing the more advanced students into the afternoon classes and the ones needing more help into the morning classes. Our goal is COMPENTENCY, so we want to make sure that the girls who need more time (usually because they are illiterate and don’t speak English) get everything they need.

The daycare is now open, and our staff is already exhausted! hahaha Having done daycare in my home for a year, many many years ago, I warned them that it is a LOT of work. They now believe me! But it’s going really well, and it is SO helpful for the moms who are in class to be able to leave their children for a couple of hours to fully concentrate and learn.

Best picture ever!

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

Yesterday, we hired a full-time nurse. Today, we put in the order for the clinic furniture. By the end of the week, we will have stocked medication and supplies, and we should have a fully functioning and staffed clinic by Monday. We had 4 medical issues in January alone, so this will significantly help us in prevention, early treatment, and emergency care.

Sharon graduated from the Suubi House and moved with Patience to her first home of her own. She is working in a salon and told Ronald yesterday she has a new prospect for a better job. Shadia also graduated from the Suubi program and is in her own place, too! Both girls bring their kids to the daycare while they are working, so we see them — they’re doing great, and we’re so proud of them!

UPDATES

Bob Ditty had to postpone his photoshoot due to illness. We’ll let you know when that will be once we know.

The Advanced Tailoring class will be up and running by the end of February (probably sooner). While she waits, Ross/Suubi House resident Jenifer is doing an internship at a local tailoring shop.

We are now feeding over 60 people a day at the Ross House compound! We had to get a second stove!

Schools in Uganda FINALLY went back in session after 22 months. Wells of Hope in Rwakobo Village has 300 students! We provide food for Wells as well as Hopeland (150 students).

THANK YOU for your support and encouragement! We couldn’t do this without you! To become a monthly supporter or make a one-time donation, click the button. 100% goes to the programs!

DONORSEE AND OUR WORK

DonorSee listened, and their newest update means more of your money to our programs!

We have loved being on DonorSee, and have had over $8,000 in donations through the platform since September. It has allowed us to quickly respond to urgent needs as well as fund supplies for our students, a daycare, and more.

But the most common feedback from YOU was that 17% of your donation went to DonorSee, 3% to credit card fees, and only 80% to us directly. While your donations also helped us get traction with donors directly on the DonorSee platform at a 3-4 ratio, it was still a basic-math sticking point for a lot of you.

Well, DonorSee listened! This year, they started a Premium Membership for a limited number of partners, and we were invited! Now we pay a flat fee per month — $30 for the first 3 months and $100 after that — and all your donation comes to us (minus card processing). Since we “spent” $1303 on the 17% fee in just 4 months in 2021, this is a BIG deal for us!

With Term 1 of 2022 Skills for Life starting this week, several medical needs, and more up right now, we hope you’ll check it out and donate today! Every dollar counts, and goes to the programs.

Baby Liz received second degree burns this weekend after swatting a bowl of hot porridge out of mom Jenifer’s hand and onto herself. She was rushed to Nsambya Children’s Hospital where she is receiving daily treatment. She’s doing very well! We have a project up for her medical bill, if you’d like to help!

UPDATE: Liz was treated successfully and is fully healed! We are so grateful to our donors on DonorSee who gave to her medical bills!