Week One in Uganda – TEAMWORK!


Normally I put one picture at the top of these emails, but I really want to share a few from our first days in Uganda. The ladies are doing such great work and our staff and girls are so happy to have them with us!

Clockwise from the top left, Susan (my mom) teaching watercolor to the Literacy girls; Connie teaching paper clay modeling, also to the Literacy girls; and Harriet (from Karamoja) and Bertie unpacking new medical supplies for our Nurse Brenda.

Yesterday, Harriet, Bertie, and Connie did a community talk on hand washing and hygiene, and they gave out 50 mosquito nets. Connie also taught a class on making glass jewelry. On Monday, Susan did a drawing class.

(And Susan’s luggage is still lost somewhere... so you can say a prayer on that since it’s not just clothes but all her personal and student art supplies, too!)

Meanwhile, I have been doing very exciting things like working with our Finance Officer on accounting software and making spreadsheets for upcoming payroll tax changes (ugh), and putting together what we’ll need in March to renew/upgrade our organizational license (also ugh). We have a dinner meeting tonight with the attorney… I know, my part sounds like so much fun, right?!

I did, however, get one very important visit in — with Mama Santa! She is so appreciative of you all, who funded her surgery within an hour of last week’s email going out. She’s resting and doing well, while her daughter Charity fills in in the kitchen.


This week we’ll have more community visits, more classes, more laughter, and (I’m sure) more dancing. Our nurses will be making time for individual chats, Susan will be doing a workshop for the staff on managing stress, and Connie will be making cassava mendazi for the girls.

In short – it’s pretty amazing over here!



PS We would love to have your support to move the residential program to a separate house just down the road — we’re at 21%! Life is already challenging for teen moms like Anita, who had a c-section 4 weeks ago. Giving them some peace and quiet would be amazing! Just click the button for easy giving.

MOVE Project!

Week One in Uganda – TEAMWORK! Read More »

Creativity and Confidence


The slum is not a nice place.

You probably thought, “Well duh…” to that, because obviously it wouldn’t be called a slum if it was somewhere lovely.

But seriously. Beyond the obvious (filth, muck, abuse, drugs and moonshine, starvation, illness… SMELLS), everyone there operates in survival mode 100% of the time.

In survival mode, you’re not creative. Your body is flooded with cortisol and adrenaline. Your immune system is terrible. Your brain is a weird combination of hyper-alertness and fuzzy thinking.

This is how our girls live all the time when they’re not at the Touch the Slum compound. In the community, they can turn to little baggies of waraji (moonshine made in 50 gallon drums that makes turpentine seem like fine wine) or marijuana to try to ease the stress. If they escape that, they turn to young men who promise some stability but just leave unclaimed babies after they disappear.

One of our missions at Touch the Slum is to create an atmosphere where the girls can not only learn but also RELAX. Feel safe. Laugh. Dance. And create.

In March, my mom, Susan, introduced the girls in the Literacy class to drawing and painting. They loved it! Ever since, we’ve made it a regular part of the curriculum and it’s one of their favorite things.

When the team goes in January, we will have my mom again, who will continue to teach drawing and painting to the girls and staff. Connie is a glass and pottery artist so she’s going to teach those skills. And I’ll be bringing creative writing to the girls with some fun activities to help them have fun with their newly learned English words.

Much of life involves creating: outfits, artwork, stories, hairstyles. Once they can envision the small stuff, they can see the project that will be their masterpiece:

A life.

Thanks to you, these girls are learning to think creatively and expand their dreams. That’s an amazing gift and we can’t thank you enough.

Mwebele nnyo,


PS Are you following us on Instagram yet? We’ve had some great reels there, and the media team is doing a great job with our content. Click the icon below or here to check it out!

Creativity and Confidence Read More »

Scroll to Top