rainy season

What Does Rain Do To a Mud and Stick House?


Wycliff, above, is our newest social worker. He started with us as a volunteer and then intern while he was at Makere University. He is not from the slum, one of the few staff members who isn’t, so the fact that he wanted to come work with us when he graduated is huge. The slum isn’t an easy place – not an easy place to live, visit, or even find your way around, much less work day in and day out.

The house of one of our girls, where Wycliff visited yesterday, is made simply of mud and very thin sticks. The roof is rusty corrugated iron. You can see from the sides of the house that rain — you notice those dark clouds, right?! — and mud don’t really go together that well. It leaks, and eventually, sooner rather than later, the walls will begin to fall down.

This mama makes her living selling sugar cane. They buy it from a truck coming in from the countryside, haul the long stalks home, then use a machete to strip it and cut off lengths to sell. People buy and chew sugar cane when they don’t have much money because it’s cheap and curbs hunger pains. It’s not a very profitable business.

Over 30,000 people live in the Namuwongo slum, which is Uganda’s largest. An estimated 75-80% of them are children or teens.

Our Touch the Slum project is the only NGO in Namuwongo working with teen moms, the only one offering completely free education for teen girls, and the only one offering a free residential program, a free clinic, and free daycare. The only one.

We can’t serve all of the thousands of teen girls there, but we can serve the 75 who come to us every day with the promise, the hope, of CHANGE. Of a life that they can control. Of literacy and English and learning a skill that will last them a lifetime.

We can do that because of you.

Mwebele nnyo,


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Rainy Season in Uganda

I’ve spent a lot of time with my Ugandan friends trying to explain the concept of seasons. (I haven’t been that successful!)

In Uganda, there are just rainy and dry seasons – two of each per year. We are coming to the last few weeks (we hope!) of this fall’s rainy season, which has been brutal.

  • At least 24 were killed in flooding in Eastern Uganda in August
  • Thousands were displaced by flooding and landslides in Western Uganda in September

Our own programs have been affected, as you can see from the picture above of Hopeland Primary School in Mbarara. Wells of Hope and the surrounding village in Rwakobo have had even more significant flooding. The work on the farmhouse was delayed significantly by rains.

You may not know it, but Kampala is about 3000 feet above sea level. I’ve only had one trip in 14 where I was hot — often I’m wearing jeans and a sweatshirt! And few windows have glass in them so the damp cold is hard to get away from when it never seems to stop raining.

We’ve had several girls struggle to control their asthma during this time, and about three times the usual number of respiratory illnesses. We’ve even had some cases of dysentery due to all the contaminated water girls have to walk through to get to class.

So… Did you know that you can sign up as a monthly sponsor of our Haven Clinic? It’s true! We are at 40% right now. There’s no minimum to be a sponsor, and it really helps us keep all our teen moms and teen girls healthy by paying Sherry’s salary and restocking the medications we use daily.


Webele nyo!


PS Bonus picture of Sylvia with her new baby boy (no name as of yet) coming home from the hospital to lots of love yesterday!


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