What a whirlwind these past few months have been. All told, the fire rebuilding process took a month of dedicated time and effort. Jessie Rich and Kelli O’Hea from Calvary dropped practically everything right along with us to care for the residents of Loko village. Returning to “our lives” took monumental effort as “work” was piled up, we were all behind in practically everything “our lives” required.
“Our lives”. “Work”. Odd terms. Jessie and Kelli don’t do construction for a living. I and my family certainly don’t. That’s not why we’re here in Uganda. Or is it?
I’m not considering dropping out of tech. Yet. There’s too much of a need here. Students to teach, machines to repair, internet to repair. There are far too many people in need of tech stuff, Ugandans and those here to help Ugandans alike. But projects like the Loko Fire Relief are just as close (if not closer) to the heart of why we’re all here than a lot of the day-to-day stuff we do. More importantly, the victims of the fire are exactly who we need to keep our eyes and hearts open to. In the spirit of that, I’m closing this chapter of the Loko Village “project” which I’ve called “Fire Relief” and opening the next phase, which I’ll call “Loko Village Fire Rebuild”.
Most of the residents are out of work, squatting on land they don’t own. Many of them have no viable job skills. I feel we’ve done a basic service by rebuilding their homes, but we’ll be doing an injustice if we don’t make an effort to reshape and rebuild their lives. They may be living in a new room, but in a year, will they be any better off? We hope so.
I’ll be partnering with local non-profits that specialize in job skill training and placement to do what we can to help those that are willing to be helped. I’ll keep you posted.
I want to thank each and every one of you that donated finances to the project, sent encouragement and those on the ground that gave of themselves to accomplish this project. I’m inspired by each and every one of you. You gave of yourselves to help those in dire need. Again, thank you.
I’m also excited that a blog headline like “Hackers Help Rebuild Ugandan Village” is real. Those of you that know me well know that I hate the bad rap “hackers” get because of the media. I’m always happy to see hackers involved in projects that promote positive social change, and I’m thrilled you’ve allowed me to play a part in this.
Please check out the PDF files attached to this post and pass them around. My two-page overview is above and Jen’s (well-done, much more detailed) newsletter is below. We’ve got more work to do but it’s important to let people know what we’ve done..together.