Thursday, July 14, 2011

Buwenge Township

Mukaya Alone followed this mzungu home one day, and through his dogged persistence I agreed to visit him and his Board in a small village outside Jinja. Buwenge Township is a subcounty of Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda (and home of Bujagali Falls). The township resides about 45 minutes outside Jinja (3 hours from Namulanda) to the East along some very holey dirt roads.

Brand new storefronts stood in stark contrast to the few merchants prosperous enough in their own gardens to sell a few bananas or tomatoes from a wooden shack. “The town is growing,” they said. I suppose if you count the storefronts, even though there are no stores, they could be right. Apparently wealthy investors erect the storefronts in hopes of renting to the local merchants. In this case, they’re either ahead of the game or in the wrong game all together.

Alex, a young man who just graduated from Senior 6 and is hoping to attend Mekerere University (the top rated U in Uganda) this fall, was my guide for the day. He came highly recommended by Tevin, a trusted friend in Jinja. Alex works at a small home called The Sanctuary where orphaned boys are cared for by three adult men. He is a very godly young man and I would absolutely trust him with my children. It’s so refreshing to find good orphanage leaders, let alone great ones.

Alex navigated us from Jinja to Buwenge and then to the meeting room where we were welcomed by about 15 people. Each of these people is personally invested in seeing their community thrive. A word of prayer began our long day of meeting together.

Our goal was to see how we might work together toward the same cause: developing underprivileged East Africans.