John & Carlee Leftley’s Visit to NOTDEC in October 2015.
John writes as follows:
“Carlee and I have recently returned from our second visit to NOTDEC this year – the first being in May. Both visits have been really encouraging and enjoyable and, as always, we have been made to feel welcome.
Prior to our departure in October, Carlee had vertigo caused by an inner ear problem and seriously wondered whether it was wise to travel. But she pressed on and the Lord was very good. We are very grateful to Him and to those who covered us with their prayers.”
This Newsletter is taken from John & Carlee’s diary and observations.
YOUR Help: Please Keep Up The Good Work!
21 boxes of clothes, shoes and some toys arrived from many of you in UK. "THANK YOU".
This enabled Carlee (ably assisted by NOTDEC staff member Juliet) to:
• issue clothes where needed
• buy more from the used clothes market
• establish the newly enlarged clothes store.
This was a substantial but satisfying task.
In future, clothes will be provided by a mix of local purchase and sea freight from the UK.
Thank you for all your very generous help in the past. Please start collecting for us again.
Politics and Economics affect NOTDEC – sometimes for the better!
Uganda is due to hold a general election on 18th February 2016. President Museveni is seeking re-election after 29 years in office. As a result, the small army corps that used to control access to NOTDEC has been withdrawn to safeguard law and order elsewhere.
Uganda has been suffering some of the worldwide financial problems with high inflation making life difficult for most people. As a result a there has been a significant change in the pound to Ugandan shilling exchange rate. Although this has made life difficult for the majority it has been very helpful for NOTDEC giving them a considerable increase in their income received in pounds from the UK.
NOTDEC People & News
Milly is doing a great job acting as NOTDEC coordinator; and the 42 NOTDEC staff have found their own level of operation, enabling NOTDEC to function well.
NOTDEC now have 3 social workers — Samson, Edson & Justus — plus Sahon part-time. We were very impressed with the quality of their work. They have good knowledge of all the children and their carers – those at NOTDEC, those based with their families, and those at boarding school.
Sam and the building team have completed the office extension.
This has given more office space, an office for Milly, a combined meeting/mess room and extended the bulk food & clothes stores.
Here they’re adding a sun-shade to help keep the NOTDEC office cooler in the afternoon – so the staff can all work harder and longer!
Job done! The extension is the far (right hand) end of the building – the newer roofing & clear sheet.
They have just started building two additional ensuite bed sitting rooms for staff which should be completed by February 2016.
Timothy and his team of four manage NOTDEC’s 20 acres of farm land. We are hoping they will get guidance from Johnny Rowland who has recently arrived in the area and offered to advise NOTDEC. (Johnny is running the farm associated with Kagando Hospital.)
They are growing green bananas (“ Matoke”), yellow bananas, soya beans, tomatoes, onions, watermelons and eucalyptus trees (sold for building, with the second growth as firewood). Elephants are being kept off NOTDEC land and crops by lighting a smoky fire each evening!
Happily, the process of registering the land in NOTDEC’s name is still progressing – slowly!
We were able to get two bench seats and a demountable cover frame fitted to the back of the NOTDEC single cab pick-up. The frame has just been fitted with a PVC cover, and the pick-up is now allowed to carry ten people.
Zadok has been on a Church of Uganda lay reader’s course; he is being commissioned shortly and will take over from Tom as NOTDEC chaplain in January.
We attended Sunday school on the two Sundays we were there. 50+ toddlers came with Christine, Edson & Alice in charge. There was wonderful worship with songs, drums, dancing, powerful communal prayer and clear simple teaching – all vital for the spiritual foundation of these children.
And Dorothy? NOTDEC has a full compliment of babies and currently can take no more. To help families desperate after the death of a mother, Dorothy is taking a family member plus newborn and training them to feed the baby with special formula tinned milk. This is done at NOTDEC’s small unit in Kasese to avoid disturbance at the orphanage. After a few weeks training, baby and carer return to the family. Milk is needed for at least 12 weeks and is expensive – about £16 a week. NOTDEC gives it to families who cannot afford it.
Visits to some of the children
We visited Eric and Jack whose parents were killed in a road accident. They now live with their Grandma and Aunt. The picture gives a flavour of being “back with the family”. There are certainly plenty of other young children watching behind the scenes!
We visited the children at Kasese Secondary School parent’s day, taking extra “tuck”. Julia, Tayebwa, and Roselyn were delighted: they were starting their “O” levels the next day.
Jesca left school after “O” levels to pursue her choice of midwifery. When we met her back in May, when she was about to start at Kagando Hospital School of Nursing, she was shy and fearful. On this visit she was a young lady with new confidence and a keen desire to learn.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons the children and some of the staff played football, volleyball and netball for nearly three hours! Some of the smaller boys were playing with the remains of previously robust toys, cars and lorries!
Again, many thanks to all of you from the whole NOTDEC family. Your support for NOTDEC is making a real difference for the children and staff and the wider community.
John and Carlee Leftley