Jerome Delay/Associated Press

The last couple of months have been a rollercoaster of uncertainty for Kenya as they prepared for their presidential elections at the beginning of March, waited several long days for votes to be counted, and held their breath to see if the results would be declared as valid. This was the first presidential election since the infamously post-election violence of 2007 in this East African nation. The country has taken big strides towards growth and development since the economic and political fallout of that election six years ago, including many reforms to the country’s constitution, government bodies, and electoral systems. The main contenders – Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – as well as many other political figures and leaders urged Kenyans to be peaceful this year. And for the most part, they were.

Ben Curtis/Associated Press

The election did not come without a few bumps in the road. For one, the electronic voting system that was supposed to eliminate a lot of the discrepancies that occurred in the previous election did not work and most of the country’s votes had to be counted by hand. After several long days of vote counting, Kenyatta was declared the winner with 50.07% of the votes – a minuscule margin over the requisite 50%. With such a small margin of victory, Odinga called for the results to be looked at more closely. This past weekend, after a week of recounting votes at 22 poling stations and carefully considering all the evidence, the Supreme Court declared the results were valid and that Uhuru Kenyatta would be inaugurated as president of Kenya on April 9.

Tomas Mukoya/Reuters

Here at Know Think Act, we have prayed for and followed Kenya’s 2013 presidential elections closely. My favorite moment was getting to talk to the founder of Action Ministry, Peter Ochiel, on the evening of the elections on March 4. He spoke candidly of the odd tension of uncertainty and hope that existed side by side that day. As a staff, we were able to pray over him, Action Ministry, Blessed Camp, and the country as a whole. Thank the Lord for modern technology and the ability to speak and pray in real time with Peter, despite the thousands of miles between us!

 


Do you remember seeing the Know Think Act need for Chigoe Flea treatment a few months back? For the first time, I’ve had the “privilege” of experiencing a Know Think Act need first hand when I found a chigoe flea festering in my own big toe this week!

Here in Uganda, most people call these parasites “jiggers.” It was uncomfortable and disgusting. I had likely contracted it when I was in the rural village of Kyakayombya assisting with handing over the well that I blogged about last week. The jiggers burrow in your feet, grow and lay eggs, and then those eggs continue to fester or drop to the ground. Unfortunately, they can become infected easily and can cause severe damage to your feet if left untreated. Many people in both Uganda and Kenya contract jiggers because they are walking around barefoot or with flimsy shoes that do not adequately protect their feet. Children may also get jiggers that burrow in their hands because they play on the ground so often.

While I had access to adequate resources and medical care in order to remove the jigger and keep the area sterile, many children and adults in East Africa do not. They may lack the money for treatment or live too far away from a medical clinic. They may not understand the consequences of jiggers and thus leave them untreated. My jigger was awful enough – I can’t imagine having many festering jiggers burrowed in my feet like many children and adults here do.

Thank you for helping us fulfill the need for Chigoe Flea Treatment at Blessed Camp in Kenya through Know Think Act. Continue to look out for future needs as they arise!

May
2012


On Wednesday, we had the privilege of handing over yet another well to an eager community in Western Uganda. The Kyakayombya well will serve  760 students at Kyakayombya Primary School as well as their families and community.

Before Bringing Hope to the Family partnered with this community, the villagers were getting water from this well:

As you can see, it is nearly impossible to keep this waterhole clean. It is filled with bugs, mud, plants, garbage, and dirty rainwater runoff from the nearby hills where cattle and goats roam. Needless to say, it is a hugely insufficient water source and has caused much sickness throughout the community.

Bringing Hope to the Family has partnered with Kyakayombya to build a new well and educate the community about safe water gathering and consumption. Today, we handed over the well to the community members. It was so humbling to see the delight on everyone’s faces as fresh, clean water first poured out of the pump.

I am grateful to have been present for this well dedication. What an encouragement!

- Karen


I had my first tour of Kaihura on Monday with Katie Sasser and two families who are adopting children from Home Again Orphanage.

We toured all the operations of Bringing Hope to the Family including Home Again Orphanage, High Hope Academy, Hope Again Medical Centre, Dorcas Vocational School, Village Art, Kyongera Farm, and the new buildings for the medical center and administrative offices.

As always, it was a thrill to share how Know Think Act has been involved with each aspect of Bringing Hope to the Family over the years. We have replaced mattresses in the orphanage, built a boys’ dormitory near Kyongera Farm, purchased chairs for students at High Hope Academy, and supported patients at Hope Again, among countless other projects with Bringing Hope.

Check out knowthinkact.com to see how you can be involved with the life-changing work of Bringing Hope to the Family and contribute to their current needs today!

Karen
International Volunteer Coordinator & Office Manager
Global Support Mission


Greetings from Kaihura! I’m halfway through my first week in the village and couldn’t be more elated to finally see the work of Know Think Act on the ground. As International Volunteer Coordinator, I’m doubly glad to see the projects that past volunteers have completed at Bringing Hope to the Family and dream about the future of our volunteer program. It’s amazing to put faces and places to names I’ve always known through Global Support Mission and to meet the people on the other side of our work. The entire staff of Bringing Hope to the Family and the Sasser family are doing great things here on the ground.

I look forward to sharing stories from my time here over the next month. Hope you’ll stick with us for more!

Interested in volunteering in Uganda? Email volunteer@globalsupportmission.com.

Karen

International Volunteer Coordinator & Office Manager
Global Support Mission