Kasubi is a slum community that sits directly behind the Revelation Life office in Bweyogerere. Every day a team of our staff members walk the main footpath to the community for social visits, medical assessments, and even to get lunch. One day, Allan, Kristy and I went into Kasubi with the intention of visiting a sick child who we knew of. On reaching their house, however, we were happy to hear that the grandmother had already taken the child to a clinic. As we were returning to the office, I noticed a young child sitting on a bench. She was bracing herself with one hand, seemingly too weak to be able to sit up properly. We asked where the child’s mother was, and were led down a short corridor to her auntie’s house. Auntie Joyness welcomed us in, and surprisingly, told us how her son Calvin had been on our Nutrition program a few years back. This was the perfect lead in for us to ask about the little girl, Joyness. Auntie said this child was the daughter of her sister, who was sick with HIV and unable to care for her. Six months earlier, auntie had discovered that both child and mother were seriously ill, so she offered to care for Joyness. If it were not for this loving, compassionate, giving woman and her husband, she may not be alive today. We couldn’t thank them enough for saving this child’s life.
The day we met Joyness she was slightly over five and-a-half kilos, which is critically small for an eleven-month-old child. Her hair was the color of rust, and her skin was pale instead of dark brown. She was unable to stand on her own, and needed help sitting. Auntie told us she had a good appetite but couldn’t gain weight. We were able to provide Joyness with high protein porridge that day, and checked up on her the following week. On our return we discovered that they had taken the little girl to be tested for HIV and to our amazement it had come back negative. Not only that, but after a week of eating the high protein porridge Joyness had gained 700 grams! We praised God for the incredible news only he could have brought about such a turnaround in this child’s life.
Over the last couple of months, in the approach towards Christmas, we have been doing some research on people’s dreams for their lives, families and future. Auntie Joyness (who we now usually call Mama) was one of the people we asked. Her answer was that her dream was for, “My children to grow up healthy and strong.” This was such a powerful statement after what she had been through with her own son, Calvin and now Joyness, that we decided to include it as part of our Christmas Appeal – ‘Make Dreams Reality This Christmas’. She even appears in our Christmas video as an advocate for all those who benefit from our Nutrition Programme; to see it visit our dreams page.
Life is not without its challenges for the family though. Just this weekend past Mama was involved in a serious boda (motorbike taxi) accident in which there were fatalities. Fortunately she escaped with no serious injury, just grazes and bruising. It was, however, so encouraging to see unity and joy in the family despite the circumstances. Tata stayed home from work to look after Mama and help her round the house and they both told us how much they thanked God for his protection.
We continue to follow Joyness through our Nutrition Mini Group that meets in Kasubi every Thursday. Today, she weighs seven and-a-quarter kilograms and is walking and talking! Her hair and skin have turned dark brown again, accenting her big eyes, and cheeky smile. Mama Joyness thanks us every week for providing the porridge and helping the little girl in her recovery from malnutrition. It is an honour to have walked with this family down the road of healing from a treatable and preventable disease and to be some part in making families’ dreams of having strong, healthy children a reality.
To help realise the dreams of more families like that of Mama and Tata Joyness and save more children from malnutrition, support us in our work. Donate by clicking below…