15th April, 2018

Dear friends,

I arrived back in the U.K after a 15hr journey and spent Saturday relaxing at home catching up with my sleep!

Having worked last Monday morning, Sam and I walked the boys – who were not at school to Munyonyo for the afternoon to tire them out! Augustine and I managed to jog around the circuit of the field as well, so possibly I was more tired than them, we returned by matatu!

Tuesday Bob and I attended the final preparation meeting for Thursday’s International Day of the Street Connected Child. This year’s theme ‘Equality for Street Children starts here – Let’s make it happen.’

‘I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy’ Psalm 140 v 12

Bob arrived in the car just after 7am with 5 boys for me to then drive to collect the boys from Meeting Point, which we had arranged with the school a month ago and confirmed the evening before. He hurried back to George’s Place to collect the minibus and take everyone else to the Venue. On arriving at the school I was firmly told I could not take the boys as I didn’t have the correct paperwork. Patrick, Emma and Derrick are all doing the Welding Course and are bigger than me – I was hardly abducting them – you can imagine how unhappy I was! But they would not release them – some days I find the bureaucracy extremely frustrating. So we left without them – I know Patrick who had been on the streets for years would be really upset not to be there.

On arriving at Pan African Square we prepared for the March, (about 30 organisations are involved under Crane) and met some boys we have known for the last four years. The March this year was around Kisenyi and through the Owino Market, our boys carried banners, there were two brass bands accompanying us and a real sense of celebration, within the poverty.

Speeches were given by some of the Ministers on our return to the square – games played – testimonials were also given by Augustine, Shaffick and Godfrey – lunch provided (which HoP contributed to – our policy – to feed the hungry).

Our boys were then taken by coach with Sam and Peace to the Parliament whilst Bob followed in the minibus and me in the car to join them. After security, we sat quietly in the chamber for a couple of hours but the debate we had been invited to on the plight of 15,000 children living on the streets of Uganda was late on the Agenda so we left. It was an experience for our boys but obviously, we would have appreciated hearing how Government plans to help all these young people living on the streets, – ‘Children are too often denied the rights owed to them. Things most of us take for granted, like healthcare, access to justice when harmed, freedom from harassment.’

Miss Uganda was attending Parliament as well, so our boys had their photo taken with her – much to their delight. On our return home, we had ice cream as a treat as they had all behaved so well. It was a long day.

I’ve arrived safely in the UK. I’ve heard the boys are all fine, Saturday they went to KK beach for the afternoon and some had a boxing lesson although the weather was wet and cool. I’m missing the boys and everyone already but not being faced with the suffering of children, the poor, having hot showers, no red dust, reliable electric and WiFi connections, motorways, roads without potholes is a very different way of life. We don’t always appreciate how blessed we are living in the West!

With love and prayers.