Boniface came to Light Village while we were just breaking ground; he was looking for work to continue caring for his children and grandchildren. We brought Boniface on as a grass “slasher." Every day, he showed up for the hard work but never lost the smile on his face. Boniface, is now 80 years old, still serving at Light Village. He was moved to a cook position several years ago and spends his time at Light Village preparing meals for the crew. Because of his consistent dedication to gaining knowledge at One City, he has learned how to be self-sufficient and is now able to pay school fees for his children and grandchildren. He has purchased metal sheeting for his home so the rain doesn’t come inside; he has purchased several animals, which also bring income to the family, and so much more!
Michael has been working with One City for several years as our resident welder. He mainly constructs the One City WaterCarts and trains apprentices how to build them as well. Michael has a family nearby that he has been able to support over the years because of his employment at Light Village. Michael is also a talented artist contracted through our Africa TrAID program. He created these metal butterflies, which are a favorite at our Africa TrAID marketplaces.
Winnie used to take daily pills due to pain caused from carrying water four times a day. She received a WaterCart through the WaterCart program and she uses the cart along with her knowledge of crops to grow crops to sell at the local market. Winnie no longer needs pain medication and her family has additional income all through the OCM WaterCart Program!
We met Joshua at a home visit while a mission team was visiting. He had been suffering from throat cancer for the past two years – he had been untreated and undiagnosed. We did everything we could to get doctors to treat Joshua; however, he was too high risk for the small town doctors that surround One City. After several weeks of waiting on biopsies while Joshua’s health declined, he decided he would make the big trip from Mbale to Kampala in hopes of getting proper medical care.
Joshua never made it to the doctors in Kampala and although his story continues to break our heart, his life is a testament of how bad medical care is needed in the village. We began medical clinics in the summer of 2018 because there was essentially no access to medical treatment for people in the rural villages outside of Mbale. We know that if we had found Joshua two years ago, when his symptoms began, that we could have gotten him the proper treatment he needed to survive this disease. Although his story did not end the way we wanted it to, hundreds of people came together to care for Joshua, donate to his treatment, and pray for his healing. We are thankful to have met him as his story is why we continue working toward a permanent medical center in the village!