What do we even do??

PART 3: Guest Post by Jessica Duran
A frail woman with arms the size of my wrist greeted us. She had a large belly, almost looking pregnant, but she wasn’t. Three of her four children gathered around us, two of whom, Samuel and Immaculate,we brought with us. Samuel was so happy, smiling at all times missing several of his top front teeth, he is 6 years old but looks more like 3 or 4. His older sister Immaculate was less outgoing. She wouldn’t smile unless you were looking at her and was clearly struggling inside. Once I heard her story, I wondered how she could ever smile. 

The mother was widowed a few years ago. She is HIV-positive and also has a problem with her pancreas, which explained her bulging stomach. The surgery she needed cost a mere $150, but because she had no money she hadn’t received it, only worsening her situation.

When her husband died, she was kicked off the land by her brother-in-law. In Uganda it is very hard for women to obtain land; it always goes to the next available male in the family. So upon returning to her childhood land, she was welcomed by her uncle and his family who live there. That welcome was short-lived.

Because she is so frail, she is unable to help provide food and is considered a burden. Her four children are also considered a burden. After being kicked off that land, she and her children went to her brother’s house, and the same thing happened.

This woman, who is clearly going to die, has been booted out of each home she should have been welcomed to. Her four children have been moved around with no stability, and no feeling of self-worth. The translators noted that because she has kids, this woman is considered more of a burden. No one wants to end up with those children when she dies.
I’m pretty sure I cried right there. Looking at those children and their sweet faces, I wanted to snatch them up and bring them home.

After visiting that family, my mind kept going back to one question: What do we even do? How can we fix this? What do you do? That is a question we were unable to answer. We left money for the woman to have her surgery, but realistically she will probably still die soon from AIDS. At that point there are four orphans who have no one to love them. The Carepoint will take on the responsibility of finding them caregivers.

Over and over I heard stories of helplessness, most of which involved a widow caring for between five and 10 children on $1 to $2 a week. Sickness and starvation are a way of life. Each place we went, my heart was broken for a broken world. This is not how it was intended to be, you know. The hope is that one day it will all be restored.

Although my journey was sorrowful at some points, the greatest joy of all was meeting the little girl I have been sponsoring.  If you would like to sponsor a child and give these children hope in life click HERE

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