Susan is a remarkable woman. Orphaned by the actions of the Lord’s Resistance Army, she now runs the Family Spirit Care Centre, a primary school and orphanage.
It is here at the Centre that we meet Gloria, whose mother passed away during child birth. Gloria’s stepmother could not afford to feed the child on a daily basis and at the tender age of four, Gloria was abandoned.
Fortunately for Gloria, she was taken in by the Family Spirit Care Centre in 2008, and is thriving in an environment of love, unity, selflessness, honesty and integrity.
The centre was founded in 2002 by a group of people living with HIV/AIDS who were moved by the plight of children suffering after their parents died. It seeks to bring a brighter future to nearly 200 orphans that have no foster family; children that are victims of abuse and home violence; and children affected by war – all children who have been left vulnerable, defenceless and often abandoned.
Susan tells us that lack of nutrition and basic needs are challenges that must be solved daily in order to give the children a safe childhood and a good education. So many families cannot get food in the community – they were starving and living without food.
The Rt Revd George Kasangaki, Bishop of Masindi-Kitara, says, "People have only food for today, they don't know what tomorrow will be like, they don’t expect to have food tomorrow."
As the vicious cycle of food poverty grips North-West Uganda, families face a terrible choice – which members of the family will eat today, and which will go hungry? And if that cycle carries on indefinitely, they face an even more damaging decision – to abandon a child so there is one less mouth to feed, and hope that child will be taken in by another family, a church or an orphanage and given a better chance at life.
No parent should be put in the position of having to ‘play God’, deciding which of their children should live and which is to die, simply for a lack of food.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat." (Matthew 25:35)
*Samaritan’s Purse is looking to raise £200,000 in order to support 9,600 families. Any income raised in excess of this amount will be applied to existing or future Raising Families projects, at the discretion of Samaritan’s Purse.