Follow the Morton family on mission in Uganda with New Hope Uganda.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Musana Camp: Part 2
One of our favourite parts of being at the camp was seeing it in action. A group of street kids from Jinja who are part of an organization called 1moreChild arrived for their retreat on Friday. There are roughly five hundred street children in Jinja – mostly boys. A number collect scrap from the rubbish dumps and others beg on the streets. They are nearly all from the Karamojong tribe from north-east Uganda and live in a slum village, Masese, just outside Jinja. The Karamoja region in northeast Uganda is one of the most marginalized in the country. Karamoja suffers from local conflict and severe drought and the Karamojong tribe has been looked down upon as backward and primitive. Many of the children are orphaned and move south in search of food. We were told that some of the boys were imprisioned for being on the streets. 1moreChild provides various levels of support for these children, ranging from assisting families with school fees to fully-managed homes.
As we walked to the site for lunch we could hear the excited voices of 40 boys and their two leaders. After a lunch of beans and posho that was happily gobbled up, the boys were off to try out the swings and kick the footballs around. It was funny to see their shoes all lined up outside their tents. Shoes were obviously for travel not for playing. The boys were arranged in four groups and after developing cheers (eg. "We go, we go" "United we stand) the relay races began. I have seen many relay races in my life but have never witnessed such intense concentration as these boys carried spoons holding water down to be deposited in a bowl. The team with the most water was the winner and I doubt that more than a drop or two was spilled in the whole group. Water is precious! Our kids enjoyed helping out with the relays and had fun playing a tag game that involved grabbing a flag from opposing players. After dinner that night it was stirring to hear them sing around the camp fire. The opportunity Musana camp is given to speak into these lives and allow them the freedom to just be boys is exciting to witness.