Karamoja is a very special area in Uganda–unique in the high rate of desertification, and in their cultural elements like the very high bride price.
Young potential brides–Dodoth Karimojong living in the far north in Kotido.
Since the area is very dry, and violent cattle raids have continued at a steady rate, it has been marginalized and it’s only recently, distinct progress has been seen.
Above, a lone Karimojong man walking vast distances.
Karamoja has a special place in our hearts, we feel the people have a great deal to contribute, and we were happy to have been engaged a few times to work together with others to improve the lot in life of Karimojong. We would love, once our main project in Gulu of the Family Care Village is established and functionally self-sustaining, to try a similar project, adapted to the special needs in Northern Karamoja.
Nyx Martinez and Robin took a 10 ton truck to Karamoja, specifically to Nakapiripirit–Namalu where our friend Grace Lolem (herself an educated Karimojong) had established a very needy camp of widows and children with KOSH her NGO. Grace had helped arrange with the KCC for many of the widows and their children & to be relocated from living in desperate circumstances on the streets of Kampala to be relocated to a camp there.
Nyx with some of the hundreds of beautiful children at the camp we brought aid to.
Grace was very concerned about their well-being, so we went with her, to ensure the items got into the hands of those who so desperately needed it.. We were able to take the entire 10 tons of bedding, extremely warm jackets, shoes and shirts and trousers to the widows, their children, to the local prison and to many of the local needy Karimojong community there. Our special thanks to Amrat Ltd, for literally tons of clothes and such and Rajni and Aruna Patel, for their donation of Ayurveda medicine.
Malaika, Angelique and Katerina Marshall, packing some of the literally tons of gifts of clothing, food items, shoes, matresses and drinks to load into another 10 ton truck we took up for Christmas.
We have regularly done something at Christmas time for orphans & the needy, but rather than holding a special day for Orphans at the local amusement park (for 450 children in 2008), we felt we’d like to take Christmas gifts to Karimojong widows and children instead. So we had drop boxes at a number of supermarkets and venues throughout Kampala and people gave generously.
It resulted in a packed 10 truck with mattresses, toys, clothes, and food. In order to have the distribution more organized, we pre-packaged the items, to ensure each mommy could receive a balanced amount of food, sugar, posho, beans etc. Flavoured water was a major hit, and in all, the donations were extremely appreciated.
Angelique played many games with the children–who were particularly athletic & eager to show their jumping/dancing/speed skills.
Since Christmas is a time of giving, we talked with our Karimojong friends about drawing a thank you card for us to bring back to many of the donors in Kampala. At first children eagerly grabbed the pencils and papers, but then the older women, and even warriors took paper & pencil in hand to draw thank you notes. We were so happy to have been able to have such a heart warming time with this special people.