Uganda 2015: The Acholi Quarter

This July, I’ll be back in Uganda again (you could make a song out of that, sung to the tune of “Back in the Saddle Again”), for my third project with Loving One by One. As in previous trips, the time will be filled with finding and caring for people who are struggling under life-threatening poverty conditions. It’s not unusual for Ugandan children to get one meal a day, if that, and that meal will be typically very small. Which leads to malnutrition, and poor school attendance, if school is even affordable. Which leads to children growing up without education, and repeating the cycle of poverty all over again with their children, which they’ll probably begin to have at around the age of 14 or so.

Many of the struggles the people of Kampala, Uganda face are treatable and even preventable, with the right help. And Loving One by One along with their volunteers have provided that help since 2003. I’m excited to be on their team again this year, as we provide deworming pills for children, on-site medical treatment in our pop-up medical clinics, and even emergency surgeries and hospitalization for those people we find who are facing desperate medical needs.

One of the areas we spend a lot of time is The Acholi Quarter, a neighborhood in Kampala populated by over 10,000 Acholi people. The Acholi people have migrated into southern Uganda from northern Uganda and Sudan, mostly refugees from war and violence in those regions. Frequently they escape the violence with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing, and walk hundreds of miles to Kampala, hoping to establish a new life there. Unfortunately, scarcity of jobs and education, and lack of basic necessities like clean water and medical care, make starting over difficult and sometimes impossible. Therefore, we have slums like the Acholi Quarter, filled with over 10,000 struggling people. Virtually every family has at least one child with malaria.

The good news is that little by little, Loving One by One is turning things around in the Acholi Quarter. Of all the places we work while in Uganda, I think this may be my favorite neighborhood. I’ve been there three or four times, for medical clinics and deworming, and I’m always amazed at the great hearts these people have.

On Sunday, March 15 in Rancho Palos Verdes CA, I will be hosting a concert to raise funds for my upcoming trip to Uganda, where I will be serving in the Acholi Quarter and other places. If you will be in Southern California on that date and would like information about the concert, email me at charley@charleymiller.net and I’ll fill you in. Meanwhile, enjoy these photos of the Acholi Quarter!

house

Someone’s home

nap

Napping on someone’s grave

blue glasses

A very satisfied optometry patient

malfunction

Me, and a kid with an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction

The neighborhood. Not good, especially when torrential rains come and flood people’s houses.

Happy kids, showing the Mzungu’s (white people) around the neighborhood.

Winner of “Best Eyes in Uganda” Award

Photo by Ken Roberts, Acholi boy

pharmacy

Me in the pharmacy, looking like I have a tan. It’s more likely a combination of bad lighting and dirt.

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