Nine-year-old Joseph has been living on his own since he was seven, when his parents were killed by soldiers in an attack on his village. He recently came to live in a refugee camp in Uganda, where he is fed and educated by community workers, but he has no relations and no trust. He laughs a lot, but inside he harbors a wealth of conflicting emotions – anxiety, loneliness, longing, and despair.
72-year-old Esther was separated from her family as they journeyed to safety, fleeing from their home after an election that led to random violence. She, too, lives in the refugee camp, but alone, without the support of family or old friends. She has nothing to do, no one to gossip with, no grandchildren to take care of, no family to cook for, and has sunk into a depression.
Thanks to A BETTER WORLD 4 KIDS, Esther and Joseph and other lost children are sharing a meal today while Esther tells the children a traditional story. Joseph half remembers his own grandmother telling him a similar story in his distant village. And with that memory comes the beginning of a sense of belonging – the possibility of hope. For her part, Esther feels her heart moved by this small boy who has survived so much and w
ho needs her as she longs to be needed. Together they may form a connection that offers them a new way forward.
In August, Ocen Daniel Osako joined Focusing Initiatives International and created Better World For Kids (BW4Kids). This amazingly simple psychosocial support and Focusing program is in Nakivale Refugee settlement in Uganda’s southern region. Daniel and his team bring elderly refugees and children together. The elders tell the children traditional stories and explore their meanings together. Everyone shares a meal and a chance to play.
Stay tuned for more stories from the field and please donate to support this wonderful program.