Every year, the children on Mt. Elgon look forward to the December holidays because it’s a festive season. It is a season that brings lots of joy and happiness to share love and gratitude with the staff of Friends United Meeting Africa Ministries and Transforming Communities for Social Change.Mt. Elgon is located on the border of Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda, with an elevation of 14,000 feet. It’s a region with a serene environment and impressive landscape, but marred with a history of poverty, violence, and marginalization.On the eve of the Christmas celebration, Mt. Elgon children are seen hanging around the Chepyuk Peace Centre with the hope that Getry Agizah, FUM Programme Coordinator, will show up with “good tidings.” Their hope for a Christmas party literally depends on her presence. Many children from Mt. Elgon are from poor families and the possibility of celebrating Christmas is very slim.
This last year, through FUM and TCSC well-wishers, over 1000 children were able to get a decent meal of rice, chapati, and beef stew and enjoyed listening and dancing to Christmas tunes. The TCSC and FUM team had an opportunity to organize healthy activities for these children including ball games, a dancing competition, and skipping rope. Most of the beneficiaries of the event were orphans and vulnerable children from the region.Teenagers between the ages of twelve to eighteen were separated from the rest of the children and educated on matters of academic and career choice, self-esteem, health concerns and reproductive health, depression, early pregnancy, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. After the interactive session, over 100 girls received packages of sanitary napkins.Our sincere appreciation to Friends who share their prayers and love with the poor and vulnerable children during the Christmas season. We continue to pray for abundance, and hope that 2023 will be a better year!