Today has been exhausting but very rewarding. This morning we visited two out of the three agricultural projects and the ladies were so thrilled to show us what they have achieved, and rightly so. They started planting 4 months ago and are reaping the harvest of their hard work already. They have produced tomatoes, peppers, onions, aubergines, kale, and other staple foods. One woman described her achievements as having ‘eliminated hunger and poverty in her family for two years’. She has enough food to feed her family and is able to save money as she is not needing to buy so much. Another woman told us she has paid the school fees for her children with the proceeds of the produce she has sold.
We were treated to more singing and dancing, and Adrian, as team leader, was presented with a live chicken in gratitude for all CRESS has done for them. We are not sure which suitcase he has stowed it in.
The rest of the day saw Adrian and Andrew in a series of productive meetings with the staff here.
Cilla, Ellen and I went to visit the local county hospital which served to highlight the need for the Liwolo clinic and the extraordinary high standards of care and hygiene found there. We were also privileged to be able to visit the midwifery training school. We were greeted by the delightful principle and shown round impressive labs, library and training rooms. 45 midwives will be graduating in November, and the school is said to be one of the best in the country. South Sudan recognises the importance of good midwifery care which such a large proportion of the population do not have access to.
We then went on to visit the local orphanage and were greeted by a large group of gorgeous children. The number of babies there was heartbreaking however, but the care they receive is wonderful.
We leave tomorrow at 0700 to get back to Moyo for our flight back to Uganda. We have had a really amazing few days here. It has, of course, gone too fast. We have met extraordinary people, many of whom are now dear friends, and the joy and love we have witnessed has been overwhelming. This is a place which has seen too much war and they are longing for peace and stability. Cress has made an enormous impact in this part of the country – making a practical difference to the lives of men, women and children and changing the present and future lives of many. They are beyond grateful.
We have been very aware of your thoughts and prayers this last week and thank you for them. We have had a truly memorable, and hopefully effective, time.
Many thanks to Bishop Anthony and his household for looking after us so well.
We will continue to write once back in Entebbe, and hope to send more photos then.
Now, to see if this will send…. with best wishes from all of us.