Wednesday, June 10, 2009

30 Days before I walk again

Dear friends, in 30 days I will walk again and it feels as though life has come full circle. It is almost 20 years since I first made this journey, alone. On July 11th, with a group of not less than 30 people, we will kick off Rose's Journey from Baminanika, my home village, to Kiwoko. It will take us all day to walk. Bamunanika is a place that holds a book of memories for me and my family: Some wonderful and happy; and others dark and painful. It is a place where most of my childhood was shaped, a place where, every time I visit, I am reminded of these formidable years. I celebrate a great deal of the happy memories and mourn less the hurt and brokenness; but the profound truth remains, there are others. I see my self in every silent child in the streets of Bamunanika...I could be anyone of them. For them and many others who suffer cruel injustices around the world, I walk this summer. To give voice to the voiceless and to stir people's hearts with the story of hope and light. I hope that as we show our solidarity, communities in Uganda and around the world will come together to enhance the collective advocacy. Child Sacrifice is one of the less championed injustice against children in Uganda. We so easily mistake it to be a normative part of the people's culture. I have been guilty of this, of passing something off as, well, part of the culture as though that makes it alright. It should make us uncomfortable to pass off some thing heinous as killing a child as a cultural norm! By blanketing it under normative practices that define a certain group of people, we are all looking for a way out. There is frankly nothing normal about killing a child. There shouldn't be any reason or justification for such an act or other injustices committed against children around the world. A friend recently said to me, "Rose, sin is sin, irrespective of where people come from, no matter the reason" and I agree. I am also deeply touched by the bravely of so many of you who are joining me to walk. A combined 100-150 people will join the walk at different stages, a much larger number than I ever thought possible. There are many others who have donated towards the set up of the scholarship fund and Hope Ward. The money goes a long way in building healthier communities--spiritually, physically, politically etc. For 7,500.00-10,000.00 USD we can sponsor a student at IHSU to obtain their Bachelors degree (all three years of tuition and fees). That is how much money it takes to sponsor some one in the USA for just one year at a state school. Post secondary education is much needed in Uganda if we are to increase capacity, skills and competencies for sound governance, as well as management and leadership skills across sectors. I am aware that it costs a lot more money at this level than it does at primary education tier, and yet, I am also aware of how desperate we need to invest in the former. So I thank you deeply for believing with me and for your generous giving towards these causes. This is my hope: That our collective voices will be heard from village to village That this will build momentum to stir people's hearts in the media and else where to stop child sacrifice That this will be a pilgrimage in Faith, in Light, in Friendship, in Hope, and in bringing communities together to stop child sacrifice That many silent prayers will be answered That hope indeed will come alive for many others who live in desperation and despair, and that this hope will be shared That our solidarity will be noted--whether by the silent witnesses in the villages, or by the noted word of a reporter, or by strangers who will join the walk That this will be a coming together of different worlds, joined in oneness for causes that are so important. Over the years, I have been blessed by so many friends most of whom have shared in the journey, its challenges as well as its triumphs. So together we will walk, to celebrate this incredible journey of 20 years, to celebrate my passion and excitement for nursing, to speak out against child sacrifice, and to raise money for causes stated above.

Follow me on this journey, and I thank you with all my heart for doing so