Updated: Jan 27, 2021
We are excited to announce that after much prayer and through a mountain of patience Robinson and I are headed back to Uganda!!
We are going to be volunteering our time for as long as the Lord permits. So far I have financed our travels and stay the two times we have gone so far, I was blessed with an inheritance and saved every penny for a year. Our finances are gone now after this rough year back through Covid as many know. But we are looking toward the future and the bright opportunities ahead.
This year I turned 35, so I thought since I need to humble myself and ask others to walk with us in this journey we are looking for 35 people to donate $35 a month in efforts to support our work in Uganda….what is that work you ask?
Robinson and I will be doing anything and everything we can to support Brenda. We as an organization are busier then our capabilities, especially when only Brenda and Jason stayed in March and the rest of us left. They were SO busy. That becomes daunting on good leaders, and I have received a very clear call from God that I a
to go and be the one that helps alleviate her burden, allows her to rest and accomplish all God has called her to as well.
On a personal note I have spoken with the local pastor in the area and he has allowed me space/time at his church to gather a group for domestic violence support. In 2018 there was a study done where 85% of Ugandan women said that “spousal discipline”, or better known as domestic violence and physical assault, was acceptable and where 70% men said it was acceptable. Showing an obvious pattern that needs to be changed within the culture, but specifically a mindset change for the women. As a survivor myself and having gone through special counseling to overcome that experience I am hoping to bring some knowledge, confidence, love, and power to the women of our village.
This means on top of homeschooling Robinson I will be working in the fish farm at DS along side and for Brenda, I will be tending to the fish and the plants & making seedlings, working in the garden: weeding, watering, planting, trimming, tilling, etc. I will be doing office work like returning communications, or making social media posts to keep people up to date with what DS is up to. I will be helping with build projects, like the one that was started right as we left in March for a single grandmother who is raising her 6 grand kids. I will be planning events for the kids in the community so that we stay involved with them even though their school was shut down.
I will be doing errands, where we live it is a short 3 hour drive over 8 miles of distance to get to the city…travel is not easy and when picking up large supplies or teams coming it takes an ENTIRE day to do so…if you’re just going for a couple of groceries you can take the water taxi over in 15 minutes and accomplish minor shopping using public transit (that is now shut down do to covid) to get where you need to be and back within a few hours. Needless to say there are no “quick trips” to the store unless you mean the shack stand in the village where we tend to buy the majority of our food like local flour, eggs, pineapples or rolex, the local street food favorite of eggs and a little diced tomatoes rolled in a chapati bread.
In order to have the time to do all that we need a little help around the house. This time around we will be renting part of a house with another girl, Ashleigh who happens to be from Portland as well, where we will have a housekeeper who will wash our clothes, as clothes are washed by hand and air dried on non rainy days since there are no washer and dryers (why have them when you don’t have electricity?). they will also clean our house for us which honestly in and of itself is a daunting task as the dust blows in everyday haha
Overall were looking at a safe monthly budget of $1500 which would cover our rent, housekeeper, weekly tutoring session for Robinson, food, transit, phone and internet. Where we will be living now has a back up generator and solar power source so when we deal with daily blackouts we still have some power source available to us. We also happen to have a decent line sight to a cell tower which means this time around I will be able to take phone calls in my house rather than walking a quarter mile to get service. lol February was entertaining.
I am sending this to you because you are someone that I feel might want to support us in this journey. Someone who might understand the calling We’ve received and want to join us in it. You can donate directly to Develop Sustainability at : https://www.purecharity.com/develop-sustainabilitys-fundraiser-1 selecting our campaign as your donating source if you want it to be tax deductible. If you don’t need it to be tax deductible I am more than willing to accept cash, check, Venmo, PayPal. whatever is easiest on you.
If you want to be one of my 35 people I am going to do monthly updates for the ’35 club’. It will be an email communication with photos and stories of what we have been up to that month. You can be apart of that and not have to donate monthly…simply just multiply 35 by the amount of months that you want to join and don’t that amount. We welcome all donations big and small. We recognize this year has been hard on many of us and I don’t want to assume people just have money to throw around. But if you feel lead to join us as we go to Help Brenda and the people of the rural region of Namuzikiza, Uganda, I welcome your support with open arms. We are walking in faith.
With His Love,
Tina & Robinson
Follow us along our journey here, or if you want to build us a real website we humbly accept your gracious offer haha
or on our Instagram page @essentiallyuganda
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Brenda A. Sommer Executive Director and Co-Founder firstname.lastname@example.org
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