Today has been a very busy day. We walked down from the hotel to the office where Dewy was fitted with a Buffalo bike. He was going to cycle with Victor to the plot and finish the work on the gazebo. Dewy hadn’t been on a bike for 35 years, and had to lay the bike down to get his leg over! After a few initial wobbles, he managed to cycle nearly 10 miles on dirt tracks and then down a 4 lane highway before spending the day working alongside Victor.
The office was in action today with the issue of flour and rice to some of our families, so it was kept open throughout the day. Two teams went out today to complete some more home visits. These proved to be really useful and once again, a very challenging experience. We were warmly welcomed into all the homes, and able to glean a lot of additional information about the needs of these lovely people. These vary between mosquito nets, mattresses, water filters, additional support such as food and school fees.
One particular meeting was with a lady called Milkah. We met her last year during a visit, and she had been cast out of the community because she was HIV positive. At that time, she was incredibly shy, and had shut herself away in a really poor state. She slept on a bench with slats, and no mattress, and grew bushes around her home so that no one could see her. All of those items were dealt with during the visit last May, and today she greeted us with absolute delight and gave an ecstatic welcome to her refurbished home. She has been ably supported throughout the past months by Joyce and her transformation was the cause of total delight to those who visited. It was such an encouragement to them to see her, and it makes the work of Doxa so worth while.
All of the information collected was collated onto questionnaires which have then been fed into a spreadsheet so that we can make an accurate assessment of the needs and prioritise them.
After our usual “picnic” lunch in the office, fresh teams went back out for further visits in the afternoon, while one team stayed and sorted the rest of the donations that had been brought out from the U.K.
In between the visits, time was spent playing with children and having good conversations. One of the conversations was with David who told us how much benefit it is to them to have the Doxa office in the heart of the community. He told us that it is used as a community centre, and people come into it sad and with big problems but go out, knowing that life is good and there is hope.