The young girls of Uganda

When I read Tonya laTorre’s blog the other day, I said: This is what Christians are for. Here’s a post from a trip to Uganda.

A young girl in Uganda may not be informed about her menstruation, so if she is in school when it occurs she will be covered in blood and not know what to do. From the shame of embarrassment she will not return to school again. She may not tell anyone what happpened. She will not have access to feminine products so she will use newspapers or find what she can from the dumpsters, often contracting infection. While at home she becomes bored and a burden so her father will arrange a marriage for her so he can get the bride price of three cows and not have to care for her any longer. She will then be married very young and set to endure a long hard life laboring for her family. If she is not married off right away, she is in danger of the wild young boys who will do whatever they need to and say whatever seems right to get her to sleep with him, and then he disappears. Often she finds herself pregnant, and in worse cases with AIDS. And these young teenagers don’t know what to do with their babies. Sometimes they get abandoned on the street. All of this because her period started in school.

I can only shake my head. Keeping these girls in school and educating them about the opportunities for good work in their future is critically important.

Uganda Church members

by Tonya laTorre

I was so impressed when Pastor Robert said that his church is now having a meeting every Monday for these young girls to educate them about puberty, purity, and provide them with the feminine supplies they need so they are safe and prepared when the time comes. In this way she won’t have a humiliated reason to quit school. It’s a simple solution, but it changes lives in a big way. It gives me relief in my soul when I hear of people taking care of each other in ways like this.

Children from church in Uganda, by Tonya laTorre

All I can say is I fell in love with these kids!

My heart is so tender towards the women of Uganda. I pray they will find husbands who will treat them like the bride who is meant to be loved in the way Christ loves the church. I pray they will get their education, and be loving mothers and raise their children by the word of God. I am shaken to my core in gratitude to Uganda for allowing our family to have one fo their girls as our daughter. What a gift, hence her name, Kirabo~ gift in Lugandan. Craig and I often talk about how we will raise her so she can participate in her Ugandan culture as she grows. We don’t want her to be removed from Uganda, we just want to participate in raising her. My sincere hope is that she will love Uganda deeply and strive to help it develop. I hope she will love accompanying us for mission trips there as shes grows up, and that she will have friends there and know she belongs to both Uganda and America.

Worship in Uganda

This is worship in Uganda. It's wonderful. Be prepared to worship with your whole body. By Tonya laTorre

I feel deeply sad this moment as I remember the horrors little girls must face in this world. After exchanging mail today with a safe house in Kampala about some help we’d like to do there my heart felt the weight of the devastation of young lives wasted by forced prostitution. The long road to recovery and rehabilitation requires a lot of help. I hope to do a little and wait for God to show me how I can do more. Nothing would give me greater joy than doing what I can so their work at the safe house is not impeded by worries of finances. They ought to be able to focus entirely on the rebirth of these broken girls. Knowing I can protect just one of these sweet girls in Uganda from that sort of nightmare is the reason I am not crying now. Just one makes a difference.

About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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