On Wednesday and Thursday our distribution sites are actually a little different than before since we will be meeting at the Health Alert office here in Gulu. Health Alert is one of the wonderful partners Sweet Sleep has and is dedicated to serving the 3 northern districts of Uganda to provide the proper medicines, counseling, education, and other services to the amazing people here. The focus has been on providing beds and malaria nets to children who are HIV positive. Some of which are just coming out of "hiding" for the first time so that they can receive these life-saving supplies.
There is still a stigma here (like many other places around the world) about people living with HIV and Health Alert is trying to breakdown that stigma by reaching the community. That's why I think this partnership Sweet Sleep and them have is so wonderful. Sweet Sleep can provide a bed and malaria net which can be a catalyst for people to sign up with Health Alert and begin receiving the medication they need. This is the powerful thing about Sweet Sleep. On the surface it might be "just a bed and net", but that bed and malaria net will protect the child from diseases, which in turn will save the family money that they may have spent on medication and they can now spend on more food, which if a child is healthy and not thinking about being hungry and got a good night's rest, then they will perform better in school. You can begin to see how something we might think of as "simple" act of providing is really changing lives here.
I can't express how welcoming and wonderful everyone has been here. Regardless of how little they might have or how sick they might be there is a genuine joy there and we have seen it everyday in their songs and their smiles and the words they have spoken to us. It is an amazing thing to be a part of and I feel fortunate that I could spend even a short amount of time with each of these people.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends back home!
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."