July update!

Wow!  It has been so long since we posted an update.  It is not because there has not been a lot of Boise To Bukavu activity.  Keith and I have been travelling for several weeks in a row.   

The best news from Kampala this summer is that Boise physician Peggy Doucette has been visiting with the Nshombos while her son Michael is in Uganda on a service trip this month.  Peggy has provided tremendous help to the Nshombos medically and they are so grateful for her care and repeated visits to get to know them and help them.   We have been concerned about Mrs. Nshombo’s complicated health issues and young Murambo’s eye problems.   Arnold has emailed us saying Peggy is helping both of them ad we look forward to hearing more about this when Peggy returns to Boise next week. 

The hardest news of the summer is Fidel’s decision not to visit his family in August as hoped.  After looking at the money raised the last few months, Fidel, Keith and I all realized that spending the money on a plane ticket to Kampala would result in too few funds left to cover basic necessities for this family until they are able to create some income for themselves.  Our focus is to help them achieve self sufficiency and the plane ticket funds are needed towards that end.  So, Fidel is redirecting his plane ticket money to help his father start a business.   His father was a businessman in Bukavu in the past and has been researching options for starting a new business from Kampala.  More on that in future posts.

So friends and interested readers from around the globe, that is the July update.  Fidel is adjusting to the disappointment of not traveling to Africa to see his family soon, and trying to feel hopeful that this decision will lead to their self sufficiency sooner rather than later.  All decisions are made with their best interest in mind – and sometimes they are painful decisions for all of us.  We are commited to seeing them through this difficult time in their lives.  They have known worse times –  less safe times and hungrier times.    At least 8 of Fidel’s family are united under one roof.  All six children are going to school and his parents continue to learn English.   None of this was true 9 months ago.  A lot has changed for the better and the next 9 months should bring far more progress in their journey to a safe and secure life.  It is amazing what can be accomplished by reaching out person to person, Boisean to Bukavan, American to African.   Thanks to all of you joining us in the reach out.  Celebrate the victories with us, help us take the next steps through the current challenges, and stay tuned for the progress to come!

World Refugee Day a Success!

World Refugee Day on June 20th was a big focus for us in June.  Fidel was the MC of the Boise event and he did an amazing job throughout the day speaking to the crowd about refugee journeys, refugee life in this country, sharing his poetry and introducing many performances by refugees and Boiseans working with refugees.  Keith and I manned a booth where we sold Fidel’s newly published book of poems, Route To Peace, as well as tote bags and note cards with one of his poems printed on them.  Everyone who came by to purchase something was inspired by Fidel’s presence, grace and passion – and particularly his ability to express himself so beautifully and charismatically.  We have books, bags and cards to continue selling this summer in order to meet our summer fundraising goals, so please contact us if you are interested!   Order the book on this website or email me at Ruth@BoiseToBukavu.com