Distributing hope in Northern Uganda

Maama Emanuel is a walking example of the hope that a gift of simple items can bring to people in poverty.

Maama Emanuel lives in a north Ugandan village, in a community where most people are too poor to afford even enough clothing, food or basic household goods. She had never owned plates, but instead ate directly from the saucepan at mealtimes.

She had no blankets for cover at night, using thick plastic bags for warmth.

When an NGO, staffed by local Ugandans, in Maama Emanuel’s district received a container of goods from Crossroads, they used the items for both big projects – like equipping community primary schools with 20,000 books and equipping vital cattle herder training programs – and small, like visiting the area’s poorest people and giving them urgently needed clothing, blankets and other gifts. Maama Emanuel was one of them.


Thanks to the shipment, Maama Emmanuel now owns a good blanket, and a set of nice plates on which to serve herself and visitors.

“She is all the time thanking Crossroads!” a staff member from the NGO told us.


In an area where cattle herding provides the main source of livelihood, the shipment included goods to support programs for training cattle herders in sustainable agricultural practices.


“Thousands of people were provided with clothes,” wrote our partners. “People got plates and cups to use – something that they had never seen in their communities. It brought joy, happiness and excitement to people who had been used to a hostile and miserable lifestyle.”


“A new nursery school in the area received toddler items like toys and books. Babies received clothes, and mothers were so happy that this saved them even the small cost of buying clothes for their children. Pregnant mothers were given blankets and this helped to cover their newborns when they were delivered.”

“Planning has been so smooth in our NGO since we had some support from Crossroads. The funds we could have used to purchase office desks have now been designated for other activities like HIV/Aids programs.”

The shipment was such a strategic investment into the community that our partners have requested another shipment to help continue and expand their programs.

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.


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