Friends of Batwa International

Old Matwa Woman, Blessed with a house, Passes on three months later

Julian having good time with children at village k, a few months before her death

Major problems hurting the Batwa in Uganda are land, poor housing units, lack of household incomes, poor sanitation and hygiene, but the biggest of all being land, It is believed that possession of land is key in making permanent decisions, the Batwa seem to have lost hope after they were evicted from their dear home without compassion for their lost land, because they lived in forest as hunters and gatherers, they lacked skills to compete in the new environment, now they live.

Destitute lives, with a lot of hopelessness, they can’t afford to put their children in school or provide them with basic needs.

How it all started

Around 2018, one of our pictures of Juliana in front of her house, made rounds on social media, a group of people offered to raise money for it, unfortunately this was either never done or done and money was never delivered, and they later gave up on it, but God did not give up.

Volunteers visit Julian’s home; she is sited in from of her house

How we got hooked up

On one of our visits at Kamugyemanyi kasovu in kisoro district, around 2020, we decided to spend a night and sleep around on the fire, to our surprise children seemed to enjoy sleeping on the fire than inside their so shacks, that night some of them slept until 9am, an indication that they felt more comfortable outside than inside because they were free from bugs.

After sharing the story on our social media, some well-wishers bought the idea of building all the 12 housing units at village k, David Bryant and Faith Ablaze Missions sent the first seed donation that was intended to build the most first and wanted it to be gifted to Julian whom he bonded with on his visit way back in 2017, this house would be made of mud and wood, but other houses would be complete with brick walls, metal roof, a cemented floor and shutters.

Philippians 4:6:Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Children sleep comfortably besides the fire, get better sleep than inside the shacks Faith ablaze missions donate a house to Julian, Four years later 2021 faith ablaze missions through friends of Batwa international donated a house to Juliana, a bed and beddings, clothes and food, this set the ball rolling and the rest of the village were to get a house each, this is how things Of God work, he neither hurries not delays but he will deliver your blessing at the most Right time, Glory to God.

“Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Construction starts right away, batwa provide free labor and a skilled person is hired to build the house, What provoked faith Ablaze missions to support Julian and other Batwa with housing. Around august 2021, at the beginning of a rainy season, we got it to their attention that normally when rain comes, the rest of the population is happy because they will saw their seeds for the next season, this is a different story with the Batwa at village k and other settlements, the shack houses and leaking roofs together with the fact that they don’t have land for farming, rain comes as a curse to them.

Juliana, the oldest Batwa woman at village k, was not exceptional; she lived in the poorest house, because she was weak and poor due to old age and could not afford a reasonable shack for herself, when ever she was given given any gifts , she would also ask when her house was going to be built, she had children by her side all the time.

Building of Julian’s house Begins.

Having heard the bad news , David Bryant of Faith ablaze missions took the initiative to and offered to fund the house through Friends of Batwa international, the Batwa are mobilized and building is started, the money that way donated was to be used to buy poles and iron sheets, whereas the Batwa were to provide all the labor, this was welcomed with a lot of energy and one week later the house was taking shape.

All the Batwa supported the activity as they looked at Julian as a mother and elder on the settlement, they were happy to see her have warm nights after many years of getting soaked and wet by rains and staying cold at night, this come as a blessing to the 12 homes on the hill ahead of the coming rainy season, all shelters here have transparent walls stuck with old sacs and banana leaves with leaking roofs, the new house will serve as the only escape place for everyone on rainy days and nights.

Thanks to Faith Ablaze Missions for funding the project and for continued support and prayers, and Heart 2 Heart Hand N Hand Intl who were providing food support to this village for the last one year, see updates on our Facebook page, we thank God the house was built and fitted with shutters barely one week later, and then equipped with household items like a bed, bedding and food.

Julian’s previous house

Julian’s previous house

Julian’s new house under construction

, Julian’s new house under construction

Boom, our plan to have all the houses built is birthed, Initially our plan was to allocate one acre of land to each household, where they would have their house and have space for farming, this hit a dead end as it was very expensive and no funds were available to roll out the program.

Our target was then put at having a house for each of the remaining 11 families on this hill by June 2022, families on this hill live on about 8×8 m pieces of land which limit their production capacities to meet their food demand given the large “families” they carry, by Faith construction begun even when the land was not enough.

Julian sleeping in her previous house

Batwa provide free labor during construction and we provide lunch.

Batwa having lunch while the construction goes on

The program was designed on cost Sharing basis, this has enabled the program to go on quickly, Batwa who are experienced builders , get paid very well for their services, all masonry , young and old got lunch on site.

Juliana, a mother to many and the oldest being on the hill, this house became asset to the village as she would share her love to the very many orphaned children and the homeless people who always came to seek shelter in her old shack, we were pleased to say that you have lived to enjoy a warm and dry night safe from rains.

Julian’s house after being painted

Julian’s house after being painted

Found sleeping under the bed one day.

Juliana had this to say, “My house is small, when I get visitors I give up the bed and sleep under the bed, so that they can have a sleep and have good night at my house, I get back my bed when they have gone”. Alongside the house Julian is gifted a bed, bedding and mattress When asked her feelings after getting a new house.

“Now that you have built for me a bigger house visitors will be sleeping at the entrance and my bedroom will always be mine”

She has a number of children that have been left under her care and she will be happy to share with them the new house, God is surely faithful, and the long awaited dream has been full filled, Julian now has a new house , a new bed and a mattress, It was joy to the moon and back; as Julian received beddings, blanket, new dresses, sweater and a nightdress,God is good; she also got herself soap, jelly, toothpaste and good items.

We want to appreciate Faith Ablaze Missions for funding the project , you set the ball rolling, we appreciate Heart 2 Heart Hand N Hand Intl who have been feeding this community since the onset of covid 19 pandemic in May 2020, you have done great,Meanwhile building is going on and we are on the third and fourth house, we have already secured.

Julian loved children so so much,

Julian passes on 10th Dec 2021

Julian passes on 10th Dec 2021

Julian has been light, joy, central point, she has been a pillar , a shoulder to lean on, all the children loved her, even in her elderly age she never lacked what to serve the little ones, they all looked up to her as a mother and father, We are happy that by the time of her death, she was sleeping well and eating well, she had smiled and saw her grandchildren smiling, and above all, Julian knew Christ and she will be residing with angels in heaven.

As friends of Batwa international we will continue supporting these children and the entire community at kasovu, Julian lived an awesome life and will dearly be missed by many.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s life in your years, It is not length of life, but depth of life”

May your soul rest with angels, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10

Send off ceremony of Julian Born 1916 – Died 11th Dec 2021

Send off ceremony of Julian

The lord has been good, we had a good weather and good fellowship, Julian was finally laid to rest, many people came to bless the occasion from all corners, relatives and friends grandchildren and government officials, Julian was hailed as a straight woman throughout her life and old age , She died at 105 years; she left behind 7 children (old) and 25 grandchildren, oh my God what a long life, She must have been the oldest remaining in at her community.

Send off of Julian, service led by PR Niyonzima

Send off of Julian,

may her soul rest in eternity!