Uganda: Orphanages and Elderly Community

In 2018, Crystal Smiles Africa was founded by father and son duo; Hon Fred Mukisa Douglas and Mukisa Michael Omunyidde. Fred generouslyfunded the underprivileged community of Bugiri; especially the orphans and the elderly. 
Tragically, in December 2019, Hon Fred Mukisa Douglas passed away after his long battle with cancer. Fred was the former state minister of fisheries and respected member of the Uganda Land Commission from 2003 to 2006. He was also famous for his fight against illegal fishing and restoration of sustainable fishing on Uganda’s lake. The community deferred to Fred for his intelligence in the rural economy, hence his passion for sustainability. Fred later progressed as Member of Parliament, representing Bukooli County Central in Bugiri district from 2006 to 2011. Due to his passing, the community was no longer funded by Fred’s revenue,therefore, are seeking support to aid their community with donations in funds or goods.  
Michael, son of Fred; had continued to support his community in Bugiri with the limited resources he had and rationing of food. Due to the impacts of covid-19. Michael and his brothers; Fahad Wafula, Wabwire Shafen and Mandela Samil have all lost their income and receive no support from their government. They have run out of money to purchase food and resources for their community. The community currently rations one plate of rice a day, between two people. 
With all their medical resources running low and soon no food. Michael resorted to creating an Instagram, @crystal_smiles_africa and connected with people globally in hope of donations. Michael messaged me directly and explained the dire need of his community and his history. I arranged a call with Michael and requested various information to confirm the validity of his requests. I was humbled to hear of his father’s contribution to the community and that Michael continued his father’s legacy.
Michael and I connected over WhatsApp and spoke face to face. We had a long and honest conversation about his upbringing and the adversity within his community. He stunned me with the response to my question; How are you so positive and humble when you’re in such a difficult situation consisting of starvation? Michael responded with “I always tell the children and our community that, even if we share one plate of food, that is more than others. There is always someone who is struggling more and we must show our respect to them by being grateful”. After this heart-warming response, I was able to meet with the orphans, who heard I was on a call to Michael. They ran into the hut and were exuding the most infectious positivity and shared many smiles and air kisses to me over the video call. After our call, I felt an urgency and a calling to assist this community to raise enough funds to survive the pandemic. 
The community consists of two youth orphanages; God in Action and Hope for Joy along with an elderly community outreach program. There are a total of 84 locals including the four brothers who care for the entire community.
The pandemic has restricted their movement and anyone who tries to leave to gather resources in desperation, have been punished by authority. The only city that received some food and masks was the capital Kampala, unfortunately, these resources didn’t make it to impoverished communities.
The community doesn’t have access to clean water, therefore are prone to illness such as typhoid and are also subjected to malaria. They are in desperate need of medication and funds to access the doctor. 

I have created a six-month cost projection to ensure the community isn’t without essentials. Unfortunately, there is no certainty to when the pandemic restrictions will ease and if their jobs will be available to return too.  I have expressed the urgency of having supplies stored so that the locals don’t go without food and medication again. 
I urge you to open your hearts and commit to a minimum donation of $20 to the Go Fund Me fundraiser. If 1000 people can donate this, we are able to raise 20,000 which will not only ensure the community is protected for another 6 months, but we can also send Michael to University to complete his medicine degree. After his father’s passing, he wasn’t left any money nor the community. Michael and his brothers make humble incomes which only provided food and some medication to support the community. Michael dreams of being able to aid all of Africa with his knowledge of medical practice and support impoverished communities in the legacy of his father.
I haven’t told Michael I’ve budgeted to fundraise for his university education. I pray that we can dig deep and raise $20,000 AUD which pays for his four-year medical degree and supports his community for the next 6 months until the brothers can work again.
I truly believe education is power and Michael is a beacon of strength and compassion just like his father. He will continue to lead his community and share his wealth to ensure they never go hungry, ill or uneducated again. For every person who donates, I will add your name to a card as a contributor to the community and his education. Please be a part of something selfless and empower Michael to support the people of Bugiri forever.


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Kassandra Mouzis Brudenell 
Glen Waverley, VIC
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