Friday, September 9, 2011

Update on Nyaka Student Justine

You may recall that we recently helped raise money for student “Justine” or Tina who had been burned terribly by a kerosene lantern to receive surgery at Boston Shriner’s Hospital.  We are so happy to report that she had another successful surgery earlier this month.  Upon her insistence :) they sedated her via a bubble-gum scented mask, and she fell asleep with her caretaker, Ruth, holding her hand prior to the surgery. According to the doctor, the surgery was more successful and an easier surgery than the previous one.   Dr. Lewis worked on 5 different sites on Tina's face: both cheeks, both sides of her nose, and between her upper left chin and mouth. He managed to do it all without any skin grafting. He called it "rearranging" and he was quite pleased with the results. He explained that he only grafts when there is no other option, as grafting is the main source of pain and delayed healing post-surgery.

 Tina's stylish new neck braces arrived while she was in the hospital, which pleased her much. The old ones were unattractive and hard to keep clean, two of Tina's peeves. She now has 2 purple and 2 black, with a zebra sewn in the front. All her choice. Purple, to match her Nyaka uniform and the zebra after Marty from the movie Madagascar.  Justine is healing slowly but steadily.  She's amazing; so brave and strong...a favorite at the hospital. Such a love.

As you can see from the picture of Justine swinging with her longtime pen pal Kate – she is enjoying her time between surgeries.   Thank you all for making Justine’s health so much better and her childhood brighter!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School - Please remember our students!

Nyaka Preschoolers
Preschoolers at Nyaka
The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project students are very fortunate that they too are in school right now. One aspect of our organization that is unique is how we guarantee our students an education all the way up to the university level. Every year we are graduating more students from our primary schools and paying for their secondary school education, an equivalent to middle school in the US. This promise is only made possible by generous supporters like you!

Kutamba Student Hilary Studying
Hilary Studying at Kutamba

On behalf of the entire Nyaka family, we hope this posting finds you and your loved ones well during these last days of summer. I've noticed recently that it is nearly impossible to ignore the signs around town that school is back in session. Yellow caution signs are flashing, school supplies line the aisles in grocery stores, and school buses are making their way slowly down the streets looking for their passengers carrying their lunchbox. The sights, smells, and sounds of students going back to school are in the air!

We hope that you will keep our students in mind as you observe the back to school frenzy in your hometown. Please remember that for every child that is getting an education at the Nyaka or Kutamba Primary Schools there are many more who are not because their mother and father have died and there is no one to pay for their school fees.

Jackson and student
Jackson with Nyaka Student
The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project students are just like the children in your life. They are filled with hope for a bright future, dreams of becoming a teacher, nurse, or doctor.  Their greatest desire is to be comforted, loved, and cared for. Their commitment to their education and future is walking many miles to and from school, passing exams at the top of their class, and participating in workshops that discuss health, nutrition, and the importance of remaining in school.  Year after year they continue to make us proud by upholding their end of the bargain!

Our commitment to our students, in addition to access to a free education, is providing them 2 meals daily, medicine when they are ill, and help for their caretakers who are typically their elderly grandmothers. It is through this holistic human rights based approach and your unwavering support that our students will soar into the future!