Paul's Education Fund Update

Paul on placement in Buganda Road Court, Kampala, Uganda

Paul on placement in Buganda Road Court, Kampala, Uganda

Thank you to all who have been supporting the Paul Mutamba Education Fund. (To find out more about Paul's story and how I got involved go here.) It has been a busy several months as he completed his Diploma in Law with first class distinction at the Law Development Centre in Kampala and successfully applied for the Bachelor in Law degree course at Uganda Christian University in Mukono commencing this September. It's a truly amazing achievement to come from cancer recovery and a dead end degree to first class marks in such a competitive field as Law within one year. We are seriously proud of Paul's achievement and dedication and all of you who have come alongside to support him in this. 

Once Paul was accepted into the Law degree we then had the task of raising the £3000+ required to fund his tuition, accommodation and living expenses for this next academic year.

Our sponsored walk crew at the end of a very soggy slog through Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park in July 

Our sponsored walk crew at the end of a very soggy slog through Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park in July 

As part of this fundraising we held a sponsored walk in Scotland in July with about a dozen participants. This was a great encouragement and added new supporters to the cause as well as boosting the online fundraising at which will have passed £2000 once sponsor money still to be deposited is included. 

At this time I am delighted to be able to say that we have paid the bill for Paul's first term fees in full so he will be commencing in September. God is good. Thank you all so much!

We are well over half way to covering the costs for his entire year so keep sharing and let's see how far we can get!

You can keep up to date with Paul's progress (and the never dull Ugandan trials of life!) by signing up to receive my monthly email updates on this cause below. 

Happy New Year - Allen's Home Shop Appeal FUNDED!

Happy New Year all!

How was your year? For me 2014 was a year very much defined by visiting Africa for the first time and all the new things that flowed out from that experience - challenging and exhilarating!

You can find out more about these activities on the Causes page but one of them was this lady Allen for whom we were burdened to help - you can read the backstory in my earlier blog post

Allen in her house with a crop of tomatoes she grew to sell

Allen in her house with a crop of tomatoes she grew to sell

A huge thank you to all who gave to this as our Christmas cause this year via MyDonate:

I am astounded that it has exceeded our £200 goal, as you can see at the donation page above, and now stands at a total of £389 including Gift Aid! Amazing. We are so grateful to all who contributed to this. 

Various family and friends donated to this appeal as a Christmas gift to us, and my wife and I also ran a stall at the church craft fair in November selling baking and some printed goods I had designed (which were also for sale on Etsy and on my website shop). 50% of of the craft fair proceeds went to this appeal. Thank you to all our customers who supported us in this way.

Now, thanks to your generosity, we have raised funds to give her (and possibly others) capital to buy goods and supplies to sell in her shop and begin to create a sustainable income for her family.  

Allen outside her new home shop extension

Allen outside her new home shop extension

I have spoken with World Shine UK about making the funds available to the liaison at the WSF School in Rwentobo, Uganda (where Allen lives) to administer it appropriately and get her business up and running well. This will make such an amazing difference to her and her 6 children in that very impoverished rural area. I will keep you appraised on how things develop. 

In the meantime if you want to be informed of other income generation projects like this in the future please sign up to my mailing list here

Wishing you all a blessed and purposeful 2015!

Allen's Home Shop

Allen lives in rural Uganda and struggles to feed her five girls and one boy while dealing with a violent alcoholic husband who provides no income. When I met her she was by all appearances a hopeless soul, listless and trapped.

When I was in Uganda in March 2014 I was able to pass on a photo of our family and money (from me and my siblings which we had raised for our mum's birthday) to Allen's child Rona who our Mum sponsors through World Shine UK. I asked the World Shine Foundation School's Child Development Officer what needs the family had that this money could go towards and, thanks to her guidance and stewardship, this money enabled them to build Rona's mother a shop extension to her two room mud brick home in order to generate an income selling produce for her family of eight. The extension is now completed (see below) but start up funds will enable her to begin trading goods.

To see her standing in front of her house with its shop extension, built thanks to the facilitation of the Child Development Officer at WSF School, and smiling with new hope was tremendous.

Allen outside her new extension July 2014

Now we hope to raise funds to give her capital to buy goods and supplies to sell in her shop and begin to create a sustainable income for her family. You can donate to World Shine UK for this cause via my fundraising page on BT MyDonate® by clicking the link below. 

If you wish to be kept updated on the progress of Allen's home shop project or any future sustainable livelihood or income generating projects then join our mailing list below. 

Raising funds for Cancer Survivor Paul

"Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." – 2 Corinthians 1:4

Me and Paul in Uganda, March 2014

Me and Paul in Uganda, March 2014

I came in contact with Paul in January 2013 through my consulting work for a Ugandan charity he also worked for, though we didn't meet in the flesh until I visited Uganda a year later in March 2014. In addition to our common interests of design and technology was the fact that we had very similar personalities and I was really touched by Paul's earnest faith in God despite a very tragic background story. 

Little did I know it was about to become more tragic still. A week after I returned from my Uganda trip Paul revealed he had been diagnosed with stage one colon cancer. He had been undergoing checks for some time but been in denial about it until he received biopsy results that confirmed the undeniable truth. He collapsed in despair. As a student with no job or family support in a third world country where hospital treatment costs a lot of money it might as well have been a death sentence he held in his hand. 

He had recently had an overseas sponsor suddenly withdraw funding without explanation for his information systems course he was in his second year of at university and was entirely dependent on the little the Uganda charity's founders could spare him to cover his fees since he had been taken into their home along with their own six children.

Of course, knowing his circumstances, when I heard this news I knew it would be impossible for that family to fund the medical treatment required as well as every other demand already upon them so I contacted someone who had recently began to sponsor Paul's university fees and we set about planning what kind of assistance we could mobilise to get him through this. 

We rallied round Paul to offer spiritual and emotional support first of all and thankfully he came around to accept the prospect of surgery (which he had rejected out of hand as too frightening to contemplate) while I sent out an email appeal to friends and family contacts for anyone interested in joining a network to provide prayer and financial support for Paul during this process. 

What followed was a whirlwind 2 months of almost daily health crises and answers to prayer that left us all astounded by the power God mobilised through people motivated by love for this boy. Prayers for his healing went up in those first 2 weeks and when he went for his pre-surgery colonoscopy the tumours which had been present at the last colonoscopy in January had gone, leaving only dried scars in their place. The surgeon and his doctor were dumbfounded and thought he had gone elsewhere for surgery in the interval. It seemed that something miraculous had happened on Paul's behalf. But still the effects of his chemotherapy he had been undergoing remained, and brought him close to death through delirium and malaria on several occasions, during the subsequent two months as his body slowly recovered from its effects. But by May he had regained his appetite and strength and we received this amazing picture of him as testimony to the miraculous change in 2 months. And thanks to the network of supporters he was able to pay for all the necessary hospitalisations and checks and medication throughout that period - an amount of over £1000 all provided by donations. An inconceivable amount for him. His joy, amazement and thanks was full!

Now we are continuing to support Paul in his further education as he pursues a career in law. We see this as not only a continuation of our Christian privilege to support him materially given his lack of social and economic resources but as an investment in his future potential as a contributor to others around him in future and his community. 


To find out the latest on Paul's story and how you can help support this cause check out our blog posts under the tag Paul Fund below or sign up to our mailing list for updates on his progress.