poverty

Saving mothers, one modest step at a time

In sub-Saharan Africa they call childbirth “war.”

If you’re a woman about to deliver a child in that part of the world, this is your fate. Imagine it. You’re young. (Younger than most Canadians can imagine.) You’re poor. You’re alone.

How a simple skipping rope changed lives

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, November 12, 2016)

KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It started with a skipping rope, a plain green skipping rope, the kind you’d find at any dollar store.

It was a simple investment. You’d be forgiven for opting to instead spend the money on your morning double-double.

No matter how desperate, we are not alone in this world

(The Hamilton Spectator – Monday, January 4, 2016)

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was evening and dark and dozens of voices, mostly African, by candlelight and under bright stars, were singing carols in front of our long-time East African home.

It was a moment to reflect on the days ending 2015, and a moment, also, when I was asked to say a word.

“So where does everyone go at Christmas?” I asked the kids more than anyone.

“Home!” they yelled into the night air.

The Pope is cool. He’s like a grandpa. Long live the Pope.

Hannah says “The Pope is cool” and Liz says “He’s like a grandpa.” Which means that he would have to be a Dad. Which means (let’s just pretend) that he would have to be married. Which leads me to a recent excerpt on said Pope, this excerpt from a recent column: In truth, I can easily picture …

The Pope is cool. He’s like a grandpa. Long live the Pope. Read More »

The spirited ways of Pope Francis

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, December 5, 2015)

KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ I am not Catholic.

And, like you, I have my images of fatherhood.

The better ones have more to do with the holiness of, say, my boy with a ball and a catching glove on our sun-filled front lawn than with the Holy Father coming to visit.

Someday the last will be first. Someday.

It’s been Hannah in the news here lately, with this post at Thanksgiving and, the other day, this photo, a photo that prompted a Ugandan university student to write me and say a big thank you to our entire family for adopting Hannah. (“thanx for adopting our ugandan girl who cant help her self….”) This sort of …

Someday the last will be first. Someday. Read More »

After Women’s Day, men … wake up!

(The New Vision – Saturday, March 8, 2014)

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s International Women’s Day and we’re all happy to celebrate women in Uganda and around the world, but the truth of the matter is that it’s the men who need to come to terms with who they are and why they’re around, or it’s all for nothing.

This is the strangeness of this big yearly celebration. Women’s Day largely revolves around the hard times women face because their men are so hopeless. Plenty of husbands and fathers don’t pull their weight and don’t understand or care how desperately their families need them.

Now I am not about to beat-up myself or my brothers everywhere because I have nothing better to do. The Daughters of Eve are just as fallen as the Sons of Adam. But have an honest look into the homes of Uganda. I’m imagining you see what I see. It’s a bloody mess.

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