You are here

Give Peace

While peace is intangible, it is the result of some very physical realities: being safe from conflict and having one's basic needs met. Those of us who are blessed enough to have more than our daily needs met have the awesome ability to give peace to members of the One Global Family who need our help, through tangible support.

Our first Give Peace recipient is Sam Okitoi, my friend of over ten years from Uganda.

Raised to Date

As of February 23, 2021

 

Meet Sam Okitoi

I first met Sam Okitoi in 2010 in Uganda, when he shared his testimony with me so I could better understand the plight of Kampala's street children. An orphan, Sam lived in an orphanage where children often were hungry, and not all of them could go to school. Text books were in even shorter supply. His sweet spirit and resilience to be a "big brother" to the younger children there deeply impressed me. Instead of lamenting what he didn't have, he shared what he did - primarily love. We have remained friends ever since.

After graduating high school – a testament to his fortitude – a kind One Global Family member helped Sam go to Uganda Christian University, where he studied art. He earned his BA in Fine Art in 2015. I was so proud of him!

In 2014, I saw Sam again in Kampala. We spent a joyful day catching up. Sam had grown into a mature young man and a talented artist! His favourite medium was wood carving. I was able to help him buy some wood and tools to start an art business, and donate a laptop for editing.

Sam is a storyteller, himself, through both art and words. This blog post shares his ideas of historical and modern slavery, which inspired his carving about slavery.

 

 

Giving Back

In 2019, knowing how hard life is for children in Uganda, Sam fulfilled his life-long desire to help others by co-founding a humanitarian organization, Christ Child International. Based in Soroti, Uganda, this initiative was made possible with the support of more One Global Family members, including one of Sam's friends from the orphanage. Sam continued his gift of sharing the stories through writing and photography.

 

A Wedding

In May, 2020, Sam married his bride, Alice. They live in Soroti, Uganda.

 

Coronavirus Challenges

Unfortunately, since the coronavirus broke out, Christ Child International's funding and programs have ceased. Sam and Alice have tried many ways to support themselves, but life in Uganda, which was never easy, is getting even harder. Last year he tried farming, but unusual rains, perhaps caused by global warming, caused him to lose money. His grandfather gave him some land on which to build a house, but family disputes have prevented him from receiving his inheritance. He hasn't found a market for his art, and the tourist industry is now decimated.

 

Starting a New Life Abroad

Sam and Alice have concluded that the best way to support themselves is by working abroad with the support of placement agencies.

Alice has a job offer in Qatar starting in March, 2021, where her friend is already working. Sam has the opportunity to join her as a security guard, but needs to raise $1,000 CAD  for his transport and other expenses. Can you please help Sam and Alice stay together and start a new life? Together, the one global family can give this family a new chance. I have talked to him at length to reassure myself they are joining reputable companies. The biggest assurance is the fact that they have friends already working for the organisation. His local counciIlor has also offered his recommendation.

 

How to help

1) Donate via CryPeace

You can support Sam by sending your donation to CryPeace via Paypal. I will collect the donations and forward them to Sam via Sendwave, an app via which I have been supporting Sam for years. Secure with low fees, it transfers money directly to Sam's mobile money account.

 

Purchase Sam's Art

Sam also has beautiful carvings to sell. Prices vary per piece, but range around $110 USD. DHL shipping from Uganda to Canada is approximately $69 USD. Please contact me for details about purchasing Sam's art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support Sam Directly

If you prefer to support Sam directly, please contact me for the details.

 

Photos

  • Sam, with other street youth who shared their stories with me, October 2010 (second from the left, back row)
  • My reunion with Sam, May 2014
  • Tools Sam bought with CryPeace's support, 2014
  • Sam graduating from Uganda Christian University, October 2015
  • Sam and Alice at their traditional marriage ceremony, May 2020