23 Jan Third Hope update: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree…
It was a beautiful gesture Tandem made in donating their Christmas card money to charity and we are humbled to be in partnership with them.
David and I have just returned from northern Uganda, the post conflict zone where we are caring for ex-child soldiers. Christmas is different there: no fairy lights; no tinsel; no gifts. Most people work right up to, and even on, Christmas day; when you are poor if you don’t work you don’t eat. Returning to the glitz and glamour of our towns and cities, containing everything we need – and whole lot of things we don’t need! – is a shock to the system.
To receive an email, just after we got back from Uganda, therefore, from Paul and Alison at Tandem, saying they were donating the funds they would have used for Christmas cards to our charity, Third Hope Africa, touched us deeply. These acts of kindness are a healing balm for the wounds of war. An idea then occurred to me that, given the way this gesture contributes towards saving trees in our nation, why don’t we put it towards planting trees in the Ugandan nation?
We are discovering that planting saplings is a profoundly redemptive act after the destruction and devastation caused by war. Moreover after decades in refugee camps, there is an urgent need to plant fruit trees that can help counter the malnutrition resulting from that time. We will be using the funds donated by Tandem, therefore, to plant orchards of fruit trees!
We will be able to plant over 100 trees, such as those pictured. We can’t plant anything until the end of March, however, when the rains start again but in the months ahead we will prepare the ground and replenish the soil in readiness to begin to plant new trees.
We thank Tandem for this blessing.
Rose-Mary and David