Raising awareness to Uganda’s needs

Cranbrook-based ministry meets the educational and medical needs of over 150 of Uganda's neediest children.

Shanita — 'Never without a smile.

Shanita — 'Never without a smile.

For the Townsman

Shanita represents the very heart of the work of His Hope Uganda.

This Cranbrook-based ministry was established in 2009 by Kimi Toyota from Cranbrook. It meets the educational and medical needs of over 150 of Uganda’s neediest children.

Two years ago, eight year old Shanita was carried on the back of her sister to Kimi’s office. She was unable to walk because one leg and hip were badly deformed. Kimi took her to an American-operated hospital in Kampala about three hours away where doctors diagnosed her hip problems and noticed growths. She was subsequently treated for tuberculosis and has now been enrolled in school, and has gained her mobility through the use of crutches.

Through her many afflictions including the draining of painful growths in her armpits, Kimi describes her as “the sweetest girl in the world” who is never without a smile.

Shanita’s medical needs are representative of the difficulties that the HHU staff is confronted with on a continual basis. Among the 150 young people, problems include sickle cell anemia, typhoid, TB, HIV, malnutrition, hydrocephalus, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, blindness, deafness and mentally handicapped conditions as well as the ever-present malaria.

The educational needs include Alex, a 19-year old who is delighted to sit with his grade 6 classmates, even though he towers above everyone else at over 6 feet. He was given the opportunity to attend school 5 years ago after a long absence due to his family’s inability to afford school fees, one of so many who are restricted from educational opportunities due to poverty.

On Saturday evening, November 26, HHU is hosting an Informational Fundraiser and Dessert Evening at Cranbrook Alliance Church. Kimi will be sharing stories and videos of the children and a Silent Auction with a sizeable Cornucopia of offerings will be available. Doors open at 6:30 (but Ice Hockey fans can drop by at 5 p.m. to view the offerings and make early bids). Tickets are limited to 200 and available for $5 each through the Toyota’s at 250-426-8645 or by emailing gstoyota77@gmail.com.