If you have ever been to a Reap Life DIG Event before you have probably heard Sarah tell the story of Patrick. His story is amazing and it just keeps on getting better! I had the chance to meet Patrick for the first time this summer and was blown away by the amount of work he is doing for his community and for DIG. First Patrick, brought me to his home, a 15-minute bike ride from Bujagali, Uganda to meet his 9 children (7 of the 9 are orphans who he and his wife have adopted).
While I was there one of his good friends, Peter, came over to introduce himself to me. Peter Kabito is 64, an amazing gardener, a hard worker, a father, a granddad, HIV positive, and a sweet man. Peter does not speak English very well so he communicated with me by showing me how proud he was of DIG and the work he has done! So much so, that he considers DIG is occupation!
Patrick, Peter and his team of community members from Budondo have moved beyond self-sufficient! Patrick’s group has 150 members and they take care of 92 orphans (including school fees). They also reach out to other HIV support groups, widows groups, and orphan groups in the area to help develop sustainable agriculture projects!
I had an opportunity to see many of these sites as well as sit down with Patrick and capture all of the HIV, widows, school and youth groups that he has worked with. Since we trained Patrick and his group in 2007, Patrick has worked with 22 different HIV Support Groups, 7 different youth groups and 3 different women’s group to develop sustainable agriculture projects in the surrounding area! He has helped create over 400 gardens and trained nearly 3,000 people (2,951)!!!!
Patrick lives and embodies DIG and our sustainable grassroots vision! While I was there this summer, we made it official by registering a DIG Uganda Community Based Organization (CBO) with Patrick as the chairman! We are excited to continue our work with Patrick and increase our impact in Uganda!