Lazarus Effect: when something thought lost is resurrected.
Lazarus, from Kaberamaido CarePoint in Uganda, knows all about coming back to life. After becoming an orphan at the age of 15, Lazarus’s life came to a devastating halt.
Uganda doesn’t place orphans into orphanages like many other countries do. It is expected that an auntie or other relative take in the orphaned children and therefore keep them in their home country with their family. Some issues arise when an older male child becomes orphaned as they might be seen as an inheritance threat to their new siblings. That is the issue that Lazarus and his sisters faced when they were left with no parents. He was forced to become the head of his household when he could no longer stay with his aunt.
The responsibilities of a child-headed household are vast. Education is put aside and the children grow up too fast. When the local CarePoint heard of Lazarus’s situation, they put him on the CarePoint list to gain a sponsor. Older children are often overlooked for sponsorship as many people choose young, chubby cheeked babies and small children.
This sponsorship meant that he could finish high school and he eventually went on to nursing school. Health care education isn’t cheap in Uganda. The CarePoint told Lazarus that if he paid part of the fees they would pay the rest. He would make bricks and sell them while also keeping up with his studies. Lazarus recently passed his exams, and as he waits for a position to open he continues to make bricks to “make pocket money to help his sisters.”
By Lazarus staying in his community, he can now support his sisters and make an impact as a nurse. His future was once thought lost and now is full of possibilities.
Learn more about how HopeChest’s programs in Uganda are empowering youth to become self-sustaining.
Jenny Yucus is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Yucus is a social awareness designer who travels the globe assisting non profit organizations with design work. Her most recent trip was in October of 2017 to Jordan where she conducted research to create a new body of work that dives into the misconceptions of the Middle East. Yucus also continues to explore women’s issues in Africa; specifically in Uganda and Ethiopia. She takes these global experiences and translates them into the classroom where her students partner with local non-profits to meet their design needs and shed a light on various social issues in our community.
Jenny visited HopeChest CarePoints with The Table Initiative in November 2018 to capture stories of hope and transformation in Uganda.