I met Julius when I first got to Uganda. He was part of the paper bead making program with Jacob. After a while, he had saved up some money and decided he wanted to return to his village. He went back and we didn't hear from him or see him for many months.
And then one day he was back.
He rejoined the bead program and life went back to normal for him. It turned out, his dad got angry at him and sent him away AGAIN! and told him to never come back. When the bead program ended, Julius came home with us.
It isn't always easy with Julius because you never know if he is happy, angry, sad, etc. because he won't talk about it. When we do group meetings, he prefers to stay in his room. When we have dinner, he wants to eat alone. He just likes to be alone.
Julius goes to school and tries really hard. he was way behind when he started this year but because of his size, he's 15, they put him in primary 3. He doesn't speak English well and can't read so he really struggles. He hasn't given up though and keeps working at learning more and performing better. Eventually he will catch up.
Julius has been back to his village 3 times now since he has joined the home. Twice were during school holidays and once was for his sister's wedding. We are helping him to try and rebuild that relationship with his family. With time, I think old wounds will heal and they will continue to have happy reunions.
I spoke to Julius on the phone the other day. It was a very rare occurrence. He wanted to tell me about his family and how happy they were to see him and see how he has been changing. He told me they also really wanted to meet me. I told him when I got back, we could go for a visit.
I am happy that he is able to go back to visit his family and reconnect with them. With the short visits during the school holiday, all of the pressure is off of everyone and they can just reconnect and not have to worry about anything else. It is really good to be able to see the kids so happy about visiting their families again, especially the ones I never thought would go back.
|me and Julius|
|Julius is on the right|
|Richard and Julius|
|Julius at our old house. He is standing outside our door. The doors in the background were our neighbors.|