Susan’s Blog: Ubuntu Dream

In the first blog of this series I made reference to the decision to abandon the municipal hall that Rev. Ginny had negotiated usage of for Sitabogogo. It stands only eight feet away from the burned out municipal offices and is surrounded still by burned hulks of municipal vehicles. And, quite frankly, she exhibited the patience of a saint dealing with municipal council’s litany of cancelled appointments arranged over the past two years, and their ever-present threat to take the building away for their own usage. Rather crazy-making, and not conducive to smooth operation. Reminder – all Ginny’s time and energies are totally volunteer.

Ginny dreams (and prays!) big, though, and her plan is to launch a major fundraising drive to build their own Ubuntu Community Care Centre. ‘Ubuntu’, by the way, is an ideology roughly translated as ‘humanity toward others’.

This is a very preliminary first drawing done by the architectural draftsman Ginny has engaged. What we’re looking at here is the covered veranda which runs the full length of the building, with doors leading into the main hall. Inside there will also be an office, a meeting room, a kitchen, bathrooms and a storage room. The plan is to use a steel pre-fab frame and when the roof goes on, the gogos can begin gathering there while the remainder of the construction continues.

St. Augustine’s, where Sitabogogo is currently meeting, is prepared to give them the land for the building, and the process appears to be this: the drawings must be revised until satisfactory (say one month), then presented to the diocese for approval and negotiation of agreement (could be quite lengthy – three months?), tendering (one month), actual building process (six months). I’m quite hopeful that, despite African time running slower than Western time, it could be finished by this time next year.

And if you’re into dreaming big, too, wouldn’t it be great to get a group together and come over here together next year??


6 thoughts on “Susan’s Blog: Ubuntu Dream

  1. Susan,

    I’ve been enchanted by the Grannies since you introduced me to them this past summer. I have so enjoyed these glimpses your blogs are providing us all. With each installment I am amazed by the bounty of their spirit, even in the face of their losses. We have so much that we often don’t appreciate, and I’d love the chance to share what I have with them. I’m in the process of sorting the excesses of my life and in the spring I’m planning to have a garage sale for them. I’d love that opportunity to pass on money made from this sale to benefit the Grannies in any way that they choose.
    Thank you for all your work in sharing these beautiful spirits with us!

    Nikki Truhan
    Plano, Texas

  2. A wonderful dream with great start! I would love to be part of a group that went to Sabie next year( if you’re going to dream…then dream BIG!)
    Thanks to ginny for her tireless efforts.:)

  3. I keep hearing more and more of what could take place for the Gogos and I am so amazed! How incredible it would be for them to have their own building and such a sense of ownership. Imagine, to have come from such devestation – the loss of their own children and the added burden of caring for their grandchildren in thier old age, and now life has so much more meaning. What an incredible gift! Such a difference people can make when they care about other people. I just can’t say enough, Susan; I’m so proud of you!

    Much love,

  4. Thank you ALL for your encouraging comments of support throughout all these blog entries! As gratifying as it is to have these comments directed to me because I’m doing the reporting, I want to emphasize that this is a TEAM effort of many, many women in Grannies à Gogo in the Vernon area, now boosted by Kelowna’s Gifts to Grandmothers, and especially through the dedication of Rev. Ginny Cormack. It is the individual efforts of people contributing their time, skills, or donations (thank you, Nikki, for your garage sale profits coming from Texas!) that make this project successful.
    With humungous gratitude,

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