MAKING THE DIFFERENCE

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Giving is from the heart no matter the expectation. The holy scripture is very clear on giving to the poor or those who are vulnerable, “True religion is one that looks after the needy”, these includes the orphans and widows. Different people give based on many reasons, some give because they have more than they require, others due to selflessness, compassionate for others and others because they expect something in return. The reward for giving is blessings, as it is clear that Blessed is the hand that gives than the hand that receives, Not giving with right at the same time taking away with the left hand. That is the case for the few hypocrites. However, for Mzee Juba giving is a higher calling.

Mzee Juba Aloise Lungula nicknamed Mzee wa corona, is a 76-years old from Kalemie, formerly Albertville, a town on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo next to the outflow of the Lukuga River but currently living in Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya. He came as a refugee back in 2002 fleeing from the civil war in Congo and currently living a humble life as a refugee.

New home away from home as a refugee living a life of dependency from UNCHR the relief aid, he never let go his dream of giving hope to the hopeless. While at the camp he realized that there are many orphans and widows due to the political instability from his country and fellow refugees. He realized that at least he could do something out of the will he has to help the needy as himself, and so he found a purpose and a mission to accomplish.

He threw himself at the service of those exploited through gender-based violence, the orphans and the widows. Since he did not have the resources to further his will, he decided to seek assistance from the NGOs and alas! He was built a three-roomed bakery with baking equipment which he uses as a community-based bakery where widows and orphans bake bread and sale within the camp and to the host community at a cheaper price.

Mzee Juba became popular in Kakuma town during the influx of corona virus pandemic. After noticing that people were very careless with the government control measures on the virus and very little was done on sensitization in the villages and households. He decided to bridge the gap by seeking help from the Danish Organization for support on the means of transport to ease his movement and was given a bicycle. He equipped his bicycle with a public address system and a banner sensitizing on the importance of observing the measures put in place by the government and WHO. And that is how he got the name mzee wa corona from children.

Mzee Juba from kakuma Refugees Camp decided to take initiative on educating the masses on importance of following the government’s covid control measures.

I was so curious to know this man more than what people said about him and from what I gathered, really challenged me. had to say. And I translate,

“while I was in Kalemie, I served as a red cross volunteer and an evangelist. Being a servant of the Almighty, service to mankind is honor to Him. I lived with asthma for years but that has never bothered me, what bothers me is seeing innocent orphans and widows separated by their families due to the instabilities and skirmishes in our Countries. I have lived a life of my own to the fullest during my youthful years but now am more concerned about these children.”

Besides being asthmatic, Juba has a poor hearing ability unless one raised his/her voice otherwise, he won’t grasp whatever one says. On the same note, I was moved by his statement as he seemed going through anguish within him. When asked why he jumped into sensitizing corona awareness besides helping gender-based violence victims, he reiterated that the measures put in place echoed what the old testament talks of, like washing hands, avoiding crowded places and so forth.

“If one is infected with Corona without proper treatment leads to death which in turn increases the number of orphans and widows/widowers.” He added that given the living condition in the camp is very sorry, it was better to seal the crack rather than building.

On honoring our appointment, he didn’t make with his bicycle but he came with a banner a carton scribbled with his notes and tied to his back. When I asked him why he did not come with his bicycle he said that he recently developed a backache condition because of riding on the bicycle with the windy weather in Kakuma.

He is one jovial man whose smiling face hides the burden on his shoulders.

Mzee Juba pleads that if he gets well wishers to help him expand the bakery, explore a wider market or expand the bakery to widows and orphans’ self-help group, it will enable him reach out to more vulnerable groups within the Kakuma refugee camp. How he manages to helping others despite the fact that he is also needy, he believes that once you have vision, love to others, sacrificial heart, honesty in whatever you do and satisfaction in the little things we have, one can change lives and make the world a better place.

What motivates Mzee Juba is doing good to humanity and giving hope to those who have lost one. To him helping the needy is a personal responsibility and wishes that those willing to join him in the quest to make the difference in impacting many lives can reach him through 0768035763 or reach out to Atta Nayece radio station in Kakuma, Turkana West in Turkana county. For his big heart, compassion and selflessness, to my opinion Mzee Juba is a hero and a Golden heart ambassador.

Mzee Juba uses his God given gift to educate people on covid-19 precautions

Covid-19 is still a threat, wash hands with soap, put on a certified mask and avoid crowded places for your life is Precious.

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