Protecting Widows and Orphans

This is an appeal for support for one of my students, Teri Guhl, who has a legal internship through the International Justice Mission (IJM) to work in Uganda this summer to end violence against widows and orphans.  As Teri explains,

When I came back to the U.S. [after visiting Uganda last summer], I began researching property grabbing and other international violence against women issues. This year, I have been a part of my law school’s Legal Services Immigration Clinic. I am representing a young girl who fled gang violence in Central America and is struggling to make a new life in the United States. The impunity for violent crime committed against young girls in her home country is so widespread; she is convinced she will be killed if she returns home. As I have worked on her case, I have thought many times that we need to not only assist people who come to the U.S., we need to empower local people to make communities, like hers, safer, so kids do not have to travel across the world just to survive. The impunity of violent men hurting vulnerable women must end. This year I have thought of this verse many times. “Learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” -Isaiah 1:17 I want to go to Uganda to impact systems that allow for impunity, and to learn how to empower local leaders to create safe communities.

She gives as an example of the hardship she would like to help remedy this one:

When a male head of household dies, many families face violence through property grabbing. Since most rural widows’ livelihood depends on the food they grow in their garden, this violent crime not only costs the victim’s home and possessions, but their food and income as well. Now, I have been given the opportunity to be on the IJM team in Kampala who works to end this!

Those working with IJM must raise their own funds to cover travel and other expenses.  Teri has set up a gofund me site, which you can find here, to raise some of those funds.

I have already made a contribution and I hope you will also.

As regular readers of this blog know, I never have (and never will) ask for any compensation for myself in connection with this blog.  But I have (and will continue t0) occasionally bring opportunities dear to my heart to you.  Many of you read this blog regularly, hundreds receive it in their e-mail each day.  If even a significant number of regular readers made a small contribution (really, any amount helps, no matter how small), it would make an enormous difference to Teri’s ability to make a difference in Uganda this summer.

I would be grateful if you would prayerfully consider making a donation.

If you are looking for other worthwhile donation recipients, consider supporting City House (which I wrote about here) or the work of my friend Fr. Aidan Rooney in Bolivia (which you can support here).