It was evening in Kampala, 1997. The sun had gone down at 6:50, as usual, in a blaze of glorious colours, and the night had closed in, warm, dark, full of smells and sound from fields, villages and town nearby.
Joseph Kamara called by in an old blue LandRover on his way home from work. Joseph was a Ugandan friend of ours who worked in AIDS education. Although we did not know it at the time, he was also a distant member of the Royal family in Toro – his home region.
This evening he was close to tears. He’d been out with a home care team and visited 2 grandparents who had lost their children from AIDS. They were now nursing 2 young grandchildren. Both the boys were dying of AIDS and they had no money to even buy aspirin, although the children were crying from pain.
Joseph’s frustration at being unable to help was infectious. We knew that the same story was repeated all around us in the lives of people we would never know. A few aspirin, some clean water, a blanket – all such little gestures, yet so powerful.
But where, and how, to start ?