“I was coming from my home in Masese to Jinja town to look for food to eat as I did that every day. One day as I was moving around with the other kids in town we saw Heidi and we all ran to her and asked for food to eat. She bought for us some snacks and drinks, then all of my friends ran away but I came back and said thank you. I really said it without thinking it could touch her or make any changes in my own life but I said it because I was very hungry before seeing Heidi and when we met her, she solved that problem.
The next day, I came to the same place hoping to meet Heidi again such that she could buy for me more food. When I saw her I was very happy and we all told her that we were very hungry and she bought for us food. Heidi then started asking me where I stayed and with who. I gave her the direction to the place I stayed in the slums [ Masese].
The next day Heidi found me with Friday, and she hugged me. Then she took us to shop for clothes and food and she asked us to go back home and requested that we wait for her the next day and she would find us. I stayed home and waited for her and she came at 2:00 pm to pick us but Friday went to town to beg. Heidi took me to the agricultural show and later she took me to the place where she was to staying. I stayed there for a week, and over that time Heidi took me to the clinic to treat the wound I had on my leg.
Later, Heidi took me to uncle Mike in Bugembe who took care of me and that was my turning point from that day when we met she has taken care of me and showed me love to date.
What I will never forget in my life is the love and care Heidi showed me and yet she is a white person and I am a black kid. Despite the fact that I was looking dirty she still gave me a hug and she is a mom to me. I am also proud of having a home that I don’t have to look for food but instead food finds me there. I had never thought of studying in a better school or even just being at school but Heidi did all that for me. I used to just go to the agriculture show as a street kid and could sneak in, sometimes I could not even see anything because I was chased for pick pocketing food but that day when Heidi took me, I entered as VIP [VERY INPORTANT PERSON], and I enjoyed the show. Heidi also removed the pain of the wound that had disturbed me for a long time.
I am very proud that PFP is my home and very proud that the word I mentioned thank you as an excitement after eating, has made the lives of many kids happy today beginning with myself. Above all, I love it when Heidi calls me Son. And I say Mom.
In June of 2008 I traveled to Uganda with the simple agenda of volunteering at a local orphanage. During a moment off I found my way to the town of Jinja and stopped for some lunch. As I sat down, I saw a group of young children who were obviously hungry and alone, watching me. As soon as I acknowledged their presence, they ran the table and began asking for scraps of my meal. I couldn’t ignore their hungry pleas and decided that I could go without this one meal, as, unlike these children, I knew another would come. They hurriedly took my offerings and did not hesitate nor did they look back as they ran to find a safe place to eat. There was one child, however, who did not continue on with the group, but instead ran back to my side. Our eyes met, and with a sincerity which I had never before experienced from such a small frame, managed a heartfelt “Thank you”.
I was taken completely aback by this gesture and I cried for him. I could not stop thinking about Paul. How did he come to be so special? Where were his parents, did he eat again that day? Was he okay? My mind was consumed by him, and the very next day, I went back to Jinja to find him again. When I did, I bought him and his entire team biscuits, bread and water. All of the children were special and they all needed help, but it was Paul that I was drawn to and I knew I had to help him. I knew he was something extraordinary and I knew that for me, he would come to represent all of the children that I would not be able to help.
-Heidi Kaltur, Founder and Executive Director