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  • Michael Warneke

Father's Day in Uganda

It was a humble honor to be present in Uganda today. As I celebrate my 5th Father’s Day in a row away from my three sons whom I adore, I am reminded of the many sons and daughters of Uganda that have come to need means much as I need them. I was reminded once again, in the midst of our Youth Council, that my heroes and my role models are the very young people that FoDU is empowering, uplifting, and bringing dignity to their lives. Life takes many twists and turns, it never seems to be laid out in a straight line, and as I type this small note tonight, I am reminded of all of the things that have happened, and all of the people involved that have built this tiny ship of hope here in Uganda. We have been operating for 5 years and 2 days in Uganda, and the fruits of our labor are rising to the top.

This was never more evident to me, than to get to stand shoulder to shoulder with Buye Manisul, our Education Advocate in the Central Region, and instruct the young men of New Kabaale Busega to be Men of INTEGRITY. The people of Uganda have taught me so much about character, perseverance, and joy in the face of hardships. As I was empowering these young men today, I was so grateful and honored to have such incredible role models filling the room around me. The young men and women that make up our staff and central region Youth Council are the very role models that this next generation of Uganda needs in their communities. It is such an honor and a blessing to be a small part of their lives. I am a better man today because of Uganda. I am a better father to my three sons back in Missouri because of Uganda.

Uganda has taught me, and continues to teach me what it means to be a father. As I received many requests both big and small today, it was an honor to meet the needs of my sons and daughters here in Uganda under the banner of Fields of Dreams. I still have my struggles, and I am far from a perfect father, but I am continuing to become the best version of myself because of this land, and the people that have become my family here.

So, Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful father back in Ohio, thank you for believing in this dream oh so many years ago, and for always giving me your full support. It is an honor that the first man of Integrity that I have in my life was and is my own father. I also want to extend my gratitude to my three amazing sons for sharing their dad with Uganda on so many occasions, and for their heartfelt prayers for their brothers and sister across Uganda, whom they have yet to meet. And lastly, thank you to all of you back in the US that are standing in the gap for these brave young girls and boys. Your efforts are not in vain, and your generosity is bringing hope and dignity to thousands.

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