Living Hope- A poem by Salote Luva

Red earth touches the sky

As far as you can see

And I think about the different lives we lead

Your life that could have been me

Your home is small, no water runs

You work for one meal a day

Your children often look after themselves

As you do any task that will pay

Motorbikes weave through cars, six deep

Charcoal lies in piles on the street

Mothers and babies beg through car windows

Using eyes that should make you weep

Children fill containers with water

That comes from pipes in a drain

The drains are filthy, the water polluted

Empty stomachs experience greater pain

Without your bed nets

You will get, the malaria I take tablets for

Other medication beyond your reach

Part of life, because you are poor

Your countryside is lush, the soil seems rich

But do you get to see

The beauty and the wildlife

Muzungu see on safari

I hope your HIV will be treated

Young children get to keep Mum

Fathers do more than visit

Education lead to sustainable income

It’s a privilege to visit your country

A life-long dream fulfilled for me

But I promise you this fellow mother

I will tell of the lives I have seen


  1. Thank you Salote for sharing your poem. It’s a wonderful reality check & compassionate expression of third world life. It shares an experience that all Muzungu’s need. God bless you.

  2. I do so much agree with the statement that Africa’s greatest challenge is the way it treats its women, who, from my outsiders point of view, do the majority of the work and receive far less than they should of the benefits. I would like to see Watoto Children’s Choir reflect its belief in the value of women by ensuring that the girls are allowed to eat first at least half of the time when they are on tour. I found it a little concerning to see that the boys we told to go first at the food service table and the girls had to wait when our church hosted the choir and put on an evening meal. I realise their may be strong cultural practices at ply, but it is churches who must challenge those practices which promote or entrench the treatment of women as second class. Jesus did not teach this.

    All thanks to Watoto for your faithful work in living the gospel so beautifully. You inspire many of us.

    Susan Manning

  3. Hi Salote,
    Wow what a precious poem revealing your heart for this land and for all of Gods creation.I have recently been captivated by the amazing story that is the Queen of Katwe ,helping me to understand more the living conditions of Kampala and district.Also I was so stoked that Watoto is so active there.
    God bless and keep up your obvious passion for this mission.
    Best wishes,
    Andrew Carpenter

  4. Thank you Salote’ for the honesty of your passion expressed in that poem. No need to apologize re correspondence not addressed personally to me. We arranged for my granddaughter Bree to receive the mail at our address to give her insight about our sponsor child Philip Owala. I would be delighted if you would continue correspondence in that way.God bless you all.

  5. Hi Salote,

    A beautiful poem that captures your heart for Uganda and its people. I remember watching one of your choirs singing here on the Sunny Coast, and to my amazement, discovered that we would be hosting the same team at our school hall in Gympie! Their presence prompted me to consider sponsoring a mother. I thought, if I can sponsor a mother, her influence would be multiplied by the children she cares for. I’m still in contact with her and ALWAYS look forward to hearing from her.

    Keep up your great work!

    Many blessings,

    Deborah Williams

  6. Hey Salote, what a gift to share your experiences through the power of your heartfelt words. I can’t wait to see you again soon. Peta X

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