To whom it may concern: Report of a stay at Berys Place
We are a German couple named Martina Bach and Herbert Zick, aged 50 and 52 following up the whole story in the Uganda newspapers. It is hard to see how the accusation of one girl, who is currently working with the media, is destroying the life work of a certified CBO/NGO in Uganda.
I met Bery the first time in January 2013 based on some recommendations of two volunteering British ladies, I talked to at the ferry landing site in Entebbe. I decided to visit Berys Place for one night but in the end I was staying there for one week as I was so touched by the faith of each girl.
I was so enthusiastic about the way Bery works with the kids and recognized the project as so useful for the education of neglected kids that I intended to come again in November 2013 together with my wife and a another couple from Germany.
We stay there another week with all the girls having fun, helping with school homework and each kid told us his own story: child neglect and lack education and guidance, sexual abuse and defilement were what the stories are about. We did not know that this is so common especially on the islands. But we found every single girl was very happy to be at Berys Place, where they feel save and protected and they can go to school.
For sure at the beginning we all wonder why this man gathers only girls around him. To be hones at the very beginning there was some doubt.
Anyway after our stay at Berys place I strongly believe that all accusations are a big lie from a young lady who wants to take revenge on Bery. Bery has chased her out of his home because she did not respect the rules of the house. My opinion is not because of Bery himself as Bery is a man and how many men have conducted terrible things with kids we could not imagine before.
But I am sure Bery didn’t do such disgusting things, because the girls would have told us if they don’t feel comfortable about staying at Berys place :
1) During our stay we have had intensive talks to each girl. Each girl told us about her individual story, why she don ́t stay at home and how she
came to this place. With the elder ones we even talked about troubles in the house and sometimes even the problems some of them have in respect to Bery. Sometimes Bery is very strict about their education, they have to keep the house very clean and to learn hard in school. With 30 kids in a small house there is always trouble.
2) We play games with all kids and in one part of the game there was the task to write down what they like and what they dislike and what their dreams are for the future.
3) At the end of our stay each of the girls hands over a handwritten letter to each of us.
Nor in the personal talks with the kids, neither in the game or in the letters even one of the kids mentioned things like Bery is abusing them for his pleasure.
May be it is naïve of us Muzungus but we belief in God and he teaches us to be fair and to deal justly with your neighbor independent of being black or white. So please do not judge against someone if you cannot proof your accusation and give him a fair legal procedure.
Germany, 6th December 2013
Herbert and Martina Zick