OCTOBER 25, 2023

Joel’s father Francis sent this update to Daniel earlier today.  As you can see, Joel’s parents are still getting used to using the phone to take videos 🙂  But we are very thankful to the donors who made purchasing a smart phone for them possible!  The video shows that the progress made after the second injection was given.  The injections have helped flatten the keloid scars on his face, which is necessary before he undergoes surgery.  We will keep you updated as we receive more updates!

SEPTEMBER 25, 2023

From Daniel: “Joel was given an injection in his scars and he will continue receiving that injection for the next three months before they do surgery.  We purchased the injection medicines for him so that Joel and his family can do the injections in their home rather than having to come to the hospital in Kampala each time.  We had to be three of us so that he was injected.  And afterwards, it has been so painful and he is still crying.”  Daniel offered to Francis that he and Joel spend the night at his home in Kampala, but they opted to return to their village.  Our heart breaks for Joel as we hear him crying in this video but we wanted to share the update with you to show the reality of how acid attacks affect people and their loved ones.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2023

Francis and Joel arrived safely in Kampala and Daniel took them to the hospital to be seen by the surgeons.  According to Daniel, “We have seen the doctor and we were told to come back tomorrow because right now, there is no bed in the hospital.  So tomorrow after ward rounds, they will try to discharge some patients to create some beds.  So we’re going to go at my home tonight and we shall be back tomorrow.  It’s a bit disappointing but we shall try tomorrow.”  Watch their video taken today in the hospital.



SEPTEMBER 22, 2023

Daniel spoke with Joel’s father, Francis, today.  Francis told Daniel they are planning to travel to Kampala on Sunday, September 24, so Joel can undergo surgery.  According to Daniel, Francis and Joel are “very, very ready” for the surgery 🙂  Here’s a video from Francis, taken earlier today:

We will keep you updated!  Thank you to everyone who has donated to make their trip possible!


Joel and his father, Francis, traveled to Kampala today and were evaluated by a surgeon at Mulago Hospital.  They were told to come back to the hospital on September 24 for surgery.  Although this is close to the court date scheduled for their case, Daniel told us that Francis “is saying that he needs the surgery on the boy more than anything else” and will try to speak with the judge and ask for a later hearing.

Because your donations well exceeded our goal of $300, we were able to purchase a smart phone for Francis!  You can see how happy he is to own a smart phone!  WATCH THE VIDEO: Joel’s dad Francis on receiving a smart phone.  This will make it much easier for Francis to communicate with Daniel and the RISE team.  Through your donations, Daniel also helped Francis purchase an ointment which will reduce itching of Joel’s scars and essential needs for their home, including rice, sugar, and soap.

Francis and Joel are staying with Daniel and his family tonight at their home in Kampala.  They will return to Mbale tomorrow.


Thanks to your donations, Joel and his family are planning to travel by bus to Kampala tomorrow, September 5!  As Daniel explained, “I have talked with Joel’s dad and they are very ready to come for evaluation.  The date of going back in court is on 29th this month.  So he is hoping that if they are given the opportunity [for surgery,] there will be enough time before the court date.”  We asked Daniel if they could document their journey via photos but unfortunately, the family does not have a camera or device capable of taking photos.  However, Daniel said that they typically borrow a smart phone from one of their neighbors and that the neighbor might be able to take photos.  Please keep the family in your thoughts & prayers for a safe journey!



Thank you so much to everyone who donated and left messages of support for Joel and his family!  We are so excited we will be able to help Joel get to Kampala for evaluation and surgery.  In the video, hear from Daniel, who spoke with Joel’s parents today and let them know the great news!  We are not yet sure when Joel and his family will travel to Kampala to be seen by surgeons.  A court date is scheduled in September for the perpetrator of the attack.  However, it is unclear at this time whether this will take place given that the perpetrator did not attend prior hearings and has left the village where the attack occurred.  We will keep you updated as soon as we know more.

AUGUST 31, 2023

Meet Joel, a six year old boy who lives in Mbale, in eastern Uganda.  Joel was burned with acid in 2021, while he was with his mom and his mom’s friend, Barbara.  The attack was intended to harm Barbara, but  Joel, his mother, and Barbara were all burned.  Joel and Barbara were the most affected.

Julie and Daniel of Beyond the Scars Initiative met Joel and his family while doing research for our efforts to get a law against acid attacks in Uganda.  Joel’s father contacted Daniel to request that Joel be evaluated for surgery at Mulago Hospital in Kampala.  The surgery would primarily reduce the size of the scar on the side of his nose, which pulls on his upper lip and can make eating and talking difficult.

Joel’s father works as a builder and his mom stays home caring for Joel and his siblings (a four year old brother and seven month old sister.)  Joel’s family does not have the money to pay for transportation to Kampala and any costs associated with surgery.  Please donate to help Joel receive surgery and Joel’s family to heal from the effects of this attack.  (Donations will cover the cost of transportation for Joel and his family from Mbale to Kampala and medications and food while Joel receives surgery.)

The perpetrator was located, and a hearing will be held in September. However, the perpetrator got out of jail on bail, and hasn’t appeared for the hearings that have been held, claiming that he was in an accident. The court issued an injunction; it is doubtful that he will be seen again.

31 thoughts on “Joel

  1. So thankful for the continued healing and exceedingly good ways that the Lord is moving in Joel’s life!!! Acts 3:16!! He is so abounding in love toward Joel and I pray His strength is displayed in his life (Numbers 14:17-18)!!

  2. Praying that Joel experiences the Lord’s sufficient grace and power even in this pain (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)! Praying that he and his family know and rest in how Jesus sees them and knows them by name and restores in every way (John 10:3, 20;17-18)!

    1. Don’t give up, sweet Joel! Jesus walks every step of the way with you and your family!
      I am praying for you and sending you big hugs!
      God bless you!

  3. Hang in there Joel! We’re praying for your continued strength and courage. And prayers for Joel’s family and definitely Daniel too for all of the work that he does.
    God bless all of you!

  4. Poor Joel! What an excruciating price to pay for treatment. This is why the Ugandan government needs to take swift action against acid attacks–so no one will ever again have to experience the pain and trauma inflicted upon Joel, Barbara, and their kith and kin.

  5. Reading this and watching the videos made me so happy! Thank you God for all the actions that are taking place.
    I pray for the successful journey and a successful surgery and recovery for young Joel.
    Thank you Daniel and the RISE Organization for all your hard work and for the updates.

  6. Hooray!! Praying for Jesus’ power to be so evident in this surgery (Matthew 8:16-17) and that they cling to the real, complete, finished hope that Christ gives through what He did for them on the cross (John 19:28-30)…in fact, He knows suffering and is familiar with pain (Isaiah 53:3). He welcomes the children, including Joel, into His arms and I pray that they know that (Mark 10:13-16)!!

  7. Praise be to God!! I pray that they continue to see Jesus and the joy that cannot be taken away from them as they can have peace in Him and take heart for He has overcome the world (John 16:22-33)!!

  8. Praying that all of you continue to press into the true peace that Jesus assures you with, giving over any anxiety to Him (John 14:17, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5;5-11)!

  9. Lord continue to bless this fantastic organization and for all of those that this organization helps. I pray that Joel is evaluated and scheduled for surgery. May he and his family be blessed with strength and love.
    And continued strength to Daniel and his family and Faith remains in my heart.

  10. Praying for complete healing that comes only by Jesus’ Name and the faith that comes through Him (Acts 3:16, Mark 1:40-42)…He cares so deeply for Joel and invites him to run into His arms and does not hinder him (Mark 10:13-16). Joel and his family are so wonderfully made by the Lord and He knows what every day of their lives has in store and His thoughts concerning them are vast and amazing (Psalm 139:13-18)!

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