Each year, a variety of holidays are celebrated around the world during the winter season. In countries like Uganda, family and friends have their own traditions to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
Paul and Miranda Fair wrote and published children’s book, “Christmas in Uganda.” The story follows a Norwegian boy named Finn who learns about Christmas traditions in Uganda from a boy named Bruno.
Paul — a UCCS alumnus and former editor in chief of The Scribe — hopes to share the message of the book with those around him this Christmas season. “It’s very easy, especially in the Western world, to think that our problems are really, really big,” he said.
Paul believes it is important to focus on the needs of others and help them with their challenges, which is a central theme in the book. “Our problems can be a lot smaller after we consider other people. So, I think that was the main message was to connect people outside of themselves and outside of their world with the broader world,” Paul said.
Another goal for the book is to raise awareness of orphanage rates and the difficulties that orphans face. “There’s 153 million orphans in the world. We want, by the time we pass away, for the first in world history to see that number go backwards,” Paul said.
“If you ever get the chance to visit orphans or an orphanage, they just want someone to be with them. They’ll just run around and they’ll hold your hand. You might not speak the same language, you might look different. They just want someone to be with them,” he said.
The character of Bruno is based on a real boy who Paul met through an organization called The Suubi Project.
The Suubi Project is a Christian nonprofit organization whose mission is to “educate, equip and empower impoverished children and the poor in order that they may live self-sufficient lives.” All profits from the sale of “Christmas in Uganda” will be donated to The Suubi Project.
Paul encountered The Suubi Project through family friend Cheryl Sargent, founder of the organization. “I call her my aunt, when she’s really not related to me at all,” Paul said. “We used to go to the same church way back in the day when I was a little kid. We’ve just always stayed connected. She was like my second mom growing up. Even though we moved when I was fifteen, I stayed really close with their whole family.”
Paul said his favorite part of writing “Christmas in Uganda” was working with the illustrator. “That was really fun to see. You know, you wrote the story, there’s words, it’s black and white ink, and then to see someone else bring it to life with their imagination is really interesting to see how the process works,” he said.
Writing and publishing a book had been a longtime dream for Paul. While attending UCCS and working for The Scribe, he gained experience in the field of writing and publishing.
“Christmas in Uganda” is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information on The Suubi Project, visit the organization’s website.