Me, Gunnar Friestad and my wife Trudy Ann Friestad have previously been involved in charity work, both in Norway and abroad. We have had a focus on Africa, as there are an abundance of needy people in that part of the world.

But we have had great challenges finding the right channels, and the right people to cooperate in countries full of corruption. We had prayed that the right person be shown to us, a person we could trust was the right purpose and could help us to help others. A good-hearted and honest person who could ensure that money and assistance went unabated to those which it was intended. 

We sat at home one Sunday in the summer of 2018 and talked about this when the door bell rang. We opened, and there was Livingstone Kizito (picture, right). He was going door to door selling books through a charitable exchange program under the auspices of Norsk Forlag, to finance doctoral studies at home in Uganda.

This was a burning hot summer day, so my wife gave him water to drink and some fruit to eat. While we talked with him about the book sales and studies in his homeland, both me and my wife noticed that       there was something special about this person. 

Second Visit 

After our first meeting, we kept in touch by email and agreed that Livingstone would come to us for dinner. We picked him up in Stavanger, and there was much rejoicing. It did not take long before we appealed to each other as brother and sister, an expression of great mutual respect.

Livingstone told us about his hard upbringing in Uganda as orphaned, and being responsible for 2 smaller siblings from he was 9 years old. They were completely alone and left to fend for themselves. This puts what we in Norway will call poverty, in perspective.

He could further tell that he was lucky enough that there was being built a school in their area. And that he was able to make an agreement with the school, to deliver them sand to building mass, in exchange for teaching. In this way, by digging sand day and night, he learned to read and write. This was the beginning of something far greater.

When it turned out that he, Livingstone, was the leader of a local charity organization in Uganda, started by him and a handful of other people, our jaws dropped. Me and my wife looked at each other, could not quite say anything, just smile. We were at a loss for words. The phrase "ask and you shall receive" was never ever more real.

We talked and talked, all three with equal eagerness, until it got dark and he had to get home. and agreed to meet again.  

In the following weeks there were several visits, which eventually became work meetings, after we agreed to start a Norwegian department of Rescue The Africa Vulnerable Foundation, R.A.V.F. This Norwegian edition of the organization was named Rescue The Africa Vulnerable Forening, R.A.V.F. This makes a clear distinction between the organization in Norway and the organization in Uganda, both for political and legal reasons. Our Norwegian department of R.A.V.F was approved just in time before Livingstone finished his work through Norsk Forlag, and had to travel home to Uganda. We donated him a laptop before he left, so we could stay in touch and collaborate effectively.