Last week was all about saying good-bye to our awesome volunteers. This week had us welcoming all kinds of newbies.
Monday, Zan from New Zealand, flew in. While her luggage remained in Abu Dhabi, she was all smiles. Zan was here 2 years ago so knew what to expect. Instead of my usual orientation we were able to catch up and relax with the kids. I took her out to Lugacraft the next day for lunch. She’ll be staying 3 months. Lugacraft works with 2 women’s groups, a clinic, and 2 primary schools in Buikwe District.
Zan, a teacher, is originally from South Africa. She’s a colourful lady who fits in well in Uganda.
Tuesday, we welcomed Claudia from Spain. Her flight out of Barcelona was delayed so she arrived a day late. No worries, we were able to get to know each other, make last minute purchases for the village, and book a safari to Murchison Falls National Park. I brought her out to Grace Daycare in Nakifuma, where she’ll spend 2 weeks. So far, she’s loving things out there. She helps out in the kitchen, in the garden, and even a little in the classroom. Here she is with Heavenly and Miracle.
Claudia is 19 and studying medicine in Barcelona.
With Zan and Claudia settled into their placements, I spent Thursday and Friday with a team representing Kain Foundation, a new donor from Australia. Kain Foundation is funding 3 community based initiatives in Kkoba Village, Buikwe, over 2 years. These initiatives will address family, youth, and child social and economic development in the local area. The programs will be managed by Tony at Hopeline Organization and me at The Real Uganda.
Thursday was spent at Kkoba Village. Tony and I showed the team around. They saw the existing Hopeline school, Kkoba Parents Academy, and were welcomed by the kids. Then we toured the venues for our planned family development meetings and youth social and economic development workshops. Our participating youth will receive apprenticeships in hairdressing, tailoring, agriculture, carpentry and motorcycle repair. We then took the team out to our site for the new school and farm.
This is an area of little economic opportunity and much social ill. Many local adults have little motivation to cultivate their land as they have limited access to markets and are often cheated by the wholesalers coming from Kampala offering to buy from them. This has robbed the local youth of mentors. Many kids don’t attend school at all. Our programs are designed to kick start the community into working again. We can’t wait to have the Kain folks back next year to show off the change!
Our second day with the Kain team was a little more upbeat. We brought them out to Mayindo to visit a women’s group Hopeline runs. We wanted them to see a community of motivated people with proper development initiatives in place. Fun was had by all.
Of course, we were welcomed with a dance party.
Then we had to fetch water and cook lunch.
While lunch was cooking, the Kain team toured Mayindo. They saw the communal chicken, rabbit and pig projects the ladies run. They also toured the proposed site of a new Hopeline clinic. To my surprise, we learned that Namatovu is building a creative arts centre on her land. The ladies want to teach their handicraft skills to the area youth. How’s that for motivated community development?!
After lunch came the cooking lesson. Making and selling kabalagala (banana pancakes) is another way the Mayindo ladies earn money.
Me? Well, I got a personal treat. Nantongo brought me to her home for tea and bites.
Oh yeah, we had one more newbie to welcome. Tony and wife, Doreen, welcomed their second son, Tristan, into the world this week. While I won’t publish him here, I did capture a couple of the Mayindo ladies admiring his photo. Congratulations Tony, Doreen and Tyrone on the new edition to your family!
Want to be a part of all the excitement? Want to see locally led community development in action? Start making plans to volunteer with The Real Uganda. Check out our website. If you like what you read, fill in the online application form. We accept volunteers motivated to join in on what’s happening on a rolling basis.