I arrived in Uganda full of enthusiasm and passion, I had heard so many things about Uganda, the Kids Club Kampala projects, the fantastic Ugandan team and most of all the children. I had travelled to Africa before but I was excited to see what Uganda had to offer. I was looking forward to meeting different people, visiting the Kids Club Kampala projects, playing with the children and making a difference (even if it was small) while I was there. Visiting Uganda was a fantastic opportunity and it was great to see all the projects that I had been working on and reading about brought to life. The projects sounded great on paper but nothing can beat being in Uganda , seeing the children and hearing the stories directly from the staff and the beneficiaries.
My Highlights in Uganda.
Story 1 - School Sponsorship
I had the opportunity to interview one of our child sponsors and she told me what life was like for her before she received sponsorship to go to school. Unfortunately her mother sadly passed away and she was being mistreated by a family member. However she is now being sponsored to go to school and she has now has hope for the future, Patrica had a great personality and spoke fondly about her Father and her two best friends at school. One day Patricia wants to be a doctor because she wants to help poor children who may not have the opportunity to afford medical care. When I questioned Patrica about the importance of education for girls she said "When you're focused and a girl you are going to change the nation". I believe that with Patricia's determination and positive attitude she will change the world and help others along the way.
Story Two - Women's Initiatives
When I started working at Kids Club Kampala we were fundraising to send sewing machines to Uganda, this was a really great campaign and we had a huge amount of support . While I was in Uganda I was able to visit the women who were benefiting from this project, it was great to have the opportunity to to sit down and hear first-hand how learning a skills (sewing and knitting) was able to change their lives. I had the honour to attend the graduation and it was wonderful to see all the women dressed up in their best outfits or in clothes that they had made, we had a little party with a cake and local business women attended to share good practise. The best thing was seeing the women receive their certificates with pride and sharing about their hopes for the future.
Story 3 - Encouraging Education Project
Juliet arrived before the encouraging education session started and she was the last one to leave, despite challenging home circumstances she found peace and joy at our sessions where she was cared for by the staff, surrounded by friends and given basic necessities such as food and clothing. Kids Club Kampala is a second home for children as it’s a place where they can go to be loved and cared for without judgement or fear. It was so nice to see children have a place to learn despite the fact that they did not have money to go to school. One of my favourite memories was story time when we saw up to 40 children were quiet and totally engrossed in a book being read by one of our staff. Another important part of the encouraging education project is meal time, all the children are fed a healthy meal which may be the only thing they have to eat that day.
I can confidently say that the funds that are being raised are making a huge difference in Uganda and I’m so proud to work for a charity that is making such a huge difference. Over the next few months I will be sharing more about my experiences and the people that I have met along the way.
Every penny does make a difference, whether its 20p to feed a child or £25 to sponsor a child to go to school, every donation makes a difference and I was able to see it for myself. For example we are currently fundraising for new play equipment in Uganda, despite the children living in challenging environments the opportunity to play and have fun allows them to do what normal children do. Please continue to support Kids Club Kampala because your generosity and kindness goes a very very long way and I’m looking forward to sharing more stories with you.