This was my first time to Uganda, however having friends who live there and having sent many teams to work there with a previous job I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We arrived late at night so it wasn’t until the following morning that I actually got to see Uganda. I had forgotten how orange the earth is in sub-Saharan Africa, but what struck me about Uganda was how green it was.
My first day was spent in the front of a van travelling to the South West, I loved looking out of the window at the marabou storks, the children with their yellow water containers, the banana trees (or was it matoke?), and the hills. The rains which had come a few days before (and then while we were there) made everything lush and vibrant. Later I took a trip further north and enjoyed seeing the source of the Nile and monkeys on the road. I ate food I had never had before; matoke, posho, rolex, and chaps. Some I loved, others would not be top of my list!
As well as the warmer weather (it had been -9 when we left Brussels) we received a warm welcome wherever we went. At one school, the children queued up to touch the skin of the white woman (me) and in others to shake hands. I managed to make one child cry with my paleness!
I met children whose lives seemed bleak – living in basic mud houses with little or no possessions, with elderly or sick relatives and very little food. I met children with disabilities which isolated them from their communities and families. I met children whose lives were improving because of Global Care’s support, not just in paying school fees to enable them to get an education, but in making their homes more conducive to sleep and good health, building latrines and supplying bedding and mattresses and in some cases providing food.
I met people who worked with these children, who were passionate about bringing change to their lives, who work with limited resources to support children through school and vocational education. I met tailors who taught girls and boys to make beautiful clothes, and carpenters whose apprentices were making tables. I met teachers who taught classes of 100 children with nothing but a board and chalk. I met people who washed, dressed and took care of disabled children to enable them to have an education, and supported their families to take better care of them.
I met people who are being the hands and feet of Jesus in Uganda, and am truly thankful for the privilege of working with Global Care and look forward to being part of God’s story in Uganda and elsewhere.
Senior Operations Officer, Global Care