“Incredible” – probably that is the only way you could describe the summer visit of the 40 strong team to Uganda this summer.
The volunteers from Northern Ireland joined by the Liberty Flames Field Hockey team from Liberty University, Virginia were supported by our Ugandan friends from Youth Sport Uganda as we embarked on an amazing journey of sport, kids clubs, classroom work, distribution and feeding programmes.
The 3 hockey camps at the Lugogo astro pitch drew over 500 primary and 200 secondary children who enthusiastically engaged in hockey, games and other sports. It was incredible watching our young team co-ordinate and engage all across the pitch with the Ugandan children. At the end of each of the camps it was wonderful to be able to distribute sports clothes/equipment including tops, shorts, skirts/skorts, hockey sticks and to feed the children. This was only possible because of the amazing support from so many the length and breadth of Ireland and further afield.
Primary School Camp
Primary School Children With New Kit
Secondary School Children In Their New Kit
Feeding Programme at End of Camps
Liberty Flames – Americans and Irish
The visits to Hidden Treasure and Kahara Primary schools were special. Hidden Treasure continues to progress and the school children enjoyed all the different programmes delivered and the small gifts from the team.
Hidden Treasure Primary School
When we reached Kahara Primary school we were encouraged to see the operational borehole provided by Charlene’s Project and the nearly completed classroom block. Well over 600 people gathered for the adult health promotional programme and even a sandstorm and small earthquake could not quench their excitement at the developments in their very rural community as a result of the partnership between Charlene’s Project and Build-Africa. We presented simple farming tools to the community leaders to assist their school farming and school feeding programme. It is encouraging that over 350 children now attend Kahara Primary school and it is clear there is such a desire in the community to develop the children and give them a chance of education. There is though now another challenge; not only is there the need to provide opportunity for the children to avail of primary education but how can secondary education be made available to the children of that rural community.
Approaching Kahara Primary School in Western Uganda
Presenting Equipment to Kahara Primary School
Bringing Clean Water to Kahara Primary School
Classroom Block Nearing Completion
Classroom Time in Kahara Primary School
We met with the women in a Kamapla slum, seeing how they used paper, thread and varnish to make the most beautiful jewellery. They materially had so little but they were using their talents and abilities to create something that could be sold to help them feed their families. We bought jewellery and brought some home – please ask us about this project as the work being done there is amazing.
We visited another school, a number of other projects and made many friends as we played and taught hockey and other sports, reflected on the Bible story of “loaves and fish” and just shared a lot of fun and craic.
What a privilege to unite across countries, cultures and communities and to bring some joy and pleasure into the lives of children in Uganda who have so much less than we do but who value and appreciate the little help we have been able to offer as a result of Charlene’s vision and the support of so many friends and supporters.
When the team separated to head to their respective homes continents apart – the overwhelming feeling was that the memories and experiences from Uganda would remain with everyone for ever.
Thank you to all our friends in Uganda for allowing us to share in your lives – together we can create a better future.