Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A trip to Jinja

Jinja is a city 1.5 hrs away from Kampala. This is one of the places you can see the famous nile river. We decided to make a day trip there and left at 10. The drive there war nice, we passed through small towns and along side the biggest forest in Uganda(forgot the name). The scenery really is stunning and green. Our driver, Vincent, kept us entertained with his stories- how a local woman gave birth to a snake. Some think of it as old wives tales but many Ugandans are very superstitious and he was convinced this woman existed. Some say she's dead or moved to another city..guess we will never know.

Once we reached the nile they had a little market we got spent some time in. The crafts here are really nice. They have batik paintings, which are paintings on fabrics, clothing, all types of wood crafts and more. Finally, we walked down to see the nile. It is so big! We decided to go on a boat tour of it, and see point zero. There where tons of birds on the vegetation growing in the water, really nice ones too! These beautiful tall white birds, little ones with colorful feathers, and orange beaked ones. I even found a crab!

The next stop was to visit an orphanage called Good Samaritan Home. We met with the directors on the road side and then we walked with them deep into the village. We found the home with 4 rooms- a living room, and 3 bedrooms. Conditions where under basic. The kids pack into the rooms, one for boys and one for girls. They sleep with a few thin mattresses and worn out blankets to share among themselves. It really was heart breaking. Resources are thin but even food, blankets, school supplies will not change the fact that these kids are living in an institution with no mum or dad. On the ride home I just felt such a sense of helplessness there are so many kids in need, from towns, to districs to countries. I have to admit, despite the challenges and poverty, CU school is a happy and hopeful place. I feel the hope beeming out of those kids everytime i'm there. The community itself is holding itself together on a thin string-alcoholism is everywhere and disease is spreading like wild fire. But on the plot of land for CU school it's another world. It may look the same- a school made of metal sheets like many of the houses, there may not always enough food for meal time, but there is hope. These kids are hard working and just amazing to be around. When I think of the path so many teens in my own community take- trying drugs, over drinking, rebelling- "just because." The kids at CU, esp the older ones, have the opportunity to do drugs and drink often parents/relatives encourage it. No one is forcing them to go to school in the morning or making sure the study. They just have such a drive in them.. I know i'm probably repeating myself but I am so proud of all of them. Take one boy Denise 6 years old living with an abusive aunt. She makes him clean the house, fetch the water, take care of her baby, etc. He does all of this, and then makes sure his uniform is clean, face is washed and arrives to school on time. 6 years old. I'll say it a million times, sponsorship is vital for these kids. Hellen has even noticed that the kids with sponsors generally perform better in school. They know someone cares, that any dream they have won't be cut short. Because of this, we would like to buy all the children school uniforms. Sometimes it takes a while for a child to be sponsored. By having all the kids in uniforms, it will create more hope for all the kids. The kids are very self conscious, and I have been asked by so many kids if I could get them a school uniform(not to mention one girl, Hope, is at the puberty stage and her dress has missing pieces. She holds her arms to her chest all day.) I think it will be good for them and give them more a sense that there is a community they belong too- despite if they have a sponsor or not.

Robin's Drive
The total cost to get all the kids in uniforms is $249. A junior child's uniform cost $7 and a senior child's cost $9. If you would like to make sure a child has a school uniform please go to our website and make a general donation. You will get a picture of the child who has received a uniform thanks to you. I am naming this fundraising event 'Robin's Drive' as she is a little girl at CU and when asked if she could have anything in the world, all she wanted was a school uniform like the other kids.

1 comment:

Helping Africa said...

Thanks for visiting
Good Samaritan Orphanage!