Monday, 5 June 2017

Uganda: Mission Accomplished!

Team Uganda and The Inner Wheel of Kampala successfully completed our last bed-kit distribution on Friday in Banda. What a marvellous sight to see the smile of the 5,500th child receiving her bedkit!  We were all trying to make the most of our last day playing and singing with the children, and capturing those special memories to take back to our friends, family and future donors.

A long bus ride followed where we stayed near the 'Source of the Nile'.  The Inner Wheel women planned a special reception at the hotel where we shared tea and tasty treats.  The highlight of the evening was a round table discussion with each volunteer sharing a touching personal story experienced during this distribution.  There were many laughs, a few tears and lots of fun! Saturday morning we toured the 'Source of the Nile'.  We ventured onto a small wooden boat to experience the birds and plants before visiting the exact spot where the Nile River begins from Lake Victoria.  It then flows 4000 miles before reaching the Mediterranean Sea. 

Sunday was a day of closure with the Inner Wheel Club of Kampala.  Team leaders met to review the financial records and evaluate the success of the bedkit distribution.  Then everyone attended a lovely dinner and an evening of fun to celebrate the conclusion of our journey together.  There were silly skits and lots of laughs, as well as sincere words of appreciation for the great contributions made by both the SCAW travelling volunteers and the Inner Wheel women.  They had a lovely cake made to acknowledge the contributions of both teams working together to successfully deliver 5,500 bedkits.  The SCAW team presented the Inner Wheel women with Canadian maple leaf scarves as a token of our appreciation for their hard work and partnership.  These amazing women have been partnering with SCAW for about 25 years, working tirelessly each year to register the neediest children, purchasing and packing the chosen bed-kit items, and then joining us for the actual distributions of bed-kits.  We are lucky to be connected with such a dedicated group of passionate women.

This morning we visited the uniform factory where the clothing was made for this year's distribution.  Unique Uniforms is a modern factory that designs, cuts, sews, irons, and embroiders school and workplace uniforms.  It was interesting to hear how the owner of the factory started his business with only 2 sewing machines and is now able to employ 135 Ugandan workers. 

Well, this is the end of our journey.  Thank you for following our distributions over the past two weeks and offering your support from Canada.  It makes a difference to know that others care about our work to improve the lives of 5,500 children in Uganda.

Signing off!

Team Uganda 2017
Post your comments here:

Friday, 2 June 2017

Hand in hand, we grow together

We've come a long way since our first distribution outside of Kampala 10  days
ago, growing personally, growing along with the others from SCAW, and growing
even stronger as a team with the women from The Inner Wheel of Kampala. They
pave the way with their planning and organization, and we are pleased to join
them hand in hand.
Today was our second to last distribution.  We've seen 5,000 happy children  and
 have 500 more to go. We are excited to have changed so many lives by delivering
the bedkits on behalf of the so many who have donated.  Each village makes a
point of asking us to bring back their  thanks.
Before the distribution each day, we have lots of fun playing with the children
and mingling with their families.  Memories we will cherish forever.   As you
can see, the  pictures speak louder than words...

Post your comments here:

Another joyous welcome!

Team Uganda awoke very early to be on the bus by 7am.  The rocky hills of Tororo were beautiful to see in the early morning sun as we passed crops of rice, matoke, coffee, sugar cane and maize.Two bed-kit distributions for 500 children at each site were planned for today.  

We set out from Tororo and drove about 1 1/2 hours on very bumpy dirt roads in rural areas.  The sites were amazing with more small round homes with thatched roofs. Children, and parents alike, were excited to see a big bus coming into their community.  The first distribution was in Bumufuni.  We were greeted by lots of women dancing and singing; we enjoy joining in their dances and they think our efforts are quite amusing!  The children were happy to be dressed in their colourful new clothes and welcomed us with lots of clapping and cheering for the 'bazungu' (white people) who had arrived to bring them gifts.  After completion of the distribution, we were provided with a wonderful hot lunch of Ugandan dishes at the home of a local couple before heading off for a one hour journey to the second distribution centre in Magale.

In Magale, we received another joyous welcome from parents and their children.  At this centre a young boy of about 7 years of age bravely stepped up to recite a poem for us.  We couldn't believe it as he recited a long speech in English, demonstrating his knowledge of spelling in his second language.  He was followed by a young girl who also welcomed us with a short speech.  SCAW always encourages Ugandan children to attend school, and we were thrilled to see the competency and confidence of these children.  Everyone wanted to participate in the excitement, as you can see from the picture of the rooster who also wanted to pose for a bedkit picture.

Our Inner Wheel partners explained that some needy families had refused to register their children to receive a bed-kit, believing that the promise of such a generous gift  must be a scam.  It was sad to see their faces when they saw other children walking home in new clothing with a comfy mattress, wash basin, blanket, sheet, sandals, mosquito net, water bottle, lunch container, tooth brushes, a backpack and school supplies.  These parents were told there could be another opportunity for their child to receive a bedsit in a future year.  

We have now delivered a total of 4000 bedkits in 8 different villages and looking forward to our scheduled rest day.  Then on Wednesday we begin our last few days of distributions to provide another 1500 children with treasured bedkits.  

To all those who donated money for bedkits in Uganda, your gifts have been appreciated more than you can imagine.  Your $35 gift has made a world of difference for a needy child living in poverty!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Uganda- A Touching Moment!

Today the team visited the district of Suni and we were once again greeted by
singing and clapping children and parents singing traditonal African songs.
Much dancing ensued! We were happy to distribute another 500 bedkits, and were warmly thanked by the area priest.

A very touching moment came at the end of our visit. Three children came forward
to give us a gift - in this case 3 eggs. They have so little and yet they wanted to
give us something in thanks. The same gesture was made several distributions
ago. We received bananas and fruit from children who had just received a bedkit.
There were hugs all round. We then managed to "re-gift" these generous items
to another family further down the road...and wouldn't you know it, they turned
around and gave us corn!

Only 1000 more bedkits to go.

Debbie Stelzer
Team Uganda 2017

Post your comments here: