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. Thenwe 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!