14 days in Uganda, experiencing the beauty of two communities in Mpigi and Kalangala. I experienced the warmth, resiliency and love from people who face great uncertainty and challenges daily. I am humbled by the graciousness extended to me and our team. I feel inspired and hopeful for a better future for the people we met. I learned the power of hope and a creative idea and community support. Thank you to this team of ladies, you made this trip a rich and deep experience.
Our Final day in Uganda was spent talking to women in two communities. We had a very productive trip. It was the best trip I’ve ben on to date. I’m looking forward to the next trip.
“We don’t know what life will bring, so it is what we bring to life that matters”
What we brought to our sisters and brothers in Uganda was ourselves with all our imperfections but with love and joy and deep caring. We received in return such’ a priceless reward of sharing in their joy and sorrow laughter and tears. A gift that will rest in my heart forever.
Today was such a perfect example of the importance of looking behind what the eye can see. The fishing village we went to see a few days ago, I saw as a sea of metal shacks climbing up the side of the mountain so many of them with no green grass or trees. A shanty town. But today, through the connections we made in our woman’s group, my eyes were opened to the strength of the mothers and grandmothers in these homes. A true lesson to pause and look closer before I judge.
The strength and compassion we were given from above made this one of the strongest teams I have been on and I am so grateful to the beautiful women who have shared this journey with me. I felt the joy of being alive again.
How to sum it up in a paragraph…?
This time has been a gift. Learning lots about myself, pushing out of comfort zones, and all the while feeling deep emotions of sorrow for the poverty we saw, but encouragement from the interactions with the people we met. It was such a broad spectrum of ministry, some was inside of my comfort zone, some of it wasn’t. All of it was a blessing to be a part of.
I’m thankful for the time we spent in Uganda. I pray that God continues to stir in my heart and remind me to not forget the past 2 (and a bit) weeks here in Uganda.
These two weeks in Uganda have been an incredibly uplifting, joyful, inspiring, heartbreaking, humbling and hopeful experience.
This trip we revisited Mpigi, a community we went to 4 in 2018. It was incredible to see the powerful work the EVE Uganda Teams have done since that time and are continuing to do. The message of ending violence through job creation and teamwork resonates throughout!
The children we met at the schools and in the communities of Mpigi and Kalangala on Ssese Island were such a joy! They greeted us with songs and poems and had such inspiring questions for us in the classroom. We talked of being strong and being a good friend.
The many incredible women we met at the women’s sessions with their young ones were also such an inspiration. We shared stories as women and mother’s, creating shared bonds, or as Debbie calls it, a “heart space”.
The incredible heartbreak of the extreme poverty of the many women left alone with no means to raise their children (and in many cases, others children as well). And when asked, all they want is provisions and education for them.
I feel incredible humility in only being able to do so much and hopeful that we may have made a difference in the life of at least one soul.
The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. In my first blog, I said that I could not comprehend a world where extreme poverty and lives of privilege co-exist. I am still struggling.
We witnessed some of the worst poverty I have ever seen. Mothers unable to feed their children and sleeping on rags on a dirt floor. Or Silvia who huddles in a corner of her makeshift hut to keep dry when it rains. Mothers with dry breasts trying to feed her baby. Images that I will carry for a long time.
But amongst the heartache, every day there was moments of hope. Hope in the Christmas song the preschool children at Lake Victoria Education Center sang to us. Hope in Diane, at the Youth Correctional Rehab Center. Showed her dream board which said she wanted to become a gynecologist when she grows up. She will not let her past mistakes dictate her future. Hope when head teacher at Lake Victoria Education Center, Geofrey discussed making the school self-sustaining by piping water up from the lake. A simple project that will allow the school to remain open, encourage students to come and give them the ability to pay teachers.
And all these brave women that I walked alongside. Patty, Ashley, Barb, Angela and Debbie V. Thank you for your compassion, wisdom, laughter and openness to all the variety of experiences and changes. Love you to bits. I cannot imagine doing this with anyone else.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples
Thank you for standing with us on this journey, on behalf of the E.V.E. Uganda 2022 team.