Stay of board member Katinka with daughter Vanessa and nephew Florian in May 2022
After a long and tiring flight, we finally arrived at the airport in Entebbe. Charles and driver Martin picked us up at the airport. After another 5 hours of driving, we arrived in Kirowooza near Masaka at the house of our team leader Maggie Namatovu. We were warmly welcomed by the whole family. After a delicious traditional meal we went to bed early. Our room in the guest house was nicely and cleanly prepared like at the last stays. The food at Maggie’s was as usual very sumptuous and delicious.
The next day, the visit of our sponsored children to the Uplift Primary School in Kiyanja was on the agenda. At the entrance to the school property, one could immediately spot the sign of our main sponsor Fly and Help with the sponsor Joachim Schuster. Another sign as a thank you for the Laaberer primary and secondary school for years of financial support through various fundraising activities and the other sponsors should be created with the help of the children at the Uplift Primary School.
The handover of the letters and gifts to the children and adolescens was of course once again a highlight for the children and for us. The beaming children’s eyes, the enthusiasm of the children to hear from their sponsors and to see how they hold the gifts in their hands is every year one of my super beautiful and emotional moments.
At Uplift School, we were able to see the projects that have been created over the past year. The team of the school was very proud and grateful for the newly created kitchen, the electricity in the classrooms and the lamps/ floodlights at the school building outside.
The solar system on the dormitories is a temporary solution, as the power is too low for the huge rooms. However, the children do not have to get ready for bed in the dark and do not have to go to the toilet in the dark at night. The entire school grounds made a very well-kept impression on us.
A meeting was held with all teachers and workers at the school. Problems were addressed and all those present were able to put forward their suggestions and ideas. The lack of kindergarten was one point and the low salaries. A pig farm to the already started chicken farm was discussed and sounded like a good idea to all. Planning and discussion will follow with the team in Germany.
Also, we decided to find a sponsor for 2 children of each teacher and worker at the school, who will pay the school fees. This means an enormous relief for the teachers and workers. Maggie and Sister Norah have to get pictures and information of the children and forward them to us. Then, the team in Germany registers the children in our sponsor bank and looks for sponsors ! This way, we can indirectly increase the salaries.
The donated jerseys from SV Lupburg were handed over to the soccer team. The boys proudly presented their jerseys and showed us their soccer skills.
The visit to the Secondary School St. James in the district Kyotera was also on the program. I wanted to get to know the school and the teachers, as our children will have the opportunity to go to this somewhat cheaper school from the new school year on. We spent a great afternoon at this school, could convince ourselves of a nice and competent team of teachers. This school also offers some practical courses such as carpentry, sewing and tailoring courses, which will be very important for the care of the children in the future.
On the days I slept with the girls at Uplift Primary School, I had enough time to be present in class, talk to the teachers and of course spend every minute with the children. Taking pictures and videos or just talking to the kids, playing a game, brings them incredible joy. In the evenings, I lay in bed with my sponsored child Lilian and enjoyed the time she spent telling me about her life.
One day we marched in the district of Kirowooza to all the caretaker families whose children we support. We were so horrified by some of the housings these families have to live in. Little 9 year old Rose was washing her 3 year old twin brothers in a bowl of rain water when we arrived. Their mother is at work during the day selling food that she has harvested herself. Rose lives with her mother, her young aunt, who is already a mother of a baby, and her brothers in a house with a leaky roof and no mattresses. The twins are very small for their age and very thin. Help is urgently needed here. I promised to take care of donations for mattresses, bedding and clothes and at best money for the repair of the roof. Here I was speechless, horrified, had tears in my eyes and felt the need to help immediately.
I also wanted to introduce our children and adolescents at Buloba Collages to my daughter Vanessa and nephew Florian. The children were very happy to see us. After a warm welcome with some of the children, whom I was allowed to hug for the third time, Vanessa and Flo were the center of attention. I was called into the secretary’s office to discuss a few things.
Driver Martin, who is a friend of Maggie and her family, made a day of safari possible for us. He drove Vanessa, Flo, my sponsored child Brian and me to Queen Elisabeth National Park, which is a few hours away. A guide picked us up there with his off-road vehicle and off we went on the safari in the national park. My sponsored child Brian was speechless at the beginning and couldn’t keep up with the sights. We enjoyed this hot, exciting, but also exhausting day! In the evening, we went back to our accommodation at Maggie’s.
The days in Uganda passed quickly and with many impressions, insights and the knowledge that these children urgently need our help and that our support is very valuable. We are heading back to Germany!
Vanessa, Florian and Katinka