Oliver and Clare travelled out to Uganda on July 1st for 18 days, with two grand-daughters
- Jess(18) and Emily (16) Leigh, and what a success the trip was.
The girls raised the money to fund their airfares and visas and park fees.
Below is Jess's reflection on her visit.
Recently I embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Uganda. After 6 months of fundraising and balancing my A Levels I finally made it to the fundraising total! Through the work in youth voice and youth empowerment I have done, I wanted to go out there to make a real difference with the girls.
Honestly, it was incredible.
But I think I truly experienced a culture shock for the first time. Despite being quite well travelled, Uganda was worlds away from our life back home in the UK. From the shops, foods, attitudes and landscape- everything was so very different.
We were lucky enough to visit many people, through the Diocese and friends. So many people!
We visited Nyakatare health centre, went on a health outreach programme to Mygere, attended a service at St Peter’s Cathedral, Nyakatare, Ruth Memorial Nursery School and Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School.
The Nursery School has evolved so much since the charity has been involved. It is filled with joyful and happy children. We did lots of activities with them! From play dough to colouring and painting to butterfly making! They then showed us how to make dolls, balls and ropes out of banana leaves. It is safe to say I don’t quite have that skill!
On our second visit to the school we decided to brighten up their plain classroom walls. We painted a huge rainbow, alphabet tree, hand-print tree and logo. For most of the children this was their first time using paint and they loved putting their hand-prints on the wall! Our hope is these new bright walls will create an even happier learning environment.
I then wanted to experience the life of a schoolgirl at NGSS. So I stayed the night at the school, going to the girls’ lessons and living life like they do for two days! Honestly, the lessons are complete worlds away from anything I have ever done in the UK. They are old fashioned parrot style lessons, where the teacher will read something out of a textbook and the students will copy it down. It was hard! But these girls take it all in their stride.
What was most incredible was seeing the real impact the Mary Wood Trust has made. I think we can sometimes forget that the charity is changing young women’s lives. The amount they have done at the school is immense and the effect it has on the girls there is clear. It allows them opportunities and an education and that is not something that can be taken for granted.
Whilst spending time with the girls I developed the I Stand project with them. Starting with a session around female empowerment and then developing a project where the girls are making bags and these bags are being sold on here in the UK to raise money for a music system. Check out the
page for more details!!
To conclude, this trip was a true eye opener into all the incredible work the charity does, every single penny goes towards benefitting the lives of real people and that is something that can’t be put into words.
A huge thank you to all those who continue to support the MWT, you are giving a voice, hope and change to hundreds of people.
I stand Video available here!