Jess visited us in Uganda along with a team from Geelong, we asked her to share her experience while in Uganda:
I went to Uganda in September 2015 on a 2 week mission’s trip to serve alongside Operation Uganda. The team and I spent months raising funds to complete projects on behalf of Operation Uganda, one of the projects we did was install a playground at Jordon House community centre were we worked alongside locals from the community. This playground was for the daycare kids and all the children in the community to have access to it. The playground was completed before we went to Abim and the children waited for us to come back for the opening week later. I was so blessed to be there for the opening the children sang us a song of thanks and may God bless us abundantly, the wait was worth it to see how excited and thankful they were. These children had never played on a playground before and many people helped us to make that happen, it was a privilege to be there and be apart of it.
Another project we did while we were there which was the biggest project I was involved in was the ‘Keeping Girls in School Program’ which is a menstrual hygiene program, we had raised enough funds to donate 800 menstrual hygiene packs to all the 800 girls at Kasubi High school. This project impacted me the most being a women and having the access to products were these girls don’t have access or the money for the products like us opened my eyes. When a girl is during her menstrual cycle she won’t go to school missing days of school because of embarrassment which means they fall behind school work and end up dropping out, we need to keep these girls in school. Not only did we provide every girl student with a pack we spent 2 days there to educate them, empower them not only in their menstrual hygiene but also their health and to stand up to be strong, independent women and to continue to stay in school.
The last and third project we were involved in as a team was in Abim were we had two days to repaint and keep up the maintenance of the classroom buildings. We also spent time with the students by many games like soccer, netball, Aussie rules and we also did arts and crafts with the young ones. The team donated sporting equipment that we used to play sports which they didn’t have and we also donated clothing. Abim is a place I won’t forget they were so welcoming, thankful and respectful of us, I was completely blown away.
The first time I met my sponsor child was day 2 of our trip when we went on a community walk that we did with the team. I had the opportunity to go to her house and meet her family, find out her family’s story and had the privilege to pray for her, her mum and her baby brother. I got to see how my sponsor child worked in daycare and how advanced her knowledge was compared to other children in the village. The effort that Operation Uganda go to with educate, love and support for the children is beyond measure and this couldn’t be done without child sponsorship.
Child Sponsorship changes lives, it provides the child with education, clothing, food, health and more.
I remember a sign I seen at one of the school’s we visited in Uganda said ‘Educate a girl, educate a nation’ and it is so true…. education changes lives, it gives them dreams and hopes to strive to be something to impact and empower others within the community and nation.
Sponsor a child today and help impact a child’s life.
The two weeks in Uganda changed my life, it strengthen my faith journey, it gave me new eyes to see our world and people around me. I am forever grateful and blessed to be apart of the team from Kardinia Church to serve and work alongside people that became family to me at Operation Uganda. I am a better person because of it today, I am not the same person I was.