Izzy, a trustee of a little bit of HOPE is currently in Uganda for six weeks. She has now been joined by Katie Lifford. This week it’s Katie’s turn to tell us about her first impressions of what’s she seen.
We’ve come to the end of my first, and Izzy’s second, week here in Busolwe – although, everyone has been so incredibly welcoming and friendly, it feels as though I’ve been here a lot longer!
It has been a really good first week. It has been interesting to see all the projects and work of a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) that I have heard so much about over the past two years. We’ve done quite a lot, but here are some of my highlights…
My first morning gave a chance to explore Busolwe, including visiting its Public Library. Ivan, who is in charge of the library, and also the chair of the board of a little bit of HOPE (Uganda), was keen to show us the large range of books they have collected over the past few years, especially those they have been able to purchase thanks to a little bit of HOPE. It was exciting to hear Ivan’s plans for how he hopes to continue to develop the library as a central place for the community. They plan to increase the number of books available, as well as running classes and projects. For example, he is passionate about women’s empowerment and currently runs two women-only IT classes.
I think one of my favourite parts of this week has been visiting some of the latrines that a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) have enabled people to build. As Izzy posted last week, 15 latrines have been built, with another 16 more to be built. These visits were an example of how important the work of a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) is; the work is changing lives.
One latrine owner, Hamya Asuman, in his 80s explained how the latrine was used by the 14 members of his family. He continued to give thanks for the sanitation education from the health workers, and the building of the latrine, because now his family have remained healthy, and free from the illnesses they used to suffer due to poor sanitation. He explained that he often used to worry about when he was no longer there to support his family. However, because of the latrine and education he’d received, he now believed he had something of such value to pass on to his family and their children. He explained that he was now less worried, as he knew they would be healthy.
Hamya Asuman’s story wasn’t unique; all the latrine owners we visited expressed such gratitude toward a little bit of HOPE for making the sanitation education and latrine building programme possible. They all told stories of how their families we now ill less often.
Toward the end of my first week the Ugandan team met for a board meeting to discuss current projects. It was exciting to hear how existing projects have grown in the past year, but also to hear plans begging to develop for 2014.
The week ahead will involve us interviewing people who have benefited from a little bit of HOPE funded projects, spending time at Busolwe Orphan’s Home, some more Ugandan cookery lesson, and trying lots more local cuisine!