Bringing Butaleja to Suffolk

You may remember Josh, who visited Butaleja District last year, on behalf of CYM in Ipswich. Eight months on, Josh updates us on how his visit impacted life in Suffolk’s very own African village. 

Some of the African Adventure team – Kymmene, Phil & Josh

It’s been nearly a year since I visited the a little bit of HOPE team in Uganda. I miss everyone so much but the whole experience has certainly helped to develop African Adventure.

For those that don’t know, African Adventure is a residential project run by Christian Youth Ministries, Ipswich. African Adventure has been running for about 13 years and is based at Sizewell Hall and offers schools the chance to immerse themselves in what living in rural Africa might be like, getting a taste and learning about lots of different cultures.

As you can imagine, Uganda has featured quite heavily in recent months. We have made several changes to the site since my visit to Butaleja last year. This in turn has given us a brilliant platform to talk about a little bit of HOPE whilst being surrounded by a real school farm.

We have been supporting the School Farm project financially with every group that come to African Adventure for a few years now, showing pictures and telling stories to inform the children that they are making a real difference to real people, not just in an imaginary sense that we tell them at the beginning of their stay.

But having seen the project for myself and the wider impact it had we are now demonstrating exactly what the school farms look like and what goes into them. We are hoping in the future to use the farm to grow crops to experience gardening and celebrating a harvest first hand.

The two schools we’ve already had this year have enjoyed seeing video messages from a school and the a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) team taken whilst I was there and have asked lots of questions about the project. 

The children have been fascinated at the different types of garden. We have our own sack gardens and a Mandela garden, as well had bordered beds. The children have been keen to look at the similarities with the photos taken from the schools I visited. They can’t believe that some children their age wouldn’t get lunch if it wasn’t for this project. Seeing everything for real just puts it all into perspective.

We hope that the farm will become one of our main features and that we can help boost support for the School Farm project and promote a little bit of HOPE through our work.

It’s amazing to hear that Josh brought so much insight back with him from Uganda, and is using it to give the children who visit AA an even more immersive and authentic experience. We are so grateful for this partnership with CYM and can’t wait to see how it develops and grows over the coming years.

 

         Seating area
This is where we talk about school farms and where we’re hoping to grow sweet corn
Bordered gardens, with a sack garden and mandala garden