business and innovationtrips

Godfrey: Collateral benefit

Izzy, one of the trustees of a little bit of HOPE is in Uganda at the moment. While there, she’ll be posting a weekly update. This week she tells us about Godfrey, who is benefiting from the work of a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) – but not in the way you might expect.

Godfrey

I’ve been in Busolwe for one week now, and it has been an amazing one! My time so far has been spent visiting projects that are supported by a little bit of HOPE. Just to summarise (if that’s possible) I have visited Busolwe Orphans’ Home, some of the widows of Bugosa, Grace’s tailoring school, the Butaleja PAG small loan group, two school farms, Rita with crutches, Susan’s chicken-rearing project , some of the members of the Straight Talk youth initiative and six homes that have newly-built latrines.

So it’s been fairly full-on.

It’s been amazing to see things with my own eyes. It’s been two years since I was last in Uganda, and as the a little bit of HOPE team in the UK have spent many hours discussing, deciding, fundraising and receiving communication from the team in Uganda. But so much more has been happening here in Butaleja District. Arriving and meeting the people who have benefitted from these projects has opened my eyes to how vital the projects really are.

It has made it real I suppose.

Uganda is proud to be one of the most welcoming countries in the world. And they have not disappointed. It’s a humbling experience being welcomed into a widow’s home who has nothing and being given a gift; a mango, or an avacado from their tree. And now their hospitality is also fuelled by gratefullness. I have lost count of the number of times someone has asked me to pass on their thanks to the supporters of a little bit of HOPE, for genorsity that has changed their lives.

Mulinda, who runs the Busolwe Orphanage, showed me their bunkbeds and new buildings with a huge grin on his face. Sarah, a widow who lives in one small mud hut with her children, had tears in her eyes as she thanked a little bit of HOPE and the local Church here for the hamper she was given at Christmas. Sefuloza showed me a little oil she still has left from her Christmas hamper! Fred and Deborah showed me their new latrine with pride, as they’d helped provide the materials for it, whilst a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) provided a builder.

This leads nicely on to probably one of my favourite parts of this week.

This morning (Monday), after visiting families with new latrines, I met Godfrey. Godfrey is 25 years old and is the builder that a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) has been paying to build the 15 latrines that have been contstructed so far. He was really modest about his work and found it difficult to accept any compliments! Having seen six of the latrines, I was impressed, and to be honest quite surprised at how nice and clean an outside toilet can look! (Just one instance where my naivety has shone through this week!)

Every time Godfrey is paid by a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) he puts the money towards his own project: building his own home for himself and his wife. So far he has dug the foundations and started on the outer walls. He builds as far as he can with the money he has and then continues when he has funds again. He has calculated that he will have enough money to build until it comes to buying materials for, and constructing the roof. I’m not sure how he will pay for that, and nor is he. But he seems to be a pretty determined person!

The reason that meeting Godfrey is one of my highlights of this week is that his story of gratefully finding employment is a bi-product of an a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) project. It is one of our intentions; to enable local employment as much as possible, and Godfrey is a testament to that. Because of the latrine-building project, a young man has been able to earn money in order to build himself a home. Something that seemed out of reach before.

So this week has been mainly about seeing! Noah and Josephine are doing a great job with a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) and I’m starting to think about how best I can work with them over the next few weeks to make the most of my time here, and Katie’s. She arrives on Tuesday, so I’m really looking forward to welcoming her to Uganda!

We’re pleased to be able to report that Katie arrived safely!