My name is Josh Ambrose and I work for a charity in Ipswich called Christian Youth Ministries, and specifically the African Adventure school residential project based at Sizewell Hall. With that, we are in contact with a little bit of HOPE and help to support some of their projects.
It is an honour and privilege to be here visiting the team in Uganda. I have learnt so much and really respect the work the team do. It is amazing to finally visit some of the projects. Already I have seen some of the school farms and the apprenticeship programmes.
We often talk about school farms at African Adventure but I had no idea of the wider impact the project has. School farms is not only enabling children to now eat at school but it also educates them on farming techniques and technology. The
children are more engaged at school as a result and their overall results have improved. However on top of that, it’s providing benefits for the community and helping to support the school financially. Such a simple idea which is proving to be so effective.
The apprenticeship schemes are giving young girls chances to learn a skill to earn money in the future. Despite facing challenges they now have a brighter future and it was great to share with them to discover their dreams (and have a go at hairdressing myself!). Some of the girls also wanted to try putting extensions in my hair but it proved to be quite tricky.
By far the most heartbreaking experience so far was visiting a little boy who is an orphan, and his family. The boy is looked after by his grandmother, who has lost most of her sons and daughters and is now looking after 13 children, living in simple huts with no resources. a little bit of HOPE have worked with this family to offer them hope, providing support in a number of ways, and the education this boy now receives also impacts his wider family.
I have learnt that through the team being in the field, working with families rather than for them, they are achieving unbelievable things. I cannot wait to continue to share experiences with them over the next couple of weeks.