Amy Rushbrook, a trustee of a little bit of HOPE in the UK has recently taken her parents and brother to visit Uganda. Beforehand she was a little both excited and apprehensive. She explains, “Ever since visiting Uganda two years ago mum and dad have had a desire to come and experience it for themselves. I’ve talked about my visit and the charity so much – but I knew they couldn’t understand it fully until they had experienced it for themselves. As the travel date drew closer the excitement grew, but I was a little nervous. It’s been a few years since we have holidayed together; this is mainly because like most families, over time we all tend to drive each other slightly crazy!” However, her worrying was unnecessary; the trip was a great success.
Linda (Amy’s mum) admitted that she was nervous about the visiting Uganda, but nerves quickly melted away as she experienced “the warmth and generosity of the Ugandan people.” She continues, “I soon felt at home with the wonderful hospitality of the guest house, provided by Pastor Abel and his caring wife Rosette. When we arrived we were introduced to Josephine [the administrator of a little bit of HOPE (Uganda)]. Her welcome was all embracing and she was so full of enthusiasm.”
While in Uganda the Rushbrooks were able to visit many of the projects that a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) are involved in. For Linda, visiting a borehole and one of the small loans schemes we support stood out.
“My visit to a village where a borehole had recently been fixed had a profound effect on me. I saw the filthy water that some people chose to use while the borehole was broken, instead of making the 4km journey to the nearest working borehole. The borehole was fixed with funds provided by a little bit of HOPE, along with the community making a small contribution. This is important as it ensure that the local people look after their borehole facility. Hearing about the hope fixing a borehole had brought, gave me an overwhelming sense of excitement of being able to me part of a little bit of HOPE’s work.
Another project we visited was a small loan scheme set up by a church in the village of Busabi. The Pastor explained how the loan scheme worked. a little bit of HOPE had provided capital, so they could then loan money to group members. The money is then put to work in their small businesses, so with the extra income they can then repay the loans. The small loan group then has more money so that others can also benefit from a loan. I was so pleased to hear how successful this had been running. So much so, a little bit of HOPE is now working with the Pastor to train and provide capital to enable other churches in Butaleja to set up small loans schemes.”
For Colin (Amy’s dad), our latrine building programme made a lasting impression:
“The latrine building project has to be seen to be believed. Constructing a latrine is a feat of engineering in itself! I had no idea that the hole had to be dug so deep; until I looked down a saw a man still digging away about eight metres down! The handmade bricks carefully being laid by Godfrey, which made up the structure, would then be finished with a shiny galvanised tin roof and wooden door. The households usually make the bricks themselves – mixing the clay, pressing it into moulds and drying them in the sun. Then they are neatly stacked into high piles, before lighting a fire underneath for four days.
It was a delight to see a number of finished latrines, proudly presented by their owners, who are more than happy to have their photograph taken in front of their new facility.”
Rob (Amy’s brother) was reluctant to commit to his family’s planned trip to Uganda. He wasn’t convinced about taking the time off work for something that didn’t really sound like much of a holiday. However, after hearing about the work at our ‘Think small’ event earlier this year, he decided he wanted to see the projects for himself.
Rob says, “Now having gone to Uganda, I was blown away by the place, the projects and most of all the people. My eyes have been opened and my life has been changed, for the better, since my return. To go there yourself, you are putting yourself out there and learning from some amazing experiences. This is why I would recommend it to everyone who has the opportunity to visit Uganda.”
For Amy, having talked about the people and projects for almost two years in meetings, it was an opportunity to meet people and visit projects for herself, “It was incredible to be able to see the projects with my own eyes. Meeting the people a little bit of HOPE is supporting has ignited my passion and I’m now even more motivated to ensure we raise more money so more people benefit.”