My name is Emma Whetters 21 years old I am a full time Beautician based in Moorebank NSW Australia, and this is a not so short blog of my trip to Uganda.
Compassion vision trip to Uganda 2016
On Thursday the 22nd of September 2016 a team of 10 people including myself set off from Sydney international airport to catch a long flight that arrived at Entebbe airport in the beautiful country of Africa.
Entebbe is about a one hour drive from the capital of Uganda, Kampala. We quickly learnt that there is such a thing as “Ugandan time” quite amusingly this meant our one hour drive actually took closer to two hours. The population of Uganda as of this year is over 40 million people and 49.9% of the Ugandan population are under the age of 15. This gives a good idea just how many young adults and children there are. The team realised how evident this was almost straight away!
Our team set out on this life changing trip for a very important and impacting reason. Through our local church C3 mount Annan people are given the opportunity to travel to Africa and many other countries all over the world that are involved with child sponsorship through the incredible organisation compassion. Within our church 136 children are sponsored and being set up for a better and more fulfilling life. Compassion is a Christ centred, child focused, church based program. Compassion works on releasing children from poverty in Jesus’s name. Children gain strong, individual, long term relationships with their local church family. Independent research shows this approach does work and continues to work long term even after they have completed the program.
The team had three main bases of accommodation each a fair distance away, and from them we visited eight compassion projects. Being able to visit these project was a mind blowing experience because we not only got to see a behind the sense view of what goes into these projects and children’s lives but everyone met their sponsor child, their families and visited the home and community they live in. This was very confronting at times because of the shear fact at how poor the living conditions are. It’s not wrong it’s just very different. Typically homes are made from dirt floors, mud walls and a tin roof. There is very little hygiene if not none at all. Some communities had access to clean water and most of the time the food they could grow they would eat or sell. The families we met were facing challenges with health, nutrition and all round welling being. It was very confronting seeing young children who were affected by HIV AIDS, malnutrition, malaria and other life threatening health issues. Although the team got to see the brutal reality of common life in Uganda these people continually had such joy, gratefulness, strong faith and a whole heap of hope. It was hard to go to bed at night without a huge smile on your face from the pure joy and happiness these people brought to us. They felt blessed by having us there but I don’t think we expected to feel and experience the amount of blessings they brought to our lives.
A huge part of this trip was about the giving. Not just the typical present type of gift but through love, hope and spiritual means. Months before leaving I started buying things like writing books, pencils, pens, soccer balls, bubbles and much more. The church also did some fundraising to purchase bags of concert and other building materials to helps with the building project of the church at C3 Bwera. So generously the company Vera May gave a huge donation of beautifully coloured back packs. When I received this donation my heart grew more excited for what was ahead. Being able to fill these back packs with lots of awesome things for the children truly made our giving even more fulfilling and practical. I’m beyond grateful for compassion and my church and to everyone who so willingly gave to such an impacting trip. It’s very evident there is a way to breaking the cycle of poverty. Through prayer, giving, soft hearts and determination huge achievements can be made.
Written by Emma Whetters.