Posted on December 7, 2015
Comments Off on ACT Uganda – 10 years on
It’s ten years since ACT started working in Uganda with partners Christian Vision. There were five (5) children in the first set supported in September 2005. This was quickly followed by another sixteen (16) kids in January 2006 and thirty three (more) in May and September, bringing the total supported in the first year to forty five (45) children. Since then ACT has supported nearly one hundred and fifty children in Uganda. ACT is working in Busoga region in the east of the country with the capital at Jinja, a small town on Lake Victoria and the source of the River Nile. ACT is supporting children in all ten districts in the region.
Our recent trip to Uganda in November was to celebrate this landmark in ACT’s work with the children, widows and our partners in Uganda. It was an exhausting trip that began with a fifteen hour connecting flight from Heathrow via Dubai to Entebbe. Landing at Entebbe, we joined the long cue at immigration and spent two hours waiting to obtain our visas. Warmly welcomed to Uganda by our hosts, David, Milly, Rose and Gertrude, we then commenced our journey to Jinja, but first the 40 kilometres to the capital Kampala which went smoothly. The 80 Kilometres Kampala to Jinja road trip is at any time notorious for its traffic, as it is the only road that goes eastwards from the capital. On this Tuesday we spent four and a half hours stuck in election campaign traffic. This is campaign season in Uganda for the presidential elections early in the new year.
Finally we arrived late at night in Jinja, twenty two hours after we left the UK. We had an early start the next day and each of the next six days as we travelled to the ten districts in Busoga region to meet the children, widows and partners. But the excitement and joy of seeing the children and their mothers, some for the first time, and listening to their stories out-weighed the fatigue. Hundreds of lives have been transformed because of ACT support.
The young scraggy looking kids of ten years back have become young women and men graduates, working and looking ahead to starting their own families. Among them was Robert Oligo. He had travelled from Kampala to meet up with us. Robert was one of the first set of five children we supported in 2005. One of four children, his father died before he completed primary school. His mother, a poor farmer, was unable to pay for his secondary school education. ACT supported Robert to complete secondary school. He did very well in the sixth form exams and was admitted to the highly rated Makerere University in Kampala where he obtained a BA degree in business administration. Oligo now works for a development agency in Kampala. “I am truly grateful to ACT without which I would never have been able to achieve my educational potential. ACT’s support has been invaluable in my life”.