November 13, 2019 2:35 pm
On 5th May, I travelled from Gatwick to Entebbe airport, this being my second trip to visit PaCT in Mityana – Uganda. During my 2 week stay my aim was to understand in more depth the process of sponsoring children and the other projects that the charity focuses on, specifically the WASH project (water, sanitation and hygiene).
On my first day at PaCT there was the termly event of handing out the scholastic materials for the children in preparation for the final term of the school year. Pencils, pens, book bags and notepads were among the many items given to the sponsored kids in order to aid them in their education and give them an equal opportunity compared with those who can afford to buy their own materials. There was so much joy in their faces when they received their packages that it really shows the difference this sponsorship makes to their livelihoods. There is also the argument that giving them these materials has helped to increase their learning ability, and therefore their educational outcome, which can help to transform communities due to reduced illiteracy levels.
I was lucky enough to be able to meet Nastazia (8 years) the girl whom my family sponsor. She is looked after by her sister who is 19, the same age as me, as both of their parents are unfortunately dead. She works in the market selling shoes so that she can partially support herself and her sister. Thanks to our sponsorship Nastazia is able to attend school. Their gratefulness towards me was palpable and really shows how much the little amount of money that we contribute can really make to someone’s life change largely.
WASH is the water project that PaCT runs. Its aim is to promote access to safe and clean water in those areas in which it is not readily available. I was able to visit one of the villages and listen to a presentation to the locals and the mayor about installing a water sanitization system in this area. Although difficult to understand the actual presentation, it was easy to understand how much of a difference this can make to the locals, who need clean water to enhance their everyday life.
On the more practical side of things, I participated in the sponsorship department organizing the children’s school reports in order for them to be sent to their respective sponsors in the UK. This links in to the fact that the motivation and performance of the children is very important in order to keep the sponsors engaged with their progress. Being able to read my own sponsored child’s report allowed me to understand that she is flourishing at school and keeps my family motivated to sponsor her further into her education
One afternoon, myself and a small handful of the sponsored children drew pictures and played traditional African games, including their version of hopscotch and making African dolls using old banana plant leaves. I always kept wishing the two weeks don’t come to an end as it was always joy, happiness and lovely moments with the children and locals. I hope to go back to Uganda in the near future as I was extremely amazed with the amount of work PaCT and her affiliated Mityana Charity in UK have done.