Mbarara, Uganda
Yesterday we met with Africare’s Country Representative in Uganda, Anthony Ngosi and then drove south 4 hours to Mbarara. Then this morning we met with Paul, Francis, Dennis, Gad-Sam and the rest of the staff from the field Africare field office in Ntungamo who are such a dedicated and passionate group of men and women. Then from there, they took us to meet the District Chairperson of Ntungamo, JW Karazaarwe, who wanted to personally thank everyone at AWF for their contributions to his district which works in close partnership with Africare. He went on to say to us that “water is life” and that it is the building block upon which many other programs have been based upon such as Child Health programs, Behavioral Change and HIV / AIDS Nutritional programs.
From there it was onto the village of Kyangara where we were greeted by about 200+ community members with overwhelming joy and celebration. At first, it was a bit strange for us to be regarded so highly by these beautiful, smiling, singing people but then I came to realize that it wasn’t us they were holding in such high regard as much as the idea that a small group of volunteers can come together and make such a life changing impact and so I want to pass that on to each and every one of you who have donated your time, money and energy to AWF.
After the water committee from the village gleefully showed us the hand pump well that was provided by Africare with the funding from AWF, we asked to see where they used to get their water from. We were taken for approximately a 1km hike down a very steep hill to a stagnate pool filled with algae. It was here that the elder of the community expressed his thankfulness that AWF “would come here to this place and walk with us”. I only wish each of you reading this could have heard that his words in person. I know I had a lump in my throat.
What a humbling day.
I want to leave you with this quote from District Chairperson Karazaarwe:
“Such a program that addresses the sentiments of people can never fail.”
I’ll try to write more tomorrow. Goodnight everyone and good job!