My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Real Uganda, Mukono, , Uganda
The summer of 2015...turning 40 and finally being brave enough to go explore Ugandan way of life.
Getting all of the attention in an instant wasn't ever that easy when people asked me what I did during my holiday. "Did you go to France? to the US? you went hiking in the mountains? ... " "no no, I went to do volunteer work in an orphanage in Uganda." This is always followed by these couple of empty silent seconds after which a series of recurrent questions bursts out... Why on earth did you go THERE? so dangerous! did you get hurt? did you get robbed?are the people pushy?.... My reply : "People in Uganda are actually HAPPY people and they are so proud of their country that one of the first things they all said was "Welcome to Uganda and thank you for coming here". That's it, they didn't steal my money, they weren't pushy at all, I could walk around and feel so safe, much safer than some of the areas in my homecountry!"
Being a marketing/communication person in professional life I wanted to understand the needs of those poor and hungry children in orphanages so I could be inspired in one way or the other to help them get out of there and give them a better life. One of the things Leslie (owner of the Real Uganda) said when I arrived in Mukono was "an African kid needs to be raised in Africa by it's African family" ... and by the end of my stay in orphanage Grace I understood this completely.
I want to thank Leslie, and also Liz (director and wonderful teacher at Grace orphanage and school) but especially the kids to help me open my eyes and understand that we would not offer them a better life and future by getting them out of there. They are happy there, amongst each others and together they are a family.
My initial goal of why I wanted to understand their needs was totally wrong. I know now we can help them get education so they can evolve and grow themselves, we can help them to find ways of making sure food is on the table in a sustainable way. But it's they who will show us how to be a family and how to share and how to help and stand up for each other.
It was a wonderful, heart warming life experience which I regret not having done earlier, but then again, maybe it was only now that I was ready to see and believe the truth.