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lindajamicapond

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Review for Connect Africa Foundation Inc, Newton Centre, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My first trip to Africa was to visit Connect Africa in Uganda. I spent 12 days there in April of this year. Everyone asks what did I do and why did I go and sometimes that is hard to answer because I did not do touristy things. I did not see gorillas. I did not go to game parks. But I had so many meaningful experiences that continue to touch me deeply.

I stayed at the guest house which is beautiful and serene, and the co-directors, Lynn and Charles were wonderful hosts. I visited schools attended by Connect Africa children and met students. I observed women learning English and others knitting dolls. I attended their Saturday Children’s Enrichment program, watching 30 children study and learn, then play a vigorous game of soccer-girls and boys together. I spent 1:1 time with older students, giving them a chance to talk privately to me about their medical issues.

I debated and agreed with youngsters whose minds are being challenged in school. I talked to aunties and grandmothers who are raising second and third generations of children. I spoke with students who had very little in material possessions but were full of energy, drive, and gratitude, and are being introduced to what is possible with hard work. Connect Africa also provides micro loans. I was transported on a boda boda/motorcycle by a young man whose burgeoning business was financed through a loan.

One night 11 students ages 11-21 spent the night at the guest house with me. In many ways they were typical teenagers. But they were perhaps wiser, worldlier in a life experience kind of way. They engaged me in a very lively give-and-take about religion and God and politics. I cannot recall ever having such a deep thoughtful interaction with young people. I was profoundly touched by their sincerity, eagerness and honesty.

It is hard to describe the significance of this experience because it is deep inside me. I felt safe, appreciated, useful, embraced and hopeful. I realized many of my first world worries seemed trivial in this third world country.

Children are our hope. Education is most often the ladder to help climb out of poverty and improve one’s life. Connect Africa is working hard to expand minds and provide opportunities for children and their families.

Not everyone can visit Uganda. But even if you cannot be there in person, you can be there in spirit, by supporting the important work of Connect Africa. Donations go to sponsor students at every academic level, as well as for micro loans, and other projects that promote self reliance and well being of families and women.

I hope you will open your hearts and donate generously to Connect Africa.
Visit and experience what has affected me so deeply.

Sincerely, Linda M Cohen M.D. MPH

Role:  Donor