This year, we have invited a group of volunteers from Weightmans to visit Uganda and our house for the 5th time.
We have 18 children living in the Isaac’s House family home. We also support 12 children in the community with their education.
The trip will be split into two weeks. On the first week we have our trip organisers Paul Howells, Hayley Gilroy and Jill Sheridan. Joining us is Linda Maguire, Michelle Hardwick, Fiona East, Janice Weather, Josh Cadwallader, Laura O’Farrell, Sarah Jennings, Laure-Helene Glodowski, Richard Corran and Dan Corran.
Joining us for week two is Ambre Cross, Elaine Durie, Gemma Fairbrother, Tripta Korotania, Amanpreet Thakar, Mitchell Roberts and Ola Smuklerz.
The first group landed on Saturday 4th May.
We were all up bright and early on the Sunday morning to meet the children at church. Church in Uganda is very different to church at home. They spend the entire Sunday there to celebrate life, god and happiness. There is a stage with lots of colourful fabrics and a really old PA system and a drummer. They have a full schedule of singing and dancing for the entire day. For many Ugandans who don’t have electricity in their homes, there is no TV in the evenings to watch, and it goes dark at 7pm (all year since they are on the equator) and so life can be very lonely. For many, church is the only social life they have and it has a real community spirit which shows.
We were invited up to the stage where we were thanked for being there and for giving our support.
We walked together with the Isaac’s House children back to their home. It didn’t take long for the fun and games to begin. Laure-Helene kick-started with her Circus fun where the children did some gymnastics and various games.
Then Josh brought out his rocket making kit which the children loved and we had rockets flying over our heads for the rest of the afternoon!
We were also treated to a traditional African lunch by our house staff Aunt Gift and Aunt Susan. There was chapatti, matoke, posho, beans, G nut sauce and pumpkin. It was absolutely delicious and everyone’s plated were completely clear by the end!
We were lucky to have glorious sunshine all day and the volunteers and children bonded very quickly.
The next day we took all of our children, our staff and much of the community for a huge sports day at The Botanical Gardens organised by Janice.
The children of all ages just love the sports day and the competition is fierce.
We had four teams, with Sarah, Laura, Laure-Helene and Josh heading up each team. Josh was quickly dumped though because he was too tall to fit in the sack for the sack race! So he was replaced by Dan.
Each team had six children of all ages. The first relay race was the sack race, we also had egg and spoon, one legged, skipping, hoops. There was a dispute at the end with some teams being fluid with their players (or inclusive as they liked to call it, tut tut). Eventually the scores where in and Dan’s team were the winners! We also bought KFCs all around. It’s a very quick and costly way of feeding 46 people and chicken and chips is the children’s favourite. Winner winner chicken dinner.
We also used the opportunity to hand out the care packages we had made at home. The volunteers at Weightmans have worked tirelessly over the past six months gathering and sorting donations, and putting together over 100 care packages for all of the Isaac’s House children and the local community. Each package contains two outfits and some toiletries and stationary. Everyone was so grateful and there were even some tears. You can see just how much it means to them. Some started to immediately try their new clothes on.
On Tuesday we had a wet start! It rained heavily until around 10.30am and so we had a huge sort out with all the donated items everyone at home gave us. We were also visited by monkeys on our balcony, several of them and very close up. One had a baby attached to her and actually took a bag of nuts out of Paul’s hands!
As soon as the rain went off we headed over to Isaac’s House to spend the duration of the day there. For today’s activities we had corn flake cake making and decorating by Sarah. Our cook Aunt Gift helped her out with the melting the chocolate over her stove and then the chaos began! We eventually did get some orderly fashion thanks to 5 year old Ramson who bossed everyone into an orderly line. We had lots of concentrated faces and around 100 cakes were made.
Next up was tie-dye. Laura catered for everyone here by bringing t-shirts, caps and shopper bags. Even the older boys got involved and all did a cap each! Everyone here LOVES tie dye and so we had lots of excited children everywhere it what was a messy afternoon. The T- shirt’s have been placed in labelled bags and we can’t wait to see how they have turned out.