It’s been now one week since I returned from Uganda and I’ve remained in a heightened state of emotion. Everything I see, everything I’ve been doing makes me reflect upon the things I saw over there with World Vision. Taking a trip like this really is life changing.
The walk to work looks different. The food I buy for lunch tastes different. The people I interact with and associate with seem different. My world view has changed, and it’s for the better!
When you visit the third world, and more to the point, the rural parts of these countries, you can see the dramatic differences in needs and wants. We in Australia live in a world of want. There are people of course who need support and who need help within Australian communities. There are always going to be different levels of society, but the majority of us at the very least have our basic needs met. The people I saw in Uganda, were often still working on the first tier of needs.
It wasn’t all despair and depravity. Quite the contrary. The biggest thing I took away from it was the hope. The encouragement that World Vision’s support gives to these communities is helping them to not only meet their basic needs, but hope for a better future. This doesn’t mean a flat screen tv on the wall or a high paying role in the city. This means children going to school, having necessary vaccinations such as polio and measles and access to clean water. It’s the opportunity to learn skills to start a business, to have financial freedom and provide for themselves and their family. What an amazing thing to give someone – hope! Sponsoring a child in Uganda with World Vision gives an entire community hope!
I have hope now. It made me look at my own life and realize how ridiculously lucky I am to have been born in Australia, to a good family with access to quality education and to have a community around me that supports me. I cry as I write this as I do feel some guilt for days where I say “Woe is me, it’s all unfair and why can’t things be easier”. I’m so blessed to have seen these communities and met these people and to know that if they can overcome lacking the basic needs for survival, I can at the very least be content in my position in the world.
I have hope for the people I met. I believe in them and know that they will work together to build a better future for their community. It takes commitment and hard work from both sides. The Ugandan people to accept the support and work with organisations such as World Vision. World Vision to fulfil their duty of care and support these communities in helping them basic needs. From my experience, they are 100% doing just that!
Perhaps we need to focus more on what is needed and not simply, what we want. Perhaps this Christmas, you can put someone else’s basic needs before that new computer, perfume or game you may want….
Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels: