Seeing the work of World Vision and their incredible people in Nepal

Today I went to visit my fourth World Vision Country Office around the world. I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, at the head office and was met by the kind Anu. It never ceases to amaze me the kindness, dedication and passion of staff in this organisation, all around the World.

Anu from World Vision Nepal office

Anu from World Vision Nepal office

Anu has been emailing me, along with the lovely staff from the Australian office (shout out to gorgeous Clare) to help me arrange my sponsor child visit in Kailali District. I’ve been sponsoring little Kamala for more than 5 years now with my mother Sarah. I love Nepal and have visited twice in the past, I knew it was the place I wanted to have a sponsor child. I’ve now been sponsoring Kamala for 5 years and just can’t wait to meet her.

Kamala

Speaking to Anu and learning about her work here with World Vision was so inspiring. She clearly has a passion for her job and has been working with World Vision for 10 years. She told me her favourite thing was hearing the stories of Australians and Canadians who come to visit their sponsor children here in Nepal. She didn’t realise that we were so connected, excited ad dedicated to our sponsor children. She was shocked to see so much emotion from the people and how much they cared about these children over the other side of the world. I smiled as I knew exactly what she was talking about. I shared with her my story about why I sponsor children and why I love what World Vision do and am now a #WVAblogger blog ambassador. Anu only cements my belief and trust in this organisation and the work they do around the world.

IMG_1325

I’ve found a blog today that was written for World Vision Australia about saying farewell to my sponsor child in Tanzania in 2009. I had been sponsoring him for 5 years and at that time and in December 2008 I travelled to Arusha, Tanzania and met him. I can say without hesitation that it was the best day of my life. So naturally, saying goodbye to him in 2009 when the work in his village had finished, was not at all easy. These were my thoughts on the process:

“I still get teary thinking of him. I sent my final farewell card and cried with every word. Goodbye is always the hardest word to say. Lazaro, you are in my thoughts always, as you have been for so many of the past years. I teasure the gift you gave me when I came to visit you and it will continue to have pride of place in my room and my heart. You were an inspiration to me and you put my world in perspective. This world is so much bigger than we can ever imagine, it is so much greater than all of us and you are helping me to understand this.”

meeting Lazaro

I’m so excited to again be able to have this experience of meeting a sponsor child, and here I am. In Kathmandu, days from meeting her. I even wrote about her in that blog at the time:

“I started sponsoring a Nepalese girl one year ago as I also have a close affinity to this country. I look forward to developing a relationship with her and her community and someday soon visiting her in Nepal.”

Kamala more recently!

Kamala more recently!

It’s taken another 5 years, but here I am! Ready to meet this gorgeous little lady. I love receiving her updates in the post and it’s a bond my mother and I can share. Knowing we are changing the life of a little girl, her family and her community. The process has been somewhat held up as my flight has today been cancelled due to bad weather. This is why I allowed one week before my #everestbasecamptrek2015 to come and meet her and get to see her village. We’ve re-scheduled for tomorrow and pushed the flight back another day. It may be busy due to two days of bad weather and cancellations, but we will get there! Worst comes to worst, I’ll drive over night by jeep. I have to get there!

IMG_1327IMG_1330IMG_1326 Some of the wonderful things I receive from World Vision updating me about Kamala and her activities.

Thank you World Vision Australia and World Vision Nepal for making this possible.

I’m climbing to Mt Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia.https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

 Thank you for your support!!

My wish in 2015… blog more!

So, I’ve been slack.

Terribly terribly slack.

Last year I posted 93 blogs here. I’ve told a few people this statistic and they’ve said “wow! So many!” But in my eyes… This is not good enough. I thought it should be closer to 400.

For all the travel I do, places I go, people I meet and experiences I share, there should be a blog every day. It’s hard to do that every day… Things always come up… But there are also so many excuses.

I want to set a goal in 2015. To write more. To share more. To be more fluid with my writing. It’s a practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

I’ve been inspired by the magnificent Eden Riley who writes passionately from the heart & regularly. She writes with caution thrown into the wind and with a richness one simply cannot resist. I want just a taste of that when people come to browse this blog. We met on the #WVAblogger ambassador trip to Uganda and her blog prowess wowed me!

Less is more. So! I’m planning to stop writing epic essays to rival the likes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Instead opting for more of a “daily thoughts” style. Of course I will still share amazing places I go, reviews of activities and accommodation, profiles of travellers and events coming up. I will just be getting more writing practice.

Please do help me with my goal by interacting with this blog. I love feedback and would love to write what you want to read as well as sharing my own crazy sagas.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and word filled 2015!

IMG_0160

IMG_6703-0

The friendly faces of Uganda on #WVAbloggers tour

Meeting the people of Uganda was by far the best part of our #WVAbloggers tour in Uganda in November. I was flown over to visit the projects in Uganda that World Vision Australia is working on there.

It was a pleasure to travel to Uganda with three amazing women. Three World Vision staff and the awesome blogger, Eden Riley. Lou Acheson, who was the wonderful woman we communicated with when organising trip and a social media whizz at World Vision. Lou has provided me with these amazing images of the moments we had there meeting the people. Because it’s the people that are most important, it’s the people we are there to help, and it’s the people who have the stories.

The cry of “WELLCOME” whenever we arrived somewhere brought joy to our hearts. Well -come is how it’s pronounced in Uganda. You are WELL-come. You really sincerely felt that. Everyone wants to shake your hand, tell you their story or even way hello if they’re a little further away. It’s strange going into a community on the other side of the world, you are an outsider and you are well aware of it. But in Uganda, this is not a problem, they genuinely and sincerely mean it and want to show you what impact World Vision has had for them.

From Vocational training skills workshops of sewing classes, to hairdressing salons run by students of the skills workshops. Walking between projects and children on the street wanted to say hello. I loved sitting with these people and being able to just chat and learn about their way of life.

On my final day of visits, we were with a sub county group. The local project manager introduced us as visitors from Australia. He quickly corrected himself and said “They are actually no longer visitors. In Uganda, if someone stays for more than one day, they are no longer a visitor. They are home.” My eyes filled with tears at this lovely welcome once again in Uganda and made me terribly sad that my visit was so short.

The stories, the smiles and the hope that I saw in these communities will stay with me for a long long time. Here are just a few photos that stood out from Lou Acheson’s snaps.

emma WV uganda lou acheson 9 emma WV uganda lou acheson 5 emma WV uganda lou acheson 6 emma WV uganda lou acheson 7emma WV uganda lou acheson 12emma WV uganda lou acheson 11

Thank you to Lou Acheson from World Vision Australia for capturing these lovely moments.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

Why was I invited to visit Uganda as a #WVAbloggers Ambassador with World Vision?

I loved this article written by World Vision staff member, Lou Acheson, which sums up the important reason for Blog Ambassador trips far better than I ever can:

 http://blog.worldvision.com.au/blog-ambassador-trips/

As a long-term supporter of world Vision and a child sponsor of more than 10 years, it was an incredible honour to be given the opportunity to come and see the projects first hand. I have been lucky to visit Tanzania and meet my sponsor child in 2008. I’ve also attended a project in Battambang, Cambodia with the World Vision Cambodia Cycle team as a Tour Leader for Inspired Adventures earlier in 2014. My passion and enthusiasm for World Vision continues to grow as time and time again I see the valuable impact of their work

20140402TWV018

I’m a social media professional and I follow closely World Vision’s activities on social media. I was searching through Twitter one day and saw a post about the World Vision Bloggers attending a conference all together. I didn’t even know this existed. It would be a dream come true to be a World Vision blogger and I hit reply instantly, “How do I get to do that!” The ever-responsive Tim J from the social media team sent me a reply that filled me with joy, “Email us!”

With fellow blogger @edenland Eden Riley - World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

With fellow blogger @edenland Eden Riley – World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

With a lengthy description of my World Vision support, my passion for their work and my blogging credentials, I was soon accepted as a blogger. WOW! What a dream. To be amongst an amazing team of bloggers and to be supported by World Vision Australia to write about a charity I’m passionate about was perfect.

Next thing I know, there was an opportunity to head to Uganda on a blogging trip. This is something I’d hoped to do since I began my travel blog in 2009. To travel, write and talk about important things in the world. I entered my application with little hope of getting in as I was new to the group. I knew I had the goods to take on the task but I also know how amazing some of the other members of the group are. Before I knew it, I was making plans to attend the blogging trip as a #WVAbloggers ambassador to Uganda. First hand, experiencing the incredible work of World Vision and sharing that to my audience.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I’m glad to be here on an educational trip and to see a side of the country that most tourists would ever get to see. Of course there are various tour companies and programs which are offered to showcase a countries various communities but there can be varying degrees of the approach to this tourism. Sometimes called “voluntourism” where people go to travel and volunteer as they go has been getting a bad wrap. This was happening immediately before I left to come to Africa, and Africa of course is the poster child for “poverty porn”.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I didn’t want my World Vision Ambassador tour to be seen in this way, because it is not. We are #WVAbloggers. We are blog ambassadors, we are taking part in an educational tour to learn about the programs run here and share that with out networks in Australia to gain further support.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I’ve only been on this tour for a few days but already what I have seen and experienced is so powerful. It makes me think more about the world around me and outside of the immediate things I encounter on the day to day. How can we share our skills, resources and knowledge to improve communities who need it? We can understand! That’s the first step and we can then educate and make an impact from the grassroots to truly bring about change. These things take time but the most important thing I have learned, there is hope!

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as these by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

My internet dependency is stressing me out in Uganda!

When you are sent to country specifically to do a task, blogging and sharing our experience, the internet becomes somewhat crucial. When the country you are in is Uganda, this tends to pose a problem.

IMG_6916

I was in Uganda with World Vision to learn about the projects they work with there through the child sponsorship program. My key role was to share my stories of what I saw there. All well and good until your internet decides to be a poo! No connectivity in rooms. Slower in the mornings due to the amount of people online. Leaving me with the option of late nights, a tad exhausting when you’re up at 7am each morning for a massive day of site visits.

Borehole project

Borehole project

The internet is something we take for granted. It’s at the tip of our fingers and it connects us to anywhere in the world. It makes us feel closer to our loved ones despite being separated by 1000’s of miles of land and sea. We can communicate our message to people we would otherwise never reach.

Emma with Emma. YES! We had the same name.

Emma with Emma. YES! We had the same name.

And then!!! It stops working … Dah dah dahhhhh!! Tragedy strikes! #firstworldproblem central. You go all Lion king on your phone, raising it to the sky as Rafiki raised simba to the sun on pride rock! If I just reach a little higher… I may get signal. NOPE! You just look desperado and crazy.

when-your-phone-has-no-signal

We did however get access and I did get some stories out. With so much content to share and only small windows to do it in, it became a case of “social media spam explosion” my Twitter feed, Instagram roll & Facebook wall were flooded with images of incredible people I’d met in Africa. I’m sorry to my audience … You get what you’re given! Inspiration overload!

IMG_6826

I was super excited to get back to Kampala with the hope of major city internet accessibility. Sweet!! More time with internet meant I could spread out my posts and share my content over time. Nope! You peaked too soon Emma, the interwebs has failed again.

The room connection was patchy, the restaurant had four networks to choose from with little success and again my long list of Instagram posts I’d carefully written out and filtered to the max would have to remain in their “failed” status! No!!!!!!

IMG_6945

Look! It’s going to be ok. I know, one day, somehow, I will have a good connection again! I will be able to scroll freely on the internet without the “wheel of death” on my apple iPhone! But it was frustrating to say the least. My key role is to blog and share content on social media, this is also my profession at home, without the internet – my role is null and void.

Once I return to Australia, I shall calm the farm on my mass posting. I have the most incredible content crom such an amazing few days in Uganda visiting the work of World Vision. I’m so inspired and have so much to say but this imposed internet waiting time is slowly teaching me to be patient. The content is still valid, it still can be shared and what I have seen really does make a difference!

A sub county meeting of amazing World Vision volunteers and staff in Nabukalu ADP

A sub county meeting of amazing World Vision volunteers and staff in Nabukalu ADP

Stay tuned for many more posts and images from my incredible experience in Uganda.

Thank you for reading my ranting 🙂

P.s #ilovetheinternet #iforgiveyouinternet #internetforthewin

Please do learn more about the work of World vision:

Sponsor a child. 

How sponsorship works.

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

There was a hold up at the Hair Saloon!

The hold up at the saloon being me butting in front of all the customers to get my hair did. And I did!! Wow, these Ugandan women are brave… this thing hurts!

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Hair Saloon. Yes. That is correct. This is not a typo. This was the name of our second site visit on our first day of project visits in Uganda on Monday 24 November. We stepped into a small open-front shop filled with about eight women and four small children. This was one of the vocational skills training/ apprenticeship success stories from the AWAKE Uganda program with the support of Iyolwa ADP.

The goal of these visits is to see the projects in action. We attend the businesses, community groups and sites to understand the need of the community and how the programs are working to benefit those in the area. I on the other hand, took it as an opportunity to get pampered. Man, did that back fire!

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

We suggested the idea of me getting my hair done as a bit of a laugh. The women were clearly busy with three customers in the shop getting their braids done. They said “sure, we can try.” Ok, this will be a fun picture, but we’ll pretend right? So I sit down and start chatting with the women and the next thing I know one of the young women is behind me and gathering strands of my hair together. The poor thing clearly underestimated the size of the task and the mass of my hair. She was giggling away and gave up in defeat. My hair is apparently a little strange in this part of the world and it was too difficult for her to manage. Tell me about it lady! I deal with this every morning! Eden, my fellow blogger, was finding this process highly amusing and was quietly confident in her decision not to take part in the braiding.

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

The more experienced woman, who appeared to be the leader of the group and key operator of the business, came over and helped out. She was nimble and skilled. She tugged at my hair and was twisting it up into a braid in no time. My eyes were filling with tears as I laughed it off but really; it was getting the old tear ducts going as she tightly gripped my mane of hair. Wow, how these women go through this regularly is beyond me. She did a lovely braid in my hair and then went back to her work… the thing that would actually earn her a living!

All jesting and joking aside, this was a lovely experience. To see these young women who may have come from backgrounds with little to no education, to now be able to have picked up a skill and be running a business. That is just so inspiring. We discussed operating hours, the business structure and how they have grown the business. As an entrepreneur myself and business, owner, it was a really special thing to learn about. I was so impressed with their ambition and tenacity. They were thriving here and were now planning for their futures.

Emma hair4

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

This was a wonderful bonding experience amongst the Australian visitors and the women of this community. I wish them all the best in the future of their business and hope this program continues to grow with the support of World Vision so many others may receive the benefits of running a business.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here.

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

This is why I am in Uganda, Africa

Standing in front of a room full of women, seeing a program for hope, their curious eyes looking at me, I felt the tears coming and I realised in that moment why I had come to Uganda.

IMG_6474

Eight weeks ago had you asked me where I would be, I never would have in a million years told you I would be standing in a community in Uganda learning about development programs. But here I am. And there is no-where else I would want to be. To see first hand the work of one of my favourite charities, World Vision Australia, that I have supported for more than 10 years is a blessing beyond description. To understand the issues faced by women my own age in a world I can’t even begin to contemplate is extraordinary.

IMG_6572

Our day began with a visit to a group of managers from a number of programs in the Iyolwa ADP. We would be attending various projects in this region and experiencing a great range of the work they are doing here with the support of World Vision Australia. It was powerful to hear from local staff about the issues faced in their communities and how they had addresses such challenges. More importantly, we heard about the impact they were having and the outcomes they had achieved. Although there is always a lot to be done, to hear of the progress that is being made and the hope of the staff to continue working towards greater goals is inspiring.

The Vocational Skills Training Centre run by AWAKE Uganda, supported by the Iyolwa ADP, is situated near Tororo. Walking into a room full of women anticipating the overseas visitors was overwhelming and the tears welled up instantly. These women came from backgrounds of domestic violence, broken homes, orphaned teens and lack of education due to early school dropouts. The vocational skills of sewing, tailoring and knitting they would learn over the six-month course would give them the opportunity to make an income for themselves. It was of course hearing about where they had come from that made me sad, but the opportunity these girls and women would now have pushed me to the brink of sobbing.

IMG_6473

Invited to walk amongst the women and speak with them, I was promptly called over to the desk of a smiling young lady, Erina. Turns out she was 24, just three years younger than me. She was so thankful to us for coming to learn about the program they were involved in. Her English was exceptional and she spoke confidently and clearly. She held my hands, looked in my eyes and said “I am so happy to be in this program. We do need help. Please will you help us?” I choked back the tears as I listened to her and asked her questions about her life. She had lost both parents and was now the primary carer for her four younger siblings. She had left school and only now was able to extend her education through this skills program. We are in the same age bracket yet we are worlds apart. I told her I had faith in her and thanked her profusely for sharing her story with me. I truly wish her every success and I’m impressed to see the community giving these women a chance.

The group of women welcomed us and invited us to sit with them and observe what they had learned in the program. They presented us with a performance of singing and dancing, again a tearjerker. However, we were soon clapping and grooving along with their joyful tunes and easy lyrics. We were pained to leave but with a full itinerary ahead of us for the day, we just had to. Children ran past in their school uniforms as we left and gave us cheeky waves as they giggled off into the distance. It was a joy to be so welcomed to share in this community.

IMG_6470

After this visit we returned to the main office for a morning tea. I stayed in the car a minute longer and had a quiet cry to myself under the cover of my sunglasses. I had to let out the emotion that had finally hit me since I’d even accepted the trip. It had all happened so fast, and now after 31 hours of travel I’m here with the people of this country who are benefiting from the programs. To see these things first hand is eye-opening and a true blessing. I let the reality wash over me and the tears flow.

Our next stop was the hair salon business of a woman who had been helped by the AWAKE Uganda program. There were in fact five women running this business together and with the support of World Vision Australia and the local partner, they were able to buy important supplies to carry out their business. When we arrived, there were two customers having incredible braids put into their hair. It looked intense and painful, so of course I put my hand up to jump to get my hair done. What started as a playful joke quickly escalated to me having two women attempting to braid my hair. Tears were again beginning to flow, but this time from the tugging of each strand of hair forcing my tear ducts to cry out for release. It was extremely humorous when they told me my hair was too difficult to braid and so they did a half braid and left me to it. What a wonderful bonding moment. We chatted as they worked and I learned about how they run the business and the support they’d received through the vocational skills training program. This is the stuff I love!

IMG_6489

Next up we went a short way down the road to a carpentry workshop. Again, these young men had been through a vocational skills training course and were now working with their chosen skill set. We observed them making bed frames, stools and tables. This was a really light and fun visit as the other incredible blogger I’m travelling with, Eden Riley, had a special connection with carpentry. Her husband is a builder and takes on apprentices. She explained this to the young men and they promptly offered their skills to her husband in Australia. It was a lovely moment in which we all laughed. The boys clearly love what they are doing and were so happy to share what they had learned. Brought back a few memories of the old woodwork days for me – Not bragging, but, I could rock a plane like nobody’s business!

IMG_6496

To a change of scene now as we used the full force of our 4WD’s to head through farmland, over rugged narrow roads, through cornfields to see the next project. We were to meet a farmer who was the beneficiary of biogas. Spoiler alert, I’m not a science buff! I’m no good at it and really to be honest, don’t have much interest in it. The words “biogas” went straight over my head so I anticipated that I would “get it” once I saw the work. When we arrived, we met a cheery farmer who led us to a tank and we had a local program manager translating for us. We were first talking about manure. Ok, cool. He’s a farmer, so we’re going to learn about how he grows the crops. They showed us how he placed it in a big cement vat, it filtered through pipes and arrived in a manure pond, let’s say. We then saw the tomato crops (I freakin love tomatoes so I was excited) and banana plants where he used the manure. Fantastic! The crops are going to grow better with this processed manure. If I’m honest, I was well and truly lost by this stage. My mind was screaming “When do we get to the gas bit!”

IMG_6514

We then went to the house to see where he had the gas. GREAT! We saw a gas burner and they placed a kettle over the gas burner to show us how effective it was. Excellent, this is what I thought gas burners did and I’m glad to see this one was doing its job. To be fair, I wasn’t overly “wowed” at this stage. He then raised a match to a light fixture above our heads, the little netting bag lit up with a lime green glow and slowly transitioned into white light. WOAH!!!! Now we’re talking. This all happened form the gas. The gas pipe led from the gas burner and then separated and ran up to where the light had switched on. I interjected and asked if I could be dense for a moment (too late Emma) and got them to break this thing down for me. So! You’re telling me that the manure out there (which produces methane, yes I’m now understanding the gas bit) funnels through the system, the gas is pushed out into those pipes and now provides the family with heating and light? Yes Emma! MIND BLOWN!! The entire group laughed at my revelation and my noticeably impressed expression. What an amazing achievement and life changing program for this farmer and his family to be a part of it. Better farming, more environmentally friendly and saving him loads of money every year as he no longer needs to buy propane gas. Ok, science is cool. The best part of it all! The smile on the dear farmers face and the livelihood of his seven children who can all now attend school! Beautiful!

IMG_6516

Suitably hungry after a packed morning we had a rather hilarious lunch break back at the head office. We’d pre-ordered meals in the morning from the hotel we were staying at and when they were delivered we were a little surprised. One thing about Africa, when you order off a menu and see items you would recognise from home, just expect there to be some slight variations. The five of us Australians had a good giggle as we ate our interesting menu interpretations and used our fingers, cutlery was a minor oversight of the meal. Tasty, filling and nourishing – we were all thankful for our rest and lunch stop. I’m also thoroughly enjoying our fascinating discussions with the four intelligent and talented women I’m travelling with. They all care about these communities and the incredible work of World Vision Australia, It’s an honour to travel with them.

We had another round of visits packed in for the afternoon. It was a privelege to be able to share in so much of the work the community is doing. I hope to share much more detail about each. Our next stop was the CHAMIKWOKI Women’s Savings Group. This was a local group of 30 women meeting to save funds, make emergency funding for group members and provide small loans for business and family development. We were again welcomed with a joyful song by the enthusiastic group of women. A highlight here was hearing three women’s stories of how saving money and being able to take out loans in a secure and comfortable environment had bettered their lives. We heard from the husband of one member, the Treasurer, as she was away at the time. Andrew showed us to his renovated home and told us about the improvement in his three children’s lives who had very successful school careers. He was glowing with pride showing us around his home and talking about this group and how it had helped his wife and children. Incredible to see and a very warm moment.

IMG_6535 1

At this same site we met with four young girls who were beneficiaries of the re-useable sanitary towel’s initiative. One of the young women stood up and shared a poem with us about menstruation. I couldn’t get over how brave and strong these girls were to come and talk to us. This initiative had changed the lives of these young women. They could now deal with their monthly cycle, a natural occurrence for a woman, in comfort and safety with their re-usable sanitary towels which they were taught to make themselves. A skill they can now share with other women and girls in their communities. Their teacher had had a very different experience in her school life and was thrilled to see these young girls having a better experience and promise for their future. We as an all women group travelling together were just in awe of this program. There is more to come on this, stay tuned!

IMG_6561

Our next stop was the Poyameri Health Centre III constructed with the support of World Vision Iyolwa ADP. We saw how they had renovated the centre and made it more secure for those in need to attend. This was most important for those women during pregnancy and their young children who needed a safe and private place to receive medical attention. Health care is such a crucial part of any community and the team here were striving to make it better and better with slow and steady changes. We also stopped by a malaria testing site to see how this was conducted. Unfortunately, in this area there is a high rate of cases of malaria and especially in children under five, it can lead to death. Early detection through regular testing is preventing illnesses amongst the community.

IMG_6581

Our final stop for the day was at a Fish Hatchery. Again, not so up on the Earth and Environment Science business so this was all new to me. Apparently, making fishy babies is not so easy! It’s like IVF for fish! IVFish we re-named it. Yes, perhaps the long day had gotten to us by this point and a case of the giggles had set in. We saw various ponds and got to throw food to the water to make the fish appear. I have to say this was another highlight for me. Laughing and giggling with Eden and a lovely old man as we threw the fish food in to the ponds and watched them splash about. It’s the simple things in life that bright the most joy, right! We then got a detailed lesson on fish biology, anatomy and birth practices. It’s a complicated business I’ll have you know and one I’ll leave to the professionals. Amazing none the less and incredible to see how this program has grown and developed over time.

IMG_6594

So, my short summary of my first day of project visits has not panned out exactly the way I thought. However, I am happy to share as much as possible about this incredible program and I hope you have enjoyed digitally coming along with me on this journey. I cannot express my gratitude enough to World Vision Australia for giving me this opportunity to experience the work they are doing in-field. It’s incredible and it deserves our support. If you would like to donate or learn more about their work, please visit these links:

Sponsor a child today!

How does child sponsorship work? 

 IMG_6629

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications