In July 2019, nine of our young people from Holy Trinity Cannes, aged between 14 and 18, plus four adults, travelled to Uganda to work as volunteers in Ruhanga Development School for 16 days. They flew from Nice via two countries (Turkey and Rwanda), then travelled overland for over 6 hours from Entebbe airport in Uganda. Here they are in Nice Airport ready to go.
In preparation for the trip they spent over six months fundraising: cake sales, lunches, cards, car washes and applying to (and getting) donations (special thanks to Grasse Mairie and the British Association). But what was it all about?
Ruhanga is a region in the South West of Uganda – it is mainly agricultural and has little industry. Farming is the main source of income for the families in this area and for many of the children it is their life and future work. Awareness is growing in the area, as to the value of an academic and vocational education for all children, both to educate the current generation and to raise standards in the region for the future generations.
Ruhanga Development School is a non-profit making establishment, which caters for the educational needs of 550+ pupils. The school has over 250 boarders living on site. These children are those who either live over two hours away or are in their final years of schooling and live without electricity at home to assist with homework. If you want to read about the school at a later time, then here is the link: Ruhanga Development School.
The school asks all families to make a small contribution for the education of their children, but no child will be turned away due to lack of money. For some children, if it were not for the mug of porridge provided by the school for breakfast they would not have anything to eat until they return home for their evening meal.
The classes are large (typically 70 students in a classroom to one teacher) but all the teachers and students are full of enthusiasm. The school is affiliated with Church of Uganda and the boarding students regularly lead their own Sunday service.
The school relies heavily on the financial support of donors for their building projects and (minimal) teachers’ salaries, but it is also dependent on the physical help of volunteers.
Our young people helped with some teaching, homework, crafts and sport. They built tables and painted a mural as well as helping in a hygiene project ‘tip-taps’. They also helped to serve the porridge provided for breakfast for the students. They visited some local families, prepared food and ate with them. And they went on a two-day safari (paid for by parents, not from the fund-raising money; all proceeds go back to the project).
Each day one or more of the young people wrote a blog about what they did, which we’ve posted on the website. In order to find all the blogs, we’ve listed the links on a separate page. You can also find lots more photos on Facebook (click the link to go to it).
Without all your support this adventure couldn’t have happened. Many thanks again to all those who bought cakes and lunches, had their cars washed or just donated money. And an extra special thanks to all who prayed, both before and during the trip. God has answered your prayers in a remarkable way.
The team reported on their trip during their first Sunday back. Click here to hear what they had to say.