So far, my trip to Uganda has been amazing. The food is wonderful, the people are welcoming, and the scenery is breathtaking. There hasn’t been one thing I haven’t enjoyed, but there has been one thing that has taken me back, and that is the slums and poverty in Uganda. Poverty is always around us in the United States but not poverty like this. The poverty in Uganda that we have seen is absolute poverty. The people here who live in the slums make less than one US dollar per day and off of this they have to support their families. When we went to the slums in Kampala we visited two schools for children. Many of the children who live in the slums can’t afford to go to school. Luckily we visited an organization called the Twekembe Slum Project (Twekembe.org) and the two schools they support in the slums. The children get to attend these schools for free. The schools are far from what we would think of schools in the US. They have no electricity, no running water, and bathrooms are simply holes in the ground. However, with a lack of resources these schools do an amazing job of educating the children and giving them something to look forward to everyday. The teachers at the schools are volunteers, which is amazing considering they spend so much time helping these children and get no or very small compensation for it. The school tries to serve children breakfast every morning, which is great for these kids considering they might not get every meal they should. What took me back the most however, was how happy and grateful these children were. When we visited the schools, we donated used books and pens to the children. The smiles on their faces when they received these books made me so happy, and was truly inspiring. Considering all the hardships these children face each day such as not knowing where their next meal is going to come from, to having to walk miles with large jugs just to get water that isn’t even clean, these children were still happy. It blew me away to see children as young as 12 years old carrying around their younger siblings and taking care of them, or even cooking. The children here in Uganda have so many more responsibilities than most of the children back in the US. Being able to handle these responsibilities and yet still remain happy is truly inspiring. I hope some day I’m able to come back to Uganda and to volunteer to help serve these children. In the US we think every child deserves an education, and I think that should apply around the world.
Below are a few pictures from the first school we visited
Above is a picture of some children from the first school we visited in the slums
Above is a picture of an empty classroom (some of the children were away on holiday)
Above is a picture of one of the slums