Well, today we started our trip on the road to visit the Namayumba epicentre, a couple of hours west of Kampala.
We jumped on the bus in high spirits ready to finally see firsthand the work that all our fundraising monies have been put towards, and it was really rewarding.
We split into three groups to tour the centre, first visiting the nurse’s quarters and the health centre. These lovely ladies assist with vaccinations, HIV counselling and basic treatments required. The centre itself is equipped with rooms for a children’s wing, male and female wards, treatment wings and counselling rooms. At present, one Dr Paul is on duty and the recruitment process is underway for more healthcare workers.
Our next stop was the nursery school, but many children are currently on holidays. Little Josephine was the only girl amongst all the boys but they were happy to break into song and do an impromptu dance as well. Their friendly faces and curiosity were gorgeous. We sang Twinkle Twinkle little Star for them to say Thank You.
Tearing ourselves away from their epic cuteness and their 15 year old volunteer teacher, we next stopped at the rural bank to see Microfinance in action.
Four women had arrived at the centre for the first time, and we’re waiting for loans to improve their small businesses. The local branch manager Stella gave us a great tour of their small facility.
We then met in the epicentre directors office, checked out the clean water facilities, viewed the crops on site and planted our trees, leaving our permanent gift to the Namayumba epicentre – mine was an avocado tree.
Next followed a fabulous welcome to their meeting hall with energetic dancing and music, where many local committee members, animators for The Hunger Project and government officials welcomed the Business Chicks in an official ceremony.
Focus groups were next on the Agenda and I landed Women’s Empowerment – and it was brilliant to see how proud the girls were of their accomplishments; share their hopes and dreams for their children and future and we especially loved how the men were so supportive of their wives efforts.
The other group covered HIV/AIDS and the Ugandans were surprised to learn the disease occurs in Australia too. Much is being done to promote testing, and provide counselling. Health & Sanitation was the focus for the final group which discussed its services in educating the community to hygiene issues, nutrition and maternal health.
Finally, it was time to cuddle some babies, board the bus and say goodbye before the epic ride of six and a half hours to Mbarara, our home for the next few days.