A group of us went over to Masese this afternoon (Saturday). We wanted to see the progress with Pastor Alfred’s project and most of wanted to catch up with our sponsored children. We parked up within the slum area and walked to the compound. We can never fail to be shocked by the conditions, the deprivation is huge, but worse the atmosphere of hopeless resides over the place. A crowd of children soon gathered all shouting, ‘How are YOOO’. They ran alongside us as we made our way down to the compound. This is the centre of the Macedonian Vision Africa project through which the children are sponsored. (see day 12 of Team 1’s blog).
Most of the team were there to greet us. Pastor Alfred had recently fallen off a boda boda and broken a bone in his ankle so he was on crutches. It was good to catch up with all. Gradually the children arrived – they were making their way from their various schools. Soon there were little huddles of sponsors and their children. There were lots of shy greetings, some opened presents and others gathered round. One was given a game of draughts which he had never seen before. However, some of his friends had, so they were soon in a group together playing very excitedly.
There are about 80 children who are supported through Macedonian Vision Africa and they go to schools scattered around the Jinja area. Pastor Alfred always has great dreams for the work and he set those out for us. It prompted an interesting debate between himself and Agnes who is also on the team between the priority of helping the girls and young women who suffer so much at the hands of men and the priority of helping the men, to mentor them and teach right ways of living. The answer of course is both and . . .
Geoff and Julie describe their time with their student, Isaac
“In Uganda we are sometimes presented with opportunities which leave a very special mark on the memory. One such came to us on our trip 2 years ago. Our sponsored student, Isaac Bodere, lives in the Masese slum with his very sick and poor parents. He asked us to go with him to his parents’ house, which we did. Today we had another. We went again with Isaac to his family home. After a 20 minute walk along a disused railway line, we arrived at the small house in a clearing on the edge of the slum. Two years ago Isaac thanked us for going, saying that he thought they would decline the invitation. Today we again had no hesitation in accepting.
Isaac’s mother came out to greet us, welcoming us as friends into her home. We were delighted and very touched to see the photos of ourselves which we had given them last year, now in frames on the wall. We were given bottles of Cola and enjoyed a lovely time of conversation and laughter.
We felt privileged. It was clear that they also felt very proud to invite us into their home and community. Their gratitude was genuine and very heart-warming, making us feel very humble. As a mark of her gratitude, Isaac’s mother gave Julie a big bunch of bananas - a simple gift, but one that meant so much to us.
After about 45 minutes we said our goodbyes with many hugs and genuine emotion all round. It was a real privilege and one to treasure.”