Kibuye Project overview

AASU’s first community project is focusing on the village of Kibuye in North Eastern Kamuli, on the shores of the Victoria Nile. Kibuye has an estimated population of 60,000 people and is spread over 27 by 35km. The majority of the population is highly dependent on subsistence farming and barter trade within village in order to survive.

Before the project began, Kibuye was dependent upon one borehole for safe drinking water. Due to long lines when collecting water many have been choosing to fetch water from the river, which has caused illness through water born diseases. The village also only has one school, consisting of two classrooms accommodating roughly 600 children. The children that can’t walk the distance to the school simply don’t attend. The majority of children do not attend school, either due to distance or family circumstance, consequentially 80% of Ugandans over the age of 15 are illiterate.

So far within the Kibuye project AASU has been able to buy four acres of land at the East end of the village on which we have built a bore hole and are currently building classrooms for the Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School which is due to open for the start of the school year in February 2011.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ARISE AND SHINE UGANDA, a second family for all the volunteers!

My name is N’taho Emmanuella Djama, a volunteer from Côte d’Ivoire. I worked for Arise and Shina Uganda (AASU) for 9 weeks (20th June 2012 – 27th August).

In the beginning, I really missed my friends, my family, in a nutshell – my country! But I couldn’t just get on an aeroplane and fly back home, so I did my best to feel like Uganda was home.

For my work with AASU I chose the Community Education Project. It is one of the 4 main projects and at the heart of the organisation. The project is based in Kibuye, a village in North Eastern Kamuli district. Topics I taught included HIV/AIDS and other STD awareness (e.g. syphilis), hygiene and sanitation, and also good child nutrition.

It was a great experience for me! During the morning, the other volunteers and I walked around the village to talk to the community members and also to encourage them to come to our sessions. During this time the translators we worked with showed us different types of plants and animals, and taught us some words in the local language, Lusoga. I learned how to greet someone, how to kneel when talking with an older person (a sign of respect), and also how to thank someone. Let me give you some of the vocabulary I learnt from the translators in the village:

Oli otya? (How are you?); Wasuzi otya (Good morning) ; Bulungi (Fine, good); Webalé nyo (Thank you very much); Sebo (Mister) ; Inyabo (Madame) ; Méeka? (How much?) ; Miliki (Milk)

Sometimes the community members we visited would very kindly offer us Ugandan food for lunch – for example, posho (maize flour mixed with water), beans in sauce, and roasted maize. This was especially generous when we thought of how most people we were visiting were subsistence farmers, growing just enough (and sometimes not enough) for them and their families to eat. I enjoyed being able to spend this time with them and they also liked us to have photos taken with them. They are kind and amazing people.

In the afternoon, I organized my education sessions with the adults. I was helped by a translator who translated my English lessons into Lusoga, the local language. Most of the attendants was women; and they were always enthusiastic and open to acquiring new knowledge. These women are wonderful mums, and also wonderful friends for me and all the volunteers.

The night was time for relaxing. We all cooked together and would tell stories about our lives, our countries, our universities, all so that we may know each other more and discover the similarities and differences between our countries. I really learnt a lot about foreign cooking and the other cultures.

When we came back to town on Thursday after being in the village since Monday, it was just amazing. A meeting is organized by the Project Coordinator every Friday and where we discuss our week in the village – our achievements and also the challenges we faced. From these we worked together to propose ideas to help those in the village achieve a better life for themselves. The Project Coordinator always took care of us and listened carefully to our propositions. We would spend Fridays in the Arise and Shine Uganda Babies’ Home with the children – playing, singing, dancing, eating together and also sometimes swimming. During the weekend, we organized parties, visited some beautiful sites of Uganda, did some shopping and strolled about Jinja town.

At the end of my trip to Uganda I felt really sad, because I had gained a real family there with the staff of AASU, the volunteers and also the people I worked with in the village. I will always remember this wonderful organization. I thank everybody for making my travel to Uganda so exceptional. Don’t miss it! Join AASU, you will never regret your choice, I promise you!!!!

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