Work Party 2018 – Rob & Jenny
Greetings on our return from the sights and sounds of Buliisa District, Uganda, East Africa and the areas surrounding our 6-8 hour drive to and from Kampala. The main aim of our trip was to join with and assist in a work party of 18 members of Life Ministry Centre, Chirnside Park to complete half a dozen projects at “Amari”, meet our host children and their families and get to know and experience the life of Amari. Our work party group ages ranged from 22-78, Jen and I being in the upper section of the age range.
Amari Community Development Organisation was established by Marita Simpson in 2008, who felt called as a young girl by God, to mission work in Africa, principally Uganda. Marita’s faith, determination, teacher training and love for the Ugandan children and their families has seen this school develop from her and three children meeting under a tree to now become a school of 250 vulnerable but happy, loved, and safe children, 47 support staff (teachers and workers), 18-20 assorted buildings erected using local labour and self-made mud bricks and thatching off the property, a solar farm and water bore providing piped water and electricity to many of the buildings.
Hence the need for our work party which was one of 10 or so that have gone over each year to assist with the development of the school in extending the facilities, maintenance, other forms of practical assistance and spending valuable time with the children, families and staff.
We experienced more than we could have dreamed. A very special bond was formed within the members of the work party and between the work party and the students, teachers and workers. Special Times included:
- The teaching and supply of the recorders (musical instruments) to the school was very special and infectious as Anna and Linda taught the students and the teachers (who wanted to learn also) how to play songs. A lot of laughing, dancing and joining in by workers after school with their local instruments.
- 1st Class entertainment at the concert they put on for us (dancing and clapping with them and joining the congo-line to the beat of drums and local base-like instruments was fun and joy for all).
- Meeting and getting to know the children and staff which was a joy and a blessing. With the children the shyness was gradually replaced with trust, acceptance and joy.
- Issuing gifts to each of the children as they all lined up and seeing their joy as they threw their frisbees.
- Personally meeting our host child Anon and seeing his joy as we gave gifts.
- Jen working with children one-on-one bringing smiles to both Jen and child.
- Visiting our host children and their families was very special. Materially they have very little but in hospitality and welcome they overflow.
We finished our trip off with a 3hr Nile River Cruise up to Murchison Falls complete with Crocodiles, Elephants and Hippo’s and a 4hr safari at Murchison Falls National Park joining in with Elephants, Giraffe, Buffalo, Antelope and Baboons (sadly no big cats in site). A long drive to Kampala and a very, very long flight home.