Kainhogoga - February 12th
The team has arrived! After a long, yet smooth journey to Uganda, the team awoke in high spirits ready to experience all that Uganda had to offer. After two whole years with no mission trip, the communities and students were eager to welcome us. We started off visiting one of the most energetic student bodies who always cure any remaining jet lag from the journey - Kainhogoga!
They quite literally BOMBARDED the team with love and hugs - so much that one could hardly get off the bus and be able to take a step. It almost makes us feel like celebrities, except the students are the ones we all have traveled 8,000 miles to see. THEY’RE the stars and the reason for so much happiness.
The introductions and the welcome dancing put an immediate smile on our faces. The joy and pride the students displayed in performing for us was symbolic of the relief and gratitude they felt now that school has finally fully resumed and the lockdowns in Uganda are finally over. They had even decorated their school hall with streamers and fresh flowers! It was a blessing to witness!
Nakabango - February 13th
In Nakabango we were able to gather with the women's group and make Valentine's jewelry together. Since our team is comprised of all women, it was a very empowering time to share stories of strength and connection with our fellow sisters!
Our team member Mary had some friends from home donate some funds to help out the students on the Messiah soccer teams in Nakabango. Eric, who is the coach and mentor of the teams, bought schoolbooks, pens, and math sets for the whole team. This was a huge blessing for them as many of the players come from struggling homes and can’t afford the school materials. The team also received many soccer donations from back home and were thrilled with new shoes, balls, shin guards, and socks! Thank you to all who donated!
The most special sight to see so far was the sponsors who finally were able to return and see their students. We all know how fast kids seem to grow and the students here were no exception. It was almost melancholic to see some of the grown faces and feel like we’ve missed out on such a long period of their development. Yet seeing them in fresh uniforms with proud smiles brought a sense of immense satisfaction after 2 years of worry and uncertainty. The sponsored students are back in their element and knowing they are in school, receiving quality education, gave us all a feeling that “every little thing is gonna be alright."
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.