Nalwire has always been a very special place to visit and during this trip that fact was no exception.
It is on the border with Kenya and has a completely different environment than the rest of the Jinja villages. The houses are all dry mud structures with grass thatched roofs and the community is one of the most impoverished of all the ones we serve due to its remoteness and dryer climate. This, however, doesn’t impede on their joy and incredible kindness to us when we visit!
It is in a sort of transition stage where there are SO MANY children enrolled and going to school, yet they are still patiently waiting on the permanent school structure to be constructed to accommodate the school's needs and ensure room to grow. It was nevertheless wonderful for the team members who have been there previously to see the improvements with the nursery structure, playing field & sports equipment, and all of the recently purchased land.
Soon and very soon, this village will be absolutely thriving once ground is broken on the permanent structures!
Two of our team members had very special moments with the children.
Alison was introduced to a special young girl named Susan who was the only currently available child for sponsorship - one of the ones on the outside looking in.
It took Alison about 3 secs before she decided that SHE would sponsor Susan, and when the staff told her the news, Susan immediately kneeled down (the way they show gratitude) and gave Alison a HUGE hug.
It warmed all of our hearts to know that this little one would now be receiving an education and even had the opportunity to meet her sponsor face to face- truly a special gift to both of them!
Next, Mary was able to visit the home of her sponsored student named Jolly. We try to always visit the homes of some students during our visits and when we’re able to take the sponsor to see where their student sleeps at night, it is even more impactful.
The difference between seeing the happy faces at the school to then seeing where the child spends the rest of their day can be a stark contrast yet is significant for the team and sponsor to witness the reality of poverty and why we do what we do to help these children rise up with education.
Jolly and his mother were so happy to see Mary that she gave her a special gift - a live chicken! This is a token of their gratitude and is oftentimes one of the most valuable possessions that the family owns.
The gift of sponsorship and its reciprocal transformative nature was demonstrated so clearly in Nalwire! Everyone left with content hearts and a motivation to continue working alongside Nalwire to ensure their continued expansion and future success for the sake of those children and the entire community.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.