On our second day at the Acholi tribe we began teaching the children the lessons we have prepared in advance. Today we were greeted by the children (who were shouting mazungas!!) as we arrived at the Church. Today the children were confident and more comfortable and were thoroughly enthusiastic about the things we have planned for them. The children particularly enjoyed the mini sports day as well as singing, they really appreciate us being here and it shows through the effort they put in. This makes us feel that the 2 years of fundraising has and is paying off.
After the children left this afternoon we were guided through the village by the Acholi women who have really helped us with the teaching by providing support and translating which have allowed the children to engage more in our lessons to enhance their ability. We were shown to a couple of quarries where people spend hour after hour, day after day working just breaking large rocks. It was a poignant experience as it really fascinated us as well as being upsetting. We were stunned by the fact the one person working an entire day gets only 25p which is such a small amount considering who much physical effort they have to put in, in order to try and provide for themselves as well as their families.
Even though these people are in terrible conditions, they continue to be positive and smile and get on with things. We have only been here 3 days and we have already experienced and seen so much; for example young children wearing the same tacky clothes, picking food scraps off the floor and walking miles for dirty water.
It was amazing to see how supportive the community are to each other, especially the siblings who do anything for each other. Through seeing this we have truly realized we need to appreciate how much we really do have and the opportunities available to us. Most children here don’t get the option to go to school so us being here really has an impact on them – they are so eager to learn.
It was heartbreaking to hear that some of the children we have taught have become ill over a night, so it really hits home how lucky we are even to have free medical care because so many people here cannot afford it. We were speaking to one of the women who live here about the health system, and she told us that even if you have a problem they most likely won’t have the stuff and would have to suffer without medication, this is quite personal to me (Hollie) because I have diabetes and if I were to live here I wouldn’t have the access to high quality treatment in order to maintain my health and amazing quality of life I have at home.
It isn’t until you come to a country like this that you realize how awful the conditions really are, even when we see it on TV you ignore it, but when it’s happening right in front of you it really hits you and it’s a constant thought which remains in your head.
By Hollie & Phoebe