Sunday 2 November 2014

What this week has meant to me... words from the team to try and summarise the week


Tia Hodgson
What this week has meant to me…..
Life changing. My perspective on almost everything has changed from my opinion on school to my family. I’ve realized how lucky I am to actually go to school which makes me more eager to go; before I came I didn’t spend much time with my family but being away from them and hearing stories from victims of the rebels and Kony and how the kids might not live with their whole family because they are away working or they’ve died. I also feel so lucky to have the access to a good job, nice clothes, transport etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience the developing world and the culture here and how much of major difference there is. It’s given me a passion and drive to make a change because of those kids, John and the I Live Again charity. I think everyone should be able to go on a trip like this and have the chance to change peoples lives and experience what I’ve experienced. The people I’ve met have changed my life for the better and I will never forget those children and I hope they never forget me or what we have taught them.

Victoria Cole
What this week has meant to me…..
This week has meant so much to me. It has taught me so many new things from African life and culture to lessons that can be put into place back at home. The impact it has had on how I view my life, and others, has been massive, I now appreciate so much more than I previously did and can see that when back in England things will change. Not only have I learnt lessons that relate to everyone but also ones that are personal to me and I know will help make my life happier and more positive. The love and passion each individual we have met has to learn and be educated is amazing. They are so much more enthusiastic and willing than the students in England and it has made me realize that my education shouldn’t be taken for granted and that when I go back to school I will concentrate and listen more than ever before.  I believe that every student should have the opportunity to go for a trip like this as it is truly inspirational and eye opening in many ways.

Sam Kirkwood
What this week has meant to me…..
This week, how can you describe in two paragraphs or so how much this week has meant to me? I have stories of culture, society, life lessons and more to tell; and spread the word of these priceless trips. I have discovered a side to myself I never knew existed and I won’t let that perish. The bond I had made with the Acholi children I was teaching will stay with me forever, and there is no amount of work experience or job that can give you the satisfaction, emotion and lessons that one of these trips have. The trips, and Paul are a beacon to our society helping those in greater need than ourselves, and not only does it affect us, the children strive to come to our schools everyday and then go home and teach what they have learnt to the parents, that also don’t have an education.
I challenge everyone to come on these trips to see what, how and why they mean so much to everyone; seeing a picture or a video doesn’t justify the power these trips have, as an 18 year old now leaving college I regret not doing more of these trips when I had the opportunity; to summarize… Priceless, Inspiring and LIFE CHANGING.
As many people as possible must experience these trips, it certainly won’t be my last.

Sharhys Lewis
What this week has meant to me…..
This week we have been surrounded by children begging and craving for some affection, seeing this has inspired me to make a change with the way I see life and the way I live life. I had this crazy image in my head of how I thought the acholi quarters would be but when I got there that image changed, this trip also taught  me to forgive and forget sill things I hold a grudge at. This week has meant so much to me because I will be leaving Uganda a different person for the rest of my life.

Bethany de Claire
What this week has meant to me. This week has made such a difference on my perspective of Africa and its people and also my outlook on my attitude towards education. I liked to think that I was grateful for where I live what I have and what I get given but these past 10 days have changed that completely, I need to be a lot more thankful for what I have. The children have inspired me so much from their eagerness to learn to how much they appreciate the opportunities they are given whereas I take my education and opportunities for granted. I have learnt never to hold a grudge on someone for something petty and never ever take my family, friends and education for granted. I am so grateful for this trip because I have benefited more I feel than the kids have because It has completely change my life for the rest of my life.

Davinia Fielding-Cooke
What this week has meant to me…..
This week has had a massive impact on the way I see life, it has put into perspective how the third world countries live and has taught me lessons in life such as forgiveness and to be grateful for everything I have! I hope to enforce the positive things I’ve seen this week into things I do in every day life.

Joanna Edwards
What this week has meant to me….. this week has been indescribable, its been everything I thought and much more as much as you’ve read and heard about experiences like this through media and previous trips nothing can prepare you for what you will experience. Coming into this trip I knew it would be life changing but didn’t realize how much it would effect the way I act towards things and how I will now go about things in the future, I recommend a trip like this for anyone as it not only helps you but helps whatever attitude you have into a more positive version and you feel better for it, its also I great way to make such great friendships as the whole team from 3 different schools feels like a family to me.

Temisis Conway
What this week has meant to me…..This week has been the most emotional and incredible experience I’ve ever had. I have learnt so many things about the Ugandan culture and have made life long friends that I hope last forever. The opportunity to come here has been a once in a life time experience and when I come back home I feel I will be more grateful for the things I have and more grateful for my education, as the kids and adults out here would do anything to learn.

Mica Allen
What this week has meant to me…..
This week has been the most eye opening and life changing experience. Above everything else, seeing the importance of education to children who have nothing really hit home and made me realize how lucky we are in England to have free education. The dedication that they have towards their work showed me how little I appreciated the schooling that I received and as a result I will do my best to make sure that others around me understand the importance and privilege of what they are receiving.

Katy Doolan
What this week has meant to me…..
There aren’t enough words to convey the meaning of this trip. The pictures and videos don’t justify the emotion and the connections that you make it such a short amount of time are lifelong and have a bigger impact than I could have ever imagined. Working with these children whose education is limited to the weeks that we provide and how hard they concentrate and value us is astounding. It puts into perspective of how much we take for granted just how lucky we are to have the amount of education available to us that we do. Having experienced this not only will it make me appreciate life more than material things, but working with the Acholi people who, despite having so little, have such energy will make me look at life much better and make sure that I use the education I have the to the most. This will definitely not be my last trip and I encourage as many people as possible to experience this as there is nothing that could compare.

Jez Farrant
What this week has meant to me…..
Its been an amazing life changing experience I’m defiantly going to look at things differently  now  I’ve  seen how bad the conditions that the  Acholi people  have to live in  and they have  got 100X worse problems than me  so I feel like a changed  person  and like  to do more of this stuff in the feature .

Jack Siggs
What this week has meant to me…
This week has certainly been a ‘perspective changing’ experience. The respect shown to us has been immense, and I have noticed the lack of this as a flaw in my own life that I wish to change.

In relation to school I have realized how hard a job being a teacher is, especially when behavior/lack of attention is involved. I now appreciate what I have and I can see why the preservation of water is so important; being asked for water so often will stick with me forever….

Also, visiting the church has revived my belief in the ability of a church being a central pillar of a community, and the strong faith instilled in young children was encouraging to see, even in somewhere so desperate.

The people of the Acholi community and the people of Uganda have shown such resilience, and I aspire to mirror this in all aspects of my own life.

Niamh Andersson
What this week has meant to me…..
This week has been such an experience. I have loved every minute. Being given the opportunity to travel and help children in Uganda was such an amazing time In my life.
I am so glad that I had the experience to help such amazing and lovely children, helping them to become educated and from them to enjoy themselves.
Meeting all of the team and spending so much time with them has made us so close.  

Poppy Jupp
What this week has meant to me…..
This week has been a life changing experience, I’ve learned to be more grateful for what I have got and to not judge a book by its cover. Also it has taught me to appreciate my education and learning more when others out in Uganda would love to go to school when we just take it for granted.

Toni Harris
What this week has meant to me…..

I know everyone says that when they go on these trips that it changes their lives , but it really does. I  personally am going to make changes to my lifestyle  when I return home, as well as appreciate what I have rather than what I would like to have. I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity of working within the Acholi community as well as with the students from the 2 schools. We should celebrate the students we have at The Littlehampton Academy as they put their heart and soul into this week. They were amazing and I have met some incredible people who I will remember forever. I am sure it will change the way the students think about their education when they return to school too.

Rob Josephs
What this week has meant to me….

This week has had so much impact on so many lives not least my own. Having seen the worst kind of poverty face to face and heard stories which should never be heard, you can’t help but reflect deeply about your own life and that of others. The community we visited was absolutely amazing and we could really learn so much in relation to how they stick together and support each other. Education is a privilege out here, not a right like with have in the UK. To see so many Ugandan Children given hope by our own students is so amazing. However, probably the most amazing thing about these trips is the impact the trip has on our own students. These trips really are life changing, helping them understand about themselves, motivating themselves to do better at school and fully appreciating what they have and the education they are given. Everyone who took part will never forget this week, I just hope many others have the same opportunity that we have had so they can be inspired like we have and help make the world a fairer place.

Rose Amans – This week meant that I got to experience the world as a true geographer in practice, I feel like the passion for my subject has been revived. It has been a pleasure to share this experience with inspirational young people, both the Acholi community and our very own students. I have moved from being a person who only ever really wanted to experience a trip like this once in their life, to now wanting to visit this beautiful community again and help in the longer term. This trip is far more than a “one hit wonder” for everyone involved.

Samantha Peach
What this week meant to me…I have been surprised and over whelmed by the heart-warming welcome that we received from the Acholi People. The stories that we were told have changed me forever, the Acholi people have nothing yet they welcomed us into their hearts and homes. They have been an inspiration of how to be happy in the face of great pain and poverty. The Acholi children were so thrilled to see us and thanked us at every opportunity making us all feel very special. It was a pleasure to work with our young people as a team and a privilege to watch them grow. I will continue to use the emotional intelligence that I have learnt, to be mindful in the things that I do and unconditional in my work. We have made a difference to the Acholi people lives and they have taught us much more.

Bryony Johnson
What this week meant to me… This week has meant a lot to me. It is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. It has opened my eyes and made me realize the important things in life. The first shock was entering the Acholi quarters, and observing how little everyone has but how positive, somehow they overcome the poverty they are in, making me realize I should be happier. Whilst teaching the Acholi children we realized they want nothing more than to learn. I will definitely work harder at school as this trip has taught me to value my education more. As-well as improving my communication and leadership skills this trip has made me an overall happier person.

Jade Dikken
This trip has been a whole years worth. And I have enjoyed it so much. Not only did it open my eyes to what is out there, it made me realize how important education is and how I should work harder. These children showed me that they wanted more then anything to learn and I have the chance too so I shouldn’t waste it. If anyone had the choice to do this I would defiantly do it, doors opened to me that I wouldn’t expect to do with careers and plans for my future. I made so many connections with different children and adults that I will never forget. But most importantly this showed me the difficulties that people go through and that I will never take stuff for granted again as they are happy with the little that they have.

Melanie Zaft
What this week meant to me… 

This week has been the best in my life, my outlook on the world has shifted so much I know I’ll never look at anything the same way again. The fact that the children find the idea of school so amazing has made me realize how lucky I am to have an education and I’ll never take it for granted again. I have met some of the most amazing people on this trip that I will stay friends with forever, both in England and Uganda and exchanged emails. The little things are what matters in life, and I will never take for granted what I’m so lucky to have. This trip was the kick I needed to become motivated to do the best I can with my life, and I hope I will be given the chance to continue to help people all over the world. I am so thankful.

Chynna Mold
What this week meant to me… This week has been unforgettable for me I will never forget the experience that has taken place and I will never forget the children that I taught. I have made really strong relationships with my team and they have supported me through the whole thing so thank you all.

Ellie Simmons
What this week meant to me… This week has been inspirational for me to be able to help people who compared to us have nothing is amazing.
This week and a bit has been incredible. So many kind people I have had conversations with, understand their point of life has changed my perspective of living. It’s made me appreciate everything I have back in England and most of all my family. I have missed my family so much while being here every blog I have cried at and that means something. I have built so many relationships with everyone on this trip and am so privileged to of been able to spend this time in Uganda with wonderful people. The bonds I made with the Acholi people / children was extremely emotional when it was time to say goodbye. Overall this trip has been a once in a lifetime adventure which I encourage more people to do.

Danushka Dooraree
What this week meant to me…
Nothing anyone had said to us prior to this week could have prepared us for the magic that occurred here. This week allowed us to lower the shields of which we were raised with and experience the culture of others. At times it was quite hard hitting but we learnt to see through a different pair of eyes. During this week my perspective has changed. All the experiences we have had have fueled a new perspective that I feel has, and will continue to, make me a better person. This week has only been a spark; a big spark that I believe will cause everyone on this trip to make a fire in their own ways. Personally, I have been evaluating how I can change my ways to help and I can wait to put my plans in action. I have realized from John, that you do not need to fly out somewhere to help when there is so much to be done in our own home towns- that is something I will remember when I’m complaining about the heating or food while there’s a homeless shelter 10 minutes away from me. I could not be more grateful for being given this opportunity because it has made the biggest impact on me and I’m sure the whole group. I would recommend everyone with the opportunity to do something like this to go for it because the outcome is astonishing.

Jamie Morland
What this week meant to me…
This week has meant everything to me. We raised so much money towards it and it was really worth it; physically and emotionally. The trip has made me a better person in realizing there are more important things in life then technology and money, and that being happy is most important. I feel like I was able to bring happiness to these kids, which made us all smile to see them enjoy the simplest things. It made it very difficult to say goodbye. This trip enabled me to see things that a lot of people haven’t which I’m very grateful about. I can’t express properly, in words, how much this trip has meant to me; that’s how much it means.

Chaila Latham
What this week meant to me…
There are no words in the dictionary to explain how much this meant and how it has affected my life (for the better of course). When I first found out of my acceptance onto the once-in-a-lifetime trip, I never knew it would be as powerful and moving as it was for me personally. My first impressions of the Acholi Quarters themselves were complete shock as seeing the conditions of the community suddenly became so real and I immediately regretted every time I’d taken something for granted or wasted money on things I don’t need when there were human beings – who have exactly the same rights as me – who are living in houses made of mud which is the same size as my bathroom. Also, the fact they were still so forgiving and humble towards people who had chased them from their homes and slaughtered their loved ones. It really hit home.

This trip to Uganda has taught me too much to list. Though I will try my best to name a few. It had showed me how often money is wasted on a daily basis and the other causes it could be put towards that would not just help someone, but significantly save someone’s life. A woman who kindly let us visit her home informed us it would cost her just £10 to be able to revisit her home town. I would spend this money on a top or chocolate. Another useful lesson is that you don’t always have to do a big sweeping gesture to be able to make a difference. Just learning a child’s name or helping them choose the right coloured pencil make them feel valued and respected, which are things they rarely receive. Honestly, it had taught me so much and I will never forget the experience. I only hope the trips will carry on being organized so others can feel the feelings I have and see the things – horrific and heartwarming - happening and make the differences that need to be made.

Millie Cronin
What this week meant to me… This week is indescribable. I cant put into words how much this 10-day trip can change my life. The welcome we received every time we drove up the hill to the Acholi children is breath taking, they ran, they shouted, and screamed with excitement just for us to teach them subjects that most people don’t like. These children have little to nothing but they smile more than I have ever seen anyone smile. The constant emotions change your whole perspective of life and make you appreciate every little thing we have.  This trip has made me realize all the things I didn’t think about and just took for granted but now all of that has changed. I look around and realize how fortunate I am to have everything I do. I now look at life, education and relationships between others in a total different way. Thank you for helping me change my life.

Bethany Loversidge
What this week meant to me… It was not just this week that has had a huge impact to my life, but the past year of fundraising, organizing and preparing for the past week as a whole has helped me. Many people kept asking me if I was nervous to come on this trip and I would reply saying “a little” but really I’d say I was more like petrified. I am a very quiet person and as time was getting closer I was starting to wonder why I had put myself forward to do something that requires so much confidence, especially when I was not close with anyone and the majority of the other team members are the complete opposite to me, but I have made friends with people that I would never picture myself being with and I am very grateful that this trip ‘forced’ me to make new friends and to mix with other people. I have also realized that you don’t need to be confident enough to shout at the top of your lungs in front of a group of children, but confident enough in the ideas that you have and sharing them with others so that they can support you. Connie has said to me several times that me and her worked so well together because of our different personalities, so I feel that firstly this week has made me believe in myself more.
In terms of what the Ugandan culture has taught me, I have learnt about how much pain and trauma that the Acholi people had been through and how blind we all were to it. It confuses me how people can forgive the rebels for the indescribable things that they did to their family yet back at home we are all guilty of holding grudges against people for the silliest of things. My brothers and I have a fairly good relationship but we do argue from time to time over silly things and seeing so many of the young children below the age of looking after and caring for their baby siblings has made me respect my younger brothers even more. In terms of school, I have been wishing that this year would hurry up so that I could leave but I now think that I will put all my effort into the last few months that I have left and make every moment count because I know that there are people in the world who would give everything just to have an education. The happiness and smiles between the children when they were learning or even just when they were given a pencil will always be in my mind.

Connie Houston
What this week meant to me… This week has shown me how much we take for granted.  It has shown me that the children in Uganda appreciated us coming so much because we gave them something that they’ve always wanted but never could have.  Education is something that is so important, I think everyone needs to think about where they would be without it.  I feel that more people should be doing what I have done so they can understand for themselves what it is really like in other parts of the world that aren’t as developed. Uganda is such a beautiful country and the people that live there are full of so much hope, it’s unbelievable. This trip is going to make a huge impact on my life, such as school and family. School can be so boring and sometimes I say that the school I go to is rubbish, but now I realize I am actually lucky enough to have a school to go to. On out last day of teaching a young girl brought her little brother to the lesson because her mum was working, she missed out on playing many activities because she wanted to stay with him and look after him, that just shows how just because they don’t have much money they will do anything to look after their family.
This trip has been unforgettable and one of the best experiences of my life.

If the above words prompt you to make a donation to support the work of the Acholi community, please go to .
All the money raised will go to the education support fund which helps the Acholi children who are currently too poor to go to school.

Thank you, and happy reunions!


amanda said...

I am so glad you have all had an amazing time.Katy I am so proud of you .Have a super birthday and a safe journey home love Mum x

Helen Edwards said...

Hi Jo and Boo. What moving testimonies by all the team. I cried! Have a safe journey home, proud of you, love you and miss you.xxxxxx

Unknown said...

You are all so eloquent. Thank you for your summaries of the week, it really helps me to picture and experience it with you a little! JimJam -words fail me too sweetie, with what you have achieved. Have a safe journey home all. I am fully loaded with hugs ready for tomorrow Love you x

Unknown said...

Very moving to read all your experiences. You have all been amazing. Well done team! Connie, can't wait to see you tomorrow. Get some sleep on the plane please!! Love you xxx

Unknown said...

It's crazy Niamh, to think you've been gone for 10 days in that amazing distant land. The daily blog and images have given us a glimpse into the world you've been experiencing. This emotional, rewarding and thought provoking experience will stay with you all your life. We are so proud of you Niamh and can't wait to see you tomorrow. Hoping you and all the team have a safe trip home. Love ya x

Unknown said...

It has been very moving reading your experiences. Well done to you all and have a safe journey home. Love you Temisis xxxx
Mum , dad, John and Master Frodo!

Unknown said...

Hello Danushka. Cannot wait for you to come home now. Have a safe journey gorgeous. Love you

Hope you all have a safe journey home

Unknown said...

Hi Dee, i was great taking to you today on facetime. Missing you loads and looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. I so pleased you all had an amazing time and the experiences you have had. Love you loads, dad, mum and fran. Xxxx

Kerry Simmons said...

Wow what amazing blogs from you all !! So excited to hear all your stories about this amazing adventure! Can't wait to see you tomorrow Els and hear about what you've been up to and the new friends you have made ! Safe flight and we love you lots xxxx mum xx

Sarah Siggs said...

Your words are some of the most inspiring I have ever read. You have all written from your hearts and it has filled mine! Thank you. You are a great team for sure. Love to you all and a huge hug to Jack. See you soon. Hooray!

Unknown said...

So proud of yourself. Your words have really touched me. I can't wait to see you Millie, you have always been a very special and kind person and am so glad you have got out as much as you have from the trip. Love you. Safe journey home. Thank you too all that have supported you. Xx

Becca and Tim said...

So good to hear all your thoughts. What a life changing time. Not long now Pops can't wait to see you .. Safe travels xxxx

Unknown said...

Beth it was lovely reading your beautiful words about your experience, I really am so proud of you and you should be SO proud of yourself.
Love You Loads, can't wait to see you tomorrow, safe journey.
Take Care, Love Ya, Love Dad. xXx

Alf and Joe send their love, they can't wait to see you. xx

Great write ups from everyone, sounds like you have all made an amazing difference out there, Well done all, be proud. x

louise amies said...

Hi Beth
Cant wait to see u tomorrow and hug u tight I must remember my tissues lol!!
Ur write up was beautify written and i cant wait to hear and see u photos.
Hope u have a good flight home
Stay safe love u lots mum xx

Safe flight home everyone xx

Unknown said...

Word can't describe how proud of you I am! You've worked so hard this past year and you've done so well, and I am very happy and proud to call you my girlfriend. Have a safe flight and I'll see you at school tomorrow
Lots of love
Jack xxxx