Over the past two days, the whole AfriDACA team have attended home visits with various members of the Acholi community, with the help from a few acholi ladies that were able to translate. Each teaching group visited a different home, most of which consisted of only one room housing up to eight people. As you can imagine, this alone had a huge emotional effect on each team member. During the visits, we had an opportunity to ask questions and to find out the backstory of them finding refuge at Acholi.
The home Jodie’s triplet visited housed a grandmother her son and 4 great grandchildren whose mother died, as well as the grandmother caring for a young great grandchild whose mum works out of the Acholi community at a nearby hotel. She had lived in the same room for over 20 years and felt safe all that time however recently she has heard that investors are trying to buy the land that the Acholi community lives on and will demolish the community, leaving them to go back the north Uganda or seek housing somewhere else. This was really sad and I (Jodie) had a little cry on the way back to johns, this was surreal!
The home Drew’s triplet visited housed five people, a mother and her four children. It used to house seven, though due to work in the quarry, both the father and grandmother were crushed during an accident. Drew found it particularly traumatic how the children slept, as they had to sleep on top of one another on the floor. It was so overwhelming for Drew, and she struggles to put into words exactly how she feels.
The home I (Mackenzie) visited belonged to a woman named Helen, and housed her and her three children. Altogether she had 6 children but two left her to live in a village in North Uganda, and her eldest was killed in a road accident whilst fetching water. Helen originally moved to Acholi Quarters with her husband, who was later killed in the Rebel war. She tried before to leave Acholi Quarters but couldn’t find anywhere to work, as her education was interrupted by the Rebel war, so has found herself stuck there. I found it particularly hard to hear this story as she has suffered so much and it is hard for her to make money to feed her children, but it was also amazing, as she has many hopes for her future to move out of acholi and learn to farm, to sustain her family.
After our packed school day, we ran a free play session where we could interact and play with all of the Acholi children; this reinforced their obsession to learn anything and everything they could from the Muzungu’s . The session was filled with games, such as football and netball, which was particularly enjoyed by Gloria one of the translators who loves netball, and almost had Danny passing out (look like he needs a heavy gym session).
A group of girls found us (Jodie and Drew) and all they wanted to do was sing and dance they even taught the ‘Jason derulo- wiggle’ which we love, as well as traditional African songs that all could pick up and join in easily.
We are all looking forwards to the meal tomorrow with some of the Acholi ladies as a celebration of the week. But tomorrow will also be a sad day for all as we have to say goodbye to all of the children we are teaching, and have come to care for very much.
Love and missing you all,
P.S can’t wait for all of your comments.