10 Jul Working Together with Kids Club Kampala
Written by Adam Darrell, 2014 East Africa Discovery Program Leader.
Photos by Adam Darrell and Linda Ozromano.
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks with our East Africa Discovery team and our final service project with Kids Club Kampala was no exception!
Kids Club was established in 2009 with a vision to bring hope and love to vulnerable children, and in doing so, seeing their lives changed for the better. Since then, the organization has seen rapid growth, from working in two communities with around 100 children to working in 17 communities reaching over 4000 children in Uganda every day.
The Operation Groundswell team arrived to a most hospitable welcome at the Kids Club guest house and we quickly discovered an absolute gem of a host in Samuel, the Kids Club Director, and a wonderfully kind housekeeper, Beatrice, who cooked up the best food of the trip so far. It’s just a shame we couldn’t take her with us, not for lack of trying!
The first day was spent visiting some of the projects Kids Club have underway, including a women’s initiative and a community development scheme that aims to empower local villagers by providing a sustainable source of income through mushroom growing, cow rearing, pig rearing and poultry projects. Kids Club provides the start-up capital and training to run these projects and their success was clear to see.
Our main goal for the week, however, was further afield where we would help contribute to the ongoing construction of a shelter for abandoned children, called the Ewafe Project. The Ewafe Project, meaning ‘where we belong’ in Luganda aims to tackle both the symptoms and causes of child abandonment. This centre has been set up some distance from the city in a rural village called Busika. It was here that the OG spent 3 days painting and plastering the main dormitory buildings and 2 nights camping.
The team got to work quickly and efficiently and within 3 days, the rooms were looking great with a coat of baby blue paint in the dormitories and the doors and windows painted with a grey matte finish, inside and out. The evenings were spent telling stories around the campfire and befriending some of the Kids Club volunteers that had come with us. Drumming and singing continued on well into the night and we all slept peacefully.
Although still not fully complete, it is great that our early summer group could come to see and contribute to the development of the Ewafe Project and the continued growth of Kids Club, who are doing such great work in vulnerable communities.
We will keep you updated on the Ewafe Project and soon it will be ready for children to move into as they seek foster families to care for them and school sponsorship. Our late summer group will return to this beautiful spot and help make that vision a reality alongside Kids Club volunteers and everyone else who has contributed and made donations to this wonderful and deeply important project.
But our adventure here didn’t just end there! On our return to Kampala, there was one more treat left in store for us – The Kids Club Music Night! This was an evening of song, dance, drama and fashion! It was so great to see so many of the kids we had visited at centres earlier in the week performin. It was a great way for these children to interact with music, dance, and make friends.
We would like to thank Samuel, Anthony, Beatrice, Bernard, Susan, Nicholas and the rest of the Kids Club staff and volunteers who made our stay not only comfortable, but interesting, enjoyable, and insightful. It was a truly valuable experience for all of us!
2014 East Africa Discovery