Saturday, 12 May 2012

Just a brief check in...

Hi everyone! Greetings from Jinja town! This is just a quick update to all my lovely friends about life here in Uganda - which I might add is feeling increasingly like home!
After a fab break with Mum and Dad, I met up with all my fellow volunteers for a weeks worth of top up training before heading back on placement. It was great to see everyone again and find out how they were doing in their respective villages, and also somehow a comfort that the challenges we were facing were also being faced by others - so we really weren't alone and we are doing a good job!!!!
So since we've back in Butagaya we have been working closely with our youth groups to try and draw alongside them and support them in not only issues of sexual and reproductive health but also with their income generating activities. One of our groups wants to build their poultry keeping - of which they have 20 chicks! We have also recently set up a drop in centre for the young people of our area in the village trading centre where we are hoping young people will feel free to come and talk to us, receive advice and support, and also interact with one another. So the next couple of weeks will see us really promoting it and trying to get some regular times when we can be there to hang out with the youth!! We have also recently facilitated a community dialogue on domestic and gender based violence - an issue that is rife not only in our sub county but across the whole of Uganda. This was a real success and both the women and men who attended were really bold at vocalizing their issues, although it was only a small step to tackling a large and very much culturally related problem, I hope we at least encouraged a heightened sense of communication and compromise between couples - as that was our aim.
In the coming two weeks, before our next reporting day at the office, the schools are coming back to term after the holidays so we will be back working with our classes and the school clubs. I am very excited about seeing my secondary school pupils again - I really love drawing alongside them and they ask great questions - as well as us being able to have a bit of a laugh and have fun- after all, we are not their normal teachers but more like their peers! We also plan, in our partnership with the local health centre, to take a health talk on HIV to a local community slightly deeper in the rural areas, an area as well we know has a lot of people living with disabilities (more on that in my next blog I think!!). Looking forward, please pray for a successful final six weeks (can you believe it?!) in placement, and especially that we can achieve everything we set out to do as well as leaving a lasting impression in our community - that the community themselves can really grab hold of and move further when we are gone.