Saturday, 9 June 2012

Goodbye to the village...

Can you imagine that as I am typing this we are having one week remaining in Butagaya?! Because I definitely can't! Its a little scary and sad all rolled into one because I can't think where the time has gone and I am most certainly going to miss all the friends I've made. Looking back on our time here however, not only can I see the physical changes in the landscape as a result of the rainy season (ie a lot more green and maize is growing everywhere!) I know that we have made a positive change in the community. Evidence of this is perhaps seen through two things this week. First thing - we formally registered a new youth group, specifically for disabled young people, with the local sub-county chief which will enable them to access government funds more easily and other practical support for their work in their particular village. We were very excited to have helped those guys acheive that, especially as we have seen them right from their formation. Now they have even received livestock training on how to maintain a piggery and have applied to our office for start up funds. Just a brief snapshot too of our work surrounding agriculture and livelihoods!
The highlight of this past week has also seen us hold a demonstration festival event for the whole community to showcase our work from the last five months. The event, held at our Secondary School, was really well attended by the community and most especially our local leaders and local government officials. This meant that they were not only able to see what we've done but could also recognize their responsibility to carry on the work and support our groups as we prepare to leave. We had presentations from all our school groups and out of school youth who brought role plays, songs, dancing, poems and demonstrations about many different themes; HIV/AIDS, Gender, rights for disabled people and sustainable organic farming techniques. It was such a fun day, if not a little hectic for us facilitators but we couldn't have expected a better event! 
So now, preparations for our departure begin, not only packing up but also saying our farewells to our friends - wish me luck as I know we are going to be busy right up until the very end but I am still very conscious to spend time with everyone before I go!! 
After leaving Butagaya, we all head back to Jinja town for a debrief at our office and then it really is goodbye to all our friends and then I am let loose on Uganda and the surrounding area for 6 weeks!! Not sure as yet of my plans, apart from a very much anticipated visit from Vickers junior, aka Alice, for a couple of weeks so if anyone else has a last minute summer holiday plan - make it for Uganda!!! Thanks everyone for your continued support and see you in a couple of months!