It was a slightly shorter working week for us than usual as we decided to try and see some more of Uganda before we leave so booked a safari to Murchison Falls for the weekend. We left Thursday afternoon and got back last night hence the delay in this weeks blog. It really was an amazing weekend and so relaxing! I hadn’t expected us to see so many animals and was particularly excited to see a lioness and her cub as well as giraffes, elephants, hippos and lots, lots more. The safari also included a boat trip to the falls which were so powerful and awe inspiring. Our evenings were spent sitting around a fire at the campsite enjoying fabulous food, so we’re now nicely refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
(One of the many giraffes we saw)
But back to our week at work. On Monday Mike had an important meeting with CRO (Child Restoration Outreach) to discuss the partnering of our two organisations. A number of conditions of the partnership were agreed in principle including that if CRO fails to resettle a child they will be referred to SALVE for help and CRO will partner with SALVE in community education and raising public awareness of street children. the meeting also led to a decision being made about the street clinics. It is felt that by conducting the street clinics we are obstructing CRO’s work in Jinja, therefore to avoid any future problems with our partnership the street clinics and workshops will cease until we are a registered CBO (Community Based Organisation). But this is for SALVE’s benefit as much as it is for the benefit of the relationship with CRO. Of course we are disappointed by this news but we know it won’t be for long and we will still try and maintain the close relationship we have built up with many of the street children since we have been here.
On Tuesday we had a team meeting to discuss this and other issues and it was agreed that it was best if Stephen explained the situation to the street children we have been working with as simply as possible so they understand that we have not forgotten them in any way and will direct them to CRO for any help they need. We also used the meeting to agree what we will be doing as a team in the coming weeks without the street clinics. We will be focusing our time at the SALVE house spending it with the children who all returned home from school on Friday. We plan to organise games and arts and crafts activities to keep them occupied and help them if they need it with their letters to their sponsors as well as their responses to a class of primary school children from England who have kindly written letters to all of the SALVE children. In addition to this we will be writing our proposal for the community education programme using the research we have been and are still carrying out in the local communities. Plans were also made for our big SALVE day out to the Kingfisher Resort this coming Thursday, which Alice will tell you all about this weekend, we’re all very excited about going.
(Richard and Sparky)
We carried on with the community education research on Wednesday by visiting a close friend of Mike’s who is a Pastor in Wairaka and who very kindly invited us into his home so we could ask him our research questions. It was extremley an extremley useful meeting and very enlightening, especially as he told us some quite distressing stories about the lengths people have been forced to go to because of poverty in his community. We spent the rest of the day at the SALVE house which was lovely, Rubina and Harriet prepared a delicious lunch and we chatted with Hassan, Moreen, Richard and Ronald. Hassan opened up to us a lot and told us all about his life before coming to SALVE, it was a very moving story and we’re so glad that he is now safe and living with us. We also met the new addition to the SALVE family, Sparky the dog, who is very cute and lively and Richard has taken a great liking too, they’re practically inseprable. It was a great afternoon and we’re looking forward to more like that now that all the children our back home! We finished our week by writing up our research before heading off to Kampala for our trip, so there you have it another week in Uganda, thanks for reading.
(Richard, Karin, Moreen and Harriet)
Lots of love
Esther and Alice x