Friday, 16 December 2011

Sharing our home - Connecting with the children of Luteete

I look around me and see their faces when they walk over every day, coming right at my door, from the neighborhood or the orphanage. It creates a strong feeling in me. In the last 3 years since I have been involved in helping children, I have never had enough time to spend with them. Although I have helped more than 50,000 kids in Uganda since 2008 with the support from local communities and volunteers from around the world, I have never had enough time to play and enjoy the company of the children. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to spend time with them. I mean I loved them and cared for them but switching time between my work and with them was kind of hard. 

Only a new home changed my whole life……
When I came to this new house in Luteete Kampala in 2010 something happened that changed all of this. A few kids from the neighborhood started appearing day by day to play, enjoying evenings together after their classes, and during the day. I wasn’t used to being around them but I got this feeling something was about change.

And this year everything did change. From the time I found the 11 orphans from a life of no-care to provide a life of the little possibilities I could afford for them, I felt like I was a father already J even though I have had no one else to call family. 

But of course I have a wonderful family made of volunteers who come and be part my story and the project. Having the kids in a home that is under my responsibility, I have had to learn how to act like a father, which has given me more to exposure to the kids so that I could get to know them and earn their smiles! I have learned from them, stood beside them, attracted them to our home as a safe place to learn and play and have been drawn to the almost 15 -20 kids who appear at the volunteer house everyday to spend more time with me.

Luteete, where it all changed…..
Hmm when you talk of this village, I will call as I see it. Luteete is locally known “Kumunana” and no one will believe you when you tell them about this village, because even though it is in Kampala and only 8 miles from the City Centre, this village is a peaceful place, green in nature and has its proud farmers with lots of fruits (Jack fruit, bananas, pineapples and more!).

 The people who never stop saying “hello” with big welcoming smiles and waving hands, even though they’ve only just met you or simply see you walking by their homes.

These kids need others…..
Behind every beautiful smile there is a sad one behind them. I’ve talked and visited many families who are struggling every day. The parents are desperately looking for work as their children are chased out of school all the time. 
Regardless of this, the children all want to learn and enjoy learning with others.  There is plenty of space around the volunteer house which is good because the classes take place at the orphanage at Mt. Zion School, only 8 mins walk away. So outside of school, they all can come here together to learn.
 All they want to do together is read, play, sing, dance and draw….. what more can we expect?

One home only can make their wish come true….

In the last months I tried to write about the need of renovating the orphanage where the 11 kids and those from the neighbourhood will spend their time playing, jumping and learning all together. 
Although there has not been enough response, the orphanage is crucial for not only the children but the whole village. 
Nothing that has made the whole village, communities and local government more proud of Mzungu Volunteers than having such a welcoming and friendly environment for the kids. We always need you and a little support to re-build their place.

Thank you very much,
Inspiration by the president.
And the Mzungu Team in Uganda.

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