Wednesday, 11 January 2012

THE 2011 YEAR IN PAPERS - The Greatest Giving Season Ever

So, another season’s over and it’s time to share what we've seen and experienced. Whether it’s been a glorious success, dire disaster or, as is more often the case, something in between, everyone always has an important goal to accomplish each year.

The things that happen
It’s seldom difficult to think of things to say when things have gone well but a poor year or a season of dreadful results,  can make it difficult not to sound hideously defeatist or depressed! Whatever sort of year everyone have just had, i'm so sure this year greater things will happen :)

Here at Mzungu Volunteers we can't say how much thankful we are for how interesting 2011 it’s been! When I stood here twelve months ago, I would never have thought that we’d reach this far. We’ve had a phenomenal season but we’ve also had a few anxious moments too – notably when our end of year safari ended with a few (not so serious) injuries to the heart and body but things happen and we all are still alive!

Review of the 2011 year!
Because of you, this giving season, we’ve been able to spend and donate USD$50,000 in funds and in-kind on improving the lives of a thousand people around Uganda. We want to take pause to say thank you as a team, Mzungu Volunteers has grown and was able to host over 185 volunteers and increased support this past year and we couldn't have done it without your support.

From the volunteer experiences earlier in the year, Mzungu developed a new focus which pointed to education and Sustainable developmen. Our recent re-launch that includes extreme and amazing excursions to Uganda’s most highlighted adventure destinations encourages people to travel in a responsible way. This enables the volunteer to have fun and be part of the Ugandan community and make a difference to others. 

Projects developed and exist to date

- In Kampala the CHILDCARE PROJECT, cares for 11 orphaned children aged 5yrs to 13yrs.
This project was established in late May 2011 and is located in the compound of a community run school with 150 pupils. Volunteers help teach and and take care of these children. In the evenings local's appear at the orphanage to play together.  This then brings more fun to everyone and help's strengthen the community. Volunteers have a greater experience where they get to talk to the youngsters directly and learn their stories and share feelings.

- In Jinja we have the  EDUCATION CENTER, this  is a project existing with challenges where we are working to upgrade the study environment because the current are wooden buildings but still this is a great experience, volunteers live just like the villagers. They experience a real village life experience , teach English, Life skills and other subjects to the kids

from the community. About 30 - 50kids from 5yrs to 15yrs come to the center. Volunteers also have the opportunity to work with the villagers in their farming activities like  planting and harvesting of corn, potatoes, cassava and beans so they can learn how farming works here in Uganda. Jinja is known for producing most of the food used in Kampala and other cities around Kampala.

- In Kabale we have the COMMUNITY PROJECT, defining the word community is working with the locals on core projects that involve alot of hard work and time. This community is about 7 hills up as Kabale is known for it’s amazing hills and views,  volunteers must be willing and ready to take up the hike when going there . This project is very special and its people too! You see many things and experience an extremely challenging lifestyle. Volunteers work on construction projects and renovation of existing homes that can last for longer period, there are many projects here proposed that’s why we need volunteers to raise separate funds that are used to buy materials to do the work and materials are purchased with the volunteers to ensure that their funds are being used in the rightful way.

Looking Towards 2012!........
Our development and work demonstrated a charity to count on by the communities and local government in the rural villages of Uganda– particularly as their confidence grew – and by the end of the season, it began to look as if we have been in Uganda all our lives.

Although we have done fantastically well it’s important to remember that we’ve learnt some valuable lessons. One of the great things about working with us is that there’s always room for improvement, we can all work on doing something just a little better. When everyone does that, the results can be amazing – and if there’s one thing I know about each and every one of you, it’s that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t give all their time and energy for Mzungu Volunteers.
Thank you and our conclusion
I couldn’t possibly end without saying “thank you” to all our volunteers and to the team who make such a great job to keep us helping the people of Uganda! We really do appreciate all that you do for us – and we couldn’t do without you. I also want to say “thanks” to all of the people of Luteete, Lwanda, Katungu and other villages for turning up and working together with our volunteers.

There’s an old saying that “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – and it’s an honour and a privilege to be working with people of with the same spirit.

From the President, Kennedy
Edited by Carole Turner , Volunteer Manager
and the Mzungu Team. Uganda

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