#MatchitMay

We all have things we like to spend money on, which isn't a bad thing. I more than anyone, enjoy buying ice cream, new books and flights to exciting new places, for new experiences, learning something different and even sometimes, just for the pure pleasure of that ice cream hitting my taste buds. 

We are here to enjoy what life has for us. 

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There are times though, when I would think about others who live in poverty, should I really be spending the money I have on a new bike, pair of shoes or even a chocolate bar?

I remember clearly being in this dilemma, even before going to Uganda for the first time, and wondering what should I do? I 'lived off the land' for 9 months, although those who genuinely do this would call me a fraud. I did quite well though, mostly only eating things that were grown from the ground; potatoes, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and I could only eat meat when I knew which local farm it came from. The only sweet thing I ate was honey. I had honey on everything. 

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I also tried other things like giving up plastic and only buying necessities (and I mean necessities) all of which helped remind me of the situations of people living in poverty all around the world but I still felt something was missing. I missed the occasional cake, sharing home brewed cider with friends or even going to see a band play. I was missing out on some parts of what makes life good.

I wanted a way of enjoying the life I have, whilst at the same time remembering and even benefiting those who live in poverty. So instead of giving up good things, for a month in 2010 I matched the money I spent on alcohol and donated it to charity. 

We are now asking if you would like to join us for #MatchitMay? Matching money in May to help support families in Uganda out of poverty?

Watch the video below, choose an item and then let us know what you will be matching on either our Facebook Page, Twitter or by commenting on this blog below...

Girls attending Vocational School

These two girls are now attending a vocational school in Kampala thanks to a couple of recent sponsors.

For one reason or another, both these girls have not been able to get the education that many of their peers have received. They have fallen behind but desperately want to receive an education to better their chances of earning a living, providing a sustainable income for themselves and their families.

Because of their age (15 & 18), they have opted to go to a vocational school, rather than sitting classes with pupils much younger than themselves. They both have chosen hairdressing as the skill they will focus on during the two years their course last for, after that they will be prepared to either start up a small business of their own or join a number of businesses around Kampala.

We are so thankful for your support and can't wait to see how these girls develop now that they are back in education.

Video: Walking to school

In October 2013 I woke up early to walk with some of the children we sponsor to school. We pretty much walked on the curb for about half a mile. Such fun. 

The boy is telling his younger cousin to move/walk quicker.

If you would like to find out about sponsoring a child before the new school term starts on the 2nd of February then click on the Sponsor a Child page.

Day 5 - CLC Dance off

Every 3 months, Crane Network get all the Creative Learning Centres together, to showcase their talents in different areas; last time it was sports, this time it was dance and song. Each CLC had to prepare 4 performances, a song, dance, skit and poem, with the over arching theme being, 'children's rights to education'.

We work with the families of these girls, providing the girls further education once they have left the CLC, as well as supporting the parents/carers towards earning a sustainable income. 

These girls had been practicing, in between their studies, for a month before the event, so it was great to see their final performances on the day. There were a team of judges watching and scoring every performance, with prizes available for the top three schools. The girls were so pleased that their hard work had paid off, finishing the competition in 2nd place. 

If you feel like you are able to sponsor one of the girls into school then please fill out the form below, or for more information you can go to our sponsor a child page.

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Day 4 - Staff training

Today was a day of staff training, catching the team up on our broader vision and working out how we can practically fulfill that vision from day to day in Uganda.

Of course we had lots of food and laughter, getting to know each other a little bit more, especially as Megan and I had only met 4 of our staff members for the first time this visit.

It is investing in days like these that a team can really unify as we aim to be a solid support for the families we work with in Uganda.

Day 3 - Painting

This morning we spent time with the children. After some written work, the children were given snacks (breakfast for the majority), today they had an egg and porridge. We played singing games outside to release some built up energy. All the children painted, the newer children had never done this before and they all did surprising well.  

 

Day 2 - Play, Rain & Soap

It was so fun to meet the new children in our catch up classes. There are only a couple remaining from when we were here last because all the previous children have been sponsored into a school in the city. The sponsored children have a inset day tomorrow so we will get to see them all for the first time this visit. Because they are normally at school during the day, we don't get to see them easily, just evenings and weekends. 

We had fun playing and getting to know the children; fun and laughter translate in any language. 

Megan and I are here to do some 'proper' work too, reviewing our programs efficiency. Megan is reviewing the success of the loans we have given out to different individuals. Whilst we are looking at the papers, one of the mums has come into the Livelihoods building to make liquid soap to sell. Maureen, the Livelihoods Officer, talked us through how to make the soap... a lot is involved; mix the right ingredients and quantities together before mixing the liquid every few hours for 24 hours, you can then add the scent you want, bottle it up and it is then ready to sell.

We were just about to leave the slum, when the famous Ugandan rain began to pour.