Want to know the experiences of the Mentors who Visited Uganda in August -September 2012?
What does it feel to get to know something you have never known, and too much of it? This is an account for the Mentors’ visit with our project, Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) (August – September, 2012).
Visiting Africa for the very first time, Jana, Jens, Olivia (also known as Liv) and Sarah, 2 from Germany, Australia and Austria respectively, were blown away by the kind of welcome they received from our community (see the attached photos).
The parents of the 40 mentees have been eagerly waiting since June to welcome these four mentees since they first heard that they were coming. Both the parents and the mentees, together with the community children, lined up with flowers for at least 350 meters (383 yards) along both sides of the road, singing, drumming and dancing as the car that brought the mentors was being driven to our home (the project base in Tororo.). That was not the end, upon leaving the car, each of them was carried and sung to for about 7 minutes until they reached the meeting venue (the girl mentors by the women and Jens by the men).
All through their 2 weeks’ stay in the rural community of Amor Village, Kisoko subcounty of Tororo district, the mentors ate the local organic foods(from the garden to the pan). Their diet included rice, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, chapatti, beans, cabbages, and various fruits. They observed the community members and their daily routines, and helped with the gardening. While there, the mentors planted Avocado and Pawpaw fruit trees, Jana, Jens and Sarah planted 2 each; Liv planted 20. The mentors also interviewed 60 out of 719 girls applying for mentorship in 2013/2014, and selected 20 underprivileged girls who have demonstrated sound academic ability.
Here are a few of their thoughts:
“This has been the best experience in my entire life, everything is new and it will take me forever to digest everything I have learned from this community, from Uganda and from Africa.” Jens (Germany).
"We lack this type of community back home. Africa you are so lucky living as a community."said Jana (Germany).
"I will never forget this experience."said Sarah (Austria).
"To me this has been a life changing experience. I had never experienced any of the things I am experiencing here. I will forever remember this most wonderful experience in my life.” Liv (Australia). Liv spent the longest time in Africa, 4 weeks and 5 days, leaving the country on Wednesday this week.
Many times people donate their monies to charities but never really have a clear picture of what their money does. With RCGM Uganda project and Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (the mother organization), donors are encouraged to come to Uganda to see for themselves how their funding is used. You can visit with the mentees and their families, and participate in life in their communities. If you are unable to physically come to Uganda, you still have the opportunity to follow up through photos, letters (from the beneficiaries), or SKYPE.
Those who get involved with RGCM accept a personal challenge – to do more than just write a check. In addition to funding their mentee’s education, they also correspond with them, provide mental and emotional support, and share their wisdom. The act of educating and empowering a less privileged girl who could otherwise never have finished school, and seeing a handful of these girls go forth to transform their community, country, Africa and the whole world…. is something to be very proud about.
As the Founder of Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project, I have empathy for the less previledged girls. Ten years ago, I had little hope of attaining an education or acquiring a decent job. After staying home for two years due to a lack of school fees, I was extremely fortunate to find a mentor in the United States. Together with her family, they helped me finish my high school education and continued to support me in many ways while I pursued my dream of a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Now that I have graduated, I have a good job and am able to support my mother and my 17 nieces and nephews. I am also able to assist my community.
For details on how and why mentor a girl can, please follow this link; http://www.worldpulse.com/node/48236
Please feel free to read short essays about our current mentees about their life before they got the mentorship opportunity and how they’ve overcome roadblocks thus far, identified their dreams and goals, accessible at: http://worldpulse.com/node/48232
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Thank you for choosing to make a lasting SOUND impact in a girl's life through this project.