Having had some time now to step back from things and view my trip holistically, I couldn’t help but put this list together, of what I believed Children’s HopeChest was doing right in Uganda. At least for them, it isn’t just about orphan sponsorship, it’s so much more, it’s about relationship.
While we were there, we met with a number of different people in the community and I could see now, what each of those meetings meant:
1) integration of leadership through meetings with subcounty officials
2) integration of schools through meeting with the headmaster and teachers of Adacar Primary School
3) integration with the local churches–the backbone of that small community
4) integration with the community as a whole through a meet and greet session (with a translator) and later a community feast
More than providing support for these children, through our meetings, we were engaging this community, a community that has been devastated by a number of tragedies, and only recently out of their IDP (internally displaced people) camps–still reeling from the effects of war and death. Children’s HopeChest’s goal, our goal as people on the ground, was to partner alongside them to meet the most pressing needs, by offering financial support, relationship and encouragement. Our hope, our prayer is, that we can help provide the help needed to bring up a generation of responsible, educated, well-equipped adults. As our trip leader, Melanie, put it, we create dependency in order to later create independence. Does that make sense?
It’s a long road, but I believe Adacar will get there.