In February 2023, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Uganda with Edukid. Edukid has been a charity that I have heard about throughout my life and a charity that I have always been interested in, and when the opportunity came along that provided me with the chance to see the work that Edukid do in the flesh, I couldn’t say no. It’s an experience that I will never forget and one that I have struggled to put down in words. But here is my attempt at describing and explaining three of the most impactful experiences.
One of the primary schools we went to in Gulu, called Koch Goma. Had worked with Edukid and the local community to build themselves a Girl’s dormitory, where the girl’s could stay during their time in education. As it is unsafe for them to walk to school and as a result of this the girls where having to sleep in the classrooms in order to make sure they can stay in education. The use of the dormitory that has been built is vital in ensuring that the girls facing these issues are able to stay in education and this ensures that there is fair accessible education for everyone. It was lovely to have the chance to talk to the girls who stayed in the dormitory as they explained from personal stories how the dormitory had positively benefitted them and how it enabled them to stay in education.
Furthermore, at Koch Goma we also had the opportunity to do activities with the SEND children (special educational needs and diverse abilities). This was a lovely opportunity as it was a 1:1 situation which allowed me to adapt my activities to the needs of the children and allowed me to get to know the children I was with. It showed how the work of Edukid has benefitted SEND children that would otherwise have not had the opportunity to go to school. Children with SEND are often subjected to discrimination as culturally there are many misconceptions surrounding disabilities. There are also little resources and teacher training available to properly support children with SEND in schools. I have seen first hand how Edukid are working hard to ensure that children with SEND have the same opportunity to attend school as any other child, and that they have access to a high-quality education.
Another experience that impacted me was the home visit, this was where we visited a family in their banda. It highlighted how some people don’t even have the bare necessities that are required in life and showed the struggles of daily life as a consequence of not having basic items. As a result of this, we responded to the visit by going down to the local market in Gulu and buying supplies and necessities that the family required in the short term. We bought items such as mattresses and pillows, cooking utensils and pans, clothes for each member of the family, mosquito nets, a solar light and jerry cans. The pure excitement and joy on the faces of the family just showed how appreciative they were to have items that most people take for granted and items that should be the bare minimum. We then addressed the long term need and managed to find sustainable support for all of the children in the family to go to school, as well as obtaining 1 acre of land for the family to farm and begin their own business- through this the family have the ability to become self-sufficient.
Overall, this trip has been an amazing experience that I will never forget and one that has impacted me, making it very difficult to put down in words. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit any of Edukid’s projects to go, as it’s an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. It presented to me how resilient and hopeful people can be in situations that shouldn’t exist, and showed me how much support Edukid has but also how far there is left to go before there can be equal opportunities for everyone.
Pictured above is activities with the SEND children at Koch Goma Primary School.