Just before the COVID virus broke in the UK, a team of 7 Rotarians plus their friends spent a February fortnight in a remote Ugandan village helping the residents with educational equipment, training and infrastructure.
On Tuesday 9th June James Thomas, of Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr Rotary spoke (via Zoom) to 14 members of Llandudno Rotary about his experiences as a member of this team.
The main project was to build a new mission house for 10-19 year old boys to move into. Work also included fixing boreholes, purchasing a cow, adding guttering and repairing the floors to the school and supplying feminine products to students.
Most of the work was with Primary School children but James also found himself teaching Maths and IT to the Secondary School.
James conveyed to members that the abiding – and humbling – impression gained was that however modest and rudimentary the help was that was being offered, it was diligently and enthusiastically seized on by the young people involved.
The education was mutual. All members of the team came away from Africa determined to return one day, (for several it was their third or fourth visit) and in thrall to the African state of mind that is able to find contentment and even happiness in adversity that most of us in the developed world would find cause for despair.
James Thomas (l) with some of the lively residents of the Kamuzinda childrens village, Uganda