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Monday, 18 April 2016

From Milford to Uganda

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Sue Forward, a resident of Milford on Sea and her granddaughter Ellie (Aged 17), recently visited the Ray of Hope School and the slum community of Namuwongo, Kampala, Uganda.

Friends of Ray of Hope is a small Milford on Sea Charity which supports Ugandan children.

Enjoy reading about this visit in Ellie's own word: -

My Gran, Sue Forward, and I left the small sleepy seaside village of Milford-on-Sea, temperature of four degrees. We stepped outside Entebbe airport, 12 hours later, temperature of 35 degrees!! The humidity, the smells, the madness of traffic and motorbikes – there were so many people!! So many stalls along the side of the road with people trying to sell items to get money to pay their rent.

Matthew and Nicola were there to meet us and we went by taxi to meet Emily, the director of Ray of Hope, and her family. Their home was very simple and we were made to feel so welcome – her husband Richard had been given a large rocking horse from his son-in-law and he was very proud of this. From there we walked down into the slum community – so many children everywhere! We were heading for the church which was a shack type “thing” with a metal roof. We were surrounded by really happy people who then greeted us. People really welcomed us, introduced themselves and were really happy to see us. It made me feel I was already part of the community. The heat inside the shack was overwhelming after a long flight and no sleep but the service was very lively, with loud music and everyone was very energetic – singing, dancing and Praising God. All the children did their dances and singing, even the Pastor danced and got “stuck in” giving thanks and praise.

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The next day we were introduced to all the teachers and the social workers at the Ray of Hope school – they were so happy to see us!! Some of the ladies were there making bags to sell. Some children were there and they loved to have their photo taken and liked being read to. The shack where we bought food – beans and like a maize because rice is too expensive – to take to the families in the slum community was very small and I realised how much I took for granted. Giving the children one small toy made them happy. The homes we visited were very very cramped - new born babies were just lying on the stone floor – we took blankets the next day. When the rain comes these homes flood. We prayed for the families and everyone clapped. Emily came with us and spoke, usually to the Mum, to find out what she and her family needed most. This was sometimes a bag of charcoal or potatoes to sell to get money for rent or maybe to pay the rent for a month. There were sometimes 6/7 people sleeping and living in the shacks and it was so hot.

I hadn’t known what to expect but I will continue now to support Ray of Hope in any way I can. And I have learnt so much. All the money that is raised through Ray of Hope Friends goes directly to the school and the children – Steve and Liz Jennings were amazing to start this charity. I would like always to make a difference – the people I met have made a difference to me forever."

Steve Jennings
Founder of Friends of Ray of Hope
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Friends of Ray of Hope
A Milford on Sea Charity which supports Ugandan children

*If you would like to support this small charity run by local people, you can do so by donating on the website above.

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