Written by UUA International Resources Director Rev. Eric Cherry.
The JustJourney to Uganda ended on November 16 after two days of delightful hospitality with the Unitarian Universalists of Uganda. On Sunday we arrived in Kampala in time to attend a special worship service at the New Life Church, led by Rev. Mark Kiyimba. The service was extraordinarily welcoming, inspirational, and lively. Our group presented the congregation with a chalice from the United States, and appreciated the warm welcome we received from the congregation. During the service, Rev. Mark described the work of the UUSC's partner - Caritas - in Northern Uganda, and how important those efforts and BGLT work are for Unitarian Universalists.
On Monday morning, we drove down to Masaka district where the New Life School and Orphanage are. Along the way, we stopped at the equator and saw the Coriolis Effect demonstration, which was really neat.
The welcome we received at the New Life School was pretty incredible, and the continuing growth of the school was amazing to see. The presentations that the children made for their parents and us, their visitors, were great: singing, dancing, etc. They must have prepared for weeks, and we were so grateful. We also visited a poultry project that was inspired by a UU Community Capacity Building workshop held in the same community last spring. The project is doing great and is inspiring similar livelihood projects around the community.
Our last visit of the day was also remarkable: The New Life Orphanage is a home for 18 children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS. The children we met here will be with all of us for a very long time. Rev. Mark also showed us the location for a new orphanage which will have twice the space and be the home for nearly 45 children. Its building is off to a great start.