Hope for Children
This was my second trip this year for Hope for Children. In stark contrast to Ghana, their work in Kampala is mainly focussed in the Namuwongo Slum, which runs the length of a dilapidated railway line on the outskirts of Kampala. I am borrowing from Jess, an intern at Hope for Children who was also on the trip along with their CEO Muriel, who says this about Namumongo:
"The cacophony of noise, smells and sights is overwhelming; blaring music around every corner with that undeniable African beat, the calls of people selling their wares and services. The delicious smells of curried meats fought for prominence against the dust of the red earth and the smoke of thousands of cooking fires burning all day long. This is set against a background of ingenious structures of homes made from all manner of materials teetering on the edges of deep open trenches of stagnant, foul-smelling water.”
I was joined again by filmmaker Matt Callanan from We Make Good Happen, and this time we were able to fully fund his trip.
Hope for Children is working hard to support as many children as it can from the community. So far 199 children from the most difficult circumstances in have been able to attend school or other vocational training in the last 10 years, allowing a whole new world of opportunities to open up before them. They also offer front line services for the hardest to reach street children as well as public health projects across the city.
The photos and video content produced from Ghana and Uganda this year will be used at a photography exhibition in Cambridge and form the basis of their campaign later in the year. More about that when the campaign goes live in September.
At the end of the week Matt, Jess and Muriel flew back to the UK, and I boarded a small 9 seater plane (with 1 other passenger) and flew to across Uganda to Kasese, a small town nestled between the Queen Elizabeth and Kibale Forest National Parks, in the west of Uganda, a stunning part of the country.
I was there to visit New Home, a new microfinance partner for Deki. New Home work with 26 communities in rural locations in the Kasese region. Deki are the first western NGO to partner with New Home, making me the first westerner to visit these communities, which was such a privilege. Kamalha W. Peter and his team were so accommodating of a photographer who always takes far too many photos. Thank you Peter!
Sometimes I don’t realise the lasting effects these trips have on the people I meet, in ways I would never have expected. Peter sent me this on WhatsApp when I was in Rwanda which I love:
"My children asked if you will ever come again. Seeing you go in a plane gave them courage to go to school. Because when they asked me about qualifications for people who go in a plane I told them that it is only for those who have studied.”
This comment alone made the trip worthwhile, quite apart from the hundreds of photos and stories that Deki have gained from my time in Kasese.
View a selection of photos here.