Allow me to introduce the 2014 Uganda crew – Eliza ‘Percy’ Percival (Kain C+C Charitable Foundation), Georgia ‘Rosco’ Ross (Kain C+C Lawyers), Trent ‘T-Hen’ Heneker (Two Hands Wines), Jane ‘Crowy’ Prior (Blue Sky Alternative Investments), Amelia ‘Moo’ Kain (Ring In), Lucy ‘Nobby’ Noblett (KWP!) and John ‘Jonty’ Kain (Kain C+C Lawyers).
All arrived safely in Kampala to be met by our old friend Angel. The Uganda customs service processed us with predictable efficiency to ensure we were loaded onto our bus two hours after landing. From Entebbe airport we ventured to M-Lisada Orphanage. M-Lisada is an acronym for Music Life Skills And Destitution Alleviation – see www.mlisada.org.
M-Lisada was started 17 years ago by Bosco, who as a 12 year old orphan took responsibility for looking after his sisters; he has been at it ever since. When we first visited M-Lisada in 2009, it had no dedicated premises and was housing the children in a variety of small borrowed rooms and houses which most Ugandans would have described as modest – and most Australians would have considered inferior to the average garden shed. When we returned in 2010, new premises had been secured. Since 2010, these premises have been further improved and expanded. A new venture, the Mummy Foundation has also been established by M-Lisada to support abused women and girls in the slums. M-Lisada is garnering additional support and making solid progress. The next project is to establish a self sufficient school north of Kampala for abandoned children. The ambition is grand, but the track record is good.
In addition to catching up with some old friends and delivering the first batch of clothing and school supplies, we were taken on a tour of the slum which is home to M-Lisada and were guests at an amazing musical and gymnastics performance by the M-Lisada kids. Every day has its highlight and lowlights. For us:
- The highlight was the first round of the East African Cartwheeling Championships. After destroying some mediocre local opposition, the two international finalists went at it. In a result which made the book makers happy, the score after Round 1 is Jonty 1; Crowy 0. Round 2 tomorrow!
- The lowlight was not the fact that Nobby became so excited during the gymnastics display that she wet her pants (that could happen to anyone) but rather her disingenuous attempts to blame the young orphan girl sitting on her lap for the dark stain on her trouser. A most unlikely story Nobby!
Till the morrow.