Monday, November 21, 2011

In about 5 days a group of 22 young people (21 from Australia and 1 from The Netherlands) and 4 leaders along with two HopeBuilders board members will  set off for Uganda and the Village of Hope. These young people would all have just completed their VCE Year 12 exams and will be making a stand against the flow and will be the first Schoolies Revolution team. We are looking forward to some amazing stories and some transformational experiences. We will be building and working in the Village of Hope, visiting some slums and villages, a prison, and engaging with kids and people at all levels. You will be able to keep track of our adventures here and on the Schoolies revolution site < CLICK HERE >
Almost the whole crew - we were missing 5!!
Together with the Board Members - the avg age jumped up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here we Grow again!

Last Saturday was another very special day in the life of Village of Hope. All of the hard work of the teams of people from home in Australia, together with the local labourers, became worth it when the next intake of children into the village began.

Previously, each of the intakes had included 16 new children. Circumstances this time meant that on Saturday only six children came, with another two expected any day now, and a further 8 within a couple of weeks we hope.

Our new mother, Mama Florence, has been in the village for a little over a week now, getting used to her new surroundings and assisting with the final preparations for the children to arrive. She came with us as we collected each of the children from where they had been living, providing a sense of comfort to those who had been caring for them that the future for the children was secure.

In the few days that they have been here, Florence has been very caring and has made the transition for the kids very easy. It was amazing to see how quickly they were adapting to the new surroundings and circumstances, and this was very much down to the love that Florence was giving them all.

The children include 4 very young ones, 2 boys Richard and Johnson and 2 girls Mariam and Irene, and 2 older boys Robert and Juma. Robert and Juma are both at school, and are completing the year at the school they were attending, so each morning they head off early to school and then come back midway through the afternoon. When they arrive home, the little ones follow them inside, glad that "the family is together again". They are still learning that there is a difference between "Mzungu" and "Uncle Ron" - I only answer to one of those names when in the village!

The rest of the children were looking forward to the new arrivals, and have been terrific in welcoming their new friends. Robert and Juma have fitted in with the other boys as if they were lifelong friends, and most of the older (and not so older) girls have been very helpful in looking after the young ones. It is really a great privilege that we have in seeing this transition of the kids from a life that is often one of despair and hopelessness to a present and future that has hope.
 Time for a  manicure . . .

. . .  while the new brother and sisters await their turn.

Mama Florence collecting her brood to bathe before supper