I will remember my time in Uganda fondly - an enriching and fulfilling venture for which I am grateful to have had the opportunity to partake in.
Focused on sustainable development, a subject in which I take great interest, the project was highly appealing to me, and I relished the opportunity to help support a community less fortunate than my own and make a small difference in the world.
Moreover, having never visited Africa before, I was excited at the prospect of entering the unknown and experiencing new culture, climate and lifestyle. Needless to say the experience did not disappoint!
My individual highlights for the trip included teaching – a challenging experience at first, but one that I grew into.
Over the course of the trip, I progressively memorised a repertoire of basic Lugandan phrases to alleviate the language barrier and facilitate a better understanding and engagement with the WASH content from the children. From my perspective, this also encouraged independence, resulting in a lesser reliance on other teachers for translative and regulative assistance, and also added to the enjoyability of the practice.
We taught two lessons to each class from P1 to P7 each week, one being a fun, predominantly content-based session and the other being a recap of the content with games/songs. Both the teachers and students at Nsiima Primary School responded well to this teaching schedule and by the end of the project we had covered various WASH topics (including hand washing, tippy taps and cleaning jerrycans) in good detail and even reached out to several other schools in the community - as well as nearby communities - to expand our reach of influence.
Combined with our weekly workshops (on liquid soap, briquettes, SODIS etc.), for which we extended invitation to the entire community in addition to the school, I believe our attempts to disseminate knowledge of WASH and sustainable living across the community were wholly successful.