Touring the I.N. Projects
Today was our first day touring the ‘International Needs’ (I.N.) projects in Buikwe. We began at the headquarters for the Uganda operation. So, there are many people and programs being run from there. While CrossRoads primarily supports the CHAP program
(e.g., HIV/AIDS Clinic Outreaches, etc.), there are many other things happening here.
Rev. Justus, the Executive Director, was working from the site today, and we started our tour by greeting him. We were then showed around the offices that house the Site Manager, Human Resources, and Finance personnel. Sarah, the H.R. manager was our tour guide, and she introduced us to many friendly people with warm smiles.
Next was the Sponsorship Office where we learned about the administration of the program that so many people in CrossRoads participate. Children enter the program when they are between 4 to 9 years old, and are supported through their schooling years. In this region there are close to 3000 children sponsored. Access to a good education, health care, and basic food supplies, are some of the key aspects of the program. One of our highlights came later on the tour when visiting a P-7 class (primary school grade 7), when a girl in the front row stood up and shyly thanked all of us (i.e., Canadians in general) for sponsoring her and providing for her education.
It’s clear that access to a good education is making a difference, and we were encouraged that so many girls where in the class (actually more girls than boys). This is not always common, as girls often drop out of school earlier than most boys (for a variety of reasons). But, it’s often said that ensuring girls are in school is a proven way to lift communities out of poverty. So, let’s pray that these young students will excel at school, and do so well on their upcoming National exams.
The next stop took us to the Income Generation project, which focuses on helping subsistence farmers increase their productivity. Across this region, most farmers produce just enough food to feed their family, and little extra is produced to sell. The hope of this program is that with better techniques, they will be able to produce more, or add extra value, and increase their income. I think this project really interested Lawrence, as he’s been in the farming business back in Red Deer for many years. I’m sure there’d be some great ideas generated from having these guys talk!
Our last stop on the tour around the I.N. compound was the Primary School. The Deputy Headmaster, Augustine, introduced us to the teachers, and then walked us to the “Baby” classroom.
This is for kids around 4 years old, and was truly a highlight for us. The kids all came to the front and did a dance and song for us. They were so cute and reminded me of my own daughter back home (Makena), who is so close to their age. I’m sure she would’ve had fun laughing and dancing with them too! Lastly, we visited the P-7 classroom where the kids shared their dreams of future careers – doctors, accountants, and designers.
Our afternoon was relaxed, with some down time for naps, reading, and relaxing; while Tracy, Bill, and Adam met with CHAP staff. Then around 5:00 we walked into town to visit the weekly market. Once again, the children found us quickly and we enjoyed playing games with them while greeting people on the street.
As I write this, most of the team have gone to bed. But, please pray that everyone on our team gets normal, restful sleep – as many are still adjusting the time zone, and trying to be comfortable! We are thankful our team has been working well together and very supportive of each other. We are all learning a lot and doing our best to allow God to work in us and through us.
Adam & the Team