As I prepare for departure, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity. Taking a trip to Africa has always been on a list of things I’ve always wanted to do. As an African-American woman with Native American and Haitian heritage, visiting the continent where it all began for some of my ancestors is extremely exciting!
I am most looking forward to meeting the natives in the city of Kampala where our trip will begin with meetings with government and healthcare officials. Then we are heading into the Mubende and Kabarole villages near the beautiful Mountain of the Moon to visit clinics, churches and families. (photo) Our trip will be hosted by UNICEF, who works to build a world where the rights of every child are realized, including healthcare and the education of girls.
I shutter to think of meeting families who fight each day for survival in some areas. Children who look into the eyes of their parents seeking protection and care that those parents may have trouble providing. I look to be Encouraged by seeing the faces of children who benefit from our awareness and fundraising work in the US as Shot@Life Champions and Mocha Moms.
As a mother, I will long to bring every little brown baby home with me. I will do my best to manage my mother nature to nurture.
This time tomorrow, I will be on a 17 hour flight to Uganda! This is sure to be heart-warming and life-changing experience!
What travel destination is on your bucket list? Are you making plans to travel there?
Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria.
The colonial boundaries created by Britain brought together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. The area was ruled by the British beginning in the late 1800’s. Uganda gained formal independence from Britain on October 9, 1962. Since then, Uganda has been marked by intermittent conflicts, most recently a civil war against the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN fro 1971-1979, was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents. Guerrilla warfare and human rights abuses under Miton OBOTE from 1980-1985 claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of President Yoweri WUSEVENI since from 1986 to the present has brought relative stability and economic growth to Uganda.
Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world with 37.7% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. Despite making enormous progress in reducing the countrywide poverty incidence from 56% of the population in 1992 to 31% in 2005, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas ,which are home to ore than 85% of Ugandans.
Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of ore than 30 different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The official languages are English and Swahili, although other languages are spoken in the country.