Friday 14 September 2018

As a former employee of another humanitarian organization I knew since long that I found my profession working for humanitarian and development issues, supporting vulnerable communities. As my previous position was based in a headquarters with no direct contact with people of concern I decided to take another way of my professional journey. Was it a hard decision? No. I strongly believe that for those who are wishing to work on humanitarian/development field being flexible to switch from a comfortable office to field work is essential. This wish of mine could be realized thanks to MONDO and the European Union’ s Aid Volunteer program.
My project is based in Uganda in a village called Kikooba two hours from the capital. The region suffered from the bush wars of the 80’ and inhabited by highly vulnerable people. The reason behind the vulnerability is varying from the lack of financial resources, unemployment, dependency of the capricious weather conditions, lack of education and also the conflict of tribes within the country. The project’s aim is resilience building by empowering talented people in the region and to promote education. Emphasizing the role of education is crucial as the tendency of child pregnancy and early age marriages are extremely high leading to dropping out from school at a very early age. Some of the elder never had the chance to learn how to read and write. In our goal the local partners and the village’s school’s leadership is a very dedicated ally. My role in the process is to assess the situation, point out the weaknesses and to develop the region hand in hand with the community as much as possible.

The school which I use as a base is established to provide education for the most vulnerable children in the community. Some of the children are orphans or coming from families for whom to provide the basic needs is an everyday struggle. The school’s principal is to lower the school fees as much as possible, letting the children who cannot pay to study by providing loans and also to provide scholarship for the ones who would left without education. Due to these reasons the school obviously suffers from financial crises which makes the work of the dedicated group of teachers extremely hard. Even though the teacher’s salaries are not arriving on time these amazing people are not giving up on the kids. The school also provides us place for education of il-, and pre-literate adults. For me organizing and teaching the adults who in some cases cannot read and write is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. These people are often walking from very far distances to attend my English courses twice a week and never misses the opportunity to practice and learn.

The school also gives place for a women’s group which consists of the mothers of the children. These ladies meet every week to produce beautiful craftwork; traditional baskets, mats and jewels. While the ladies share the brand new gossips of the village and busily working on the gorgeous crafts they discuss the material of the last English courses and practice with each other.

Realizing the importance of the school in this remote village made me think. There is no prouder people in Kikooba than the children wearing the uniform of the school or their parents hurrying to the adult courses. Education is the key for development and self-confidence for everyone no matter where you born, what social background you are coming from. By the help of MONDO’s European Union Aid Volunteer program the community of Kikooba has better opportunities to reach their goals and I am very proud to witness it and assist.