A special, and maybe overlooked, aspect for a 5 time repeat visitor is being able to witness the growth of so many areas.
Physical growth - to witness , firsthand, what a meal a day can do for a child. To see the transformation of an undernourished child to a healthy , growing, active, engaging, child is remarkable. To see the "life" in their eyes.....
Educational growth- a structured learning environment is propelling this children forward to a future they are excited about. I have conversations with children that have goals and dreams of becoming doctors, farmers, bankers, etc. So different from my first conversations with these same children where medical issues and nourishment were the topic.
Structural -growth The transformation of a school from a dirt floor and tarp roof, held up by wooden poles. Exposure to excessive heat and chiggers was the norm....Now they have a brick and mortar building, with designated classrooms and latrine. These children now how "structure" to their lives. Their focus is now on education and learning
Infrastructure growth -clean water borehole wells for drinking and food prep. It is common that the child's 'job' is to fetch water for the family daily. Needless to say , some children walk to fill their water cans, in polluted dirty water, for miles a day...multiple times a day.....not allowing time to attend school. Not only does the borehole well provide clean water.....its also allows children the time they need to attend school.
Community growth - these villages were doing their best to just survive, day after day. Now, with their other needs met, villages are now focused on the future and developing economic plans to prosper. Development of a catering business, carpentry shop, and sewing centers were unfathomable to them years ago.
Personal growth - 5 trips and 5 yrs later, I can say for certain that I AM a better person, thanks to Uganda and Hearts and Hope.
- Jerry Mayo