Information Services Office   19.8.2011


Newsletter No. 381 > Feature > At Uganda, We Care, We Share > Singing We are the World in Uganda (Wong Joy Yan)

Singing We are the World in Uganda (Wong Joy Yan)


As a Christian, the 14-days journey was a mission for me to serve the people at Uganda. It was a great chance to show them the fact that there are people like us caring about them. I had a strong feeling of exploring ‘another world’ when I first stepped onto the land of Africa. Now I know, it is a world totally different from ours, which makes Uganda very special! I dare to say that people at Uganda are lacking of NOTHING else but money. Before the journey, I was determined to bring them joy by action of smiling and serving. But then I realized it was the other way round, as they taught me the importance of smiling no matter what. In spite of their poor living environment, they are living satisfied lives with bright smiles naturally marked on their faces. We were being warmly welcomed throughout the trip, even from the babies at the Babies Home!

I cannot even imagine my life without a shelter, can you? At Gulu Watoto Babies Home, it was remarkable to see numerous smiling faces of the babies who ran towards us without any barriers. What a touching moment of holding their lovely soft hands and played with them. Unfortunately, those babies had been abused or neglected and suffer from emotional trauma. I was playing with a baby called Patient, who suffered from hernia and she was one of those who had been found in pit latrines (toilets). They were born without shelters and now Watoto provides them not only food but also hope. A housekeeper came into the room and said to the baby: ‘Patient, you have got a new Mama!’

I was extremely touched to see her smiling and nodding at the housekeeper. It was hard to say bye to her, but thinking of the fact that Watoto is raising her to be one of the future leaders in Uganda. If I have a chance, I will definitely go back and meet her again in the future!

We have been through a lot of unforgettable moment when we experienced no water for brushing in the morning; and also no hot water and electricity for showering at night after a long day. I learn to stand in the local people’s shoes when I suffer from the unfortunate time, as blaming does not help. Most of the time, it was helpful of our team host, Joanne, taught us saying ‘WELCOME TO AFRICA!’ when the light was gone suddenly. It was a great experience indeed! 

At Suubi village, the children we met at the BBQ party are having exciting lives with their families. And for those I had talked with, they all had wonderful dreams. I also met a girl called Winnie, who set herself a target of reading fifty books within a year! How impressive their goals are! I appreciate the fact that they would not hesitate to share their experience with you, no matter if it was bad or not. On top of that, serving God is their favorite pursuit. What I found at Watoto villages are the energetic hearts that everyone has of praising God.

Not only children, we also met the women at Living Hope centre. I served them by painting their nails and I found it so fun! For most of us, it was our first time painting so many nails within a day! I met a quiet girl who sat down and before I asked her to choose a colour for painting her nails, I asked her to sit back so she would relax a bit. Later on, I realized it was so stupid of me to do so because she was carrying a little baby at her back! It was obvious that she had been sexually abused. I found a chance to have a chat with her and knowing that she was only 13 years old. She was not an active speaker but when she asked, ‘When will you come back again?’ I was surprised and answered, ‘Soon!’ I was thinking about the fact that she must be so strong to carry the little baby and also working at Living Hope centre. I am indeed so proud of her!

Although we needed to spend hours to travel from village to village, we never got bored. We saw lots of huts on the roads where people were overcrowded and I realized what we saw at Watoto villages might be millions times better than the outside world in Uganda. It was unforgettable to sing Amazing Grace on the coach led by Professor Sung. I am sure that the other team members enjoyed singing the beautiful and meaningful song We are the World as much as I did! 

For Watoto, ‘Rescue, Raise, Rebuild’ is their ultimate aim. And for us, we can definitely help by donating money to sponsor the children. During the trip, ten of our team members decided to sponsor a child called Henry and we met him at Suubi ! I will not hesitate to be one of the team members of Watoto again in the future, as I have started to miss the place and the people, especially Henry, since my arrival back in Hong Kong.

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