After the experience in Kisumu, WE AfriHug team went on with the project and continued its path in Eastern Africa, moving to Uganda. In Wakiso, they were hosted by Father Antonios of Monde, the inspirational priest, who has been devoting his life in empowering local communities in Uganda. Our next activity: 3-day 21st Century Life Skills Camp.
On the 23rd of January in the morning, WE AfriHug team said goodbye to their partners and friends from the NGO R.H.D. in Kenya, and headed to Kampala.
After one day of travelling, they arrived at the bus station in Kampala, where they met Ugandan friends, who picked them up. The arrival moment was emotional because Konstantinos and Marilena had already been there one year and a half ago, when they implemented the H-Ug – Help Uganda Project. After a warm dinner, they prepared to go to the airport to pick up another Greek volunteer of the project, Irene.
There was not a lot of time left for the preparation of the camp. The team met with their partners “Vijana Kwa Africa” and “Love and Hope Monde”, in order to arrange the last details. Two days later, the team together with Father Antonios, headed to the village of Monde in Wobulenzi district, where the camp was about to take place. Accommodation and food have been provided to all the participants during the camp. This would never be possible without the support of our sponsor and the donors, who kindly contributed to make this happen.
And the day finally arrived. On the 26th of January, it was time to start the camp. The members of “Vijana Kwa Africa” are inspirational and ambitious youngsters between 20-30 years old whc offer Career Developing and Life Coaching to young people between 12-30 years. Douglas, a tall and smiley young man, appeared and introduced himself as one of the Co-founders of Vijana. Aftwerwards, Kirk, Janet, Elizabeth and Baker joined the team. Furthermore, members of the Othodox Christian Youth Network Uganda arrived and helped to the organization of the camp.
Meanwhile, the participants arriving. Shy and unaware about what to expect, they sat waiting for the camp to begin. After a brief introduction by WE AfriHug and Vijana about who they are and what they do, activities started and once more the Non-Formal Education approach made it easy to break the ice. In a few minutes participants felt comfortable to talk and participate actively.
WE AfriHug team implemented those activities which lead participants to reflect, but above all put in practice, in order to develop soft skills like Communication & Collaboration, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Creativity. They brilliantly did it attending the first day at the camp where they experience the so-called “Where’s my power”, “Spider Web”, “Electric Fence” activities. Thanks to the contribution of Vijana Kwa Afrika, through their presentation about the Social and Emotional Skills by Elizabeth and Baker, attendees had the chance to focus and reflect on what they experienced during the day. This different approach was complementary to the work done and fundamental for participants to put the last brick in the process of learning.
The following day, started early in the morning. Infact, optionally, participants were called at 7am to participate in an exercise training session, and surprisingly many of them accepted the challange. After almost one hour, they went for a shower, breakfast and right after the day began.
The members of Vijana opened the morning with some interactive games and activities and a positive and happy mood made the participants smile and made them ready to participate. The first WE AfriHug activity was the so-called “Battle of Orange”. They were divided into two teams which represent two companies. One produces orange juice and the other produces candies with the peel of the orange. Each of them has to find a strategy and elaborate good points on their favor to convince the other team that they are the ones who deserve the orange. After a few minutes of debate, it is time to choose a speaker among the team who will carry on the agreed point with the speaker of the other team. Will the two teams reach an agreement? This is the aim of this activity. Many of them found creative solutions and found good statements. Also Public Speaking skills were involved and just participating, attendees had the chance to know better exactly how important it is to be able to make your point valuable.
As far as different cultures met in this camp, WE AfriHug team found useful and interesting to propose a “game” where participants had to involve their knowledge about the world, recognizing some flags from different continents. It was nice to see how, even if they didn’t know the correct answer, many of them still wanted to give it a try. Sometimes taking the risks worth it.
In the second part of the afternoon Vijana passed to the action once more. This time they focused their presentations on Financial Literacy by Janet and Life Planning by Kirk.
The camp was almost over, and to say goodbye a multicultural party was organised. Many new connections and relationships were born and after sharing so many important moments together, say goodbye was hard.
On Sunday, the 28th of January, the last day of the camp, began with the Mass, and a visit from the Archibishop Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda, who joined the closing cerimony distributing the certificates of attendance to the participants.