Vision Trip February 2018

Thoughts by Ruthie Burrus

An initial warm handshake was accompanied by the words “You are welcome.” Many more handshakes, spontaneous hugs, and smile after smile emerged in the crowd of children who surrounded our vehicle. Two days after leaving Texas, we had arrived at Victory School. And welcomed we were. My freshly sanitized hands and anxious spirit prepared for full and immediate immersion.

Before we had even firmly planted our feet on the ground, the newly formed Uganda Scouts chapter at the school broke out into the Ugandan national anthem with total sincerity and full salutes. Then the children moved into a native song and dance performance they had prepared for us. The joy and love of these impoverished children and their teachers radiated in all directions.

While we were dusty, a bit tired and dressed simply, we were shiny stars to these gentle people. They knew we represented the sponsors whose generosity made their school enrollment possible. They saw in us their only hope for an education, lest they be left like most children of the village to wander all day long on dirt roads.

As we worked our mission throughout the week, we observed the children being nourished by two meals each day; we sat in on classrooms where trained teachers held the full attention of the children; we watched the students as they gratefully received new uniforms and shoes; and we witnessed sheer joy and a little bedlam as we handed out school supplies, soccer balls and jump ropes.

In the school office, front and center, we studied a graph on the wall which proudly displayed the vast improvement in the students’ standardized test scores over the past several years. We visited the new girls dormitory under construction and toured the vegetable garden which had a semblance of irrigation for the first time. We worked with the compassionate new school counselor who will holistically shepherd individual students on their educational path and beyond.

In short, we observed firsthand the tremendous improvements in every aspect of the school due to the involvement of Kamukama Foundation for the last 7 years. As of 2018, more schools will benefit as the Foundation expands its effort in the area to the neediest of schools and children.

While we all can’t visit Uganda and see firsthand the near miracles that we observed, we can be assured that the work of the Foundation is real, essential, and comprehensive. Thanks to the generosity of the founders of the Foundation, overhead is very low. Accountability is very high due to constant communication, a strong staff and regular site visits. The vision is solid, continually refined, and anchored with reliable resources.

We all strive to leave the world a better place than we found it. Kamukama has chosen to do just that in rural Uganda and has proven its effectiveness at doing so. Indeed, as sponsors and donors, thank you…and truly, you are welcome.