Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
“After ten weeks of learning their language, of eating their food, of understanding their customs, of observing their destitution – I have fully recognized what the Acholi people have endured.”
HIV/AIDS. Malaria. Starvation. Malnutrition. Abduction. In Northern Uganda, the Acholi people bear many turbulent obstacles beginning the day they’re born. They are not allotted time to adjust or prepare for the hard life that awaits them. Each day is struggle for survival – the Acholi must fend for food, avoid sickness, and most of all, evade abduction from the LRA. When I first applied to PPICF, and proposed to teach English in Northern Uganda, I knew of the hardships the Acholi people faced. What I did not comprehend was the consequence and reality those atrocities had on the people.
After ten weeks of learning their language, of eating their food, of understanding their customs, of observing their destitution – I have fully recognized what the Acholi people have endured. Their perseverance for hope and their tolerance to live life in harsh conditions has taught me that no matter what happens in life, we must never take it for granted. As one of the parents of my students told me, “You have seen our lives and changed them, and we [the parents] hope that now you go back and remember our struggles.”
Because of PPICF, I was able to witness a completely different culture, perpetuate change in a school, contribute and educate, and even learn something new about myself. For two and a half months, I lived as a Northern Ugandan, stripped of running water and electricity. I survived Malaria and food poisoning and realized my full potential. I will always remember Northern Uganda – the place where I learned and grew physically, emotionally and mentally – where for the first time I encountered true adversity and gave my mind, my heart, and my soul to help the children of Gulu.
- Date September 1, 2009
- Tags 2009, Africa, Healthcare, Preston, Social Service