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Published: January 18th 2010
Here we had planned to start living at a foster home and volunteering for a local NGO in Jinja run by Uncle Stephen. After a couple of days and to cut a long story short it quickly became apparent that this was not going to be a long term stay for us, the reason being that the foster home was depleted of kids, the remaining 15 were all teenagers approaching and about to head to University! The town of Jinja and Uganda generally is quite developed compared to Tanzania and we were left thinking - what can we do that a local person couldn’t do? .We were really impressed by the work Stephen had done and is doing for the kids and the community. Loads of projects done, many having been set up by volunteers and being continued by the locals. As such we felt guilty that we had left some much more needy projects in Tanzania and did not feel this one needed hands on support for three months.
So what then? After a bizarre Christmas and the plan for the next few months gone we found a cheap hostel and consulted the Lonely Planet Guide. And decided to
let ourselves recover from Kili and relax a little. Or that is until we found ourselves in Bujagali Falls on the mighty River Nile where grade 5 rafting, Kayaking, mountain biking and countless other activities beckoned with a permanent convoy of travellers which flow through. Great place and we entertained ourselves until plan B was sorted.
In Bujagali we came across Soft Power Education (www.softpowereducation.com) - a UK based NGO based in Uganda. Over the last 10 years they have been doing great work getting travellers passing through to donate funds and ‘leave more than a footprint’ on the local rural community by volunteering refurbishing state run schools. For every classroom built the state provided a teacher. We volunteered with them which was great fun. It is worth a click on their website to see what they are up to as it provided us with some inspiration and helped us decide to return to Tanzania. In the back of our minds we have been missing The Chole Island off Mafia Island in Tanzania. The small island with no electricity, fresh water where we volunteered teaching English in the Nursery in November.
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