03 Sep What are Uganda do?
The end of the summer is always bittersweet for me. As kids go back to school and swimming lesson chaos settles down, I transition into fall with a fresh perspective thinking, “What’s next? Who needs my skills?” This year, as I watch Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on their path of destruction, I feel a tug at my heart strings. Like so many others, I’m not sure how to help. I want to do something, but I’m not sure what. It pains me to see water causing so much damage and taking lives.
So there I am- contemplating the next step, when I receive an e-mail from Moses, a Pastor in Uganda, that has put together Africa Water Safety Outreach 2017, an initiative aimed at sharing Water Safety Education and Drowning Prevention in Africa.
As I drink my purified spring water, I read that 95% of children fetch water for their home livelihood from valley dams, open wells, rivers, lakes and other open water sources. In 97% of African districts, children cross rivers and other water bodies as they walk to school. They are exposed to drowning risks every day.
Moses asked for help from Face in Water. This breaks my heart. What can I do?
Feeling at least a little useful, I tell him I can send swimming and water safety curriculum for the event. Moses thanks me and goes on to tell me about…
– 9 African countries that will be participating in the outreach
– 300 children that want to learn how to swim
– 50 adults that want to be trained as swim instructors
Then Moses asks the perfect question at the perfect time…
“Can you or a member of your organization be able to travel to Africa to help?” – Pastor Moses
Uhhhhh…no! Yes? Yes! How can I say no? Here I am looking for purpose and Pastor Moses appears with just that. If there is one thing I can help with, it is teaching children how to swim and training instructors.
I think of these sweet children, making their way to Lake Victoria so they can provide water for the family. I think of the kids walking miles to school because their desire to learn is strong enough to cross rivers. Because water and education are valued.
I ask Moses about funding for the long trip to Africa. He wishes he could help me out, but explains that I will need to be a volunteer, as he is fundraising to provide accommodations for the 50 Instructor Trainees so they don’t have to canoe 30+ miles daily for the training. I laugh to myself about my first-world problems and assure him that I will be there. Especially if someone is willing to canoe 30 miles a day to learn from me!
I’m going to Africa. It’s the next logical step. I don’t have much time, but I know I can do this with some help. Just a share or a like or a forward. Advice on traveling in Africa. Mosquito repellent. Anything and everything helps.