I was able to return to visit Miryante in August where I worked for three years from 2008-2011. Liz Jinnings, a Peace Corp Volunteer, was just finishing up her service. She has done incredible work during her time at Miryante. It was amazing to see how much the project and the kids have grown in a year.
Left: Doreen Tigah, Center: myself, Right: Liz jinnings
There have been a lot of new developments at Miryante this past year. The vocational school has opened, a piggery has been started, and the number of children who live at the project continues to grow. Unfortunately, because the Ugandan government does not have the funds or the infrastructure to support a Child Welfare program, Miryante has grown to be the Child Welfare services for Kyegegwa District. This means that the number of children who permanently stay at the home hovers around 100, but there are many more children who temporarily live at the home while the government finds relatives to care for these kids. Literally hundreds of children have been housed at Miryante at this point.
One of the biggest changes I have noticed in the children is the level of confidence and assertiveness the older children have gained in the past year. Peace Corps volunteer Liz Jinnings has instituted Life Skills Classes and camps to help these children gain confidence in their use of English and develop the skills they need to succeed in the world after they leave the home. It is no secret the challenges that these kids will face in the world will be difficult and many, especially for the young girls. Liz has done a tremendous job of developing programs to empower these kids.
Peace Corps Volunteer Liz Jinnings teaches a cooking class to children at Miryante.
Miryante Girls attend a Girls Empowerment Workshop
Returning back to the states I am humbled and thankful for the hard work that is going on at this organization. There is tremendous leadership by the men and women with huge hearts who have poured fourth the effort to make sure these kids do not fall through the cracks. Thank you to those working so hard at the project and thank you to the donors who continue to the support these kids.
I hope to see more people from around the world taking the opportunity to come volunteer at this project!