I have been volunteering for Miryante Orphans Home since February 2014. I got in touch with Doreen - The Assistant Director and Laura - the Volunteer Coordinator, via one of my friends who volunteered at Miryante in 2013.
I help with the social media and online marketing promotions, and help to edit the monthly email newsletter. I visited Miryante in June 2014 and spent three weeks with the children and the staff. My stay with the children, and the visit to Uganda was an amazing experience.
Uganda is a beautiful country in East Africa, and I can highly recommend it as one of the safest places I've been to. The people are friendly and hospitable, from landing at Entebbe to spending time with the children in Miryante, my stay was unforgettable.
Entebbe is green and elegant town situated on the lake Victoria. From there, I went to Kampala - the capital of Uganda, where I spent few days before going to Miryante. Kampala is busy, noisy and different from other cities. There is a lot to see, it has great markets and lots of history and interesting places. I also visited Jinja - the source of the mighty river Nile, and couple of national parks. Uganda is famous for the amazing wildlife and nature. I visited the Rwenzory Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
However, my main reason for visiting Uganda was to meet the children of Miryante, where I spent 2.5 weeks. There are 120 children, and I enjoyed spending every day with them. They are very welcoming and friendly - like all Ugandans I've met during my stay there. What impressed me is that the children are very mature, the older ones look after the younger children, and take their responsibilities very seriously. The children walk few kilometres to school each morning, and every weekend and after school they are engaged in various chores and activities, including helping with farming in the vegetable garden, helping with the livestock (grazing the cows), helping with preparing the meals, doing their washing and helping the younger children. They still find the time to practice singing and dancing and are very accomplished dancers and musicians. When I arrived and during my stay there, they regularly performed traditional Rutoro dances and songs, and have other activities in the evenings.
I worked with Doreen Tigah - Assistant Director at Miryante. Doreen is very hardworking and enthusiastic about the home and always tries to find new ways to improve the lives of the children. She is a lovely lady with a big heart, truly dedicated to the children and their well-being. Doreen's background is in social work, and she is also responsible for communications and managing the administration. I was inspired by her tireless work, energy and passion.
Life in Miryante is different from what I am used to in England - the home relies on few solar panels, and most days there was very little electricity. Internet is either very slow or non existent, but these 'obstacles' didn't stop the staff to get on with their every day work. The team consists of managers, teachers and caregivers. They were all very welcoming and made me feel like at home. The children are of primary importance and everybody who works there has their best interest at heart.