International Volunteer Claire Miller.
Claire Miller spent a month living and working in Uganda in the summer of 2012. Here is her experience:
“I volunteered with Empower and Care Organization based in Mukono, Uganda and my experience so far has been one of discovery and inspiration. The work EACO do is just incredible; they work with the community, not giving out hand outs but actually training the impoverished people with skills to help them escape the cycle of poverty to become worthwhile members of the community”.
“The organization is made up of an enthusiastic team who go out into the field themselves. Each member of staff including the volunteers, are heavily involved with each project from the beginning to end and then ongoing to ensure the processes they have put in place are active and the skills taught are being used.
The volunteer work is hands on and you can really get involved by visiting communities, speaking to the women and children who are being helped, learning about past and present struggles the country is facing and seeing projects take place with real life results.
On the field I have been taken to a school to see the conditions the children are taught under. The school has been set up in a church which is less than ideal as all the children regardless of age are being taught in an open plan area. The young children who need to be singing and playing are right next to the older kids who need to be concentrating and studying. A lot of parents who don’t want their children studying in a church would rather them stay at home, others can’t afford the small school fee and those that can are paying it in installments making it increasingly difficult to pay the teachers wages. The school needs funding to be able to build a separate building on the land with proper classrooms, equipment and teachers.
I have also visited homes of widowed women where I have seen the results of the mushroom farming and the piggery’s. The women have been empowered by the skills taught to them and are now making a living and looking after their children by using these skills.
Information and training on any of the projects EACO are involved in is readily given, the family I am staying with are friendly and warm hearted and have made me feel right at home catering for my each and every need. The people of Uganda are so friendly and so proud of their country and culture and it is an absolute pleasure to be able to be part of such an amazing organization like EACO who are doing such great work for these amazing people.
I would highly recommend this volunteer program to anyone who is looking to broaden their horizon and give something back to the world by participating in volunteer work and I am very much looking forward to the rest of my time here.“