Volunteer story: Tanya Hounsham - Chase Team 2016

July 2016

Tanya Hounsham - Chase Team 2016

For many years I had hoped a project would come my way, and with a bit of very gentle persuasion from a friend didn’t look back, and busily started to prepare for my dream trip.  Travelling with the Chase Team was perfect in every respect and like a big family outing.  We shared much together including prayers, friendship, planning, support, fun and laughter, emotions and tears.

Hopefully my involvement and time spent around WTA was useful, it certainly blessed me and I have memories and experiences I shall never forget.  During my visit I was involved with teaching some important business skills to the senior school children, which I hope they will find useful in life.  The daily assembly  around our theme of HABITS (H for Hang out with God, A for Allow the Holy Spirit in, B for Bible memory, I for Intent on living for God, T for Tell others, S for Spend time with other Christians) was fun to be part of (especially the mini dramas and singing).  It was wonderful to share our music and dancing with the students, and for them to have the opportunity to share their talents with us.   We were honoured to be invited to the students own Sunday church which was rehearsed on Saturday and from 5.30 am Sunday morning!   Being around the students and staff, sharing their and my own experiences with them, was an incredible experience.  

The 3 centres within WTA we worked with all brought their own difference experiences.  I enjoyed visiting The Rock Medical Centre and seeing how this very successful facility is supporting the students but also to reach out to the local community by offering a vaccination programme and maternity facility.  I was interested in spending time with Annette the Rock Manager and amazed that testing for such illnesses as typhoid, malaria, HIV, Hep B etc can be carried out on site and many illnesses treated, despite what seemed a very sparse range of medicines.  It was a privilege to meet with Annette’s newly formed craft group for the community ladies, demonstrating the various needle projects we had taken with us and experiencing the enthusiasm so much so, the ladies asked for a second craft session with us the following day.  The group is important to help produce some income for essential books and pens for the children to use in school. Also it will help to develop needlework skills to enable them to sew essential personal items so badly needed, particularly for school girls to manage menstruation in school.  A project we hope to be able to assist further with.

The Bridge Primary Resource Centre was a special place and I enjoyed helping with some of the lessons, teaching crafts, dancing, singing, baking half cakes and painting some of the alphabet mural.

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The preparations for the going were relatively easy compared with the coming back, which I wasn’t prepared for and don’t think I will ever recover from.  We have so much and the Ugandans we met had so little. ‘Mirembe’ the team house at WTA is a palace compared to the village homes with facilities we are accustomed to.  Sue and Stan’s support with the WTA Project is invaluable and they will be missed.

If I could go back tomorrow I would but perhaps that’s too soon!  Serve Direct and WTA are both very special and provided me with an extremely rewarding experience.  Thank you.