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We left a piece of our heart in Africa

On the 19th July 2016, six men and five ladies, from Holy Trinity Dromore, set out on a journey that took them to Kampala, East Africa.

On our first day we travelled by minibus, along a bendy, dusty road to the school we funded and helped to build in 2010 which is called Burunga Hope Primary School.  On arrival, we were greeted by Pastor Abert, the teachers and the children with a rousing applause and African songs. Pastor Abert thanked us all for taking the time to travel so far to give our services to the school and the wider community and to provide the children with a brighter and more comfortable future.  We got a tour of the school and had the wonderful and everlasting experience of meeting our sponsored children.

During our trip, the ladies on the team delivered craft activities, a bible based programme for all the children and a hygiene programme for boys, girls and ladies in the community.

The men were at the school to help build an eight bedroom teacher accommodation block with wash rooms, along with a kitchen that will provide meals for the children and teachers. We were ably assisted by the African builders worked hard to achieve our common goal. We worked extremely hard in temperatures of 30+ degrees to complete the building. All the mortar for the building and the concrete for the ring beam were mixed by hand. The roof trusses were cut and assembled on the ground. It took a lot of strong men to carry these up onto the  wall plate.  We nailed the runners to the trusses and left it ready for the iron roof.

We also visited the borehole that Holy Trinity Dromore had provided the funds for six years ago.  This well pumps the water each day to meet the needs of this community.

Saturdays were outreach days in the wider community.  We had brought footballs, frisbees, skipping ropes, children and ladies clothing, ladies underwear, homemade pull string bags and washable homemade sanitary pads to distribute to people in need in this local area.

Prior to our trip we had also purchased basins, washing soap, face soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pencils, sharpeners, rulers, erasers and books. We distributed these items among the community and to the children and families at the School Open Day which we were privileged to be part of.

Sunday Church Service was a wonderful experience praising God with open arms and dancing. Our group sang four pieces for the church congregation which was accompanied by an African drum; this was thoroughly enjoyed by the African people as they joined in with the singing.

On our last day,  a special leaving assembly was held for us. The local people of the village, the pastor, teachers and children were distraught at our departing. We all had become so attached to each other. The team gave away clothes and tools to our new builder friends. Prior to our arrival the builders did not have socks to wear and used cement bags in place of socks. They were smiling as we were handing over our clothes and boots. After school that day, the children wouldn’t go home and they lined the village to finally say their good-byes.

We were all sad leaving everyone and hope to return to Burunga someday, as we have definitely left a piece of our heart in Africa. Everyone needs to visit Africa to really experience the culture and the wonderful people of this country.

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Gordon Deazley, Team Leader, Holy Trinity, Dromore