Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

30th January 2013

Welcome to Uganda by Anna Davis

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Having been here for three months, everything has started to seem normal in my everyday life, so I wanted to welcome you this lush, vivid country and share with you what a normal Uganda looks like through my eyes.

Its normal to call phone credit airtime
Its normal to cook by candlelight which can cause problems if you are using spices!!
Its normal for shops to be made out of cargo ship containers
Its normal for heavy goods vehicles to be overloaded, regularly with someone sitting on the top of an open truck
 Its normal to try and get 18 people in a matatu (taxi a bit like a stripped out VW campervan with 14 seats) when its licensed for 14
Its normal to greet people, even if you dont know them. A normal greeting would be Oli Otya? How are you?
Its normal to be shouted at walking down the street Mazungu meaning white person

Being part Revelation Life who work to transform the lives of some of the poorest people living in slum communities, has been a struggle at times, not because of some of the sights that we see as a team, like mothers not being able to care for their children, because they are so weak due to disease themselves or the fact that their living conditions are flooded up to shin height during the rainy season, but because they have so much joy and compassion for one another that I am just astounded by, even though the families may have nothing and they may have horrific tales to tell, they have so much Love for God and they really know that he is the almighty.


I live near to the roadside town of Bweyogere, on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. To get to our small village of Kakajjo you would have to travel along a dirt track, most of the roads we use are dirt tracks or the occasional tarmac road with huge pot holes, there are no pathways or curbs, just huge drainage ditches full of rubbish and raw sewage.

There are always small piles of burning rubbish by the side of the road, which means that early in the morning or late at night, you can always smell an unfamiliar fragrance of burning plastic bags and food waste. If this seems like I am moaning, this is not the case, these are just a few day to day things that I am enjoying getting used to, such as not drinking the tap water and having gecko/lizards crawl across the walls and around three power cuts a week.


I live in a gated compound along with 10 other women, all of different age ranges and from different countries around the world, we have a Texan, three Canadians, a Ugandan and five English which makes for a great combination of cultures and opinions. Our compound overlooks a sloping playing field which is used to graze cattle and is a place where most evenings men can play football together.


Our team now consists of around twenty five people male and female, Westerners and Ugandans.

Our day begins at 8:30am, (or 7am if myself and maybe a few other girls go running when the temperature is a cool 20 degrees) every working day (usually a Monday-Friday) we all meet in our lounge and have a time of devotion from around 8:30am until 10am, where we meet in the presence of God and are able to worship and praise together. I admit that I often struggle with this part of the day, as my personal connection with God is just developing, and I often feel that our time can be spent more productively by having open discussions as a team or committing more time to the communities we work in to listen to their stories and make them feel that they do have a voice.


After our time of devotion we all congregate in our slum teams and head out to the communities, this could be by Revelation Life 4×4 or matatu.

There are four communities/ slums that we work in: Kasubi is the nearest, meaning we can walk there, Banda is the largest slum and situated next to a gas works. Then there is Katogo 1 and Katogo 2, which are along the railway track from Banda, we like everyone else walk along the railway track from Katogo 1 or 2 to Banda or visa versa, if we dont manage to get a matatu of Revelation Life 4×4 to go the 20 minute car journey.

Once we arrive in the communities we sometimes have no agenda, but just to meet with the families, a bit like calling round to see how a friend is doing in the UK, assessing the children, spending time with the families, so they get to share their life journey looking at any problems that the families have, giving prayer to them if they would like. We may spend time playing simple games like clapping with the children, or praying with the mamas, this is such a easy way of showing our love for these people.

I work as part of the feeding programme where we provide food for the Mamas to cook, not ready to use supplementary foods, our work and vision is about seeing long-term improvements.

In the morning is also when the feeding programme commences for most communities, so in daily rotation I go around to the four communities when each team is assigned to do the feeding programme. We go with a list of foods for each child that is already on the feeding programme, a set of scales (both the baby sit-in and walk-on type) a tape measure and Revelation Life money. Once we have arrived at our feeding programme destination we buy food from the market sellers (this is a job which most of the women in the slum communities hold, as there are small holdings where they can grow a few crops like Matoke to sell for cash or they buy them as wholesale goods from a supplier to sell for profit), this really allows us to get involved with the community as we are contributing to family businesses along the slum.

The bags for each child may typically contain millet porridge (very high nutritional value), ground g-nuts (tastes like peanuts) greens (looks a bit like stringy young kale), avocado, silver fish, eggs, beans, blue-band (a type of margarine that doesnt need to be refrigerated).

Once the bags for each child have been put together then we walk to their homes, it feels so appropriate to call them homes now, but really they are mud huts with corrugated iron roofs built on or around flood plains.

More often than not the children are close by to the home as they are malnourished and so have very little energy, but sometimes it may take a few minutes for the mama to find them as they could be playing in the mud or on the rubbish heap. We give the bag of food to the mama and explain what we have provided this week, then we take height (cm), weight (kg) and Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) measurements and record them on a sheet which is taken back to the office, to show the childs progress through the weeks and months, every month we take a photo as further evidence to see how the child is doing.

We take time to hear about the childs health, give advice and education about age appropriate foods to feed the child, then finally offer prayer to the Mama for any situations she may feel that are playing heavy on her heart.

After praying and saying our farewells for the day we make our way back to the office and break for lunch, which can be anything from home-made pasta to a rolex (omelette and chipate made like a pancake with flour; water; cabbage; onion and sometimes egg, with sliced tomato and salt added.)

In the afternoon around 2:15/3pm we have street club and discipleship, this a crazy and fun packed time, where we play games with the kids in the slum. We have a large open area in each of the slums where anything from 15 to 50 children can congregate, we usually take a ball, a parachute, some bubbles with us, children can really be themselves and have fun, it is great fun for us to, as we get to see the enjoyment of others. After we have played games and had a few circle games like duck duck goose, we usually place a tarpaulin on the dirt floor and teach the kids a little about the love of Jesus.

As a team we offer the children prayer, which is usually freely received, after which they are then able to go back to their homes.

Whilst the children are running around, some of their Mamas come to discipleship which is lead by a Revelation Life team member who is an ambassador for the slum and one other person, usually a Westerner. This is a time where we can teach the mamas about all that God has provided for them and the love of the Lord. It is a time where we get to connect with the Mamas and they can express themselves comfortably in a group setting.

Our day finishes around 6pm ish after we have packed up street club and made our way back to the office. Then we are free to socialise and cook.

When we are teaching and talking to the children, Mamas or families it is usually first in English and then in Luganda, which is also the way when we are in contact time/ feeding programme, as I have to get a team member to translate for me, this is often difficult as I want the Mama to tell the truth and be honest with us, but sometimes they only say what they think we would like to hear.

My best and worst moments have been hearing the stories of the children, mamas and families; they have been through such hardships, which I cannot even begin to imagine. But they always have an astounding belief that the Lord will provide and miraculously even the toughest situations can turn around and have fruitful outcomes.

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