The Ferrers School Aspire, Achieve, Acclaim

    Uganda 2019

    The first day of our trip was mainly travelling, we got to Huxlow school for 2:15am and made our way by coach to Heathrow airport from which we had a 45 minute flight to Amsterdam with a 50 minute layover. Next, we flew to Entebbe airport in Uganda with a short stop in Rwanda on the way. We arrived at the airport at about 22:45 local time, after security and baggage claim we got several taxis to our first hostel style accommodation at Entebbe backpackers.

    The next morning we woke up around 6.30am, re-packed and got ready to travel again. We had breakfast outside and started the next leg of our journey to the Discovery Centre in Jinja. The coach took around 6 hours but we stopped in Kampala to change our money to Ugandan shillings and to buy some snacks. We got to the Discovery Centre, put our bags in our rooms and had a tour of the very large site including the banana plantation, the media studio and the library/education centre. Whilst waiting for our dinner we had a tour of the local village from the lovely Godfrey and met some of the local children who were very welcoming and lovely people.

    On our first full day at the Discovery Centre we took a trip to the Jinja market to buy souvenirs, clothes and art. After shopping we then travelled to Kingfisher lodge next to Lake Victoria and took a boat trip on Lake Victoria and to the source of the Nile. After we had lunch then headed back to the discovery centre. Once at the centre the Ugandan delegates arrived, we played lots of card games getting to know each other and learnt new ones too and then ate dinner together. Afterwards we got into our groups for our conference and planned our presentations and then that was it for the night.

    Over the next three mornings, we attended the Jinja International Youth conference which was held at the Discovery Centre (DC).  Each group had 15 minutes to introduce their topic and then for the next 45 minutes they presented 3 questions to the audience to discuss and debate.

    On the first day of this conference we explored the impact of Globalization, The Environment and the Place of Internet in Modern Society. Then after having lunch, the children around the village were gathered around and we proudly distributed the clothes made by the Ferrers Textiles students. Later, we spent time with the Ugandan students, completing an obstacle course which was quite challenging but a lot of fun at the same time!

    On the second day, we debated issues concerning Equality, Justice and the Place of Religion in Society. During these discussions we gained a real insight to their cultural beliefs and it was interesting to view the topics from a different perspective.  During the afternoon, we visited the breath-taking Itanda Falls, after we sang and danced around the campfire in the evening. We tried some of their delicious roasted goat while the Ugandans tried our roasted marshmallows. 

    On the last day of the conference we had to evaluate the whole experience and plan ideas and topics for the next years meeting. Then we got the Ugandan delegates to sign our t-shits and take lovely group photos together before then we said our goodbyes.

    One of the local schools the DC works closely with is The Joy Primary school, which we visited in the afternoon. With the extra money that was raised we were able to buy school books for the students. After we arrived back at the DC, it was time to get to get our hands dirty, with the help of Israel we got stuck in and planted cocoa plants. Free time that evening was a lot less exciting without having the Ugandan students around.

    After that emotional Monday, the following Tuesday, Godfrey (Big Company to his friends) took us on a walk to the shore of Lake Victoria. We saw some of the locals fishing boats and fishermen too, they said that they catch one or two tonnes of fish every day! On our way back from Lake Victoria, Godfrey/Big Company kindly bought us half a jack fruit. We tried some of the jack fruit and it was absolutely gorgeous, it tasted like pineapple and mango fused together, but in terms of texture it was thick and slightly sticky. We just wish it was sold in the UK!

    Once we were back from our walk, we gathered all of our suitcases together, said our goodbyes to the lovely Discovery Centre staff and travelled to Entebbe, where we stayed the night at Entebbe Backpackers.

    On Wednesday morning, we travelled 2 hours by boat to Ngamba Island to visit the Chimpanzee sanctuary. Ngamba Island is 100 acres, 90% of which is the chimp’s territory. Whilst at the sanctuary we had the opportunity to feed the chimps, which was fascinating to watch them catch their food. Did you know us humans are 98.7% chimpanzee? That means we can suffer from the same illnesses, diseases and common colds as they do.

    After a tour around the chimpanzee Island, we set sail again to visit Koome Island. Koome is known for the local women making beads for bracelets and necklaces out of recycled paper. We were invited to watch a lady, Ruth, make these beads, after showing us she let us have a try at making a bead. For first time, we did pretty good!

    Next we went to the local school, which holds over 140 students and only has 4 class rooms. One of the teachers said because there is so many students, they sometimes have to teach lessons underneath a tree outside. Parents pay £150 for their child to go to school, and for them to still not have the correct facilities or resources is disappointing and upsetting.

    After saying goodbye to our friends on Ngamba and Koome Island, we set sail once again. We arrived back at Entebbe Backpackers, where we had dinner and left for the airport. Our flight back home was in the early hours of Thursday morning, we landed at London Heathrow airport at 11:00am and travelled by coach back to Huxlow – where our eye opening trip started.

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    The Ferrers School is a member of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, which is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in England & Wales. No. 7552498. Registered Office: Gibraltar Lane, Swavesey, Cambridgeshire CB24 4RS

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