It was late July of 2014 and I was on holiday in Europe with my friends. I woke up one morning and thought I could be doing a lot more with my time and money. It was then I decided that I would travel to Africa for 2 months in the summer of 2015. I had previously travelled to Uganda for a couple of weeks in 2012 and so this seemed the obvious choice of where to go with the friendly hospitable people and great security surrounding their houses. When I told my parents I'm not so sure they believed that I would do it but I was determined to be true to my word and to find any way possible to get to Uganda and help as many people in any way I could. I started to research online about all of the volunteer programmes available but none seemed to last the 9 weeks that I was committed to going for. It was then my dad came home from work and mentioned that a colleague of his knew someone that worked for a health and science university and that's where I came into contact with Professor Scott, the Vice Chancellor of International Health sciences University..

After a few e mails were exchanged I had booked my flights for 2 months. My mum in disbelief and dad excited for my upcoming journey. There was a mixture of emotions surrounding the now inevitable trip that I would be making this summer. I had a lot of distractions in the form of university exams that took my attention away from the nerves that were building as the date was closing in on the 10th June. When I got the e mail explaining what I would be involved in during my stay, I was filled with excitement. As I read through the outline for this project, I thought I couldn't have picked something more perfect to suit me as I'm very into sports and fitness and I love going to church. The worrying budget of $10,000 US dollars certainly gave me a few sleepless nights. But with the support of my parents, their friends and my friends, we were able to raise a good amount of the budget and the generosity of an uncle who was able to donate a projector took some of the pressure off.

We held a fundraiser at my parents’ house which consisted of dinner and a disco accompanied by a raffle containing generous donations from our friends. With exams over, my whole life was consumed by Uganda. Any fears I had were turning into excitement. The day couldn't come soon enough and although it was emotional saying goodbye to my friends and family, I know in my heart I am meant to be here doing this work alongside Teddy and Olivia. I am excited for this journey I am about to embark on with them both and I look forward to the next 8 weeks.

Emma Robinson

 
 
 
 

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A volunteer's Journey

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