GO Uganda 2014
In the recent school holidays, the GO Uganda team visited northern Uganda, working with Tamarind Program. Tamarind is a community-based self sustainability organisation, that works with and trains the communities who have been affected by war.
Year 11 student Chloe Hodgkinson shares some reflections from the trip:
If I had one word to sum up the entirety of my experience, everything I saw and did in Uganda, it would be humbling.
I have a deferential, non-questioning respect for every aspect of the trip and the change it has instigated within me. I have always been told about developing countries in a way that portrays them to be lesser than those that are developed, however my perception of this was challenged whilst in Uganda. I found myself feeling happier and freer than ever before, and couldn’t help but wonder, why these nations are considered to be ‘developing’, when they have the most important building blocks of life down to a tee, something those of us in developed countries still struggle with.
Aspects of our lives may be considered ‘developed’ compared to those of other nations, for example, constant access to clean, running water and a nurse for every hospital patient, but is there a level where we reach our prime development stage, and then begin to decrease from there? Surely we would have been just fine, if not happier without the development of smartphones or a social media site to document every thought, photo or feeling. We may think we are more developed, with better technology and the ability to instantly ‘connect’ with anyone, anywhere at any time.
Even now I use the word ‘connection’ loosely in this context, as it does not progress more than a superficial level. Many of us have adopted this method of connection, myself included, but nothing compares to the sense of a real, deep and meaningful connection and the joy that accompanies it. This was so clearly and undeniably evident in Uganda, even with those I’d only just met, which ultimately is what has driven me to question our label as a ‘developed’ country because, in what world does developed mean the sacrifice of human interaction, real-life experiences, love and relationships? And so I am humbled. My ideas on what were once important have been shattered and replaced with something so much more tangible, rewarding and the feeling of subservience.