Monday 23rd July
Half of the team travelled to Pallisa, a 3 hour drive to the rural landscape of Uganda, to understand and see the work of Tearfund in this country. Tearfund help fund the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) to carry out their Participatory Evaluation Process (PEP) projects. PEP work through Pentecostal churches to spread their help to the wider community. They use a 3 year programme to train people to gain basic skills to run a small business for the benefit of the community. PEP looks at what skills/businesses people already have and then aim to help them improve this so they can make a better profit and therefore look after their families at home. For example, we met a women named Ruth who was a tailor but had little skills and material, she was in poverty and couldn’t look after her family or send her children to school. PEP helped to train her to improve her situation and now she has her own shop with 100’s of materials and customers – we noticed the whole village wearing her designs! Other people we met through the PEP program was Alfred who owned 2 business shops, Susan who had her own pharmacy and Robert who owned a co-operative bank. All of these people had very little before PEP but are now all successful business people and rejoice in God and Tearfund for helping them. It’s great to hear how proud they are of the work they have done and how special they feel about us going to meet and pray for them.
After our visits we went to a local Pentecostal church called ‘Langue Kamuge Olinga PAG church’ where we had an extremely warm welcome to some fantastic music, singing and dancing. We listened to a run down of all the steps taken in the PEP process, which seem very robust and methodical. We were thanked many times and were told to send their thanks and regards back to Riverside church for supporting Tearfund over the past years, it has made such a transformational change to their lives and they couldn’t be more grateful. They hope that we will visit again in years to come to see their progress grow and grow.
The rest stayed at the centre for a fairly chilled day. We got to spend more quality time with the kids, each and every one of them have so much character and bring so much joy. We played games then in the afternoon done some crafts. Beth continued to paint the wall with the help of others and it’s coming along very nicely! We also got the chance to hang out with the children in the local area, who often come to the centre gate to try and play with us. They all are so happy to see some ‘mzungus’ and always want to hug us and hold our hands. Overall, a lovely day in the centre topped off with being able to shop in the VICOBA youth shop.