This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to spend three weeks in northern Uganda. Most of my time was spent working with a nursing school and hospital located in Gulu. I am a Registered Nurse and currently back in grad school in hopes of becomming a family nurse practitioner. There were too many moments to count that touched my life while I was there, but one in particular pulled more than one heart string.
While in Gulu, I was lucky enough to visit a primary school in Paicho (pronounced Pie-Cho) - just northeast of Gulu. The number of children at this primary school overwhelmed and astonished me. Many, if not all, of these kids were directly affected by the civil unrest in northern Uganda since the early 1980s. The Lord Resistance Army (LRA) continued to place fear in the Acholi people until as recently as 2006. Children were among the victims of brutal attacks and kidnappings - being used as child soliders and sex slaves.
Overcoming such tragedy seems impossible. But the Ugandan people are relentless and forgiving, and determined to overcome the war-ravaged years. The children in northern Uganda have been faced with a seemingly impossible feat - to grow up and be children. Many children at Paicho have one or no parents. But they have each other. And they have an amazing ministry supporting them since 2006 - New Song of Grace Uganda, led by Pastor Chris Bwami.
I only spent a day with the children at Paicho. But I fell in love, and I fell hard. I returned home and knew that I wanted to do something. I heard about the Go Fund Me website and thought I would check it out for fundraising purposes for New Song of Grace Uganda and Pastor Chris' ministry. I will be running my first marathon - 26.2 miles - on November 11th of this year and it is my goal to raise as much money as I can for these sweet Ugandan children. I have set a goal of $5,000 as I would like to finish in 5 hours...I'm not sure if either goal is attainable, but I'm going to try my best! And I would love your help :)
I will continue to update this site and my blog parkvilletraveler.wordpress.com throughout my training and hope to inspire others to be global citizens...whether it be through travel, running, donations, etc :)