Hope for the Children of War
$5,445 of $6,900 goal
I've been invited to offer skills development to national professionals who are currently working every day to rescue child soldiers.
· To share my skills and expertise in a way that will have a lasting impact on the children of war in Uganda.
· To add to my global understanding of culture and the impact of trauma on children impacted by conflict.
Who am I?
A professional, a wife, a mother to beautiful, amazing daughters, and “Oma” to 5 wonderful Opasons.
I have spent a life-time providing education and opportunities for healing to people in many different countries including Mexico, India, Kuwait, UAE, the US, and Europe. Recently I have returned to Canada from 7 years in Kuwait, where I honed my skills and gained expertise in trauma counselling. I was privileged to be able to work with some stellar people to facilitate social justice, and offer humanitarian aid as a trauma specialist to the disenfranchised, the wounded, and the powerless in the Middle East.
As a life-long learner, I am passionate about providing skills development to professionals around the world, and thrilled about this opportunity in Uganda.
How am I going?
With your help.
I am asking others (YOU) to partner with me, and with Niteo Africa, and Hope North for this project. You can share in this incredible opportunity to make a real and measurable difference in the world. Some people give, and some people go. We are willing and able to GO and donate our time and expertise. Are you willing to GIVE?
We whole-heartedly believe that the people who stay by the stuff are as important as the people who go.
Why are we going?
As partners with others already there to make their vision of a better world a reality.
· to support an initiative local to our community,
· to give back to those who have less,
· to expand our own horizons (and of course)
· to travel!
Where are we going?
To Northern Uganda where Okello Kelo Sam runs Hope North, an organization that is dedicated to rescuing child soldiers.
When are we going?
July 15 to 31, 2015
Who are we going with?
A team of 4 volunteers through Niteo Africa. Our team is made up of local professionals who are donating their time and expertise to National Ugandans already involved in the effort bring healing and hope to the child victims of conflict by empowering and training their caregivers, and by bringing literacy to their world.
More about our partners...
Hope North and on Facebook
Niteo Africa and on Facebook
Will you partner with us?
If you do, we have some nice things to offer. I'll give you the chance to have a photo from Africa, taken by someone you know (or sort of know). One degree of separation between you and the animals and glory that is Uganda.
So go ahead. Donate, please? Maybe you'll get an amazing photo of something incredibly gorgeous. You'll certainly experience the soul-satisfying sense of having made a HUGE and very real difference.
Help me be the 'hands & feet' of the change we all want to see in the world.
I do have time for one more update before I get on the plane tomorrow morning.
I'm still putting things in the groovy backpack ...only to take them out again in 10 minutes because I haven't actually decided //for sure for sure// on the details.
All of the busyness and packing muddle are just diversions from the anxiety I feel over the unknowns of this trip - and there are many. I find myself mentally running through the things I suggest to clients who are struggling with that low-grade sense of worry or agitation.
Thought stop. (check)
Get busy. (check)
Rinse & repeat.
Bill read something yesterday that really resonated with me in the midst of this new experience - "People are not really afraid of change. What they're afraid of ~ what actually causes the anxiety ~ is the fear that they will not have the resources to overcome any negative consequences the change may bring." (I mentally substitute 'adventure' for 'change')
When I think about it that way, the truth is liberating. I DO have the resources I need to meet the challenges of this trip. Whether teaching on trauma (I can do that), travelling (more or less just a matter of the degree of inconvenience), or supporting and encouraging the other team members (love this part) to overcome the challenges we will face, I have what I need. And if by chance I don't, I know I am willing to ask for what I need (I wasn't always ~ this is progress :) )
When I think it through from this perspective, my anxiety dissipates. It doesn't matter what I don't know right now this minute. In the time that I need to be resourceful, I know by experience that I will be, and if I don't have what is needed, I'll find it through or from someone else.
I think I'll close up my backpack and put it by the door. I'm going to go and do other things - like take Bill out for lunch (Melodie deemed this, 'The Last Supper') and spend some precious time with my most faithful, long term front-row-fan.
Cheers from Kelowna. Tomorrow from Kampala.
P.S. Thanks so much to those who've partnered with me on this project ! I'm almost there - only $1600 to go!! I'm so encouraged. Pass around the link, harass/stalk/hover over your friends, colleagues, coworkers, and enemies and with your help. we'll reach the goal.
One week to go! My backpack is out, I'm collecting little piles of stuff to go in all those wonderful pockets, and I'm trying to decide what I absolutely must have with me in order to really effectively teach about making things better in a country that has experienced decades of trauma.
Do I take my laptop or leave it? If I take my laptop, I have to carry it ...everywhere, all the time. I'm not traveling with my husband this time, so it's me, myself, and my baggage. I think I'll not be taking anything I don't have to!
I know that the presentations and the teaching I will do will be "unplugged." No Prezi, no overhead, no projector, and probably no microphone. (This last isn't a problem - I have a natural parade ground voice and have been known to get all excited and fling my mike into the unsuspecting audience. They are much safer if I just shout.) In truth, while I don't necessarily need IT and all the wonders of a digital presentation, it is a bit nerve-wracking to try to guess what resources or references I might want while in Uganda.
One thing I do know - one of the resources of this project has been the people who have supported me in spirit and/or in cash. While the fundraising effort has not //quite// covered the actual cost, it has been so uplifting to me to receive messages of encouragement, hope, and money. Certainly enough to mean that I don't have to walk/swim to Uganda, and I will be able to eat while I'm there. Thank you. (On that note, donations are accepted right up until Tuesday, July 14th, and any help getting to the actual funding goal would be greatly appreciated.)
So, here I am, trolling through my resources, thinking about past teaching I've done, and mentally manipulating the material to fit the context of the Maker Day workshops. It's a challenge, and that excites me. There's nothing that fires me up like a problem to solve ~ especially if there's no obvious or tried-and-true solution immediately evident.
After today, I'll post updates, since I'm told we'll have reliable wifi in the accommodations so we can check in with family on a daily basis. I'm looking forward to the new experiences, the different culture, and the opportunity to use what I know/have learned to empower a generation wounded by circumstances beyond its control. What an honour and privilege.
I share this experience with an incredible team of women as passionate about giving back as I am, and with all of you. In whatever way you've supported and encouraged this project, I thank you ...and if you thought it was too late to help out, it's not. Feel free to click on "Donate" here on the GoFundMe page or alternatively, slide over to www.niteoafrica.org and donate directly to the project - put my name in the appropriate box so Jocelyn will know what to do with your gift.
There are incentives for donating (see my campaign page) and I promise to try and contain my excitement and nerves long enough to get some photos worth sharing.
As always, feel free to tell all your friends, family (and even your curmudgeonly neighbour) what a great project this is. Pass around these updates with reckless abandon. In return, I send you warm (very warm) fuzzies.
Together, we WILL make a difference.
P.S. As a small bonus, the YouTube video was taken at the Maker Day 2.0 in Penticton. I was impressed with new, twin fawns in the garden. Not something we see everyday.
I am prepared to make up the difference between the funds needed and the support offered, but as of today, that need has gotten much much smaller. Personally, this is a relief to me as we are "...living on air and sunshine" here in Paradise while we work out the details and bureaucracy of opening our practice. That momentous event is set for August 1, meaning I have the time to go to Uganda, but the funds? Not so much.
I now have 33 partners in this project! Those who "stay by the stuff" are just as important as those who go ~ it is those who give that make it possible for those TO go, and together, as partners, we make a HUGE difference in the lives of real people, in real time, for a real future.
Thank you for partnering with me, and with Niteo Africa. Only $2460 left to raise! Help me get there? Please pass this link around - tell your friends. You can check out the two NGOs involved in this trip -
www.niteoafrica.org (literacy centres) and www. hopenorth.org (child soldiers)
With your help, we can do it!
Happy Canada Day!
Many of you have already contributed, meaning I don't have to swim to Uganda, but I invite you to hit up your friends to support this great project. (Can't you just feel the warm fuzzies I'm sending you from the smokin' hot Okanagan?)
The itinerary WAS finalized, but since then, there's been a development. It looks like I'll be able to offer a workshop in Kampala for mental health professionals as well. I'm so excited about this.
It would be amazing to forge an ongoing relationship to support and train some of Uganda's counsellors and therapists to address systemic and generational trauma. In today's digital world, the 'global' perspective of the world is both shrinking and expanding at the same time. 'Shrinking' in that we can talk with someone half a world away without leaving my own desk and 'expanding' because from a smallish city in the Okanagan, we have the opportunity to influence peeps half a world away.
I am now looking at my groovy Berghaus backpack, thinking about the list of things that must go in it before July 15th. It's a bit scary, and bit uncertain, and a lot exciting. Just imagine what we can accomplish together. Together, we will empower those wounded by the past to imagine a future so much better than the present.
What an honour ...and responsibility.
Donations are still needed and would be very much appreciated. You know the drill - contribute through GoFundMe; NiteoAfrica.org (be sure to leave a note that it's for me); etransfer directly to me (firstname.lastname@example.org); or by direct deposit into my NBK bank account in Kuwait (email me for the details). All Canadian contributors will receive a donation receipt for any contribution over $20. If you look at the campaign info, you'll see that I'm offering photos from Uganda (that I will take) as a 'Thank you' for helping me to get there.
Please pass it on?