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Spring trip to Africa  

Spring 2009

Long term commitment from Eagles Wings
Once again, Eagles Wings can return home from Africa knowing that more lives have been changed and even rescued with the help and support of faithful individuals, schools, businesses, clubs and organisations. The more often we go back, the more I am encouraged that there are so many testimonies of restored hope and rebuilding of devastated lives that we haven’t yet heard. We cannot expect that desperate situations will change in an instant, but that is why we are in it for the long run, and that is what makes us different.

Girl power
This Spring trip to Kenya and Uganda had a real element of ‘girl power’ as it was made up of five women, each with different skills, abilities and strengths to offer. As always we crammed as many donated goods, medical supplies, clothes and things to give away as would fit into our bags. (Bearing in mind that it was 5 women, I think we did a rather good job!) Our first stop was in Kenya.

We had arranged for a 3-day conference with the women in Nakuru. Immediately when we got there, it was obvious that the effects of last years’ tribal conflicts were still stunting a lot of the growth in the community, and that fear is a huge part of their lives. This was very sad to see as we listened to them tell us why they found it so hard to trust and confide in one another.

Two of our team members were trained in trauma counseling, and so offered helpful advice and guidance to the many women who were suffering because they had no one to talk to and no one to show them how to deal with the pain of loss and betrayal. It was a real privilege to be able to help these women halve their worries by sharing them with us. To show them love and support at this time was invaluable to them. There were many tears shed and embraces shared, but I felt by the end, a real sense of freedom for many of them.

Moses, the amazing paramedic and driver of the Eagles Wings ambulance
During the week I had the privilege of meeting Moses, the only fully qualified paramedic in the whole of Nakuru, he is 24 years old! Moses drives the fully functioning ambulance that Eagles Wings sent out last year with Brittania Ambulances Services, and is able to respond to many emergencies including delivering babies.

I was shocked when he told me that the most common emergency he responds to is the collapsing of buildings! As you can imagine, being one of the only ambulances to serve such a large town, Moses is kept incredibly busy and is in need of all the help he can get.

Immediate response
Many of our supporters kindly donated to our tanker explosion appeal in February, this enabled us to send medical aid straight out specifically for burn victims. Moses was one of the first medics on the scene and was able to treat many with the aid we had sent out. He said that the whole situation was horrific, but he was so grateful for the support of Eagles Wings as it enabled him to help many in desperate pain.

Elburgon Girl’s Home visit
We took some time to visit all of our girls at the Girl’s Home in Elburgon. We were greeted with warm hugs and huge smiles, and were whisked around their home so they could show us how clean and tidy it was!

This part of the trip meant the most to me. I have been endeavouring to get each girl individually sponsored, and in doing so, I have learnt of the backgrounds that many of them have come from. If you saw just how beautiful and lovely these girls are, you would never guess what kind of lives they have had to endure. Physical and emotional abuse, family members who have either been killed or died from sickness, no form of love or attention, made to sleep outside or work so hard that they get sick to name but a few.

Having been placed in a loving and encouraging environment, some of them are only just beginning to trust again and see a hope and a future for their lives. Never have I met before such humble, young ladies, truly grateful for everything they have been given. They performed a dance and a song for us during our visit. None of the girls have pillows on their beds or desks and chairs to do their homework on, and they use plastic bags to store their belongings. It only costs £15 a month to provide one.

Health and education seminar
Our second week we spent in Kampala, Uganda where we had an amazing time! About 300 ladies from the islands (about a 2 hour journey by boat from Kampala) had gathered for health and education sessions. There is an extremely low literacy rate for people living in this region, and unfortunately, where there is a lack of education this often leads to sickness and difficult living circumstances.

One member of our team, Sharon Oliver, a nurse by profession, discussed with these ladies most topics relating to women’s health. Many of the women for the first time breathed a sigh of relief, having believed for years that they were either sick or dying simply because they did not know!

Three wedding dresses
We were able to give out clothes donated from various charity shops including 3 beautiful wedding dresses, one of which was kindly donated by The Living Room. While we were in Katwe Slum in Kampala, a young couple who we have known from previous visits were going through their introduction for marriage. The bride had no wedding dress to wear and no means to buy one, so we gave her one of the dresses and it fit perfectly! She was so happy.

Medical supplies donated
We also took 2 suitcases full of medical equipment such as sterile bandages, IV antibiotics, syringes, and supplies most suitable for a small clinic. The Katwe clinic is a great success in serving the local community, enabling particularly children to be treated early on so serious illness can be prevented. We visited the school in Katwe Slum. It is doing really well and they have been able to take in more children. The teachers of the school get a very low wage, but love the children they are teaching and are very grateful to even have the opportunity.

School pays teacher’s salary
A school in England who are supporting Eagles Wings, raised money by having a dress down day which paid one teacher’s salary for 3 months.

Financial advice
One of our team members, Kerstin Meeson-Smith, an accountant from Cambridge, did sessions with about 200 youth that gathered in the area on handling finances. She did a great job at teaching ways in which we can use our money wisely and starting up a new business.

Improving employment opportunities
Kerstin also taught on how to present yourself when going for a job interview and how to write a CV. As Kerstin is an employer herself, she had some great advice for them. One girl came to Kerstin at the end and said that now she knows the reason why she wasn’t hired! This teaching is invaluable to the development and self-sufficiency of this town. I’m excited for the positive growth and development that will come as a result of people’s generous giving.

Thank you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given or who regularly give to the work we are doing in Kenya and Uganda. Let me assure you that we are doing our very best to do what we promised right from the start, to help change the lives of those in desperate circumstances for good. With your help, this is just what we are doing!

We understand that times are difficult for some, and we thank you for your continued support. Please continue to give whatever you can. If there is a particular project that we are involved in that has struck you, please give and we will make sure it goes to the people or place that has touched your heart.

You can help with our projects by going to our ‘giving’ page and either giving online, or by cheque.

News
archive

Photos from the Eagles Wings trip
Lady selling coal
Lady selling coal

Spring trip
Sheena of Eagles Wings team with girls from our Girls’ Home

Eagles Wings trip
Sharon teaching at the conference

Eagles Wings trip\
Some children of
the community

Eagles Wings trip
Some of the women gathered
for the health seminars.

Eagles Wings trip
Bride to be who will wear
donated wedding dress

Eagles Wiings trip
Jane distributing medical
supplies.

Eagles Wings trip
Children from Katwe Slum

 

 
Famine Relief: Kenya/Sudan border
First Eagles Wings aid truck reaches Lokichogio October 2011
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Eagles Wings Kenya, Nebbi Maternity Clinic
 
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