In 1997, a team
of thirteen Scout leaders(17.8k) visited Iganga, Uganda.(map) They camped with over 250
Ugandan Scouts and visited many schools. That was the climax of
long winter nights collecting and packing over 50 000 books covering
all age ranges and educational topics.
This is a report
written by Sarah Corbett - ACSL, 4th Dorking
"I was part
of the Surrey team that went out to Uganda for three weeks in July.
There were thirteen of us, unlucky for some maybe, but not for us,
as we all had an excellent time. This was my first trip to Africa,
so I was not too sure what to expect but, I have to say, it exceeded
all my expectations and I can't wait to go again.
We spent the first
week camping with about 250 Ugandan Cub Scouts, Junior Scouts and
Rover Scouts; This was a fantastic opportunity for both them and us.
They all made their own tents from natural materials, which they also
used to build a range of incredible gadgets. We became involved with
their community projects which included building a mud hut for an
old lady, repairing a well, tree-planting and doing a litter-pick
around a slum. Scouting is a very large part of their lives and as
well as being dedicated to it, more importantly they really enjoy
it! We spent every evening around a campfire and I can honestly say
I have never experienced campfires quite like theirs, and probably
will never again. Everyone was singing, dancing, clapping their hands
and having FUN!
We spent the rest
of the time visiting schools which had Scout Troops linked to them.
Our carrier full of books finally arrived and we spent time handing
these books out to the many schools and colleges The response of the
students and children when they received them was one of happy, smiling
During the last
week, we visited a game reserve which was on the west side of Uganda.
It was fantastic to see the various animals at such close quarters.
In fact, one morning I woke up at 3.45am to a very unusual noise which,
when 1 looked out the window, turned out to be a mother and baby hippo
munching the grass just a few feet away.
We finished our
trip by spending a couple of nights at Kaazi which is a national campsite.
Here we met some Scouts from Rwanda and even some Venture Scouts from
the three weeks went all too quickly. I had a fantastic time, one
I shall never forget. I made so many friends and have so many memories
- all of them very special.
So, finally, on
behalf of the team, the students and children of Uganda a huge 'thank
you' to everyone who made this project work. "