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Some days ago, my husband and I have with pain in our hearts returned to the Netherlands from another wonderful, yet this time more than ever confronting trip to Uganda, spent with our Ugandan team at NiCA Foundation.
Ever since we first visited the country in 2016, we have fallen in love with its beautiful nature (Uganda is so rightfully called the ‘Pearl of Africa’!) and not to forget its friendly and most hospitable population. Yet, it can also not be denied that far the biggest part of the population lives in extremely poor circumstances, which become clearly visible if you look beyond the wildlife and the beautiful resorts, if you dare to move into the villages and face the circumstances in which families are struggling to survive, in most cases not even having direct access to water (not to mention clean water), with that being known the source of all life…
Above everything, it have been these heartbreaking circumstances that we witnessed which have motivated us to start helping in Uganda, which has eventually resulted in the establishment of first HWMCO-Nederland in the Netherlands, followed by Nicky’s Care for Africa Foundation (NiCA Foundation) in Kabale District in the southwest of Uganda.
During our recent journey, we have with our own eyes witnessed the impact of first COVID-19 and currently the war in Ukraine. Following COVID-19 measures a huge number of people have lost their jobs which is causing them serious financial troubles, such as no longer being able to pay the rent for their houses, school fees for their children and medical treatments; those problems already existed for many, but their number has now grown explosively.
Also in Uganda, just as in many other countries worldwide, the price of oil has explosively increased following the war in Ukraine. During our recent stay, we have clearly witnessed the impact of it. Already the first evening, the taxi that was supposed to bring us from the airport to our hotel, stranded on the way: it had run out of fuel. Luckily, the driver could solve the problem by calling a nearby colleague who brought another car; yet, over the weeks we have witnessed many cars and boda boda’s (125cc motorcycles) stranding on the way without fuel, simply because people try hard to fill only the fuel that they need to get somewhere. We even found fuel stations in Kabale town repeatedly being without fuel for several days or longer, caused by a combination of scarcity (Uganda completely depends on imported fuel) and lack of financial means to buy new stock.
Disastrous is also that the price of a commodity such as soap (which contains oil) has now tripled, meaning that many Ugandans cannot even afford it anymore…
On top of all that, we have also witnessed that, due to enormous drought of the last months, many crops cannot be harvested, which will of course only add to the poverty.
Conclusion: the Ugandan population is, like populations all over the world, seriously impacted by the consequences of COVID-19 and the current war in Ukraine. Yet, for the poor population in Uganda it’s literally about having something to eat every day, it’s about their every day’s struggle to survive!
We are determined to continue our help as the joint team of HWMCO-Nederland & NiCA Foundation, with our main focus on providing children in our working area a worthy future, whereby we are most grateful for the results of our efforts so far. They are vast proof that with responsible management and short communication lines, so much can be achieved!
Please enjoy in the slider below some first pictures of this most recent trip.
Please stay tuned!
HWMCO-Nederland & NiCA Foundation
‘We Fight Poverty by Bringing Development’
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