Journey of Hope – Sidney’s visit to Uganda – Community Jubilee Health Learning Stations
November 18th, 2023
My name is Sidney Meeks and I am a nurisng student at Montana Tech. I would like to thank all of you for this opportunity and experience of a lifetime that I will always be grateful for.
On June 2nd we invited the entire community to the AGAPE training center and farm for a day of interactive learning stations and goat feed. The VHTs (Village Health Teams) and I planned the stations based on the trainings they had over the prior week. We had around 400 people attend – kids too!
The kids were instructed on the importance of good hygiene and the proper way to brush their teeth. They had play time and completed coloring pages, while the rest of the community went through several learning stations.
The stations included information on proper hygiene and sanitation. They learned to make a “tippy tap” for washing their hands. They were entertained by the skit “Pig Story” about proper sanitation to prevent diarrhea. They also learned the importance of having a latrine in a specific spot away from their house and water source. All participants got a bar of soap to take home.
Another station taught how to use a mosquito net properly to aid in the prevention of malaria. The pregnant women, elderly and disabled were all given a net, and more are going to be distributed from the government soon. One of the goals of the VHT trainings was to integrate with the local ministry of health and this was a huge success!
The young women were taught about women’s hygiene and school age girls were given a hygiene kit. They were so grateful, and I wish we could have taken an unlimited supply with us for all of them. It was an eye-opening experience for me, as well as sad, because that isn’t something that first crossed my mind when thinking about things that they go without. As a woman, I can’t imagine not having access to necessary hygiene supplies.
The last station was a nutrition station where they discovered the “Grow, Glow, and Go” foods and were given a variety of seeds to take home with them. We also washed some children’s heads that had head fungus that had come to us for help, I really enjoyed helping them and being a part of that.
After everyone had gone through all the stations, we had a community meal that included goat, beans, rice, posha, and cabbage. Everyone ate and enjoyed the evening together. We ended the night by watching a film about Jesus which was in their local language.
I truly enjoyed the entire day, and seeing how happy they all were to be there and to be learning. The VHTs did an amazing job teaching the rest of their community everything that they had learned throughout the week, and I know that will really make a difference in all their lives.