Monday, October 04, 2010
Today, I am not teaching at "my" school. Instead, I am visiting a few other primary schools along with volunteers from the community to teach children about HIV/AIDS. We will teach them about how to protect themselves, and also about what HIV/AIDS does NOT mean. Many children are born HIV-positive because the disease was passed along to them by their mothers at birth. They are often subject to a lot of shameful stigma, and feel embarrassed or ashamed. Many don't like attending school because they feel like outcasts.
The project that I work with, MCC's Hope Never Runs Dry, aims specifically to support children affected by HIV/AIDS. The reason that I have been assigned to the particular school at which I work is because that is where the greatest number of MCC-supported orphans attend school. Many of them are quite shy, especially with me, a "muzungu" (Swahili for "white person"), but I am working at learning the local language, Lusoga, and getting them to open up.
To answer a few questions that people have asked...
Yes, all of my co-workers are Ugandan. As far as I know, there are no other foreigners living or working in Kamuli permanently. I have never been the minority in such a way before. It's somewhat strange--many young children start to cry the first time they see me!
Secondly, the school at which I work is about 3km from my house--either I ride my bike, or I hire a motorcycle to take me. It's fun.
Anyway, please don't forget to leave lots of comments and to stick your email into the subscription box on the left if you haven't already done so!