College group visits Uganda

Staff from the college with the women from Mbale
Staff from the college with the women from Mbale

A team from Sussex Coast College visited one of the world’s poorest countries over the summer to teach local women craft skills.

Barbara Powell-Jones, the college’s chaplain, took a team of women to Mbale in Uganda to help a group of 30 ladies who were representatives of women’s groups from the poorest villages in the area.

The group covered their own costs and raised money to not only buy the necessary equipment and materials, but also to pay to get the women to the workshops and provide meals during the days. A pot of money was also left behind to provide funding for further projects.

The team had charity baggage allowance so as well as taking requested items such as sheets, children’s clothes, shoes and there was a special request for bras.

The group collected more than 200, half of which came from the staff at the college.

Barbara said: “It was very moving to see how the skills taught last time were being used to empower women to generate incomes that enabled them to support their near and extended families. Skills that we take so much for granted or dismiss as being trivial are seen to make a real difference.

“We met some fantastic people on this trip and although at times it was certainly very challenging physically and mentally, I speak for us all when I say we had a fantastic time.

“Not least because of the amazing people we met - people with a real sense of joy, kindness and generosity towards those facing adversity in their midst, even when their own lives are more difficult than we can imagine.

“We went to share and offer what skills we had - and have returned feeling that we are the ones who are richer for the experience.”