Abbotsford boy, 7, joins mom on Uganda charity trip

Amanda Rauh is keeping her promise to her son on her next Africa trip.

Jackson Rauh

Jackson Rauh

Abbotsford mom Amanda Rauh has travelled to Uganda twice before to work with a charity – but this time she is taking her seven-year-old son with her to pass on the tradition.

Amanda works with Watoto, a non-profit that cares for 200–300 orphaned children under the age of three before they move on to live with their adoptive families. Her last trip was in 2011.

Her son Jackson always asked when he could join her in Uganda.

“I made the mistake of telling him when he turned seven, he could go to Africa with me. Well, that was almost four years ago and the child has a memory like an elephant. So when I was putting together the Baby Watoto national team, my son asked again, or rather told me that he was going to be seven and that he should be able to go to Africa.”

Amanda agreed. The two are heading out from Feb. 15 to Mar. 4. to Uganda, with Amanda leading a team of 15 people from across Canada. In tow are 20 pieces of luggage carrying everything from playhouses to baby formula to medical supplies.

Amanda spoke with Jackson about why he wanted to come.

“His answer was that he wanted to help the babies that had no mommies or daddies and he wanted to go and pray with them/for them and help make them laugh.”

Amanda was overjoyed at the answer. But being a mom who believes in teaching independence, she promised Jackson he could join if he could fundraise $2,000 towards the trip.

Jackson went on to host lemonade stands, collect recycling, and sell chocolate bars and some of his toys. He hit his target, and he is joining Amanda on Feb. 15.

When hearing criticism about taking such a young boy on the trip, Amanda replies, “Why not? Let him see what life is really like in some places.”

Amanda Rauh