An Abbotsford mom and her son recently returned from a trip to Uganda, where they worked in children’s homes with Watoto, a non-profit agency that cares for 200 to 300 orphaned children.
Amanda Rauh led a team of 15 people from Canada, including her son, Jackson, 7, on the two-and-a-half-week trip.
The group took 39 pieces of luggage that included items such as car seats, medical supplies, baby toys, formula and clothing.
Jackson even brought along some of his old hockey jerseys for some of the kids.
“They were well-received, even if they didn’t know what hockey was,” Amanda said.
The team worked in three different children’s homes, providing care, feeding, changing and love.
They also painted pools; built walls; cleaned, painted and organized medical storage facilities; cleaned all the toys; and did more than 250 loads of laundry, including sorting and folding the items.
Some memories stand out, Amanda said.
“Some of the most memorable time in Uganda was watching the kids play together with my son.
“When Jackson met his sponsor brother David, whom we have sponsored since they were both two years old, it was like they were old friends. Within minutes, they were giggling and singing songs and telling stories to each other.”
Amanda works with Watoto, which cares for children under the age of three before they move on to live with their adoptive families.
She has been to Uganda twice before – the last time in 2011 – and Jackson always wanted to join her.
Amanda promised her son he could come, but only if he could fundraise $2,000 towards the trip.
Jackson raised the funds by selling lemonade, collecting recyclables, and selling chocolate bars and some of his toys. The two hope that Jackson can return again in a few years.
For more information about Watoto, visit watoto.com.