I am Irene K. Katrina, a social work student at Uganda Christian University in Mukono. I started volunteering in Love Uganda Foundation’s office in September amidst the pandemic that broke out which put a pause to many activities including education, businesses and other daily routines. On 9th November, I got a chance to visit the orphanage in Kalagi Sub County to share a moment with the children.
Love Uganda Orphanage in Kalagi sub county, Mukono district is such an
amazing place that you wouldn’t regret visiting even on your bad days. However much you are down, you will leave it with a huge and loud smile on your face. I was so amazed on arrival at the orphanage.
I was warmly welcomed at the entrance of the orphanage and referred to as ‘aunt’ by the children. ‘Welcome aunt’ each child uttered out as soon as they came in contact with me. This was just the start of it all.
I walked past the entrance and made myself comfortable in the living room where the visitors normally sit. A few children came and sat around me, asked for my name and gave me theirs in return. I cherished most of them for their joyous attitude fore put which gave me much more easiness. No sooner had I known than the children planned a surprise presentation for me.
A sweet gospel song was playing in the room, yet I was still taken by surprise by their performance to the song. I didn’t have a clue that they were going to give me an entertainment in order to welcome me.
From the entrance, smart and neatly dressed children of about 5-7years old entered in while dancing to the beat from the background music. They made an organized formation in front of me and twisted their waists with a lot of easiness. All their dances were breathtaking and I was drowning in happiness at the sight of the little kids doing all they could for me at that time.
At this point, I felt too emotional because of the energy they used to dance even at the tender age they are in. I knew there was still more in stock for me because these children had the energy to dance and still appeared fresh and strong to every song that played. After about four fully played songs, they left the stage and another group of children between 8-13 years joined in.
I decided to stand up and dance along with them because the energy that was in the room was unbearable to just look on. I had to study their moves and match their energy too which was fun because I managed to do them exactly the way they did. There were only few moves where I messed up because I found them hard but regardless, everything was so pleasing.
After the performance, the children were given snacks by their caretaker, ‘papa’ as they referred to him. I decided to engage in taking pictures and recording videos with the children outside the room. Some children were out playing with their toys, netballs and footballs, and they kept running around happily.
All the children are actually friendly and they can’t seem to leave you to stand or sit on your own. They make it a must to give you a lively experience with them. There was no single moment where I stood or sat on my own without a child giving me company around me. They aim at making you adapt to their surrounding and lifestyle.
While I was taking pictures of those playing football, one little girl came towards me holding a bunny. The little rabbit was harmless and was not afraid of being carried by strangers. I took it from her arms and carried it into mine. The rabbit was relaxed in my arms and made it-self comfortable. It kept sniffing my fingers and shaking its whiskers in search for something I guess.
Later on, we went inside for another gathering. The place was filled with life inside. This time round, the children kept showcasing each other different dance strokes, others were playing among themselves while the rest were reading from the notice board.
It was getting late and I had to bid farewell. In just those few hours which I spent with the children, I was already attached to the majority personally and I couldn’t bear leaving them once again. Although I had to say bye, I know that I will still go back to meet them soon.
It’s really an amazing experience with the children at Love Uganda Orphanage. The cute little faces won’t consider you a stranger but rather show you love by giving you what they can to thank you for the efforts you make to visit them. I would advise everyone to take a day off and bless the children at Love Uganda Foundation and have fun with them. These are children who were orphaned at a young age, and offering them these visits will give them a belonging too. With this, they will not feel alone but rather believe that they have people that love, care and mind about them. Give them reasons to always be happy and joyous.