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Supporting families in Uganda with mentally & physically disabled youth

Posted on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 by SEE

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On June 4, five of SEE Design’s team members will travel to Uganda to run in a unique event that combines marathon distance running with volunteering and community aid.

Why support Uganda when we face healthcare challenges locally? Surely there are issues closer to home where we could apply our energy? In the UK, Staff shortages in the NHS, in Canada over a 1/4 of children in Montreal/Toronto living in poverty and in the US levels of opioid addiction amongst teens reaching new heights – just a few examples.

We chose the event in Uganda for the way it combined:
• A reward for our team – visiting Africa is exciting! Travel and accommodation expenses will be paid by the company.
• A strong motivation to grow in health / physical capability – we’ll be running in heat, hill terrain and over a distance (whether full or half marathon) that makes for one of the greatest athletic challenges of our lives.
• An opportunity to serve a community in great need.

The cause we selected focuses on holistic support for families with mentally and physically disabled children – of particular significance to our team who have seen close friends and family affected by such disabilities.

And the dilemma of helping causes at home vs abroad? No cause is more deserving than another, however upon investigating the work the charity does we felt that the severe degree of suffering experienced and indeed the potential difference we might make by supporting it (our dollars and pounds go much further in Uganda vs. the high costs of care at home), it made for a strong argument for us to put our energy towards this endeavour.

Take 9-year old Bonnie – pictured above on the left in 2015 – with undiagnosed epileptic fits his parents, lacking knowledge and better means of protecting him from self-harm, tied him to a tree. The charity we’re supporting witnessed other children with similar conditions locked in cages.

We have a week in Maska prior to the race where we will see first-hand the organization and its impact in the community. From what we’ve learnt so far we’re encouraged by their approach: holistic, family-focused and long-term.

Indeed since 2015 Bonnie’s story has improved – money from earlier marathons brought him a hospital referral, medication, education for his family in care, and help fencing in a playground area at home.

He now enjoys safe time on the swings with his sister, he no longer rips at his clothes, and on the horizon a sense of purpose as part of a new mushroom growing operation owned and run by the community, initiated by the charity we’re supporting.

If you’d like to support us in this event and learn more about the charity please visit our group fund-raising page where there are links to our team members and buttons to donate.

Thank you for your kind attention and support.





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