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Report by Greta and Clara (2015/2016)

The farewell was very sad
Die Coesfelderin Greta Lüking machte einen einjährigen Freiwilligendienst im afrikanischen Uganda

by A. Velken ( Morning awakening from the noise of children, chaotic classes in the Middle Class, washing clothes, play afternoons, bathing, baking, cooking or "in-bed-bring-actions" - all this has become a daily routine for Greta Lüking. An everyday life that the 19-year-old now had to leave behind with a heavy heart: For one year, Coesfelderin volunteered in Uganda and taught at the Ewaldi Community School in Nakaseke district - about two hours away from the capital Kampala - in the subjects of math, painting and drawing or "writing". Now she returned to Germany - with many letters, presents and even more beautiful memories in her luggage. "The farewell was very sad. The school really became our home after this year and it was funny to finally pack up and leave all that behind. The children have become very dear to me in the time, "recalls Greta. "Two days before our departure there was a farewell party with a big feast and a disco. Some children have not stopped crying! ", Coesfelderin continues. Almost exactly a year ago, Greta Lüking, together with her co-volunteer Clara Schüppler from Rinkerode, set out for Uganda, some 6200 km as the crow flies, to work as a volunteer at the Ewaldi Community School in the Nakaseke district of Uganda live and work. The project, which is mainly financed by donations and sponsorships, was created by the friendship of the Bocholter Pastoralreferenten Andre Bösing and the Ugander Stephen Sango. Around 300 children attend the school at present, about 130 of them live in boarding school. "The lessons there are completely in English, which was not easy in the beginning. The children were very hard to understand and sometimes the words were just an "I" range, for example, "says Greta. "In the meantime I have a Ugandan accent in English myself, that's funny."

Luganda - the language that most children speak at the Ewaldi Community School - also learned Greta, especially to communicate with the youngest in the so-called "Baby Class". "We first learned simple phrases like greetings so we could communicate well. The children find that quite cool, if you can talk to them on Luganda, "said Greta, who will begin in October her studies in German studies and history in Münster. But not only the lessons in Baby, Middle and Top Class was one of the volunteers' tasks: in the afternoon, free play with the children was on the program. "It was then played with blocks, washed with the children's laundry or bathed outside in the meadow," says Greta. "Of course it was difficult for the younger ones - in the afternoon we were a friend and in the morning the strict teacher. Well, I was never really strict, "laughs Greta. The 19-year-old also likes to recall the many back-home afternoons with the children of the sixth grade, at which bread rolls or even muffins were baked. "Once we baked pizza and then watched the Lion King together. Four children fell asleep on my leg at the same time! "During the long holidays from December to February, trips to Tanzania, Zanzibar and Rwanda were also on the program together with other volunteers. "During the Easter holidays my family visited me and together with the children we celebrated Easter and even hid Easter eggs. It was great that my family got to know my everyday life there! ", Greta recalls. And even though Greta is constantly thinking back to her time in Uganda since her arrival in Germany, there are some things she's already looking forward to: "I'm especially looking forward to cheese rolls and cheese in general. I also missed riding a bike. I am already looking forward to my studies and, of course, to seeing the other volunteers again soon! " The Ewaldi Community School remains connected to Greta: She has taken over a sponsorship for the 9-year-old Helen.

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