Travelogue – Friday, 15th February 2013

Our experience in Uganda continues. After the overnight at ACAV house in Koboko, far away from Nile’s humidity and without electricity (the power generator is switched off all nights), we went to visit Health Centre. There the Municipality of Trento financed the construction of a covered footpath which connects few different buildings in which there are various wards. The centre director underlined with enthusiasm the importance of the construction because it helped to organize the inside part of the structure facilitating the patients’ transportation, particularly for pregnant women and unconscious persons. The sanitary therapies are free but, contrarily to what happens by us, families have to pay for the ambulance’s gasoline and look after the hospitalised relatives (food and cleaning). In the outdoor areas of the hospital there are fire zones for cooking and we see chickens and a donkey. This centre is particularly significant because it is located in a border District and here people coming from the neighbour countries ( South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo) arrive frequently because they try to escape from epidemics and look for an hospital service which is not guaranteed in their countries. The Keri bridge is extremely useful for sick persons coming from Congo; also our group helped during its construction. The centre director explained us that the hospitality offered to foreign persons is not an official choice, but the centre took this decision because they understood that living in a border area means to take the responsibility of the needs and the necessity of the neighbours: at the end, helping them you help also yourself. Here there is an HIV centre, which guarantees periodical checks, and a maternity ward enabled also for the caesarean deliveries.

The second appointment of today was the visit to one of the vocational schools of the ACAV project financed by EU. This institute is located in the Marachà District, in open African countryside. It is currently attended by 111 young individuals from 14 to 19 years old, of which 82 males and 29 females, who receive training to become carpenters, masons, tailors. There are 3 classrooms for 9 classes, one dormitory for 15 students and the teachers’ room, which is a rough room. The attendance period is of 9 months, divided into 3 trimesters. At the end of the course, each student receives a starting kit to initiate to work (measuring tape, trowel, sewing machine, planer, etc.). Some educational internships are guaranteed to few students. We assisted to the big ceremony for the inauguration of the project. Some authorities were present and speeches, singings and dancing to the African dancehall rhythm followed one another. At the end we took part to a huge ring-around-the-rosy together with kids and women.

During the evening visit to Koboko market, we were fascinated by the multitude of colours that surrounded us.

Laura Bertagnolli, Federico Bombarda, Alessandra Clementi, Giulia Endrizzi, Elisa Gazzin, Irene Luce Parisi


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