MEET THE LO­CALS MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE IN AFRICA

Fraser Coast lo­cals help­ing in Uganda

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - An­nie Perets an­nie.perets@ fraser­coastchron­i­cle.com.au

THEY set off to Africa on a mis­sion, and have been met with an ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time.

Nine Fraser Coast lo­cals are work­ing 12 hours a day, ev­ery day, in Uganda to make a multi-pur­pose build­ing come to life.

So far al­most $25,000 has been do­nated towards the project to see it come to fruition.

Her­vey Bay’s David Pier­son, who is doc­u­ment­ing their progress through an on­line web­series, said the group was shocked to find the build­ing site much big­ger than an­tic­i­pated.

“When we ar­rived, we found that the foot­ings had been dug for a build­ing nearly four times larger than we had ex­pected to build,” Mr Pier­son said.

“Al­though a sur­prise, this larger build­ing will be an even greater bless­ing to the com­mu­nity with po­ten­tial uses as a church, school, coun­selling and other pur­poses all in one.”

Time be­tween work is spent meet­ing with the Ugan­dan lo­cals through play­ing soc­cer and danc­ing.

Mr Pier­son said the group has quickly formed a bond with res­i­dents.

“The peo­ple here are in­cred­i­bly friendly and wel­com­ing – and ap­pre­cia­tive of our be­ing here – they reg­u­larly stop in with the gift of a mango and to see how things are pro­gress­ing,” he said.

“The chil­dren too love to stop by and get in to give us a hand, or do some draw­ing and writ­ing with the school sup­plies do­nated for them.”

One thing’s for sure; they will leave an im­pres­sion on the Uganda com­mu­nity in more ways than one.

“We have had with us a team of hard-work­ing lo­cals, to teach them the ba­sic skills in block mak­ing, and con­cret­ing, so they might be able to con­tinue this work once we have left,” Mr Pier­son said.

“This will pro­vide them with a mi­cro in­dus­try as

...they reg­u­larly stop in with the gift of a mango and to see how things are pro­gress­ing.

they can pro­duce and sell th­ese blocks and can also use th­ese skills in other works around the com­mu­nity cre­at­ing in­come for them and their fam­i­lies.”

To donate go on­line to go­fundme.com/help-to-builda-school-in-uganda/donate.

All of the funds are used for build­ing ma­te­ri­als and lo­cal labour.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

BUILD­ING OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES: A group of lo­cals from Fraser Coast is cur­rently build­ing a shelter in Uganda.

IN UGANDA: David Pier­son teaches a young boy how to use his cam­era gear.

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