YFCU Charity Trip to Uganda a Humbling Success
The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) Uganda Charity Team recently returned from their journey to Uganda where they saw the progress of the money raised in the associations 85th anniversary year, which was donated to their chosen charity Fields of Life.
The YFCU charity team comprised of Martyn Blair, YFCU President, Janette Stirling, YFCU Vice President and member of Glarryford YFC, James Speers, YFCU Vice President and member of Collone YFC and Joe Brown one of the top three fundraisers and member of Ballywalter YFC. YFCU has used the money to establish five vital wells which will provide clean water for 5,000 villagers in Uganda.
On arrival in Uganda, at Entebbe Airport on Friday 10th April, the members travelled to the Fields of Life guesthouse in Muyenga, Kampala.
Over the next three days the team visited three locations, Bethel Royal Secondary School in the Nakasongola district, Fields of Life drilling rigs and Green Pastures Secondary School, which is a uniquely self sustainable school and also provides for the surrounding villages.
Martyn Blair, YFCU President said: “I was totally unsure of what lay ahead of us over the next five days of travelling. The considerable sum we managed to raise throughout our 85th anniversary celebrations was well documented and heralded but in truth the worth and impact of the value of this contribution from our members and their family and friends can only be truly appreciated via a trip such as this and I feel, like the other three members of our team, so privileged to have witnessed the impact of the work.”
The team visited a remote Uganda community that was benefited directly by the sinking of one of the five water wells provided by YFCU members. Martyn confessed that he could “scarcely comprehend” the emotional scene which greeted them. When escorted to the well site the team found that the community had “spent weeks preparing for us to open the well and on cutting the ribbon along with Janette, James and Joe we began to fully appreciate what the sinking of this well had meant.” Martyn also relayed the story of one elderly lady in her 80’s, in floods of tears, who addressed the gathering, thanking them team and the other members of the YFCU for providing this well. “For nearly all of her life, as part of a daily ritual, she was forced to walk 5km to a water source and 5km home again.” The provisions of this well changed her, and nearly 1,000 of her fellow villagers.
As well as the funds raised for the five wells, the fundraising activity over the last year also allowed YFCU to facilitate the purchasing of a piece of land at the Green Pastures School in Mbale district of eastern Uganda. The land purchased by the YFCU will be used to train young farmers in Uganda and provide much- needed fresh crops.
Over the past months members of all the YFC clubs had donated their club clothing which were packed in to over flowing suitcases, and on arrival in Uganda these were distributed by the team to the school children that they met. Martyn recalls “we distributed the YFC shirts around the pupils and the pleasure and delight in their eyes made it so worthwhile. I can barely describe the impact that the Fields of Life organisation and our subsequent support is making within Uganda.”
At the YFCU annual general meeting and conference taking place on Saturday 18th April Martyn Blairs two year presidency of YFCU will come to an end. The fundraising activity for the anniversary year, which took place during his office, made the journey to Uganda to see the progress of the fundraising activity a poignant ending to his own journey as YFCU President. Martyn explained “on spending the whole afternoon with the teachers and pupils we were giving life accounts of murder, hunger, orphaning and poverty. Rarely are young farmers speechless but this visit was an exception. The difference and impact that this school is making within the community id remarkable and for YFCU to be a part of this, we should be so proud.”
Picutred at the FOL Secondary School- Green Pastures wearing the club T shirts donated from clubs within YFCU along with the YFCU Uganda charity team- Martyn Blair, YFCU President, James Speers, YFCU Vice President and member of Collone YFC, Joe Brown, Ballywalter YFC and top fundraiser for the 85th year aampaign and Janette Stirling, YFCU Vice President and member of Glarryford YFC.
children in the remote village, Eastern Uganda, witness the water breaking for the first time.
ï»¿children in the remote village, Eastern Uganda, witness the water breaking for the first time.
ï»¿Martyn Blair, YFCU President, with a student at FOL Secondary School- Green Pastures, Eastern Uganda, shown wearing one of Finvoy YFC club shirts, Martyns own club. T shirts were donated by all members in YFCU.
James Speers, YFCU Vice President and members of Collone YFC, with a student at FOL Secondary School- Green Pastures, Eastern Uganda, shown wearing a club shirt from Collone YFC, James own club. T shirts were donated by all members in YFCU.
Martyn Blair, YFCU President, at the ceremony to celebrate the wells first pump of water, the well been was funded by YFCU and located in Eastern Uganda
James Speers, YFCU Vice President and members of Collone YFC, cuts the ribbon at the ceremony to celebrate the wells first pump of water, the well been was funded by YFCU and located in Eastern Uganda.
The plaque to commemorate the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster charity fundraising and well.
Janette Stirling, YFCU Vice President and member of Glarryford YFC pictured with two students at Bethal Royal Secondary School, Nakasongola district, Eastern Uganda.
James Speers, YFCU Vice President and members of Collone YFC, shown pumping water from one of the wells visited on the charity trip to Uganda.
ï»¿The school located in Nakasongola district and constructed in 2010 is fully self sustainable by the students pictured is students with Oxen on the Farm at the school which helps to provide for their school and the surrounding villages.