These toppers from the SinterMeertenCollege in Heerlen,
going from 1-2-2018 to 17-2-18 to complete their social internship in our school in Kitgum, Uganda.
My name is Anne Claessens and I study at Sintermeertencollege in VWO 5. I do bilingual education. Each pupil goes on an international internship in the fifth grade to an English-speaking company or institution.
I do not yet know what I'm going to study after school, but I am certain that it is going to be a social aimed study. I want to help people. Not the medical side, but more the psychological and / or educational side. That is also the reason why I have chosen a social profile at school.
On February 1, 2018 I am going to Uganda for 18 days for an internship at the Laker International school in Kitgum.
Somehow people always pass by my who I can help in one way or another. This can be done by doing something very simple, such as listening to someone's story, an arm over the shoulder or just being there for them. I think this is my biggest reason why I want to go to the UKEF foundation.
I love helping people on an emotional level and therefore know how important it is to give and receive positive attention. For us, in Western countries, there is a lot of attention for education and training. It is important to offer young people a good basis.
By helping to improve the quality of education in Uganda I will help many children. It is not always normal for these children to learn the basic principles. Attention and development of social skills are things they might receive from home or not at all, because they often live in very large families so they do not get much attention.
At the UKEF school I will give various lessons, workshops and presentations to the students and I am going to help the teachers in the daily activities.
I love helping children and expanding their world by giving lessons, presentations and workshops.
I think it's great to work on this project. Sharing knowledge so that children, teachers and staff at the Laker International School learn from us and we learn from them.
I am calm and serene. In times of stress I maintain an overview and I keep an eye on everything. I am strong and know how to approach things. If I like something, I am very motivated. I will definitely go for it and do my best. This trip is of course a wonderful opportunity to see another part of the world. Another culture, a different society.
I am really looking forward to this experience!
I am Gwen Schielen from Klimmen.
I can not wait to support UKEF in their impressive project.
My name is Joline van Wegen, I am 17 years old and currently living in Nuth. This year I am doing the fifth year of VWO bilingual education. As already mentioned by Anne and Gwen, I also came into contact with UKEF through Sintermeertencollege and the information Nestar provided us with.
Last year I made a impressive trip to Guatemala, after this experience it became clear to me that I wanted to experience more adventures like this one. The most special thing about traveling is meeting the children, in spite of the clear difference in culture you can create a special and profound connection with them. I noticed that, despite the language barrier, I could mean something to them and they impressed me on their turn. This feeling was so enriching that I just want to relive it over and over again. For me there is no greater feeling, than the happiness when I have helped someone else. That is why I am excited to take the opportunity to volunteer at UKEF. I am beyond curious to see how this school works and how I can help this inspiring foundation.
This trip to Uganda is for me also about discovering, so I can explore the many more places in this world. I want to see this culture and country with my own eyes, in order to form my own opinion instead of taking over the opinion of others. By seeing Uganda with my own eyes, my world will grow a little. This enables me to see how privileged I am and it will help me to get my own life into perspective.
At the moment it is my goal to become a doctor, someone who is there where she is needed. Whenever I see commercials of Doctors Without Borders who are helping refugees, I wish to be there and help them. These kind of commercials give me goose bumps , I feel drawn to them. I want to be someone who makes it her life goal to cure people. I have the feeling that volunteering at UKEF will help me to gain more experience and that it will be very educative. I enjoy playing with children and want to help them with their education and development. I don’t give up easily and I am an extremely motivated person with lots of empathy and I know for sure that I am a good fit for the foundation.
Joline van Wegen
My name is Floor Borghans and I am 16 years old. I live in Colmont and I study at Sintermeerten. I am going on an international internship this year, because I do billingual education. I am leaving for Uganda in February together with Anne, Gwen and Joline.
A year ago, miss Romano (who was my English teacher at that time) told us for the first time about the international internship. She also said that we could consider going to Uganda. Nestar was going to give a presentation about UKEF at Sintermeerten. I was instantly hooked. After a few mails, it was certain: we are going on international internship to Uganda.
It’s a challenge for me to see how people live in another country. To me, the different lifestyles en cultures are very interesting. I think it’s amazing that I get the chance to experience this. The most wonderful thing is of course living and eating with the locals and helping the teachers of the primary school.
I am looking forward to leaving for Uganda! Nestar and Ed, thank you for this amazing chance.
Tomorrow morning we will drive to Kitgum by car. It is a journey of almost eight hours, so we have to get up early!
This morning we woke up in the gigantic house. A delicious breakfast was prepared for us. After the breakfast we had, our suitcases were tied to the roof of the car. After this we started our eight-hour journey to the north, to Kitgum. On the way we stopped a few times to take pictures and to eat. At one point we encountered a number of baboons. When we stopped to take a photo, one of them jumped on the hood of the car. The monkey had seen a biscuit in the car and wanted to have it. After we had thrown out the biscuit we drove on.
Around six o'clock (local time) we finally arrived in Kitgum. Here we were warmly welcomed by the population of the village. Very nice food was cooked for us which we enjoyed. We have a chat and then we are ready to sleep. Tomorrow we go to church in the local village. We are all very excited about this!
4 February 2018
This morning we got up early to go to church in the village. When we arrived at the church we were pleasantly welcomed by everyone. During the mass we had to introduce ourselves to all people in the church. There was a lot of singing in the church and that sounded really crazy. After the mass we walked a bit through the village, but we went home quickly because it was 36 degrees. In the afternoon we were provided with a delicious lunch again. After lunch we walked back to the village to do some shopping. First we sat down on a terrace and then we lugged with our purchased water bottles. At home we played a game and showered quickly before the sun went down. The sun goes down around seven o'clock.
Tomorrow the school will start again. It is the first school day after their summer vacation. School days last from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. So it will be a long day!
February 5, 2018 This morning it was up early, because at half past eight we had to be at the school. Apparently time is not taken so closely here. At eight o'clock the children had to stand in rows and then they started to sing with all sorts of songs. Then the children marched to their classes. Gwen was in class p2 (6-7 years), Joline was in p3 (8-9 years), Floor was in p4 (10-11) years and I was in p5 (11-12) years. There were several teachers who exchanged classes after each class to give their own course. Social Studies, Intergrated Science, Literacy, Maths and English were taught. The children receive breakfast and lunch at school. Breakfast consists of a kind of porridge and lunch consists of beans and posho (a kind of adhered rice). All children were so incredibly nice. The school lasts until five o'clock, but around three o'clock we have left. Gwen, Joline, Floor, Lennie and Vera went to town to buy some fruit and I went to the house to sleep. In the evening Vera has played guitar and sung songs. The dinner that was cooked for us was fantastic again.
We are going to sleep well tomorrow and then we have to get up early tomorrow to go to school!
February 6, 2018
This morning we had to be at school at half past eight. We arrived after the lessons had already started. Today more children were present than yesterday. Everyone was already used to us a little bit now. Today we went to the same classes again. In the break we all went dancing. After the breaks, the lessons continued as usual. We left again around three o'clock. We all went to the village to have a drink. When we arrived at the cottage again we cleaned up the suitcases. After this we decided to work out at a gym. It was really super intensive and incredibly funny. We were sweating a lot because it was still very hot outside. But it was so nice !!!! After the sport we walked back and at home we had a nice dinner.
Tomorrow we are going to change classes, so we are curious what that will be. We also plan to do sports again tomorrow!
February 7, day 7
This morning we got up extra early because we decided to do yoga in the morning. Floor did all yoga poses and Joline, Gwen, Vera and I did everything. Then we had breakfast together. Vera and I went to school a little earlier, because I wanted to see the children singing. Before the children go to classes, they have to stand outside in rows and then they sing together with the teachers.
Vera and I arrived on time and after a while Gwen, Joline, Floor and Lennie also came. Today we had agreed to switch classes. In this way we could receive lessons from other teachers. All teachers here give very interactive lessons. There is a spelling Bee in English and at Integrated Science the children are taken outside to learn more about the plants. What strikes me here is that the boys have a better handwriting than the girls and the boys are also done with homework rather than the girls. The way of teaching is very different here than we are used to. They change teachers here, because every almost every teacher gives a different course. The teachers also just leave the class after they have given up homework. In the beginning this was a bit weird for us, because we were in the back of the class to observe everything and then we are left alone for 1 or almost 2 hours. To fill the time we did games like hangman and butter, cheese and eggs with the children. But if the teachers are there, the teacher is listened to so well. The teachers also give a very nice lesson. Sometimes a tick is handed out, fortunately that is forgotten again. Floor, Joline and Gwen have returned home around three o'clock. Vera and I stayed until five o'clock. All teachers had a meeting at half past four so all children of all classes were alone. Vera and I found this strange, but they do not know any differently at school. To kill the time, I did some games with the P5 class. When we left school, we went back and decided to work out again tonight. The sports lesson was very intensive and very nice again. At home we have eaten well and we went to bed a bit on time.
Tomorrow we will give different lessons at school and we all have a lot of sense.
February 8, day 8
This morning, as usual, we got up at half past six to get ready for the long day. In the morning we also eat sandwiches for breakfast. When we arrived at school around 7:30, all P classes had already started with the lessons. Today we had all prepared lessons to give to the classes. Gwen and Joline have taught P2 and P3. These are children from 7 to 9 years old. Floor and I have taught P4 and P5. These children are 9 to 11/12 years old. The classes P3 and P5 found our lesson about Dutch culture very interesting. P4 unfortunately did not have much interest in our lesson and P2 was staffed all day with a teacher, so there was no time for Joline and Gwen to give the presentation. Joline handed out treacle waffles to the teachers during the big break. All teachers were enjoying the stroopwafels !!! We went home around half past four. When we arrived home, we took it easy for the whole afternoon. Everyone was tired and we all had to keep track of our reports. At seven o'clock we went to town to go out for dinner! I ordered a pizza margeritha and the pizza tasted very good! Only at a quarter past ten we were back home, so everyone immediately went to bed.
Tomorrow gymnastics will be given at school and tomorrow we will also give a lesson about animals.
This morning we could have a good lie-in for the first time. The children also go to school on Saturday, but we only needed to be half past two in connection with a parents meeting of two to four. Despite the fact that we could sleep late most of us were already awake at half past seven. I immediately got up and packed my bag for the next two and a half days before our trip to Kidepo the nature park. After we had breakfast, I went to school, because I just really like it there! The rest stayed home all morning to read and pack.
Vera came to school around 10:30 and at half past one the school was out. You would expect everyone to go home immediately, but that was not the case. The older children had to scrub and polish the premises with a few younger children. Meanwhile, Vera and I talked to the teachers. At two o'clock the rest came running and then we went straight to the parents meeting. Being here on time is a broad concept here in Africa. So the meeting started at two o'clock and then there were three parents in the room. At twenty past four the last parents came in. The meeting was about the future of the school and why Vera and we are here. After the meeting we drove to our sleeping place near Kidepo. We were completely covered in orange when we got there! So we first showered quickly and then had a nice meal. Then we went to bed, because tomorrow we have to get up at five o'clock for the morning drive in the Nature Park.
This morning we got up at five o'clock so we could sit in the car at half past six. Unfortunately, the breakfast was prepared a bit later, so we left a bit later than planned. A little after six we arrived at the house where we had to pay. Then we could immediately leave to see the animals. After ten minutes of driving we already met two lions along the road. At one point they walked past our car. A lion was lying in the sun, while the other had an antelope in his sights. After a while the lion walked slowly towards the antelope and began to chase him. The lion was only a little too slow, so the antelope was gone. This was the perfect start to our safari trip. Then we encountered hundreds of buffalo. Soon after the buffalo we all came across piggies. Many animals in the park had little ones, so that was very cute to see. Around nine o'clock we arrived at the camp where all rangers live. We had reserved a ranger so that he could show us all the animals. Unfortunately it turned out that our ranger had already joined other Dutch, because we were a bit later by the lions. We went on the road without a ranger. Immediately after our departure we drove past a herd of elephants. They were a father, mother and four baby elephants. There was also a giraffe in the distance. When we had taken a pause between the buffaloes for a while, we came across a tree where we were all climbed together. Then we met a few piggies, gazelles and antilopes. Suddenly we saw a pretty rare animal that lives in two parks all over Uganda. We met a moose, but it did not look like the moose as we know it. We later found out that it was quite special that we saw this. Shortly after we encountered a number of zebras. These are such fun animals to see! Later we ran into herds of elephants and ridiculously many bison and boar.