Follow the Faith group’s trip to help in Uganda

August 03 2013

YOUNG people from Downend have embarked on an expedition to Uganda and you can keep tabs on their every move!

YOUNG people from Downend have embarked on an expedition to Uganda and you can keep tabs on their every move!

Members of the Faith youth group at Christ Church Downend have been writing a blog detailing their exploits in the African country.

As part of the Youth 2 Youth Uganda 2013 project, the young volunteers, who are aged between 17 and 21, have been working with members of the Ankole Diocese to help and support various communities in Uganda.

After seven months of fundraising for the trip, Matt Brydon, Katie Smart, Lucy Payne, Katie Avent, Kirsty Whitelock and youth leader Gary Smart travelled out on July 23 alongside a group of young people from Holy Trinity Church in Bradley Stoke.

The team is working with youth groups and children’s organisations in Mbarara to serve and improve the lives of the people in Southern Uganda. They will provide drama teaching, sports coaching, health education and first-aid training in schools and projects involving young people.

They will also be working with around 250 boys and girls in a children’s development centre in Mukora which looks after the health, social, spiritual and educational care of children from orphaned backgrounds and extreme poverty. The team will also provide managerial training for the staff at the centre.

The young people have been busy fundraising since Christmas in order to help finance the trip and buy equipment for the youngsters in Uganda. 

They held a number of events including bag packing at Sainsbury’s, Emersons Green, an auction of items donated by local businesses and an African food evening made from authentic recipes given to them by African members of the Christ Church congregation. Further funds were raised in the Bristol 10k.

The money has paid for a legacy of 200 first-aid kits to be given to every family at the centre and sports equipment including footballs, netballs, training cones and sports kits.

Youth leader Gary Smart, who is accompanying the team along with Bradley Stoke youth leader Jon Vaughan-Williams, said: “We hope our young people will really enjoy themselves and develop an understanding of how young people live and worship in Uganda. I’d really like them to develop friendships with the people in the youth clubs in Uganda and continue, at the very least, on a pen pal basis.

Paul Peterson, associate minister at Christ Church Downend, said: “The idea is to very much ‘work with’ and for our friends from the Ankole Diocese. “The mind-set that the team has adopted is that we are going to learn from our friends and the people we engage with in Uganda as much as we will contribute.”

The team returns on August 9. You can keep in touch with them by following the team’s website blog which can be found at