Sian goes to Uganda

This blog post has been brewing for a few months now, and I can’t believe that I’m actually, finally writing it. Suddenly this feels extremely real.

So here’s my big announcement: over summer 2015, I am going to Uganda to volunteer with East African Playgrounds (EAP). And I really, really need your help to do this.

East African PlaygroundsFirstly, I suppose you’ll want to know exactly what I’m going to be doing. This project is twofold: it helps protect the habitat of some extremely rare wildlife, and create a more stable future for children in the area. We will spend the first part of our trek finding the last remaining wild silver back gorillas in the world, and a proportion of our money raised will go towards their conservation. The last part of our trek will involve us building a playground with the charity in a local school, transforming the play space into something practical, beautiful and fun. Myself and one of my closest friends Andy King will be adventure leading this project together, which means we are in charge of recruiting for the trek, supporting the team in fundraising, and leading the group once we are out in Uganda.

I’d also like to tell you why I’m doing this. When I went travelling across Central America the summer before last, I had an absolutely incredible time, and decided that next time I went travelling across developing countries, I wanted to give something back to the country I was visiting and really make a difference. I have chosen this trek in particular because I think the charity is absolutely incredible; they have expanded ridiculously since 2009 and despite the heavier workload the founders of the charity still support every individual taking part in the project, which is pretty rare. I love the breadth that this project is going to cover: I can help both wildlife and people throughout my time in Uganda, and the fundamental belief of the charity is something that is very close to my heart. EAP believes that in order to create a better future for children in East Africa, they need access to play activities as well as education to help them reach their full potential. After all, commonly when we all think of Africa, we just think about the need to educate the next generation, and can easily forget that they are just children growing up. At university I have become so involved with societies and have noticed without that fun in my life, there is no way I could have reached my full potential either – so why not give similar opportunities to children across the world?

To go to Uganda, I need to raise £1,500. To kick off our fundraising, on Wednesday myself, Andy and Molly will be taking part in a space hopper race (I know, I know), so come and watch us bounce around campus – it will be pretty funny.

Other fundraising events are soon to follow, but in the meantime I have set myself a longer-term challenge: I will be running the Shakespeare half marathon in Stratford on April 26. It’s going to be tough, but I thought I needed to do something massive to make your donations well-earned!

If you would like to donate, here is the link to my JustGiving page.

If you’re a Warwick student and fancy coming to Uganda with me (it’ll be a laugh; promise!) check out the event page for the information meeting next week here.

And finally, if you’d like to find out more about EAP and what they do, check them out on Facebook and Twitter, using the hash tag #PlayEveryday.

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