Uganda



Uganda diary: day 1 and 2

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I came back home: yesterday, after landing at 10 am at Linate I started to suffer from Mal D’Afrique.
The week I spent in Uganda was so emotional and unbelievable: It gave me peace and energy to create and to see some real results.
All the people I met were happy and full of dignity, aware of their problems and with the wish to end some of these dramatic situations.
I’ve always thought that one of my duties would have been to give some strenght to these people, but I was the one getting so much pragmatism from them. I only had to learn from them.
We all hear about Africa and we all have a different idea of that reality if we haven’t seen it with our eyes: money is not enough by itself, a change of habits in their society is needed. This is the goal of Millennium Promise: to let these people be self-sufficient in the years, not only giving them food and material items, but teaching them how they can provide them by their own.
The first photo of this post is about life: those are two twin brothers who were one day old, shot at Ruhira health centre, created thanks to this project.
This is only part of the photographic reportage Richi and I created during these years and this time is about photos taken the first two days in Africa, Monday and Tuesday.
After landing in Entebbe and sleeping one night in Kampala, on Monday morning we started the 5 hours jeep trip towards Mbarara, near Ruhira village. The only stop during the drive was the equator line and Millenium Villages Projects office, where bloggers and journalists were given the first “lesson” about all the changes which took place from 2006 until now. Changes we could see with our eyes from the following day: after visiting Nyakamuri school we were welcomed at a local farm where we saw the new way of breeding sheeps and cows and cultivating.
We then were brought to see the new electric system and hydric system: before a couple of years ago It was phantasy to think about having electricity or water at home.
After lunch Josè and I offered to talk on air at the small radio station, expressing ideas about the place and people, and then we were brought to Kabuyanda innovation centre where we had a chance to buy handmade bracelets and necklaces made by Ruhira women whose earnings directly go to this project (finally shopping was for a good cause)
But the places which touched me the most were the two Health Centres: Ruhira smallest one and Kabuyanda biggest one. Two places that made lots of new births possible (before their creations kids were born in the houses with a lot of complications) and the prevention and care of dangerous diseases like malaria and Aids.
If you want to make donations or share news about Millenium Promise you can do it through this link: It’s time to change things.

Sono tornata a casa: ieri, dopo essere atterrata alle 10 del mattino a Linate il mal d’Africa ha naturalmente cominciato il suo corso. La settimana che ho passato in Uganda è stata emozionante ed indescrivibile: mi ha donato pace, tranquillità e voglia di fare, di creare e voglia di vedere dei risultati concreti.

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Uganda diary: the first school

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“You’ve seen who we are and what Millennium Promise did for us, now show it to the entire world”: this is one of the first sentences that I, the other bloggers and journalists heard from the headmistress of one of the schools we visited.
My diary of this unbelievable journey starts like this, with the photos we took at the first school we were taken to, in Ruhira.
Since Millennium Promise (whose Tommy Hilfiger is one of the biggest donators) started its mission here the number of students increased a lot, reaching the number of 246 boys and 349 girls, only in this school.
Thanks to the introduction of electricity, not available in most of the houses, now students can stay at school until late to read or finish their homework, and they also have a computer room that they can use to discover everything outside their community.
Houses for teachers were created near the school, so teachers don’t have to walk 20 km a day to reach classes as they used to, and this means a better preparation for both students and teachers.
A balanced daily meal is guaranteed for all the students, and the meal is cooked at school with ingredients from the school garden or from the animals of the institute.
Thanks to this development the percentage of school drop-off was cut by half.
I have a lot of different stories about my time here, but these photos (all shot by Richi while I was filming) represent my real first contact with this fantastic people, and I couldn’t start my travel diary in any other way…

“Avete visto chi siamo e quello che Millennium Promise ha fatto per noi, ora fatelo vedere al mondo intero”: questa è una delle prime frasi che io, gli altri blogger e giornalisti abbiamo sentito pronunciare dalla preside di una delle scuole che abbiamo visitato.

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Uganda diary: the first school

TheBlondeSalad-54783-copia

“You’ve seen who we are and what Millennium Promise did for us, now show it to the entire world”: this is one of the first sentences that I, the other bloggers and journalists heard from the headmistress of one of the schools we visited.
My diary of this unbelievable journey starts like this, with the photos we took at the first school we were taken to, in Ruhira.
Since Millennium Promise (whose Tommy Hilfiger is one of the biggest donators) started its mission here the number of students increased a lot, reaching the number of 246 boys and 349 girls, only in this school.
Thanks to the introduction of electricity, not available in most of the houses, now students can stay at school until late to read or finish their homework, and they also have a computer room that they can use to discover everything outside their community.
Houses for teachers were created near the school, so teachers don’t have to walk 20 km a day to reach classes as they used to, and this means a better preparation for both students and teachers.
A balanced daily meal is guaranteed for all the students, and the meal is cooked at school with ingredients from the school garden or from the animals of the institute.
Thanks to this development the percentage of school drop-off was cut by half.
I have a lot of different stories about my time here, but these photos (all shot by Richi while I was filming) represent my real first contact with this fantastic people, and I couldn’t start my travel diary in any other way…

“Avete visto chi siamo e quello che Millennium Promise ha fatto per noi, ora fatelo vedere al mondo intero”: questa è una delle prime frasi che io, gli altri blogger e giornalisti abbiamo sentito pronunciare dalla preside di una delle scuole che abbiamo visitato.
Il mio diario di questo viaggio indescrivibile inizia cosi, con le foto scattate nella prima scuola in cui siamo stati portati, a Ruhira.
 Da quando Millennium Promise (di cui Tommy Hilfiger è uno dei principali donatori) ha cominciato il suo percorso qui il numero di alunni è cresciuto notevolmente, raggiungendo i 246 bambini e 349 bambine solo in questa scuola.
Grazie all’introduzione dell’elettricità, non presente nella maggior parte delle abitazioni, ora gli alunni possono stare a scuola fino a tardi per leggere o finire i compiti, e sono attrezzati di un’aula con computer per scoprire la realtà fuori dalla loro comunità.
Sono state create abitazioni vicine alla scuola per gli insegnanti, che prima erano abituati a camminare 20 km al giorno per poter arrivare a lezione, con conseguente miglior prestazione per alunni e maestri.
E’ inoltre garantito un pasto equilibrato quotidiano per tutti gli studenti, cucinato proprio a scuola con ingredienti coltivati nell’orto o derivati direttamente dagli animali dell’istituto.
Grazie a questi miglioramenti la percentuale degli abbandoni della scuola primaria è stata dimezzata.
Ho decine di storie diverse da raccontarvi di questi giorni che sto passando qui, ma queste foto (tutte scattate da Richi mentre io filmavo) rappresentano il mio primo vero contatto con questo popolo fantastico, e non potevo iniziare questo diario di viaggio in altro modo…

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Ruhira, Uganda, 5th June 2012

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One of the best memories

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This was one of the most emotional moments so far of my time in Uganda with Tommy Hilfiger for Millenium Promise: the energy I got from those smiles and hand contact is unbelievable. I was overwhelmed by my feelings and by that moment so different than usual and so out of my reality. I have hundreds of photos to show you and stories to tell you, see you soon!

Questo è stato fino ad ora uno dei momenti più emozionanti dei giorni passati qui in Uganda grazie a Tommy Hilfiger per Millenium Promise: l’energia che ho ricevuto da quei sorrisi e quel contatto tra mani è indescrivibile.

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