Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SOUP Meets Community

My last day with the kids at the SOUP school was definitely bittersweet. The morning started off by gathering all the supplies we would need to host the entire community at the school. I picked up four medical students to follow up with our precious kiddos, tons of medical supplies, 50 kilograms (over 100 pounds) of rice, 25 kilograms (over 50 pounds) of beef, tons of markers for the kids to draw pictures, and 1 soccer ball, or as they call it there, a football.

It was an insanely hectic morning as I set up the medical students to do their thing, collected over 200 drawings from the kids, and made sure that all the food would be ready to feed the community. All this craziness was definitely worth it though!

Over 100 people from the community showed up, including the government representative of our area! We talked about hygiene issues such as the importance of hand washing and medical issues like how to properly clean and bandage wounds. The parents were so gracious and kind to me. They shared their gratitude for all that the SOUP is doing and begged us to keep up our work in their community. It was so encouraging. After all that talking we sat down to share a meal together. It was great to just sit with the parents and, with the help of a translator, talk to them. We ate in true African fashion with our hands and it was so fun!

After lunch the kids sang songs for us, and I presented the football to the school. I'm not sure who was more excited, the kids or their parents. After this it was time to head out, and it was definitely a tough goodbye. Tears filled my eyes as kids who were so scared of white people 10 weeks ago came up and gave me hugs goodbye. The head teacher, Mr. Emma, told me the kids had gotten used to me. I had definitely gotten used to them. This is a huge compliment in Uganda and especially in this village because most people don't spend enough time with these kids for them to build relationships.

It was hard for me to leave, but I know that this is not the end. The SOUP will continue to grow, and I am so excited to see what the future holds!

Signing Off,

Sarah THomas

Friday, August 5, 2011

No more Worms!!

This SOUP has really taken our work at the school in Uganda to the next level. You've probably already read that three medical students gave up their time to come perform full medical exams on all of the children. This was incredible! But once the medical students saw the reality of the environment our kids are living with, they knew that they had to come back out and follow up with all of the kids. They returned to the school two more times! They brought with them tons of medicine and band-aids. During these follow-up visits EVERY child at the school was de-wormed. People... this is incredible! So many of our precious kids have been suffering from worms that live and grow inside their little bodies. This not only has harmful physical effects, but is also extremely painful. We will continue to de-worm the kids every six months to ensure that they are living the healthiest lives they can. While at the school the medical students distributed medicine, bandaged wounds, and touched the hearts of all the children! They have also arranged for free AIDS/HIV testing for all of our kids as well as a dentist to come out and check on all of the kids’ dental health.

These medical students have exceeded our expectations by far. The willingness of people to share their talents and resources to help these children is absolutely inspiring! So now you ask: What ways can I get involved with the SOUP? Well, the SOUP has grown leaps and bounds this summer, and the best is yet to come! Email us at if you're interested!

-Sarah Thomas