Megan Bowlding, RN, left a piece of her heart in Uganda

Megan Bowlding, RN, left a piece of her heart in Uganda

Megan BowldingRecently, I traveled with the MACC (Mid Atlantic Community Church) in Crofton, MD  to Kampala, Uganda in Africa on a mission trip. We traveled for about 24 hours to get to and from Uganda. While there, the missions group did a number of different service projects.

Four EMTs and I served as first aid instructors for about 60 “boda boda” drivers. (Boda boda’s are a cross between a scooter and a motorcycle. They are used to transport people, things, animals, etc.) Instructing these drivers took patience and a love for first aid, as most did not speak English. Through an interpreter, we taught the drivers and provided them with the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. The boda boda drivers left with a sense of accomplishment and were ready to help citizens in need. The International Red Cross endorsed our first aid class and certified these drivers to provide first aid for two years.

The group also worked in a daycare center to update their curriculum, provide new learning tools, and refurnish their schoolroom. The daycare center provides education for 8 pre-school girls and boys.
I traveled with another group to the bush, about one hour outside of Kampala, to lay a concrete floor for a church in a community. For years, this church had been asking for help to lay this concrete floor and this summer their prayers were answered.
We also went to a local government-run hospital to visit new mothers and babies on the L&D unit, providing them with a few gifts from our community, such as baby clothes, diapers, wipes, and blankets. We were soon overwhelmed by the needs of these new mothers. Comparing this hospital to AAMC or any medical center in America for that matter was a real eye opener. Mothers and newborns sat on the floor for days or weeks just so they would have a place to live and eat. They had nothing to look forward to and did not know how they were going to provide a life for their babies. Seeing this broke our hearts. 

I was able to get to know the street children around Omega church, who are left out for the day to fend for themselves until their mother and/or father returns from work in the evening. Many of these children have never attended school in their lives. My husband and I are going to be funding schooling for four of these children who touched our hearts.

Every one of the members who went on this trip left a piece of their heart in Uganda. We all are keeping in touch with good friends and hope to return again in upcoming years. If anyone would like to donate, please contact me at Bowlding, MS, RN I (Inpatient Oncology)


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