The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.– Marcel Proust
HIS GRACE COMMUNITY SERVICES – Kamuli, Uganda
WHY DID WE GO?
Meet Lise Sievers
She started, and continues to maintain, an orphanage in Kamuli, Uganda called His Grace Community Services. Also, she’s Roger and Jessica’s mom. (We’ll let you decide which one of those statements makes her cooler.)
There were some things she needed help with at the home, that she just couldn’t get done herself.
Aside from our personal relationship to Lise, we as Sievers Creative want our company to be one that helps people, and leaves a positive legacy.
We want our company to be a force for good.
We had the ability to help … so we did.
MEDIA & MARKETING
They needed to be able to share their story, to help with fundraising. So we brought our equipment down and took photography and videos for them to be able to use, and we’ll be helping them design all their print and digital collateral.
Allowing the home to grow their own fresh vegetables helps them become more self-sustaining, and ensures the kids always have access to nutritious food. The property the home is on is entirely paved in concrete, so we built 3 large raised garden boxes for them use.
The ladies who work at the home do an amazing job of keeping the house clean…but the walls had definitely seen better days. The effects of time and weather had not been kind, and we wanted the home to feel fresh again. In all, we painted about 8 rooms.
“People don’t take trips…
trips take people.”
– John Steinbeck
The kids here had a tough start in life – abused, neglected, starving… their stories were harsh. Now, they laugh and play. They’re well fed and go to school. They have a bright future.
We got spend time hanging out with them, bribing them with candy (we’re not ashamed to admit it!), reading to them – and we found out that they are remarkably smart, resourceful, and they do an amazing job of helping take care of each other.
The Garden Boxes
Just as it was with painting, down here if you’re not a carpenter – you don’t build anything, you have to hire that out. Well, Roger is pretty handy with some tools (he built his own house after all!) so he went out to the local lumber yard and set to work with building three garden boxes… and man, was it brutal work! Hand-sawing the thick boards out under the African sun is no joke.
In looking to buy soil, we were met with laughter (a common occurrence). :) You don’t buy soil, you just go dig it up somewhere! The ladies of the house wouldn’t allow us to go dig it up, so we hired our night guard to go out and get the dirt. And after he brought it in, we picked through it to remove all the garbage. And compost will be added as soon as it can.
We’ll post updated pictures once the plants start sprouting!
In the Ugandan heat, even painting can get exhausting! But we had a good time, and the people there were quick to pick up the skill of painting. Down there, if you aren’t a painter by trade – you don’t know how to paint, and always must hire someone to do it for you. So while we were painting they were eager to learn from us and pick up a new skill!
We brought all the tools needed to paint, and when we were finished we left them there so they could continue projects on their own as needed. Purchasing paint is no problem though, as it’s available right in town. Deciding on a color? A whole nother story, lol!
These are some of the most resourceful people we’ve met – they make what they have work (check out the picture of our lumber transport!). These are some general pictures of the babies home, and the surrounding communities.
I threw in a few of our trip to the Nile River too, just cause :)
A Budding Photographer
This is Sharifa, her mom is the live-in Director at His Grace. She was home from college on Easter break, which was lucky for us since she was able to serve as our translator while we were there! She is awesome.
Although she is studying to be a social worker, she wanted Jessica to show her how to use the camera – which she was more than happy to do! The photos in this gallery were taken by Sharifa, and edited by Jessica. We think if she decides against the Social Work route, she’s got a bright future in photography!