Welcome to Uganda
In 1907, Winston Churchill visited Uganda. Churchill fell in love with Uganda, describing it as "the pearl of Africa." Since then, Uganda has seen many ups and downs, none of which have destroyed its beauty. In fact, Lonely Planet named Uganda the top tourist destination in the world for 2012, and National Geographic chose Uganda as the "Best in World Trips" for 2013. Uganda is well-known for its guerrilla population, national parks, cultural diversity, fertile lands, and more.
With all of the positive reviews and natural beauty, you may wonder why Uganda would be an important destination for a mission trip?
The reality is that many people – especially in rural Uganda – face poverty as well as healthcare, education, and water issues. As a missionary, you have the heart and soul to make a difference in the lives of the families living in Uganda's most impoverished regions.
The People of Uganda
Today, Uganda is the 82nd largest country in the world and boasts a population of or 37 million people. 84% of these people still live in Uganda's rural areas. Their current life expectancy is only 59-years-old and they also have a 4% mortality rates among infants. Many mothers continue to suffer from a lack of prenatal care, which has been a contributing factor to the dangers of pregnancies within the region. Many of the rural populations live around Lake Victoria, which is the source of the well-known Nile River.
The culture of Uganda is eclectic with English and Swahili making up the two predominant languages. The two largest religions in Uganda are Christianity and Islam, although the population often intertwines its traditional beliefs with other more dated traditions that have lingered from other historical religions that are no longer practiced. Uganda received independence as a commonwealth in October 1962.
Issues Facing Uganda Today
Uganda is in need of continuing support from willing missionaries who can assist in multiple areas of need within the Ugandan cities and villages. With that support, Uganda can leverage resources in efforts to best assist the population and address the issues they continue to face.
These are a few of the issues that need the help missionaries today. Helping Ugandans in these areas will improve the lives of countless people within the region:
- HIV/AIDS – 7.3% of the Ugandan population suffers from HIV or AIDS. This is considered a high number, making this health problem a significant issue to conquer.
- Medical Care – Since most of the population is rural while medical facilities are in the larger cities, many families are unable to access medical care in a timely manner. This leads to high maternal and infant mortality rates, as well as difficulty managing other illnesses families may face.
- Water and Sanitation – A significant number of Ugandans still don't have access to safe water and sanitation sources. This can lead to health problems, such as malaria, which is common.
- Education – It is difficult to achieve a full education in Uganda if you don't have the financial resources to for things such as supplies and books. Many children end up dropping out early due to financial reasons. For those who do attend school, they face large classroom populations with little one-on-one support from the teacher.
- Poverty – Many people in Uganda face poverty, although Uganda has reduced the level of poverty in their country faster than any other African nation. Still, 19.7% of the population lives in poverty.
- Vaccinations – Many children in Uganda need vaccinations to prevent illnesses, such as tetanus and measles. Due to lack of medical care and poverty in rural areas, many children go without.
How You Can Help
There are so many ways missionaries help spread the word of God in Uganda! Depending on your area of interest, you will find a variety of organizations committed to solving various problems in Uganda. Whether you are helping to end hunger, vaccinate children, or provide education, you will change the lives of those you touch each day.
By investing in a mission trip to Uganda, you will also take part in stabilizing the economy. Strengthening the economy helps the people of Uganda by expanding revenue, creating jobs, and encouraging prosperity.
Tips for Traveling to Uganda
Before you leave for Uganda, you want to put in the legwork to make sure your trip is memorable and smooth.
- Start by researching the issue you are interested in focusing your mission work on.
- Contact an agency that can help plan your individual or group mission trip. Click here for a free quote and save up to 45% on your airfare.
- Make sure every group member has all the recommended vaccinations.
- Catch your flight
After Your Mission Trip
When you have completed your mission trip, you are able to continue helping the people of Uganda by spreading the word of both the beauty of "The Pearl of Africa" as well as the needs of the communities within its borders. Share your experiences with others, encourage them to grow, and share in a way that will help others.
You can also continue to help the people of Uganda by holding fundraisers and or drives through your church and surrounding community. Doing so continues to spread love, support, and Christian charity throughout the world!