The first year spent in Uganda was a steep learning curve, but hugely rewarding. Working in a children's home and learning about the realities of living in Africa, as well as cultural differences and priorities, was very humbling and this amazing country captured their hearts.
Their first year saw then working as volunteers. They helped to look after 100 children aged from 2 years to 17 years of age; Barbara taught at the schools and Bill was involved with teaching the local teachers and local councillors' computer skills; and together they took care of the day-
After a year as volunteers, then felt they had gained a great deal of experience and wanted to use this, and their own ideas, to take The Dignity Project to the next level.
Due to the feeling that children in institutions can be stigmatised and isolated from family contact leading to a lack of traditional norms and psycho-
At this time, UNICEF were introducing a programme to support the setting up of Community Based Childcare Centre's (CBCC's), through donating money to Community Based Organisations (CBO's), and they felt that it was something they wanted to be involved in if possible.
In order to help apply for funding, Bill and Barbara visited CBO's and for a time, became partners with the National Association of Women Living with AIDS (NACWOLA). Through this partnership they helped set up a database of orphans from a questionnaire that was designed specifically for them. This was then used to apply for funding.
As a charity in their own right, The Dignity Project continued to write to donors for sponsorship and was
Due to the size of the building, Bill was able to set up his computer classes teaching Microsoft Office Applications and computer maintenance classes, and he held separate classes on a one-
There was a mixture of students -
During the school holidays Bill and Barbara visited various projects including some in the far northern region or Karamoja. It was here that they were asked to help with the running of a workshop using computers that were powered by solar panels. They also taught various faith based NGO's and local teachers I.T. and English. Karamoja is an area that is very isolated from other regions, and incidentally the region was the only one to successfully fight back against the Lord's Resistance Army. It was a privilege to be there.
They also attended many workshops and met the President's wife Janet Museveni. She was very interested in their work as invited Barbara for afternoon tea!