Young couple hopes to return to Uganda

Matthew Templeman and Kayleigh Matthews with a child in Uganda

Matthew Templeman and Kayleigh Matthews with a child in Uganda

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A young couple who helped Ugandan children last year are looking for help to return to the poverty-stricken county again in 2013.

Kayleigh Matthews, from Seaford, and her partner Matthew Templeman, travelled to Uganda in March 2012 to complete a five-month charity work placement with Uganda Hands for Hope. They had been planning the trip since college and it took them nearly three years to raise the £6,000 they needed for their trip.

Kayleigh said, “While in Uganda we provided much- needed care and attention to those who were much less fortunate than ourselves and worked with remarkable people who were living in absolute poverty.

“We saw eight family members living under one iron sheet roof in a two metre square mud house which leaked, had no power and flooded regularly.

“We saw sick six-year-old children who were the same size as the average three-year-old here in the UK.”

Kayleigh says her and Matthew were able to help and provide medical care at Little Light Children’s Clinic, a Ugandan project which includes a children’s nursery, a clinic and a community empowerment centre.

She said, “Severe poverty and lack of medical infrastructure in the region means that the population of Namuwongo has almost no access to medical care, and we enjoyed being able to provide the community with our own medical knowledge learnt being members of St John Ambulance.”

Although the couple saw a lot of poverty during their stay in Uganda they were inspired by the strength of the local people.

Kayleigh said, “Above all this we saw love, resilience, strong communities, beautiful mothers, shoeless feet, dancing, talented families and smiles all round even though times were tough.”

Now, they are looking to return this August with donated clothes and toys for the children.

Kayleigh said, “We were absolutely shocked at the money we are being expected to pay to British Airways to get there.

“For a regular economy flight they are asking for £2,067 for the both of us. This doesn’t even include any meals or extra baggage allowance to take the necessities we have for the children.

“Last month we sent two emails to British Airways pleading for a charity discount on the flights and any advice. After not receiving a reply we called them many times in the week and left several messages with their charity department to which we have also received no reply.”

Kayleigh is asking anyone who can help to contact k.matthews@uwclub.net. To see the work the pair did last year visit www.kayleigh-matt-uganda.tumblr.com or search for Returning to Uganda, 2013 on Facebook.