JOURNEY OF HOPE AWARENESS AND CHARITY WALK 2019
By Joseph Kizza
CURRENT LOCATION: NAPAK
The Journey of Hope Walk 2019 closed with a grand finale Thursday at Lomaratoit Primary School in Iriiri sub-county, Napak district.
Take a look at how the day unfolded:
After spending Wednesday night camped at the Dwelling Places regional office in Iriiri, the team assembled at the Iriiri sub-county headquarters to kick off the final leg of the 467km journey from Kampala to Napak.
Before we could set off, a moment of prayer first.
We were joined by pupils of Kapuat Primary School and other groups. The Soroti-based Kado Cretea Brass Band would lead the procession to Lomaratoit Primary School, which was 7km away.
And off we went!
As we marched through Iriiri, residents stopped to watch on. For an area not used to seeing such sort of fanfare, it was understandable.
Lomaratoit Primary School has been the final destination of the Journey of Hope Walk in the three editions of the biennial charity walk.
The school holds a significant place in the existence of Dwelling Places.
The Christian NGO, with Rita Nkemba as the founding director, has been supporting local children to study at Lomaratoit Primary School so that they don't end up going to the streets.
Money raised from the 2017 edition has gone into the construction of a classroom block at the school.
Besides raising awareness on the plight of street-connected children, this year's Journey of Hope Walk edition is also raising funds for the construction of a secondary school in Lomaratoit.
Having set off from Parliament on July 1, and camped in a number of districts in eastern Uganda, we were glad to have reached Napak without incident.
The walkers, supported by a hardworking logistics and health team, did not register major injuries, save for blisters.
Dwelling Places country director Damon Wamara was in great spirits on Thursday.
It was a steady procession to Lomaratoit on a hot Thursday mid-morning.
The Journey of Hope Walk 2019 has been held under the tagline: #SchoolsNotStreets.
The idea is that children should be supported to be in school as opposed to being on the streets.
On the way to Lomaratoit, German student Tamara Walz, who has been walking with the team, branched off briefly to snap some lovely sunflowers.
The brass band did a good job at entertaining the procession.
To get to Lomaratoit, we had to branch off from the main road and take a bushy narrow path.
We had a breather along the way, during which some got a bit of hydration.
About a hundred metres from the venue, the band tunes caught the attention of those already waiting. Suddenly, pupils of Lomaratoit Primary School ran towards us in jubilant fashion to welcome their guests.
A huge welcome it was!
Excitement in the air.
Finally, the Journey of Hope Walk 2019 team had reached the final pit spot of a long 18-day journey.
That was no mean fete!
School children attended the function held at the Lomaratoit Primary School grounds.
Senior residents were also in attendance.
A generous flow of music kept the function lively.
The 'dance floor' was busy.
Linda Uhlig, another German student on the walking team, was busy on the 'dance floor'.
The ever-jolly Mr Farouk did some paka-chini.
Some of the pupils of Lomaratoit Primary School.
District leaders graced the occassion.
In the picture below, from left: Napak Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Hajji Lubega Abubaker Kaddunabi, guest of honour, Joseph Lomonyang, who is Napak LC5 Chairperson and Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) chairperson and Principal Secretary Timothy Teko, who represented the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
The function was punctuated by various presentations.
There was also a mobile outreach clinic by Elpa Uganda, the emergency and medical services crew that started the journey with the team right from the flagoff at Parliament.
The clinic registered a huge turnout.
Isaac and Paul, who are part of Elpa Uganda team, were busy.
Most of the cases registered were malaria cases.
Ministry of health officials were also involved in the clinic at Lomaratoit.
Each Journey of Hope Walk 2019 participant received a certificate and a medal.
A donation of food to Lomaratoit Primary School.