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Mission Compassion: Sophomore Megan Gordon builds connections and knowledge through Ugandan mission trip

Pausing+to+take+a+photo+with+her+new+friends%2C+sophomore+Megan+Gordon+smiles.+Gordon+shadowed+students+during+her+week+in+Uganda.+%E2%80%9CTo+see+how+they+teach+was+so+interesting%2C+because+the+kids+are+so+well-behaved.+They+teach+in+English%2C+so+I+sat+in+and+we+learned+about+animals+and+their+babies%2C%E2%80%9D+Gordon+said.+The+teacher+gave+them+an+activity%2C+then+left+the+classroom+for+five+minutes.+Everybody+was+sitting+in+their+seats+doing+the+activity+like+perfect+children.+That+never+would+have+happened+in+the+States.%E2%80%9D
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Mission Compassion: Sophomore Megan Gordon builds connections and knowledge through Ugandan mission trip

Pausing to take a photo with her new friends, sophomore Megan Gordon smiles. Gordon shadowed students during her week in Uganda. “To see how they teach was so interesting, because the kids are so well-behaved. They teach in English, so I sat in and we learned about animals and their babies,” Gordon said. The teacher gave them an activity, then left the classroom for five minutes. Everybody was sitting in their seats doing the activity like perfect children. That never would have happened in the States.”

Pausing to take a photo with her new friends, sophomore Megan Gordon smiles. Gordon shadowed students during her week in Uganda. “To see how they teach was so interesting, because the kids are so well-behaved. They teach in English, so I sat in and we learned about animals and their babies,” Gordon said. The teacher gave them an activity, then left the classroom for five minutes. Everybody was sitting in their seats doing the activity like perfect children. That never would have happened in the States.”

Photo courtesy of Megan Gordon

Pausing to take a photo with her new friends, sophomore Megan Gordon smiles. Gordon shadowed students during her week in Uganda. “To see how they teach was so interesting, because the kids are so well-behaved. They teach in English, so I sat in and we learned about animals and their babies,” Gordon said. The teacher gave them an activity, then left the classroom for five minutes. Everybody was sitting in their seats doing the activity like perfect children. That never would have happened in the States.”

Photo courtesy of Megan Gordon

Photo courtesy of Megan Gordon

Pausing to take a photo with her new friends, sophomore Megan Gordon smiles. Gordon shadowed students during her week in Uganda. “To see how they teach was so interesting, because the kids are so well-behaved. They teach in English, so I sat in and we learned about animals and their babies,” Gordon said. The teacher gave them an activity, then left the classroom for five minutes. Everybody was sitting in their seats doing the activity like perfect children. That never would have happened in the States.”

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While most students spent their spring breaks relaxing on the beaches of Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic or skiing the slopes in Colorado, sophomore Megan Gordon volunteered in Kawete, Uganda through her church, Christ Community Lutheran Church.

“I’ve always wanted to go [to Uganda]. My mom has been many times and I just wanted to experience Uganda because the people there are so poor, but they are the happiest people I have ever met,” Gordon said. “The first day we got there they spent three hours entertaining us with non-stop singing and dancing in the heat just to welcome us. They’re such kind people and to be able to do something for them is so fun.”

Gordon traveled to Uganda through a medical mission trip to volunteer at her church’s sister school in a Ugandan village named Kawete. Medical missionaries, including Gordon’s mother, worked specifically to provide healthcare to Ugandan women. Failure of the Ugandan government to prioritize equal access to healthcare and take preventive health measures has left women vulnerable and untreated. The systemic issue of gender violence and inequity is one that medical missionary groups attempt to solve.

“My mom is a nurse practitioner so she worked in our church’s clinic there. She saw all the women and children because men are prioritized when it comes to just about everything in Ugandan culture,” Gordon said. “The men are the ones who are seen in most clinics, so we go and see all the women and children to ensure they get treatment.”

Gordon volunteered in the school to construct partitions that act as classroom walls and entertain children. Access to education is something many Ugandans, particularly young girls, struggle with; only 71.5% of female students can read compared to 85.3% of males.

Sophomore Megan Gordon smiles alongside her Ugandan friends.

“[These partitions gave] teachers in the nursery more walls to write on and work with. The kids just to love to have fun and learn, no one in the [United] States is as happy as them,” Gordon said. “They’re truly my family after spending a week with them. I would live with them if I could.”

Gordon began sponsoring the education costs of a 10-years-old girl, Aysha Namatomo, in August 2016. She pays for her to attend classes and live in the dormitories through a scholarship program offered by her church.

“Many of the kids who go to school there have parents who can’t afford to send them to the school. Many of the people from the States pay for their schooling. I do that and sponsor a girl there,” Gordon said. “We write letters through the sponsorship program and they take a few months [to send to each other]. We just talk about our different lifestyles, how school is going, what our best and favorite subjects are, friends, sports we play and things we do in our free time.”

Gordon was given the opportunity to meet Aysha while in Uganda.

“Some kids had pulled me off to the side and started saying her name and they took me to her because they had recognized me from one of the pictures that we sent. Then they brought me to her, which was just awesome. She ran up to me immediately and just gave me a hug which was super cool,” Gordon said.  “Aysha actually got down on her knees to thank me for her education. She’s in primary three, which is about third grade. She’s a lot older than third graders should be, but generally, kids go to school when they can because they are held back at home because they may need to help around the house or the fields. To be able to meet her and play nutball, which is like basketball, and throw a ball around with her, [and] to sing with her was truly amazing.”

Gordon hopes to return to Uganda and would eventually like to work in the medical clinics.

“I want to go into the medical field so being able to do what my mom does with them would be a lot of fun. It’s something Uganda definitely needs, medical help, because they don’t get a lot of it. We actually bring a lot of medicine and vaccines that they can’t get or afford in Uganda. That’s definitely helpful and it helps people who are just trying to get by,” Gordon said.

Gordon returned to the States with a new vision of Uganda and the world.

“I wish people knew how beautiful Uganda is. A lot of people, especially here, only see Uganda as a third-world country. And yes, it is, but it’s not just a bunch of poor people standing around being sad,” Gordon said. “Ugandans aren’t materialized like we are; they live day by day and they get what they get and they’re so happy and thankful.”

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Kathryn McAuliffe, Staff Writer

Grade:  10

Years on Staff: 1

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Elle Woods

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Mission Compassion: Sophomore Megan Gordon builds connections and knowledge through Ugandan mission trip”

  1. Dave Gordon on April 18th, 2019 6:53 am

    AWESOME ARTICAL!!!

  2. Marcella on April 18th, 2019 4:17 pm

    I think that is a wonderful thing that Megan did and I’m very proud of her. Not a lot of high school kids would spend their vacation doing that 👌👍

  3. Marcella on April 18th, 2019 4:17 pm

    I think that is a wonderful thing that Megan did and I’m very proud of her. Not a lot of high school kids would spend their vacation doing that 👌👍. Very good article

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Mission Compassion: Sophomore Megan Gordon builds connections and knowledge through Ugandan mission trip