PAN-WALES JOURNEY RAISES OVER £900 FOR UGANDAN ORPHANAGE
Richard Howe, Partner and personal injury specialist with leading Welsh law firm Peter Lynn and Partners has completed a ‘Bike & Boot’ challenge with four other fundraisers in aid of Ruhija Little Angels Orphanage and School in Uganda.
Richard, who is based out of the Pontardawe office of Peter Lynn and Partners, cycled from Clydach to Llanberis over two days before ascending Mount Snowdon on the third day which proved to be testing on both body and mind.
Mr Howe commented “Whilst the three days were challenging physically, the reason we were doing it kept us motivated and focused throughout”.
The beneficiaries of the challenge, an orphanage and school in a small village in Uganda, were introduced to Richard a few months earlier by Andrea Rauprich-Kaufhold during a networking breakfast in the Swansea Valley.
Andrea, who represents the Ugandan orphanage in the UK, has been raising funds for the African community since a visit she made in May 2015 as Ambassador for World Vision.
Mrs Rauprich-Kaufhold commented “In my role as Ambassador for World Vision, I visited some projects in Uganda and also went on a trip to see the mountain gorillas in Ruhija which is where I met Happy, the administrator of the orphanage and found out about their story and that of the Batwa tribe”.
During the 70’s and 80’s the Batwa tribe, a hunter-gatherer community who had lived in harmony with the rainforests and its animal population for thousands of years, were facing repeated devastations to their way of life in the form of deforestation and political unrest however in 1992, their culture came to a dramatic end.
The Ugandan government declared their habitat, the Bwindi Forest, a National Park and the Batwa were forcefully evicted from their ancestral home. Whilst the rainforest and gorilla population continued to thrive, the Batwa were cast in to a life of confusion, forced change and absolute poverty.
Andrea commented “They were never prepared for a farming lifestyle, they cannot own land, they are not officially accepted as a tribe and although we have tried to get may humanitarian charities involved to help, none of them are able to do so at present”.
Infectious disease including HIV / AIDS are spreading through the population which has decreased from 10,000 in 1992 to approximately 4,000 now, resulting in an increased number of orphaned children unable to protect or look after themselves.
Andrea continued “Without Happy, there would be no-one in the community to look after these children and as we are unable to obtain help from recognisable charities at present, we are doing everything we can to raise funds in Wales and both Happy and I are extremely grateful to Richard and Peter Lynn and Partners for accepting the challenge and for their generous donation”.
By communicating with Happy weekly and visiting the village as often as possible, Andrea is able to coordinate efforts to help support the children and give them hope of a better future however local fundraising is key.
The next fundraising event is as follows:
Big Fun Dog Show – 3rd September 2016 at the Riverside Centre, Pontardawe. Lots of different classes and games, agility, craft stalls, refreshments and childrens’ entertainment.
For further information on how the funds are being used to help the community and to keep updated with progress, follow their Facebook page @Ruhijaorphanage or email [email protected]