The Challenge The Seva Challenge 2009 was focused around the issues of education and HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
The Results 125 Seva Challenge fundraisers collectively raised $574,000 to support projects in Uganda. 21 fundraisers each reached the $20k goal and traveled with Seane and Suzanne to Uganda. Similar to our 2008 Seva Cambodia group, many 2009 trip participants were so inspired that they created their own long-term projects to continue their support of and commitment to Partners and Projects in Uganda.
Trip Participants Amanda Stuermer, Carrie Herscovici, Colleen LaDelia, Cyndi Weis, Danielle Tornambe, Davian den Otter, Galadriel Rael, Heather Snyder, Jennifer Silvestri, Jessica Welborn, Kathy McHugh, Kristen Boccumini, Lani Lindstrom, Megan Ridge, Megan Sugiyama, Nancy Sells, Sarah Longacre, Sofi Dillof, Terri Cooper, Tracey Campbell, Victoria Schuster
Partners and Projects The Global Seva Challenge 2009 supported the work of four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Uganda. Shanti Uganda is a Vancouver-based organization dedicated to improving the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of communities impacted by war, poverty and HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Building Tomorrow is an international non-profit organization empowering people to raise funds & awareness to build and support educational infrastructure projects for underserved children in sub-Saharan Africa. The New Hope School, Entebbe, Uganda, is run by a local Ugandan and provides shelter and schooling for orphans and young children without adequate homes. PSI/YouthAIDS is an education and prevention program that uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sports to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care.
During the trip, participants engaged in the following activities
- Learned about the ravages of HIV/AIDS in Uganda from YouthAids, the psychological toll of child soldiers from Invisible Children, and heard stories of wartime displacement from people living in the Acholi slums
- Assisted in the construction of an eco-birthing center for mothers with HIV/AIDS
- Helped in the construction of a school and orphanage for the community that educates over 400 children were invited to attend and assist live births in local clinics
- Daily yoga and leadership development with Seane and Suzanne
"The minute I said 'YES' to this project, my life shifted in ways that I never could have imagined. The connection I felt with the people of Uganda was immediate and steadfast! Even though I wasn't able to make the trip, I am eternally grateful for this experience; and the people of Uganda continue to inspire me to RISE and are with me as I walk my path." Kathy McHugh, Brownsburg, IN
"Traveling to Uganda with OTM was a little like going to Karma Yoga boot camp. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we were either working outwardly to serve others or inwardly to learn more about ourselves. It was far and away one of the most intense and joyful times of my life and will continue to influence the way I see the world and the choice I make for a long time to come. " Sofi Dillof, Burlington, VT
The 2009 Seva Challenge inspired me on so many levels. Raising the money empowered me- I now feel I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Traveling to Uganda humbled me- I fell in love with the country and it's beautiful people. The opportunity to travel with 23 amazing women gave me a new sense of sisterhood- I experienced support and love like never before. Thank you, Off the Mat! Megan Ridge, Bethlehem, PA