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A Day With the Street Kids at KICK-SCCU

Jeffrey Tsao - Kampala, Uganda

Four weeks into being in Uganda, and I get to a point where I think to myself: "okay, I've been here for a while, I'm settling into a routine, I'm getting the hang of this." At this point, I've gone gorilla trekking, I've gone on a safari, I've spent 12 hours on a bus that stops every 30 seconds to pick up 1 person standing at some random point on the street. And I'm figuring, "okay Uganda, I'm thoroughly impressed, but I think there's nothing that will really surprise me anymore." And then I get to go spend a day at SCCU (Street Child Care Uganda). And I have arguably the best experience I've had yet.

I doubt I can do justice to SCCU with just my words, being a complete outsider who happened by chance to be blessed by the kids there, so I won't try to explain it in my words. The facebook page for SCCU is here, and the page for the KICK Foundation, which was started by last year's Uganda interns, is here.

What really blew me away is how warm and welcoming the kids were when I got there. My first time meeting the kids at SCCU, and I'm jostled in with great fervor and enthusiasm. I was hugged, grabbed, pulled, yanked, yelled at (in a friendly way) and oggled at more in those few short hours than I had been the entire trip as yet (except perhaps being stared at, which I suppose is standard fare when you're one of maybe 300 in a country of 30 million). And I loved it.

From the moment I stepped into SCCU and met the kids, I was overwhelmed by their exuberance, their joy, and their excitement just for my (and Megan)'s presence there. It was quite literally 3 straight hours of unadulterated and unfiltered joy and energy, a stark contrast to 8 hours of looking at and writing documents for the court. We laughed and took photos, celebrated Megan's birthday with cake, played football (soccer to us) and danced (well, a few of the kids danced and went a little nuts when I played video of their dancing back to them) all in the space of a few short hours. And somehow, in that time, they had absorbed me into their family.

We returned a couple of days later with bubbles, and the kids went wild.

I've experienced so much that I'm grateful for in Uganda, so many wonderful things I couldn't have expected or prepared for, but am so happy to have had happen. And yet, the single biggest impression I think I will leave Uganda with, is that enchanting innocent smile from a child who, materially, doesn't have that much, but whose heart is abounding in joy. Where something as simple as bubbles can constitute a whole afternoon of joy, fun and excitement.

street kids