Diary Teamtrip 2023

Here we will report again what our team has experienced on our trip from 23rd November to 23rd December 2023, what tasks we had locally and how your donations were used. Also this year, the diary will not only be written by one person, but each traveler will tell once from his perspective. We hope you enjoy reading it.


November 23th,  2023 (Gabi)

What a lot of excitement so shortly before departure. My airline has now really changed every flight for me again. Both on arrival and departure. But the team is also affected by many flight changes. But today I’m traveling alone for the time being. I leave for the airport in the middle of the night. After stopovers in Amsterdam and Tanzania, I finally reach my destination late in the evening. It’s so nice to be back in my second home.


November 24th,  2023 (Gabi)

From my hotel, I have a wonderful view to Lake Victoria. Today I can take a deep breath before the most stressful day of every Uganda trip starts tomorrow. The big Christmas present shopping trip to Kampala for a total of 238 children this year.


November 25th, 2023 (Gabi)

Aisha picks me up in Entebbe straight after breakfast. We drive directly into the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle of Kampala and meet the rest of the shopping team there. After a fabulous lunch, the shopping can start, which lasts until late in the evening. Tired, but with the bus full of lovely surprises for our children, we set off through the agonizingly slow evening traffic from Kampala towards Jinja. We finally arrive at the guesthouse around midnight.


November 26th,  2023 (Gabi)

Before the first part of the team arrives, the supplies in the guest house need to be replenished. So Nalongo, Kalule, Joanne, Aisha and I take the boda-boda into town and buy lots of food, toiletries and a little Persil. In the middle of our shopping trip, it starts to rain heavily. So we make a quick stop at a Rolex stand and have a snack. But the rain gets heavier and heavier and time is running out. So we decide to continue shopping anyway. At the market, we meet a little girl called Susan sitting on a bench with her little baby brother on her back. Joanne speaks to the little girl. She is very hungry and has been sent to the market by her mother to collect any leftover food. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in Uganda in the daily struggle for survival. Susan tells us that she is not allowed to go home without bringing something to eat. As we can’t get to a restaurant at the moment due to the rain, I buy her small cakes, some rice for the family and a little extra soda. Susan is so happy that she wants to rush home immediately. But we ask her to wait until the rain stopps. There are streams of water running around the market. She is too small to get through. However, we have to continue our shopping and go to the nearest supermarket. I have never experienced such volumes of water in Jinja. Many roads are now impassable. In the end, we have to ask a Sonrise employee to pick us up in the city. A return trip by boda-boda has become impossible. In the evening, the rain finally subsides so that my annual meeting with the Sonrise directors can take place after all. Meanwhile, the first part of the team sets off for Uganda.

November 26th, 2023 (Lenka)

Just a few more hours and then our big trip begins! With this in mind and a little excited, I pack the last few things in my suitcase and read Gabi’s handy packing list again – don’t forget anything!
At 12 noon, most of the team members of the first group gradually arrive at Düsseldorf airport. After initial problems at the counter with visas and missing boarding passes, we finally set off for Cairo an hour late. Once there, the next surprise: the flight to Entebbe is delayed indefinitely… 🥴 Unfortunately, it’s already too late to let them know – our driver Sam is already on his way to the airport. After about an hour’s wait, we set off fairly quickly and after a very uncomfortable flight, we land safely at Entebbe airport at 4 a.m., but in very heavy rain.


November 27th, 2023 (Sina)

The A-Team arrived safely in Entebbe, even though three of our suitcases will probably be making their own journey… Our driver Sam was waiting for us at the airport – with an old transfer bus that has apparently already been through many an adventure. As there was no door at the back, we simply maneuvered our suitcases into the bus through the window. With much laughter and full of anticipation, we finally made our way to Jinja, 2.5 hours away, where Gabi was already waiting for us in the guest house.

After breakfast, we set about sorting the donation boxes so that we could distribute the many donations to the Sonrise Ministries projects over the next few days.

But the highlight of the day was yet to come: After we were all getting tired and slowly sinking into the cozy couch in the guest house, Gabi suggested we visit the old Babies Home building, which has since moved to a larger building. We were greeted there by the warm-hearted manager Damali. She also looks after other orphans there and tries to find adoptive families for them. She told us about her own childhood in an orphanage that was run by an American at the time, who made it possible for her, her siblings and the many other children to grow up happily. Her own passion for the project stems from this and she hopes that the generations she is now helping to raise will one day support similar projects. A snowball effect that has been set in motion and is set to continue – and which has also moved us. This is exactly how our world can be made a little better, step by step.


November 28th, 2023 (Durgadevi)

A Day of Joyful Connections with wonderful angels at Miremba home


Today marked an extraordinary beginning of our team trip, as we delved into the heart of Jinja, Uganda, embracing the vibrant culture. The day began with the sun casting a warm glow on our delightful guest house, setting the tone for the incredible experiences that awaited us. A regal breakfast, fit for kings, fueled our spirits, preparing us for the day’s adventures.


Our journey into Jinja city center was a sensory delight, with the bustling market offering an array of spices, vegetables, and exotic fruits. The air was filled with the lively energy of the locals, and we immersed ourselves in the rich tapestry of Ugandan life. As we explored native shops, the vibrant colors of souvenirs became tokens of the profound connections we were forming. The market’s spirit mirrored the infectious joy we later encountered at the Miremba girls’ house.


The highlight of the day was undoubtedly our time with these remarkable angels at the girl’s house. From animated introductions filled with Ugandan song and dance to engaging games that transcended language barriers, the day unfolded as a treasure trove of lessons on life and gratitude. We visited their school and playfield, gaining invaluable insights into their resilient spirits. Their stories, dreams, and laughter painted a portrait of hope and resilience that left an indelible mark on our souls. Today was a testament to the transformative power of connection, and as the sun set over Jinja, our hearts were filled with gratitude and love for these inspiring souls. Check out the photo gallery below to witness the joy and inspiration that unfolded on this unforgettable day.


November 29th, 2023 (Monika):

What a day! OK, we set off far too late again this morning, but Ugandan time is not comparable to German time. After everyone had reminded Thomas to put on sun cream today, we were finally able to set off. Our destination for today: the Baby Home in Wabirongo, about a 50-minute drive from our guest house.
We encountered our first police roadblock on the way. Our driver Sam had to slam on the brakes as the police had laid out nail boards. Fortunately, we were allowed to pass without any problems. The drive was exciting. We drove past many small farmhouses on roads that are impassable in the rain. There were lots of children at the side of the road waving excitedly at us. They call us “Mzungu”, which means something like “European” or “white”.

When we arrived at the Baby Home, we were greeted by around 50 toddlers and their “aunties”. The children had hardly any fear of contact and hugged us straight away. It was incredible to see so many toddlers at once. They were totally excited and very happy to show us their home. It was a great welcome. First we gathered in the garden and had a welcome round. Everyone was there: the children, the aunties, the security guard, the priest, the janitors, the gardeners, the “cowboys” – at least that’s how the farmers who look after the cows introduced themselves 😊
Afterwards, we looked at the children’s houses and played with the children. Afterwards (while the children had to take a nap) Damali, the manager of the Baby Homes, showed us around the farm. It was impressive!

The Baby Home is located directly on the Nile and the surrounding farmland is very fertile.They grow all sorts of things there.It was the first time I had ever seen a pineapple plant.The gardeners cut them directly for us so that we could eat fresh pineapple later.It was like walking through a maze.Tall banana trees, corn and other tropical plants to the right and left until we were suddenly standing by the Nile – a huge, impressive river.Unfortunately, we didn’t have any swimming gear with us. Some went in with their feet and others were invited on a short canoe trip by the gardeners.Great fun in the best weather!
Afterwards we went on to the cowshed, the church and the water tower. Damali couldn’t say enough about how grateful she is to Gabi for supporting Peace’s Hope. Her words came from the heart and you could tell how happy she is to be able to offer the children a proper home!

After a quick lunch, things got wild.We gave the Aunties a few donation boxes with clothes for the youngest children.They thanked us with a dance.And not only that – we were also allowed to dance along and shake our hips to the African rhythm.There was more going on than on any dance floor in a European disco!We can still learn agility, the Ugandan women are miles ahead of us.
Then the program continued.We put up and decorated Christmas trees in all the houses.The children helped. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye afterwards.We will come back again, but there was more planned for today.Sam drove us to the school in the village and Damali had asked us to say a few words about education. It was a huge gathering. I estimate several hundred women, children and families were there. We told them about our time at school and how important it is that women also receive a good education. Damali hopes that the children will be inspired by our words. We received a very warm welcome there.

The day was rounded off with a short detour to the “Kalagala Falls”, a natural wonder that was well worth it.At dusk, we were able to marvel at the cascading water.A place that is also a hive of activity at night.All the trees around were covered with bats.
A great and exciting day!



November 30th, 2023 (Seika)

My day started with calisthenics training with Jessie. Since we had an electricity cut-off in the morning, I took a refreshing cold shower and had a breakfast table-full-of tropical fruits. The fruits harvested locally have so much flavors than the imported ones! This is something I will definitely miss when I go back to Germany.
Our mission today was to work for the Mirembe Girl’s Cottage. I took part in the farming with other 5 team members. The facility owns farming lands where goats and cows are kept, and they grow various fruits and vegetables for self-sustaining purposes. We walked the goats to the grass field (or rather forcefully pulled them since mines refused), cleaned the animal shelters, and covered entire tomato field with straws to prevent the weeds. The Ugandan boys who guided us were so shocked that girls like us were working so hard, and asking for more and more work. In the end, they were the ones who wanted to rest haha 
We shared lunch table with the kids, had traditional rice and beans. Even after lunch, our training day continued; we carried woods for cooking fire to the storage, back and forth. The girls starting from even 4 years old, everyone eagerly helped us carry heavy and stingy wooden logs! Seeing the little ones running rounds of wood carrying was just so heartwarming. Afterwards we played games with the girls. They were all so full of energies, love to interact and always coming to you to feel the warm human touches. These girls have different histories, yet they are all just children who needs love and care. I don’t know how much I can offer them; yet seeing them smiling and running around was already worth the trip. 
This trip has just started, but it brought me so much impressions, made me see things I never witness in Germany. I am excited and scared to go through the next weeks. Let’s see what will come!
December 1st, 2023 (Jessie) 
Even though we had a rather early breakfast today, I still started my day with 30-minute workout with Seika. In the morning, we went to the Jinja city center for shopping. Gabi was in charge of buying A LOT OF medical stuff and we, the others, went for buying sim cards, souvenirs, drinks and sweets for the girls in Mirembe Cottage. The medical purchasing took approximately 3 hours because we wanted to buy a huge amount of medicine for all 3 houses. Because of that, luckily, we had time to go back to Source for either one good cappuccino or a mint pinapple juice. 
After having the yummy lentil lunch, we headed again to Mirembe girl’s cottage to play with the girls, make the paper beads bracelets and have a birthday party together with the girls. 
I was so amazed by the kids’ good aesthetic. I was with 2 kids, one 8-year-old and one 5-year-old. They were so concentrated and did such a amazing job. The hand-made bracelets are just perfect to be as souvenirs. 
At one time point, I just realized today is the birthday of one of the 2 kids, Zion. So, I also gave her one of the bracelets as a birthday gift. I hope she likes it.
Later on, some of us were preparing the birthday party and some of us were playing with the kids to distract them.🤣 We played on swing, played hide-and-seek, and even played volleyball together! 
Then, here is the climax of the day, the birthday party!! 🎂🎂 We sang and danced together! We had such a great time with lots of cookies, candies, popcorns, and a huge cake. Some kids also performed dancing in front of everyone. They were such great dancers. Their groovings showed that they’re really born with it.
It was a day full of love and joy. But, it was also a day of saying goodbye. 
Today was our last visit to the Mirembe Cottage. It was really hard to say goodbye after such a great evet. Also, 3 of our team members need to abort the trip. We had our team dinner together and took our first group photo at the guest house. Although they can not be with us in the following days, we will take their love, care and curiosity to continue our adventure.


December 2nd, 2023 (Sophie)

It’s finally starting!
Like the last few days, I can’t even realize it yet. For about a year now, I have wanted to be part of the Peaces Hope e.V. team trip in 2023 & now the time has come.
Part of the team is already there. After much anticipation, the remaining team members are finally leaving today.
Together with Diana, Regina & Cristina, I met at Düsseldorf airport at 12 noon ✈️ We have already dropped off our suitcases full of donations, curiosity & helpfulness.
Excited about the coming weeks, we waited together at the gate for our boarding. On the tarmac, we had to freeze one last time before we set off on our Uganda adventure a little late.

We have now arrived in Cairo and are waiting for our connecting flight. Tomorrow morning at around 06:00 we will arrive at our destination airport in Entebbe. We will be picked up from there and taken to the other team members in Jinja.
Uganda, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning!

December 2nd, 2023 (Thomas)

The night passed quietly for most of us and we started the day with a delicious breakfast of pancakes and fresh fruit. Unfortunately, three faces were missing from the table, as they had started their journey home yesterday due to a family bereavement.

Gabi took on the mission of collecting the remaining medication from the pharmacy and headed into town. After her return, our journey to the Babies Home started and was initially calm until we were stopped by the police again. Thanks to our level-headed bus driver Sam, the situation was handled with aplomb.

Once we arrived at the Babies Home, we dedicated ourselves to unpacking and sorting toys for the children. Each child received a carefully packed parcel. We also used the time to play with the little ones and spend some quality time together.

Saying goodbye to the Babies Home was emotional, as this was the last visit for many of us during this trip. On the way back, we made a short stop at the construction site of the hospital.

Back at the guesthouse, we enjoyed a dinner of spaghetti bolognese. Afterwards, some of the group members got down to their personal routines (see photo 5) before the evening ended with the “Pineapple Song”, accompanied by hearty laughter.

December 3rd, 2023 (Aravind)

‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of Others’

The anticipation for this journey had been building up for quite some time. Ever since I started learning about Gabi and the impactful services she provides through ‘Peace’s Hope,’ thanks to my trusted friend DD (DurgaDevi), The long-awaited day has come to unite with Vinay, a dear companion in my life whom I can confidently refer to as a brother or father figure.

On the break of Sunday, the heavens unfolded, blessing us with a gentle rain of love and affection. The day began with a light breakfast, and soon we were informed that the remaining team would be joining us in 30 minutes. Regina (Queen), Diana, Sophie, and Cristina became integral parts of our team, and we headed to a nearby church, evoking childhood memories of attending church with my mother back in my hometown.

Returning from the church, we enjoyed a hearty lunch and got to know each other better with the second team which arrived in the morning. Post-feast we headed to town as the team expressed a desire for delectable Indian dishes (mind you, less spicy of course.!). Back at the house, some of our friends were busy organizing donation suitcases and preparing Christmas cards with love and care for distribution to the children in the following days.

As time pressed on, the challenge loomed before me preparing a feast for a crowd of 20, a task I had never undertaken. Thankfully, DD, Vinay, and Jessica (谢谢) joined me, and with teamwork, we successfully pulled it off. Who graciously lent their hands to the culinary symphony. Serving the diverse group of people, including housemaids, everyone praised the food with a unanimous “Yum Yum!” and after a hearty dinner, some engaged in Christmas card preparations, while others were visibly tired from the day’s travel.

The day concluded with jovial games, Uno, and Chinese Millionaire, where the recurring theme was Seika’s delightful losses. Better luck next time, we joked. (Gomen Nasai)

A special mention is due for Moni, aka Monica, who toiled into the late hours, meticulously Re-Organizing the Christmas cards destined for children in various homes filled with love and affection from the team. 

Signing off now, for tomorrow holds the task of coordinating and organizing rice bags and grocery items, a mission entrusted to our care. Until next time, CIAO!



December 4th, 2023 (Vinayan)


“Harmony of Hearts: A Day of Dedication, Teamwork, and Unspoken Gifts at Peace’s Hope”

On the poignant morning of December 4, 2023, our day unfurled in the gentle cadence of familiar rituals, beginning with the soothing aroma of morning coffee, followed by a nourishing breakfast that echoed with shared laughter and camaraderie during team briefings. The heartbeat of the day resonated with a profound purpose—to gather treasures for Christmas gifts meant to warm the hearts of the 200 caregivers who tirelessly cradle our cherished children in various homes. As the sun ascended, Gabi, the beating heart of Peace’s Hope and a treasured member of our team, embarked on a quest to source these special gifts for our caregiving angels.

By the stroke of noon, our truck arrived, laden with the abundance of large sacks containing rice, sugar, cooking oil, and more. The Peace’s Hope team, an intricate tapestry of souls united by a shared vision, moved as one, orchestrating a symphony of coordinated effort to unload the truck with a shared sense of purpose and joy.

As the sun descended towards the horizon, a quiet weariness draped us—a testament to a day steeped in heavy lifting, intricate packaging, and gentle recalibrations due to the dance of scale calculation errors. In the face of these challenges, our team emerged as a beacon of unwavering dedication, the embodiment of teamwork, and a testament to an unspoken commitment that transcended the ordinary.

With the shadows stretching across the landscape, the gift baskets stood as tokens of care and consideration. A sacred moment unfolded as a few caregivers graced our guesthouse, and we extended to them the Christmas gifts—a collection of not just material treasures but heartfelt expressions. Among the gifts was a live hen, a humble yet profound offering that mirrored the nurturing spirit shared between caregivers and the children they selflessly tend to. The reflection of joy and gratitude in the eyes of our caregivers painted a canvas of emotions—priceless strokes of love and appreciation.

As the stars emerged one by one, the day gracefully transitioned into night. We bid each other goodnight, hearts aglow with the warmth of shared purpose and the profound connections forged with caregivers. December 4, 2023, etched itself into the tapestry of our shared journey as a day characterized by the sweat of hard work, the heartbeat of dedication, and the tender melody of giving, leaving indelible imprints on our collective soul as we embraced the night as a family united in purpose and love.


December 5th, 2023 (Regina)

Today was the day of moving: Moving from Jinja, where Baby Home and Miremba Cottage is, to Kamuli, close to Children’s Home. It is just a distance of about 60 km, but with busy roads through many villages it takes about 2 hours driving.

Some of us started the day with work-out, yoga and running and then we were all grateful for a good breakfast with tasty fresh pineapple, mango and watermelon, eggs and donuts. The four team members who freshly arrived then drove with Aisha to Jinja to change money, buy a SIM card and other stuff. Back to the guest house we immediately went for a walk to see the living conditions of average Ugandan people in a close-by quarter. For Europeans it is difficult to accept that those small huts made of wood and clay shall be a housing; but children and adults were looking at us curiously and greeting us friendly.

After lunch we packed things and loaded a pick-up and the bus with donations and suitcases. As space was scarce a number of heavy suitcases had to be moved up to the roof of the bus – thanks to Moses, our bus driver, Richard, Johnson and the strong guys in our team we finally had everything installed. Will it rain during the drive? One never knows and as we heard a distant thunder, and rice, sugar and suitcases wouldn’t have taken wetness very well we preferred to buy plastic covers in Jinja prior to really heading north to Kamuli.

We passed crowded markets and a village where coffins are made and exhibited for sale along the street. The countryside is so green with sugar cane and corn being planted, yak and mango trees. Unfortunately we were arriving too late to go to Children’s Home first, but just settled into the guest house where Fiona and Resty warmly welcomed us. Rooms and beds were quickly distributed and we made use of the remaining time to walk around. Children of the nearby school went some hundred meters with us, or better danced around us holding hands laughing and being proud of seeing “musungo” = whites and “Chinese” = all Asians.

Back to the guest house we sat in the yard , were a bit annoyed by the one hour loud speaker sermon of the nearby mosque, enjoyed good spaghetti bolognese and then had a last highlight of the day: Alice, the head of the Sonrise school, joined us and with all her answers to our curious questions convinced us about the good philosophy behind the school in this rural region with very few schools, teaching not only the 53 Children’s Home kids but with a total of 300 pupils also many kids of the community, sometimes walking 5 or 12 km to school. She told us about a number of different challenges, financial ones but also coming from tradition such as for example parents who rather sell their 11 year old daughter for a cow to a husband than letting her continue to go to school. Alice also reported with great commitment about the future expansion plans: a nursery school opening soon and the intention to also build a secondary school, as currently the older children are sent to other private schools to continue their studies. We all went to bed looking forward to our visit in Children’s Home tomorrow.


December 6th, 2023 (Diana)

Today in Kamuli, we embarked on a day that transported us back to the pure joy of childhood. Our morning began with outdoor exercise, setting the tone for an active day filled with discovery and learning.

As we joined the children at Sonrise Children’s Home, their warm welcome and infectious singing made us feel like part of a big, joyful family. The mission of Sonrise, aiming to rescue, educate, and disciple these young souls, so in the day of tomorrow they can be leaders at heart.

Under the guidance of their caring aunties, we embraced the East African dance style, adding a playful touch to our day. Exploring the site, from the lively farm with cows, goats, and a piggery to the computer room, and their homes we gained insights into the simple life they lead.

Returning to the homes, we blended in their daily routine, cooking a delicious lunch and cleaning together. Cristina and I had a wonderful time with auntie Night and her girls, as they devotedly taught us how to cook a delicious rice with beans and chapati and some vocabulary in Luganda.

After lunch, the kids patiently shared their skill of basket-making, using dried banana leaves—a humbling experience that showcased their creativity and resourcefulness.

In the afternoon, Vinay and Durga facilitated the introduction of new laptops, while some engaged in a baseball match, others reveled in the joy of play, creating lasting memories.

Witnessing the children’s crafty hands at work, crafting beautiful baskets, we found ourselves buying these treasures as souvenirs.

Returning home, we enjoyed a wholesome dinner, reflecting on the day’s experiences. Excitement filled the air as we brainstormed more games, eager to continue the joyful connection with these remarkable children.

December 7th, 2023 (Cristina)

Today was a wonderful day full of activities and bonding with the kids and the community. We arrived at the children’s home around 10 a.m. and played with them for a while. Then we set off for our activities for the day.


First, visiting the elderly and the community:

We started our walk towards the house of our first visitor, Mzee Stephane. The landscape on the way there was just amazing. Everything was very green, and the sunny day made everything look more stunning. It was a bit exhausting, but all together rewarding. We had the chance to appreciate nature, walk through crops and fields, and see and greet many families. Both adults and kids were open and friendly and would always wave back with the biggest smile. They happily let us take pictures of them, their houses, and their animals. They would call out Musungo-Musungo to get our attention. That’s the local word for white foreigner: with love, we think 😉 On the way to our first house visit, I had the chance to be accompanied by Randi, one of the oldest kids from the children’s home. He introduced me to his friends in the community and explained about the dynamics they have with the community. We also talked about his life dreams;, he wants to become a wild park ranger in the future. He loves wild animals, especially cheetahs, as he is not afraid of them. Next year, he needs to start his secondary studies. I hope we can find a way to support this; I know he would be great at it.

Some of the kids that we met attend school at the children’s home and are now on vacation, and some cannot afford to go to school at all, even if the school at the children’s home accepts food as payment to encourage and support education.

Finally, around 12:30, we arrived at the house of Maze Stephane. We brought donations for him, and some of our members helped him wash and hang his laundry. It was very special to greet him and experience how the community takes care of him. He is blind, and although he couldn’t see us, he said that he was very happy with our visit. The kids cooked a chicken for him, which made him very happy. I was happy to use the time to meet some neighbors. They came to see us but were firstly scared, then quickly learned our names and handed their children to us. I had with me the whole time a little boy, Abudu. He was very sweet. The other kids liked high-fiving as Sophie showed them; they were a bit scared of Thomas as he was bigger, but eventually played with him too. Vinay misunderstood the situation and almost accepted to become a stepfather of 4, and as Seika told them that she comes from Japan, they thought we all did.

We continued our journey to the second home. We took a mattress and food for Jjaja Margaret. A lovely lady who lives with her mom Jjaja Mary. She is also blind, and as she was placed over the new mattress, she said, Ahhhhhhh. She felt relieved to not sleep on the floor anymore. At her house, we danced the Macarena, Diana’s initiative to teach them Spanish as well, and then Moni, Sophie, and some kids practiced singing for Jjaja Mary. Later, she sang for us too. It was very moving. *Ara and some others saved the day by going to fetch water as the day got extremely hot at some point.


Children’s Home:

We then returned to the children’s home and got divided into the same groups as yesterday. The aunties had cooked for us again. We shared the food and helped the kids clean the dishes and floor. When everything had been tidied up, we went and played with the kids some games like Horse Race, Duck Duck Goose, baseball, jumping rope, futbol, and Iro ha ni ho he, a Japanese game. We also taught the kids how to make bird sounds.

The soundtrack for the day was the kids welcoming song. In Africa, we praise the Lord; in Uganda, we love the King; the Pearl of Africa should praise his Holy name;🎶 we are learning it now.

The day was long and ended with a beautiful sunset.

I feel grateful for this wonderful day and the opportunity to share it with everyone here and whoever is reading this.

December 8th, 2023 (Lenka)

As we had already learnt in the briefing the day before, today would be dedicated to the creation of a sustainable project – a new house for the chickens was chosen as such. This would enable the purchase of more chickens and thus provide a further source of income for the children and caregivers.
Immediately after breakfast, a group of experts from our ranks 😉 were sent out shopping. Armed with wood planks, bars, nails and a few tools, we arrived at the Children’s Home at around 11am. Moses showed us a home-made chicken house to give us an idea and an area where the new one should stand. The rest is history: some of us who were brave and skilful set to work, others were on hand with advice and tips, and myself and a few girls decided on an alternative programme in the form of maintenance and cleaning of the forest area, the school building and the canteen – occasionally supported by the children.
Work continued after lunch – although the project wasn’t quite finished today, we got quite far and everything should be ready tomorrow.
The time at the Childrens’ Home ended with a spontaneous dance party with children and carers in front of one of the houses. Back at the guest house after dinner, we started preparing/brainstorming for tomorrow’s games afternoon. Stay tuned!

Dezember 09th, 2023 (Sina)

For part of the team, the chicken coop building project entered its second round today. The rest of the team spread out in the courtyard of the Children’s Home with crayons and watercolors to make thank-you letters to their donors in Germany with the kids. There was everything from sweet doodles by the little ones to really long texts by the older ones. We are already looking forward to handing over the letters to our families and friends in Germany.

In the afternoon, a rally was on the program: In groups, the children had to complete challenges at 8 stations and were supposed to collect as many points as possible, for example by driving a wheelbarrow fast or throwing a frisbee. Of course, there was also an award ceremony – with special sweets as prizes. In the end, everyone was a winner and the atmosphere couldn’t have been better. Without further ado, the jukebox was unpacked and the children showed us how to dance properly. We joined in, sometimes with slightly stiff hips! 😊



Dezember 10th, 2023 (Aravind)

‘In life’s tapestry, hearts weave children’s innocence, cradling dreams pure and untamed. Rise beyond material threads, let compassion guide, stitching a common fabric of shared humanity ‘

Oh Yes, am back again after a week’s absence, greeted by a somber Sunday rain. Our mission resumes, not in the familiar embrace of Jinja, but in a distant place named Kamuli. Here, amidst the secondary students who were part of the children’s home, our purpose unfolds like the raindrops, each carrying stories of hope and resilience to the meet the children.

In the guest house’s Mini Hall, a mere fourteen souls gathered for breakfast, a humble triumph earned in the dance of weather. Guided by Moses, our earthly vessel, we journeyed to the sacred abode, summoned by the divine to seek blessings in the Church sanctuary. Post-worship, we sought refuge in the Children’s home, where the symphony of service continued its melodic crescendo. As the sun dipped into introspection, Vinay and Durga, the maestros of enlightenment, waltzed into the computer lab, where the future unfolded in pixelated promise where the secondary kids present and their hands danced on the keys, unravelling tales of technological tapestries, a narrative whispered to eager ears. Oh, the nostalgia lingered, for I recall the days of youth, chasing mouse balls and escaping the confines of the lab haha!. Yet, these young minds, with unwavering focus, painted a canvas of curiosity, turning a mere lesson into an interactive odyssey.

While the other part of team and I found my role in orchestrating the donation suitcases, weaving together garments and shoes with care, aligning them by gender and sizes. Ah, gratitude blooms for Vinay, a lone benefactor, whose hands bestowed brand-new Vests and Briefs, a heartfelt gift destined to embrace the entirety of the children.

‘Compassion and emphasis on the innocence and pure faith of children’

This is my second week amidst the vibrant spirit of Uganda, the children’s pure hearts and innocence unfold like a sacred tapestry. Oh, dear God, I beseech You to be their unwavering backbone, guiding their every endeavour. Send forth countless souls to nurture, contribute, and illuminate their paths in the unfolding chapters of their lives.

Back on the trail of purpose, we embarked on a mission of distribution after meticulously organizing the offerings. Each house received its share of dresses, and the older children adorned themselves, checking the fit of these gifts that arrived from various corners of the world. Gratitude extends to the generous contributors and a nod to Gabi, the maestro who orchestrated and packed these parcels of kindness with the team back in Germany (Duesseldorf).

Amidst our endeavors, a pause for sustenance unfolded at Aunty Aisha’s haven, where stomachs found solace. Laughter echoed as she wielded her guitar, strings dancing to the rhythm of her skill. In her musical tapestry, joy sparkled in her eyes—a symphony of happiness, a delightful melody for her soul.

As the day drew to a close, a surprise awaited me, Durga, and Cristina Naranjo (not Naruto, haha) – a poignant moment orchestrated by a kind soul named Randy. With warmth and compassion, he penned a handwritten letter, adorned with a glimpse of his younger days, a gesture that resonated deeply within our hearts and across the entire team.

In the reflection of Randy’s kindness, the words echo: “Children, with their untarnished hearts, teach us that love is the language of the soul, and innocence is the key that unlocks the door to a world filled with boundless compassion.”

A heartfelt acknowledgment extends to Gabi, the orchestrator of the past nine years, navigating the challenges of organization with unwavering dedication. As we pray for continued support from above, gratitude wraps around every team member who embraced the mission. For in my eyes, the most valuable and precious gift one can give is not a possession but time, and this gift, shared among us, is the truest testament to the spirit of compassion and connection.

Ending with High emotions !!!!!


December 11th, 2023 (Monika)

What a day! I still have tears in my eyes when I think about saying goodbye to the children and the Aunties from the Children’s Home in Kamuli. My pocket is full of sweet little letters that some of the children wrote to me to say goodbye. It is heartbreaking. Although we only spent a week in Kamuli, I have taken the children into my heart as if they were my own family. My fellow travelers feel the same way. Sina also had her pack of tissues ready to say goodbye.

Our day started out quite ordinary. First, we went to the Nursery School, which is due to open soon, to see how the construction work was progressing. Then we returned to our own building site and completed the long-awaited chicken coop. That was quite an act! The chicken coop is standing and it even looks good, even though we didn’t think about working with right angles at first. We made it to fit. After all, our building material wasn’t straight either. I guess that’s what you call “Uganda style”. After completion, we signed the chicken coop and immortalized ourselves in Kamuli. Moses, our bus driver, was delighted with the result. When he’s not driving the bus, he works as a janitor at the Children’s Home and is very handy. Great praise for our work. The children were also delighted.

Afterwards we had lunch with the kids in their houses. I was at the house of Ezra, Moses, Viany, Bryan, John Mark, Philipp, Michael and Mugisha. The boys invited me into their house on day 1 and have since become my little Sonrise family. An absolute power house. The boys were like Flummis – always active, always laughing and joking around, and very quickly gone as soon as someone had to do the washing up. I would say they were happy children with very big hearts. When they said goodbye to me, I couldn’t hold back the tears. There was a little farewell ceremony in which the children said personal words to us. That was wonderful. We had also come up with something special for the farewell and composed our own song for the children and their aunties. Diana, Cristina and I had written a few verses the night before. It was very personal and the children were very happy about it. Afterwards, we all hugged again and got on the bus that was to take us back to Jinja. Some of the children ran down the driveway as fast as they could so that they could wave to us one last time. When I saw Ezra and the other boys from my house, I was in tears once again. I wish them all the very best for their future and am delighted that they are so well looked after and protected at the Children’s Home.

Many of the children unfortunately have a very sad story, but at the Children’s Home they can simply be children – carefree and with the certainty that there is enough food and drink for them. Unfortunately, this cannot be taken for granted in Uganda. Thank you, Sonrise, for being there for the children, and thank you, Gabi, for helping Peace’s Hope to find a nice home for so many children in need!

During the bus ride, I looked out of the window for a long time and gazed into the distance. I really hope that one day I can return to this place. A part of my heart has remained here.


December 12th, 2023 (Seika)

Looking forwards, long way ahead, looking backwards I see the footsteps; what we did what we said…how can we make a difference?
My day started energetically with daily intense workout with Jessie and Diana. Our breakfast table was a big feast; our body was more than grateful for the made-with-full-love-food. Here in Jinja, we have the loveliest chefs who takes care of each one of us! Due to an unexpected heavy pouring tropical rain, we had a very relaxing morning chatting and chilling in the guest house. 
At noon, we left in the burning sunshine heading to the lake victoria. It turned out to be a perfect weather for the lake/river cruise! With a guide, we sailed around the lake and saw the fishing villages, island prisons, varieties of wild birds, giant lizards and monkeys. We reached the starting point of great river Nile that runs all the way up to Egypt, which created all the greatest civilizations. Even though we were stuck in the middle of the lake due to malfunction of the boat engine, it was such a peaceful and enjoyable moment out of our routine in Uganda, that I felt totally peaceful.
Afterwards we had a late lunch at the restaurant by the lake. Food was really great! And here we don’t waste anything; we collected all the spines from the fish dishes, since this will be the dinner for the guard dogs in the guest house. And the dogs will even get delicious fish soup out of the fish head! Lucky them!
Back to the guest house, it was time to wrap up. Today was the last day the entire group spent the time together. The first group (including me) will be leaving before sunrise tomorrow. The time passed fast and slow; we have witnessed, experienced and obtained so much that I still cannot digest it. It was an especially challenging trip with a very big group of people (we are 17), and we have learned so much from each other:
* Think well, listen deep and speak slow
* Empathy, “read the air” in Japanese or “read between the lines”
* Admire, everyone deserves to be noticed
* Mediate, find a solution, no finger pointing
The experience is non-exchangeable. It is unique. It is priceless. It was so, because of the group we shared the time together, and I am grateful for having every one of the team member. 
The work in Peace’s Hope will be continued by the other half of the team, and we, the leaving members will wish them a strong continuation in the following days!


December 13th, 2023 (Sophie)

Our team has been halved.
Tonight half of our team went on safari and gorilla trekking. The rest of the team (Gabi, Lenka, Sina, Cristina, Regina, Diana & I) had a leisurely start to the morning. Even though it was a shame that half of our team had already left, we all really enjoyed the space and the peace and quiet at the breakfast table.After breakfast, we went to Mirembe Cottage. We were greeted by the girls with lots of hugs. The Mirembe Cottage is a children’s home for girls who were not doing well in their families, e.g. because they were abused. There are currently 40 children aged 3-17 living there. Daniel, the director of the home, told us the story of how the children’s home came about. What he has achieved in recent years is very impressive.
The property also includes a pre-school, primary school and a secondary school. There is also a farm and a soccer pitch. The school and the soccer pitch are also visited by the other children from the community.After we were shown around the grounds, we made necklaces and bracelets with the girls. The beads for these are made by the older girls from magazines. The proceeds from this benefit the entire Mirembe Cottage.

After lunch, we were told to help out in the field. We collected a bag of corn with about 15 people (duration: 5 minutes). Removing the burrs from our clothes took just as long as the work itself 😄
In addition to chickens, the farm also has goats and cows. We took the goats to a meadow so that they could eat there. In the meantime, we mucked out the barn. As the goats didn’t have names yet, they are now called Star, Twinklestar & Shootingstar, Sally & Dennis. Then we went to the cows and finally swept the yard together with the children. Even the youngest children helped and had fun.We ended the evening with a delicious dinner (we had chips!!!) in the guesthouse.


December 13th, 2023 (Jessie)

From Jinja to Katunguru, 460 km, a part of the team headed to the Safari today. Departed around 5:20 am😴 (special thanks to Aisha for the breakfast at 4 am), we reached the equator around noon. We took photos on the equator line, with one foot on the northern hemisphere, the other on the southern. We also witnessed the ‘Coriolis Force’ makes the water flush in two hemispheres different: counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in the southern one; and on the equator, it vanishes! 🤪
Our journey then continued in the southern hemisphere after a nice all-you-can-eat buffet, except for Notonga, aka no tomato, onion, and garlic for Thomas, he had a burger. 
As planned, we checked in the Enshama Game Lodge around 15:30 (Finally, after a 10-hour drive! Ghushh😅) Enshama is the luganda word for antelope. Matching with the name of the hotel, there are always some wild antelopes around the lodge. The staff welcomed us with a refreshing juice.
Afterwards, we started our first game drive!
Goal: To see the big 4 in Uganda! Overlooking the Africa Savanna standing in a Safari SUV, it was my first time experiencing the Animal Planet! in real life! In the end, we managed to spot the buffalos, elephants, and some lions, together with Fazil, our amazing guide.
Our long long day ended with a warm candlelight dinner and we hit the bed early 
P.S: After the tiring long drive it got compensated after the Savannah game drive. Looking forward to the next morning game drive which we will cover the other part of the Queen Elisabeth national park with the besutiful sunrise!!


December 14th, 2023 (Regina)

Today was the day of the little ones: First going to deliver milk powder to a grandma of newborn twins whose mother died when giving birth, then seeing a dog puppy and two kittens at the former babies home where now Damali, the founder of Sonrise Ministries, lives with her family and some other kids, and then going to the new Babies Home  with about 40 babies and toddlers gathering around us. What a difference between the old Babies Home which was just a house with five rooms to now since about two years a beautiful place with six separate houses surrounded by a charming garden with trees, flowers and a well cut lawn. In addition they have room for vegetable plantations and are right above the Nile. When we arrived the kids had just finished eating, were cleaned and most of them, at least in my case, sat in a line on their „thrones“ 😉.I helped cleaning the floor from the rest of the meal and then romped a bit around with them: especially Klaudia and Babasi couldn’t get enough of it! Probably not the best idea to get them so excited as they then were supposed to take a nap while we were gathering in one house to get lunch. Damali continued to answer all sorts of questions around Babies Home and told us about some frightening background stories of why some of the children are in this house: It is sheer unbelievable how cruel humans can be to even the weakest!We were perfectly cheered up then when we were told that we would now go swimming with the older kids. They were put swimming suits and little life vests and off we went through the corn field and down to the river. The Nile is quite large here and with only a little current and we took them one by one into the water – except some who preferred to stay outside. After splish-splashing the kids took a short boat ride and then also some of our team members had the same opportunity.Back in the garden we distributed the Christmas donations to the caregivers and employees echoed by the typical yelled applause. The kids benefitted from the opportunity to play with empty carton boxes – a wonderful toy!On our way back still two other highlights: First we visited the construction site where a hospital shall be built: 10 acres of land right along the main road. Currently there is no more than some holes for the foundation, but is supposed to become a three story building with mainly three purposes: maternity ward, birthcontrol education and medication to prevent HIV infections. The desire to build a hospital came up because the health system in Uganda is not well organized and especially drugs – even when offered by UN or NGO organizations for free – tend to disappear due to corruption. The idea is to have a well organized hospital with good doctors such that it will attract also paying clients such that it can at least partly finance itself in the long run.A last visit of today was a stop at the Kalagala Falls, beautiful rapids of the Nile next to an island. Masses of water rush down amidst of some rocks to then slowly go on on the way north to finally end in the distant Mediterranean Sea. Next door we had a refreshing drink and relaxed in a bar after having passed back and forth on a swinging bridge – even those of us who were afraid of heights succeeded!

December 14th, 2023 (Thomas)
A restful night in enchanting accommodation, followed by an early start and a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs of choice and bread, accompanied us on our early morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Greeted by a group of waterbucks (elliptical waterbuck) at the car, we collected guide Fazil and watched hyenas sharing their prey. Elephants with their cute young, an impressive herd of buffalo and even a leopard in the tall grass fascinated us.After a break in the park community, the drive took us to Katunguru for an unforgettable boat trip on the Kazinga Channel. Under the guidance of Captain Innocent and the attentive “spotter” Sunday, we experienced close encounters with hippos, elephants, crocodiles and fascinating birdlife, including kingfishers and African fish eagles. Returning to the lodge, we were treated to a delicious lunch.After loading the car, we set off on the 240 km journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where – after a 5.5 hour drive – we ended the day with a delicious dinner in anticipation of the upcoming gorilla tracking.
December 15th,  2023 (Diana):
This morning began with the delightful aroma of Mandazi and fruits, skillfully prepared by Nolongo. Fueled by this delicious breakfast, we made our way to Mirembe. 
When we arrived, the day started with laughter and joy as we played hand-clapping games with the girls. Together, we wrote Christmas letters to express gratitude to our generous donors. It was truly heartwarming to witness the girls pour their passion into writing, drawing, and painting.
Lunchtime brought us together over beans and rice, and the girls got to enjoy their sweets, a reward for them after diligently working on the letters. As it was still raining, we then started to make some origami with the remaining paper. 
When the sky finally cleared, we headed to the farm to aid in crafting the wall for the cows’ expanded space. The labor was intense, yet humbling as some of the workers were digging barefoot alongside with us. 
Returning with mud-caked sneakers, the girls eagerly cleaned our shoes, leaving them as pristine as new. Their kindness added a special touch to a day filled with shared efforts. 
Back at home, we enjoyed a rewarding delicious dinner – salad, delectable lentils and chapatti.
15. Dezember 2023 (Aravind):
Greetings, fellow adventurers! In the wake of yesterday’s tumultuous journey from Elizabeth National Park to witness the majestic gorillas, we embarked on a 5+ hour odyssey to the ethereal Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the heart of Rubanda, Uganda. Perched between 3500 ft to 4500 ft at Trekkers Tavern Cottages, our day began with the harmonious symphony of African green broadbill and Rwenzori turaco birds, serenading us as the breeze whispered through the door gaps.
Amidst this natural orchestration, we gathered for an early morning feast, breaking bread around 6:45 to commence our enchanting gorilla trek. 
A 30-minute deep dive into the intricacies of the forest, the local Ruhija tribe, and the art of gorilla trekking set the stage. The Ruhija tribe, a dance collective of astonishing vigor and intensity, welcomed us, their performance a mesmerizing fusion of ageless wisdom and boundless energy.
Guided by a forest ranger and his vigilant team armed with AK-47s, machetes, and semi-automatic guns, initially daunting, we soon understood the necessity. 
The trail unfolded, weaving through daunting slopes and lush vegetation, our trekking gear a shield against the rugged terrain.
An hour into our journey, we encountered the Kyaguriro gorilla family in the Ruhija region, led by a majestic silverback. The air transformed into a tapestry of tranquility as we shared moments with these gentle giants. The return journey, fraught with challenges in the dense wilderness, became a poetic dance of perseverance.
Completing the trek, we were awarded graduation certificates, tokens of our triumph over the wild. Chats with the forest rangers revealed tales of hardship and resilience, weaving a narrative of life in the heart of this biodiverse haven. As we bid farewell to our newfound sanctuary, a 9+ hour drive back to the airport awaited, punctuated by breaks reminiscent of school days, where we indulged in packed lunches and stretched our weary limbs.
In the twilight of the day, fatigue etched on our faces, we carried back not just memories of charity and camaraderie but also the discovery of a love that blossomed amidst the untamed beauty of Bwindi. 
Meanwhile, the spirits of our companions in Jinja continued their noble service, a testament to the enduring legacy of our shared journey.

December 16th, 2023 (Cristina)

Today we started the day with a lovely breakfast, as usual. We had samosas and delicious fruits.
We then departed to visit two twin-born babies (Nakato Sharoni & Babirye Charlotte) whose 20-year-old mother died of postpartum complications, and they are in need of support. We got to know about them through Patrick, Damali’s friend, who works for an organization that supports kids and elderly people at public hospitals and in the nearby streets when they are discharged. They provide food and supply medicines; however, they don’t have the means to support the people in the long term. Whenever they have cases of vulnerable babies, they call Damali to help out. This happens often, but we were lucky to be here this time and see their work firsthand.
Two days ago, we brought milk and diapers to the grandma from the mother side. She is a part-time worker at a factory and doesn’t have anyone to take care of the babies when she needs to go to work. Therefore, she sent them to the other grandma to be taken care of by the community.
Today we drove for about an hour on a very difficult road to reach the house where they have been relocated. The family received us happily, but sadly, we didn’t see the babies in the best conditions. They were without a diaper and are clearly malnourished. Damali explained to them how they should be feed them. They will start a fundraiser to be able to supply them with formula and diapers every week until they are healthy.
The leader of the community (an old man) came to greet us, and Diana and I had a nice talk with him about how, at the end, we are all the same; we have the same blood; we are born naked and will die and leave everything we possess behind. He was sad, as he thought we would take the babies with us, but thanked us for our help, as he thought they wouldn’t survive there. We told him that the babies should stay in the community and with their family, as they belong there, and that we would just make sure they were well dressed and fed. His eyes sparked with joy, and he thanked us once more. We signed his visit book, Gabi handed out candies to the kids, and we headed our way to the Baby’s Home.
The ride was long, and I took a nap on the way, already reflecting on how blessed we are to have been born in a country with good hospitals and a family who could afford to have us delivered in the safest conditions for us and our mothers.
When I woke up, we were near the Baby’s Home. You can see that these kids are very lucky to be there under Sonrise’s care and how much Peace’s Hope has contributed to their well-being. The contrast is very big, as I compare the little legs of the malnourished babies with the chubby, cute babies in the Baby’s home.
We had an amazing lunch; these ladies can truly cook. My favorite lunch dood so far is in Uganda (best dinner is always at the guest house in Jinja), and almost everything is harvested there. After lunch, we had a walk at the farm and church. We also saw the spot where you might find Gabi after retirement. If she doesn’t do it, maybe I will 😂🙈
Afterwards, we continued with the letters for the donors and sponsors and had fun painting the hands and feet of the little ones for the thank-you cards. Some cried, some did multiple runs in one run, some even came back as there was candy as a reward, and some felt asleep on our lap as the day had been hot and they were exhausted.🐣
On the way back, Sam proved his skills as a good driver and brought us home safe through slippery roads and heavy rain after a thunderstorm.
Tonight we will sleep tight thinking of how lucky all the Baby Home babies are to have such a nice house and environment and many Aunties and Uncles taking care of and loving them.



Sunday, December 17 (Lenka)

Today started with some sad news: one of the twin girls we visited yesterda and provided with everything they needed, Nakato Sharoni, unfortunately didn’t make it and passed away during the night.

Saddened by this news, but with a big task in mind, we went to the nearest rubber boot dealer to equip ourselves for the upcoming project – today, the wall around the cattle shed will be started. This will minimise the risk of theft and allow the animals to move around freely.

But before we started, we went to a church service on the grounds of the Mirembe Cottage. As in previous church visits, we were greeted warmly, introduced ourselves and said a few words.

Although the whole morning was sunny and warm, it started to pour down just at the end of our lunch – as if the Lord had not wanted us to start or continue with our project 😉 Luckily, it was only a short, albeit heavy shower – probably just to cool us down and so that we could show off our newly acquired wellies 😉

The local builders had already done the groundwork and laid the first layer of stones with concrete as a foundation. It was now up to us to stack the bricks neatly and join them together with concrete to form a wall. Under the patient guidance of the Ugandan construction workers, we built around half a metre of the wall in many steps. They would probably have been quicker without us, but this way they also had fun teaching the Mzungus.

Tomorrow we have one more day to build – let’s see what we can manage then! 💪


Monday, December 18 (Sina)

Unfortunately, our work in the project is slowly coming to an end. This morning, however, we once again lent a hand on the construction site of the fence project – a very warm endeavour in the blazing midday sun on the equator line! 😁

We all take off our hats to the local construction workers who do this back-breaking job every day, sometimes even barefoot. All in all, we had great fun together and it also seemed to be a welcome change for the boys to watch us doing our work more or less professionally. To show our appreciation for their work, we gave them a Coke and some sweets as snacks.

We spent most of the afternoon with the children, as today was our last day at the Mirembe Cottage for Street Girls. The little ones were very happy about the afternoon of games, but that didn’t make it any easier for us to say goodbye. We were all very sad to leave! There is no doubt that the girls Sonrise is bringing up here are fantastic and will enrich our society greatly once they are able to stand on their own two feet and carry on the grace of charity and love they experience here.


December 19th,  2023 (Sophie)

This morning we received good news and sad news.
The good news is that the grandma of the remaining twin has agreed that we can take him to the hospital. Hopefully the little one will survive Mädchen✊🏻. The baby will remain in the care of Sonrise (Baby Home) until it is strong enough to return to the family. Depending on its condition, this could take 1-2 years.

The sad news is that Eddy one of the masons had an accident on his way home yesterday. He was hit by a truck on a boda boda (moped). Two days earlier we were surprised that we didn’t see any accidents on the roads, as many vehicles drive in the dark without lights. Eddy is currently in hospital, he has head injuries and his nose and tongue had to be stitched up. We have offered our support for the hospital bill. The staff at Mirembe Cottage are currently providing him with food at the hospital as there is no food there. We wish him a speedy recovery and a speedy recovery!

We then drove to Jinja for the last few errands. In addition to a few souvenirs, Gabi & Damali were also able to buy other things for the twin babies (diapers, milk powder, washing powder, soap, Vaseline, wet wipes & mosquito net).

We spent the rest of the day at the Baby Home. After lunch we went for a walk with the babies and toddlers. Keron clung to me the whole time and Peter didn’t want to walk without my hand either. Each of us had 2-3 children around us who didn’t leave us.
Afterwards there was also a closing ceremony at the Baby Home, as today was our last day there. All the Aunties and Farmers thanked us for our visit, the Christmas presents and our time. They were on the verge of tears as a chicken is very special to them and the whole gift is a very big appreciation for them.

Sad that our time in the project is now over & looking forward to our gorilla trekking & safari we packed our bags in the evening. We will go to bed tonight with one crying and one laughing eye.


December 20th, 2023 (Gabi)

The remaining team sets off very early today to experience Uganda’s wildlife. Uganda is rightly known as the pearl of Africa. Uganda has beautiful landscapes, the famous Big Five, tree lions, gorillas in the rainforest and much more to offer. I hope they all enjoy their trip.

I also have to leave early. Today we have to hand out Christmas presents to the employees of the Sonrise Children’s Home in Kamuli. In addition to the baskets filled with rice, sugar, tea, curry, soap and much more, this year for the first time we are able to present all the employees of Sonrise Ministries with a live chicken. This is very important in Uganda and makes these hard-working people especially happy. I very much hope that we will also find enough supporters in 2024 to help us make this special gift possible the following year.

In the afternoon, I meet up with Richard’s family for a late lunch. I’m always very happy to see his wife and children again. The family is very close to my heart. One of his children also has my late sister’s name as a second name. An honor that the family has done me, which touches me deeply.

After this meeting, I visit Jjaja Buffy. An American lady who decided to emigrate to Uganda a few years ago and adopt a child from the Sonrise Baby Home. Before traveling with a team, I always stayed with her, so we know each other well.

Now it’s time to say goodbye. After a good month in Uganda, I will start my return journey tomorrow. But as always at the end of my trip, there is still a lot of paperwork to do. After all, this is also an inevitable part of running a non-profit organization.


December 20th, 2023 (Regina)

Today we had a traveling day: Already at 5.30 a.m. we said goodbye to Gabi, Joanne and Nalongo in the Jinja guesthouse and took off with Isaac and Habib in their „Tourist Van“ to experience the last part of our journey in Uganda – the Gorilla Trecking and Safaris. Having passed Kampala and a number of traffic jams we had a first pause after about 3 hours where some of us got muffins and coffee.
Already less than an hour later we arrived at the equator line. The presentation of how the water swirls clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere and does not swirl at all being exactly on the equator line was quite impressive, especially because the three demonstrations were just a few meters away from each other. After a look at the souvenir shops and coffee and cake for some of us we continued our journey south-westward. When our road was crossing swamplands close to Lake Victoria telapia fish was sold alongside the street, the same type of fish we ate at the sailing club in Jinja, but who knows how fresh these fish were without any cooling. The landscape got hillier and people seem to be a bit richer here according to house sizes. Still the landscape is very green with bananas, matoke (green cooking bananas tasting a bit like potatoes), sweet potatoes (called Irish potatoes here), tomatoes, onions, corn, sugar cane and other fruits and vegetables. We also saw flocks of cows (the male ones with long blended horns typical for Uganda) on grassland with a few scattered trees, not just one skinny cow or calf tied with a short rope occasionally in front of a dwelling. Every now and then we were stopped by a police control – getting more frequent as Christmas approaches and also the police guys want to earn some extra money 😉. One better doesn’t look too closely at the traffic and the risky ways to take over.

Lunch break at a nice restaurant with tables on the lawn under shadowy trees with either food from the buffet or for most of us who were not so hungry only a „Rolex“ = eggs and tomatoes rolled in a chapati. Further ahead the landscape turned more and more beautiful with steeper hills, grassland, woods and plantations in a neat order with some houses scattered in between.
Lots of turnings and ups and downs later we took a right turn on a bumpy road to lead us another 26 km to the community of Ruhija, which took us more than an hour, but with beautiful views on terrace like fields of potatoes and other vegetables. Finally we reached the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a large forest covering parts also of Ruanda and Kongo, as we are close to these borders now. With upcoming darkness we arrived at our lodge, were received friendly by Sheila with a passionfruit juice and checked in to separate houses for the cosy large double bedrooms, much more luxury than expected! Looking now forward to a good dinner and hopefully a successful gorilla trecking tomorrow morning.


December 21st, 2023 (Diana)

After a good sleep with the sound of the raindrops we had the luck to enjoy the beautiful sunrise during our breakfast.

We then departed directly to the gorilla safari Lodge to check in and locals from Ruhija welcomed us chanting and dancing following the rhythm with the talking tambours.
We were then allocated to our tour guide and 3 other rangers that scorted us to our expedition through the impenetrable forest.
After hiking for approx 40 min, our rangers found the trackers that have been since early morning trying to track the exact location of the gorilla family that we were trying to find. we then saw one baby gorilla playing around climbing and falling off the trees and that is when we started to get out of the pathway and got deeper to the forest. It was a bit scary at first as there were many big ants around trying to climb up our legs.
Nevertheless it was at the end very worth it as we got to witness in their natural habitat 7 gorillas: 1 silver back, aka the Alfa male, 2 babies, 2 moms and 2 adults laying around, and a whole “ant cementery” as Cristina quoted in our foot ware.
After finalising the tour we then got our gorilla ambassadors certificates and immediately headed to the car and parted our way to the evening safari in the Queen Elizabeth national park.

The way was though as the roads to get out of the impenetrable forest were very curvy which made me very motion sick. After 4hrs of driving and a few stops for the toilet, we finally arrived to the Queen Elizabeth National park where our ranger/ tour guide was awaiting for us to start the safari game.
From the beginning we saw some elephants and buffalos which made us very excited as we already saw 2 out of 4 of the big 5 which are: lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants and rhinos (the later I don’t count in the list as unfortunately they are not located in the park). Through out the Safari we got to witness lots of solitary warthogs (which we kept confusing with anthills), bushbucks, waterbucks, birds, a herd of buffalos and buffalo losers (which are the ones that are casted away from the herd for being the weakest and not been able to get a partner during mating season). After going for around the park many times before the end of the Safari we got closer to the tree where we suspiciously thought there could potentially be a lion. To our surprise there was not just one but 4 lions and 1 lioness. To finalise the tour we got to witness some hippos taking their usual bath and enjoying the evening sunset.

In the evening, we checked in to our accommodation, very close from the Kasinga channel. The Lodges were stunningly luxuriously decorated and the open air restaurant had 3 floors where you could enjoy the dinner with beautiful views. We enjoyed our last dinner together with a 3 course dinner alongside some antelopes nearby and the sound of the laughs of hyenas.

Being in Uganda has been one of the most incredible and unique trips I had so far. Immersing myself along with other volunteers in the culture, lifestyle, people, nature… those are memories that I will forever treasure. Lastly, I honour all the efforts that the Sonrise Community and Peace’s Hope have accomplished throughout the years and keep shaping a better future for the coming generations. Thank you for the supporters and readers. May God bless you always.


December 21st, 2023 (Gabi)

Today begins as it ended yesterday. The paperwork is completed and the last things are packed. Then it’s time to say goodbye to all the lovely people who have become so close to my heart. On the way to the airport, we make an unexpected detour to Mirembe Cottage. This gives me the opportunity to give the girls another big hug before we continue on towards Entebbe. Aisha chooses an alternative route that is less busy. There is always a lot going on on the roads around Kampala, especially before Christmas. We arrive in Entebbe early so that we still have the opportunity to have dinner together in a restaurant near the airport with a wonderful view of Lake Victoria. With a heavy heart, I say goodbye to Aisha with the firm promise to return next year. Uganda has become a second home to me and the people of Sonrise Ministries a second family.


December 22nd, 2023 (Cristina)

We kicked off the day at 6 a.m. with a nice breakfast 🥞🍳 fresh fruits, eggs of choice, pancakes and a nice view of the rising sun over the Savannah. Around the lodge there were still the waterbocks who camp on the surroundings of the lodge at night seeking protection from hyenas and lions.
We continued our day with an early morning game drive. We saw elephants, antelope, waterbocks, rhinos, wild pigs (aka Pumba), the Ugandan signature bird and, although from afar, a lioness and her cub resting on a tree.
We were not as lucky as with the night game drive, but it was good as we had other activities planned for the day.
We then found our way to the salt lake. We bought (or rather bargained) some last-minute souvenirs and then heard the explanation about the salt mining and the historical and natural background of the place. It was apparently discovered centuries ago, but the pools are still owned by the kin of the first owners, and the technique has been passed down through the generations. We of course bought some salt to support the local community and hoped on the van once more. The next activity awaiting us was a boat cruise between Lake George and Lake Edward. These are two lakes separated by a canal, which divides Queen Elizabeth Park into two. Some of our team members visited the fish market (not me) and saw the variety of fish available at the lakes. Fishing is one of the economic activities of the area; the other is tourism.
During the boat cruise, we saw elephants bathing and eating soft leaves at the shore, a lot of hippos resting, a couple of baby crocodiles and loser buffalos (the outcaste ones), several birds, including the Ugandan fish eagle, and some big lizards that looked like snakes.
The guide explained the usual behavior and interactions between the above-mentioned, and he kindly answered each of our “one question,” which we all know is never the only one.
After the boat ride, we went back to the lodge to pick up our luggage, we enjoyed a nice lunch—the last one together for the traveling team 23’—and started our journey back to Entebbe.
The ride is long, and we are on our way as I write this text. Looking back, we cannot believe how time went by so quickly. After 3 weeks here (4 for Sina and Lenka), the time in Uganda has come to an end. It’s time to say bye, and we feel very grateful for the opportunity and everything that this experience has taught us. Thank you Uganda, for the hospitality; thanks team, for the company, laughter, and friendship; thanks, Peace’s Hope and Gabi for the opportunity; and thank you to anyone and everyone supporting us from abroad. It has been a blast!  Now it’s time to ’tis the season..✈️🎄🧑‍🎄


December 22nd, 2023 (Gabi)

After two stormy flights, I arrive safely in Duesseldorf. Fulfilled and grateful for everything I was able to experience again. All the little miracles that happen locally. How often do I hear that with so much need and misery, there is probably little that can be done. But the 9 years that I have been working on this project have taught me something else. You can make a difference. You just have to take the first step. And yes, you can’t change the whole world. But our work is now changing the lives of so many people in Uganda for the better that it is worth every effort. If every person on this earth did just a little bit for the less privileged, it would be a huge step in the right direction. Thank you so much to everyone who supports us in our work. You make these miracles possible in Uganda.