Youth group headed to Uganda

Goal is to help make positive change for African children.

Goal is to help make positive change for African children.

OFF TO AFRICA: Gisborne students who are part of the Mangapapa Church Youth Group are off to Uganda in September to work with children there. From left are: Tabea Walker, Matthew Ney, Caleb Ney, Josiah Ney, Aiden Holland, Joel Walker and Sabine Lapointe. Picture by Liam Clayton

Seven members of the Mangapapa Church Youth Group will be going on an African adventure in September, to work with children on Ssese Islands at the northwest of Lake Victoria.

They have been on a major fundraising mission this year to pay for airfares to take them to the other side of the world.

Parents of three of the boys going, Kate and Patrick Ney, will accompany the group and have contacts in Uganda from when they lived there in the late 1990s.

The couple did missionary work in Uganda and Tanzania, and spent three and a half years on the Ssese Islands.

Mrs Ney said they were mainly involved with palliative care as this was a time when the HIV virus was taking its toll on large numbers of the population, before anti-viral medication was available.

“We are still in touch with the youth pastor there.”

The youth group will stay at an orphanage in the city of Enteebe when they arrive in Uganda, and will be partnering with some of the youth from the pastor’s community.

Once on the Ssese Islands their goal is to show the African children they can effect change where they are, said Mrs Ney.

The children chosen to go were very committed to effecting positive change and were enthusiastic about their upcoming African experience.

“They have really put in the work to raise money — from house-washing to sausage sizzles and selling Batik T-shirts at the Gisborne Farmers’ Market.”

They are planning to hold a theatresports fundraising evening in the near future.

Theatresports is a form of improvisational theatre which uses the format of a competition for dramatic effect. The participating teams will take part in a number of theatresports games in front of a live audience.

Mrs Ney said the Gisborne community had been extremely generous.

“The community has been amazing — they have come up with jobs for us to do and some businesses have given sponsorship.”

Te Puni Kokiri is sponsoring two of the children and is looking forward to them sharing their experiences when they return.

“The children will be shaken out of their norm and will come back to Gisborne with a whole new perspective.

“It’s all about giving them space to see that they can effect change.

“We still have a way to go to raise the money we need, and would love any businesses or schools to get involved where they can.”

Seven members of the Mangapapa Church Youth Group will be going on an African adventure in September, to work with children on Ssese Islands at the northwest of Lake Victoria.

They have been on a major fundraising mission this year to pay for airfares to take them to the other side of the world.

Parents of three of the boys going, Kate and Patrick Ney, will accompany the group and have contacts in Uganda from when they lived there in the late 1990s.

The couple did missionary work in Uganda and Tanzania, and spent three and a half years on the Ssese Islands.

Mrs Ney said they were mainly involved with palliative care as this was a time when the HIV virus was taking its toll on large numbers of the population, before anti-viral medication was available.

“We are still in touch with the youth pastor there.”

The youth group will stay at an orphanage in the city of Enteebe when they arrive in Uganda, and will be partnering with some of the youth from the pastor’s community.

Once on the Ssese Islands their goal is to show the African children they can effect change where they are, said Mrs Ney.

The children chosen to go were very committed to effecting positive change and were enthusiastic about their upcoming African experience.

“They have really put in the work to raise money — from house-washing to sausage sizzles and selling Batik T-shirts at the Gisborne Farmers’ Market.”

They are planning to hold a theatresports fundraising evening in the near future.

Theatresports is a form of improvisational theatre which uses the format of a competition for dramatic effect. The participating teams will take part in a number of theatresports games in front of a live audience.

Mrs Ney said the Gisborne community had been extremely generous.

“The community has been amazing — they have come up with jobs for us to do and some businesses have given sponsorship.”

Te Puni Kokiri is sponsoring two of the children and is looking forward to them sharing their experiences when they return.

“The children will be shaken out of their norm and will come back to Gisborne with a whole new perspective.

“It’s all about giving them space to see that they can effect change.

“We still have a way to go to raise the money we need, and would love any businesses or schools to get involved where they can.”

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