Youth questions role in global aid

Brendan Hamilton files his second installment about his work in Jinja, Uganda, to perform aid work with Videa, a Victoria-based NGO.

Brendan Hamilton and a work mate on a boat ride up the Nile River. Reading about it in social studies is one thing but seeing it for real is another

Brendan Hamilton is in Jinja, Uganda to perform aid work with Videa, an NGO based out of Victoria.


Never did I expect that this journey would already be past the halfway point.

During our pre-departure training we were told that we would all more than likely experience culture shock.

Looking back at all my notes from the workshops in Victoria before we departed it seems that I haven’t experienced culture shock, nor do I show any symptoms.

However, the simple thought that we are at the halfway point is really a dejecting thought in the back of my mind.

Lately I’ve been playing tug-of-war with myself in my head. One side is excited to go back home, have that little sense of nostalgia and just tell everybody that is interested in my excursion here. Now the other side simply does not want to leave Uganda.

As I explained in my other post, there is so much to do here, which is a major contributing factor. As much as a miss home, I’ve already seen it all.

My beloved parents raised me and always said that this world is much bigger then our little valley, but it’s also contradicting at the same time because the world is bigger than Uganda. I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to be doing a lot of travelling in what I have in my youthful years.

Of course what better way to see the world when you’re young and adventurous?

I believe that my mind likes to wander too much, and often in my spare time I’m usually at a café, thinking about anything. There are so many options for myself at this time in my life that it’s no wonder that the majority of the time I just anticipate what I could do, and what I can do. I hope that makes sense.

But knowing that this a great experience for a 19-year-old stepping out into reality of life, I often don’t know what I could do with this kind of experience.

Many, many options I have thought about, but none related to this kind of work. I do have another two months here, plenty of time to really hunker down and plan out a future of many options. For now it’s a matter of focusing on my work and doing the best job I can.

Speaking of work, what a joy it has been, sorry if I keep anybody on their toes, but I will have a full post on what I do, where I work, and what kind of projects I’m currently involved and working on.

Work is another subject that often crosses my mind here and there. Because Uganda is a developing country, and seeing for myself that poverty is on a biblical scale, I feel a sense of helplessness, uselessness, and sometimes (it) really makes me think: is all the work here really worth it?

The reason I bring this up is because it’s a good contribution, sometimes even a major one. Giving an individual an opportunity, even if it’s as simple as teaching them basic computer lessons, or hosting a soccer game once a week, shows that there are chances in life that someone just has to make the effort to pursue it.

There always has to be an opposition, at the same time, doing all my work at WomenFirst, then going home, or on the weekend when I see poverty in Jinja or near my residence. It shows that no matter how much work I do, it seems that I’m not helping on a very big scale.

I just have to remember that every little bit helps.

Keeping in mind that not only has it almost been two months, I also have another month here. So, is the glass half full or half empty? I’ve really forgotten how far away home really is, and what it’s like, aside from the rain year-round of course.

In no time I’ll be home from my globetrotting journey. I’m just grateful at this point that my parents and education have armed me to the teeth with the knowledge and mental capacity to take care of myself when in doubt, especially overseas.


Follow Brendan Hamilton’s blog online at

Just Posted

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: More than half of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Most Read