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’s Timbre! Choir celebrates diversity of music

Spring concert is scheduled for April 28 at ADSS Theatre

Alberni Valley Minor Hockey hands out hardware

Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association wrapped up its 2018-19 season with an awards ceremony

Drag races headed back towards Alberni airport for 2019

Drag racing association receives approval, pending agreement with ACRD

Port Alberni author Gwynne Hunt releases new book

Unlocking the Tin Box is a true tale of family dysfunction

VALLEY SENIORS: Ernie and Margaret Bigelow enjoy 60 years of marriage

The couple met in Port Alberni when Ernie bought a “shack” next door to Margaret

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read