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

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