Dean and Jessica spend time with their children Faith and Angus, 5, in Lismore Heights before heading off to Uganda for charity work.
Dean and Jessica spend time with their children Faith and Angus, 5, in Lismore Heights before heading off to Uganda for charity work. Marc Stapelberg

A mission to Uganda

IT WAS sponsoring a child living in Uganda's Kitgum district, a region broken by war and with a high rate of AIDS, which sparked Jessica and Dean Butcher's interest to travel there.

About two years ago the pair started sponsoring a young girl, Evaline Adokorach, who the Butchers' four children soon perceived as part of their own family.

"They (the children) used to talk about her and actually thought she was going to come and live with us," Ms Butcher said.

On July 26, Mr and Mrs Butcher will travel to Uganda to meet Evaline, provide young children with sporting equipment and build a house for kids without parents.

"A lot of the children's parents have died from AIDS or war," Mrs Butcher said.

"Soccer is their main sport over there, but because they can't afford balls they get rubbish and tie it into balls and kick that around."

Independent Sports in Lismore has provided the Butchers with sporting equipment, including soccer balls and net balls at cost price, to take to Uganda for children.

Mr Butcher, a final-year carpentry apprentice, will build the house.

"We're so lucky in this country; we've got food, a roof over our heads, access to medicine and, if the opportunity is there, why not go and try to help out?" Mrs Butcher said.

However, the Butchers will only stay in Uganda for two weeks and are uncertain whether the house will be completed before having to return.

"There's a saying over there; TIA, which means 'this is Africa'," Mrs Butcher explained.

"Things usually don't run according to plan over there, so we're hoping even if we get it started we can contract some builders to finish it off after we leave."

The trip was also inspired by Irene Gleeson, who left Sydney in 1991 to set up an organisation which provides food, medicine, shelter and education for disadvantaged Ugandan children.



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