Preeceville youth overwhelmed by trip to Africa

Angelina Sorgen of Preeceville experienced a once in a life time trip when she travelled to Uganda, Africa for mission work through Touch Ministries.

Sorgen said she had a challenging start to her journey when her original flight was cancelled prior to leaving on January 20. But the trip went on, and concluded on February 5.

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She is the daughter of Dwight and Edna Sorgen of Preeceville.

"I was really excited to travel to Africa and help feed the children through Touch Ministries," said Sorgen.

"The opportunity came up and after some research I applied and was accepted. I have always wanted to go to Africa and through this trip I helped children have a better life. The mission had brought books and helped set up a library. This was my first trip overseas and I am looking forward to returning one day,” she said.

Sorgen has also been doing some fundraisers like selling hot chocolate at the Preeceville School to feed children. It takes $1 to feed a child per day, she stated. Through her fundraising efforts she raised $580 that fed 510 children for one day.

Sorgen's trip kicked off when she drove to Calgary to meet with some of the other mission workers from Alberta and British Columbia. They spent the night at the leader’s house in Sylvan Lake and met up later with mission workers from Ontario and Quebec.

"The group could not travel all together as there were too many of us. I was part of the last group to arrive," said Sorgen. "Once we all safely arrived we met at the hotel where we stayed all during the week, traveling each day to the orphanage. Every morning before we went to the orphanage we had breakfast and recited morning devotions.

“On the first morning after we arrived we were greeted very warmly with a lot of singing and dancing from the church workers and children at the orphanage. We attended a two- hour service that was full of dancing and singing,” recalled Sorgen.

The diet of the children in the orphanage consisted of posho and beans that they eat twice a day. A lot of the diet in Africa consists of fresh fruit, beef, chicken or goat, cabbage and fried bread.

"While we were there we didn't do a lot of physical labour,” explained Sorgen. “We got to spend time with the children in the orphanage and surrounding communities. The mission workers did have the opportunity to go to the market and purchase items. I did buy a few things but most memorable was buying material which was sewn into a dress and skirt for me by one of the local women.

Sorgen said the entire experience was extremely gratifying.

"I had the opportunity to really see how they live and how huge poverty is,” she said.

“We are very blessed and sometimes take things for granted in our country. They have limited medical heath care unless you have money. I also had the opportunity to see firsthand what people have to go through to just see a doctor. They would wait days in line to see the one doctor at a clinic. If you had money health care was better as you got into the hospital and got to see a doctor quicker."

The education system is very different from Canada's.

"There was 90-plus children in the orphanage as well as other community children who would take classes in the orphanage but only to a certain level,” reported Sorgen. “After that the children either would stop or travel further away to continue their education. I am hoping to go back in the near future." 

Touch Ministries is located 20 min northwest of Kumi, which is in the Eastern part of Uganda, according to information from the ministries website.

In 2010, the ministries drilled the first water well, which was a huge benefit to offer fresh water to the community. The first dorm opened up Sept. 16, 2010 with 17 children.  Since then things have grown very rapidly. Currently it operates two large dorms with 95 children who are under full sponsorship

Across the road, it has a church that holds at least 500 people. In 2011 it began Touch School. Currently it has seven classrooms built, with a future goal to complete three more which will allow the school to hold, baby class to P7, at which time they will enter a boarding high school or vocational school, the information said. 

Touch Ministries is committed to provide a loving and caring home, food, medical, and education to the most vulnerable children of Ogooma, Kumi Uganda.  They reach out to the community with hope for a better future, when all hope seems lost.