Scene: North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 90, No. 86, Ed. 1 Friday, March 10, 2006 Page: 4 of 12
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Scene I NT Daily
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informal "checkpoints" around
Kampala for children commuting
from the north. Known as "night
commuters," these children travel
by starlight and sleep by day to
escape the terror of the resis-
tance army. With the help of local
Christian organizations, such as
the Kampala Pentecostal Church,
this man helped these children by
feeding, clothing and sheltering
them on their journeys.
The most vivid expression of
hope I encountered was in Hope
Integrity orphanage, hidden in a
forest on the outskirts of Kampa-
la. Children of all beliefs - Chris-
tian, Muslim, traditional African
- lived there. I thought I would see
sad faces: after all, the combined
efforts of the resistance army and
HIV/AIDS had orphaned these
children to fate.
To my surprise, the children
were happy. Even though they
lacked things we consider necessi-
ties, such as televisions and refrig-
erators, they seemed content with
their stories, songs and imagina-
tions. Perhaps my most memo-
rable moment in Uganda came
when they sang old Christian
hymns: to us much like the leap
of bright flame to deep darkness.
They are beautiful, extraordinary
beings. That they simply continue
to live despite tragedy draws great
hope from great sadness.
These stories of leadership and
survival compelled us to find real
solutions. We met with 25 native
students from across Uganda at
Makerere University and discov-
ered a common intellectual mid-
dle ground: the purpose of our
trip wasn't to stop a war, but rather
to bring American and Ugandan
young people together in partner-
To this end we developed sev-
eral initiatives. These initiatives
were then included in a policy
document we submitted to the
U.S. House of Representatives for
approval in order to make our gov-
ernment more aware of a situation
we could possibly influence.
In association with the HIV/
AIDS group, I helped form three
basic proposals. The first pro-
posal was intended to encourage
college-level Ugandan students to
use Makerere University as the
grounds for HIV/AIDS awareness
programs. The second proposal
was to use the university curricu-
lum for HIV/AIDS education.
The third proposal was to create
activities that would raise money
for Ugandan youth. Displaced
Ugandan youth would ask non-
governmental organizations and
A merican youth to help them ob-
tain food and work experience.
The Global Youth Partnership
for Africa is seeking donors for
the latter proposal. We hope to
soon see a reduction in poverty
and more awareness about HIV/
AIDS. This goal seems as practi-
cal as we wanted it to be in the
first place, and I'm happy about
After returning to the United
States, I can only say that my ca-
reer and maybe my life have been
changed for the better. Seeing
terrible things often neglected by
mainstream American media has
moved me toward a different pur-
pose in life: service in the name
of the greater good, whether that
takes me back to Uganda or else-
where in East Africa.
No less, seeing hope - and
nourishing it - in a place some
have considered the "heart of
Ryan Schuette/NT Daily
Children pose for apkture near Lake Victoria. Scores ofUgandan chil-
dren fish for less than a dollar to feed themselves and their siblings.
darkness" gives me hope that even
forces such as rebels and viruses
are susceptible to the compassion
of youth leadership.
For more information on the
partnership or how to get involved,
Ryan Schuette is a League City
senior majoring in international
studies. He is president of the
College of Arts and Sciences Am-
bassadors as well as Views editor
for the Daily. He may be reached
at rms firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Scene: North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 90, No. 86, Ed. 1 Friday, March 10, 2006, newspaper, March 10, 2006; Denton, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145321/m1/4/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.