|Charity work: Dympna Hart recently returned from a trip to Uganda where she delivered aid and saw poverty first hand.|
Mrs Hart spent June in Uganda working with local Christian ministries to deliver food, clothes and money to poverty stricken children outside the capital Kampala.
The part-time worker at the Good News Centre Christian bookshop on Devon St has previously spent a month working with charities in India, but the destitution she saw in East Africa was different.
“I thought I’d seen that in India, but this was poverty they were living in thatched huts and cooking with charcoal embers,” said Mrs Hart who worships at the C3 church in the city and New Zeal at Okato.
While in Africa Mrs Hart also linked up with children’s charity Imani and took part in three "crusades", delivering food, clothing and money to poor people in rural areas.
“We did a clothing drive to the east from Kampala, almost to the Kenyan border. Two people carriers absolutely loaded with clothing,” she said.Mrs Hart said she felt privileged to be able to connect with the two charitable groups.
“They’re both totally dedicated. They live in their own country amongst their own people. They’re changing lives daily, offering people hope, let alone clothes and food.”As well as experiencing how the Ugandan people live, Mrs Hart also squeezed in some sightseeing, travelling to the source of the Nile to fulfil a childhood dream, and while in Kampala she also visited the Presidential Palace, home of former dictator Idi Amin.
Now that she’s back in New Zealand, Mrs Hart hopes to set up permanent links between the groups she worked with in Uganda and the churches she is involved with here.
“I wanted to see their ministry working, and connect what I’ve got here with what they’ve got on the ground over there,” she said.Mrs Hart said her Ugandan experience left her feeling like a local, and she hopes to return and see how the ministries work is going.
“It’s a given I’ll go again one day.”
Jimmy Hick is a Witt journalism student