Kimera Means “New Life”
A little over a year ago I started volunteering for a new nonprofit in San Diego. One project at a time, one fundraiser committee meeting after another, I found myself planning a trip to Uganda to meet the other half of the team!
I started volunteering for a nonprofit called Kimera Orphanage. We are just in the building phase but moving along nicely in both San Diego and Uganda. Our founder and team have become my extended family and we share a vision for “our children” which includes education, sports, play, excellent healthcare, and the love and support of an extended global community.
I got involved with this nonprofit because we are encouraged and supported at work to follow our passions. Not all of us can write big checks, and while that would be helpful, it is not all Kimera needs. We need people who can write websites, help coordinate volunteers, plan fundraisers, take pictures, and overall support the mission of building a new home in Uganda.
So off I went to Uganda, not knowing what I would encounter or learn or even really eat (gluten and dairy intolerant means I live at Whole Foods). First, markets are everywhere selling mangoes and bananas which I lived on – so I was fine! Secondly, I met amazing people, all of them passionate and dedicated to improving the lives of the next generation. I learned so much and saw so much of the country. I appreciated that people also make an effort to spend time, real sit down “how is your mother?” conversations. I got to know people versus running from appointment to appointment. We only scheduled one meeting a day. At first I was worried, I only had a month, we needed to meet at lot of people, but when you spend actual time with them you don’t have to circle back in a thousand emails.
In Uganda I found my happy place at Kimera. The beautiful views from every direction, the plans for tennis courts, school building, and dorms are coming together. One of the borders of our property is lined with a forest, the grass boasts flowers attracting huge butterflies in every color, and in the other direction you can see a green hilly landscape.
We have a list of volunteers who are excited to come visit and hope you consider yourself for a trip as well. Feel free to reach out to share your time, talent, and treasure or learn more about Uganda!
I also want to thank my McKinney team for letting me go “off the grid” for a month! The work leading up to and during was a team effort and I truly appreciate their support… and their continued support as I plan for my return visit!
Kimera’s Website with more information: www.kimeraorphanage.org