Uganda is a beautiful country and much different than one would expect. Yes, there’s poverty but the warm friendly people quickly engage you and make you feel so welcome. Starting with a visit to our Compassion Uganda country office the amazing staff lays a great foundation for our time in country. Can’t you see those little faces now with their big eyes looking at us? They’re waiting for us with their mothers at the Child Survival Program. We’ll share with these Moms and caregivers whose lives are being changed as they learn necessary skills for a productive life. But most important they’re learning how to be godly women. After getting this start we then visit a student center and all the activity there. Where do they get all that energy we feel as we’re greeted by the children? From being given a new hope, being introduced to God, getting good nutrition, and gaining necessary skills for life. That’s how! You have energy too while you spend time in this oasis in the midst of such poverty. Along the way we’re learning so much from pastors of the implementing church partners and the child development center staff so we can adequately pray, encourage, and support them. Their record-keeping is incredible and so detailed and you’re invited to check it out and see for yourself how careful and methodical they are to be sure each child receives maximum developmental benefit from their participation in your ministry of Compassion. The majority of our beneficiaries complete the main child sponsorship program and live fulfilled lives released from poverty in Jesus name. But, for a few emerging young leaders who have also completed high school with such distinction that they show potential to go on to university. This dream can become a reality for them through our Leadership Development Program and we’re anxious to spend time with a few of them.
God gives us so much to stand in awe of and part of that is the natural beauty of His world. Whether doing a boat ride on the lake to see the hippos and crocodiles or on a safari ride to see the zebras and other animals, Lake Mburo National Park will make us appreciate the diversity of God’s beauty.
While the safari will certainly be a highlight, the frosting on the cake is the big day with our children. Don’t worry we won’t leave for the airport without that incredible day. You won’t know how to properly describe that fantastic experience for your friends and family and the many photos will help some but only the smile on your face will finish the story.
I have been leading tours to Africa for many years and this continent holds a very special place in my heart, but I know people are never quite sure what to expect when they visit Africa. We left home thinking we would go and help to change their world but in fact the Ugandans will give us so much more and we will be changed people. I ask that as you continue to read the following itinerary and reflect on this opportunity that you will pray and consider joining us. When your decision is made don’t wait too long to register because our Uganda trips usually fill quickly. You’ll be thankful you went and we’ll be glad to have you!
*This trip is offered at a 20% discount for Compassion Advocates. Discount spaces are very limited, and are on a first-come first-serve basis.
Registration: Our trips fill up quickly on a first-come basis, so it is important to register by 06/23/2012. Once we have received your registration along with a deposit of $380.00, we will confirm your place on the tour and you may then purchase your domestic air ticket. The final payment of $3860.00 is due no later than 9/26/2012.
Please register now to complete the registration form online.
Price: The cost of this tour is $4240.00 per person for double occupancy.
Included in our tour price are round-trip airfare between Washington, DC Dulles and Entebbe, Uganda, lodging, all meals, travel within Uganda, tips, your child's travel, guides and translators during the tour, admission fees, departure tax and administrative costs.
Costs not included in the tour price are transportation to and from Washington, DC, passport, visa, and incidentals such as snacks, additional beverages, laundry, phone calls, film and other personal items. You may want to bring extra spending money for shopping at the local markets.
Safety and Preparation: This tour will be a little more difficult because of long international flights, time change, and impoverished conditions. Also, there will be some walking, rides on bumpy roads, and long days. We will have a light work element in this tour.
Compassion constantly monitors the safety of our destination countries and will make any adjustments necessary to protect our tour participants, sponsored children and in-country staff. We believe it is important to provide safe, comfortable accommodations, traditional meals and reliable transportation so that your focus can be on what God is teaching you and the impact of the experience rather than concern for your personal safety and well-being.
Please read the Tour Conditions and General Information document before finalizing your decision.
Days 1 and 2: United States to Uganda
Saturday and Sunday, January 12-13: The KLM plane, with a group of excited sponsors, leaves Washington, DC Dulles International Airport late Saturday afternoon for Amsterdam. There's a couple hours in Schiphol Airport so enough time to have coffee and tea before boarding the KLM flight for Entebbe. A late Sunday night arrival means we transfer to our hotel as soon as possible and get settled.
Days 3-5: Getting Started
Monday-Wednesday, January 14-16: We need a good background basis for our tour and a visit to Compassion Uganda country office gives us just that. It is so good to get our questions answered. Then it's time to get on the road to Mbarara. Here is where we find those big eyes just waiting for us at our first center. Starting with Child Survival helps us see why this is such an important program for mothers, caregivers, and babies. Everyone needs a good start in life.
Day 6: Enjoying God's Beauty
Thursday, January 17: Entering the national park we marvel at Lake Mburoa, the surrounding area, and the diversity of God's creation. Thankfully our cameras are ready for those amazing pictures. Hopefully the hippos, zebras, and all the others come out to welcome us. We'll have such an interesting time tonight sharing our experiences.
Days 7-9: More Children and Excitement
Friday-Sunday, January 18-20: A full day at a Child Development Center gives us not only an opportunity to interact with excited children but also to learn. Our time with the staff in the office shows us first-hand their thorough record keeping on each individual child as well as the planning and finances. Several families living nearby are honored to welcome us into their homes. We are so humbled as we get a close-up picture of their daily lives. When we arrive back in Kampala there are some special young people who have completed our sponsorship program and are waiting to meet us. They are attending university as part of our Leadership Development program. What makes this program so valuable is the focus on servant leadership. Then the most important part of this tour is that one big day with our children. The hugs and smiles abound as these kings and queens for a day live out their dreams. Most of them have prayed for years to meet their sponsors. But then our dreams are being fulfilled as well.
Day 10: Returning to our Homes
Monday, January 21: Our KLM flight which left Entebbe late last night makes its scheduled stop in Amsterdam early this morning. We have enough time to reflect, relax, or buy that special Dutch souvenir. Our plane lands back in Washington DC late this afternoon but it seems different now. Then we realize Uganda changed us – we see things differently. We have stories to tell and pictures to show so we make our connections home. Now we're more of an advocate for children than ever before!
In order to ensure our children's protection and determine eligibility to travel with Compassion, we now require all travelers (over the age of 18) to complete a criminal background check to ensure the safety of the children in our programs.
Please visit Screening One Sponsor Tour BC to complete your online background check at the time of registration. If you are unable to complete this online, please contact us and we will send you a paper form for you to fill out and return. Compassion uses a third party vendor, Screening One to process background checks. The results of your background check are confidential and all personal information is encrypted and secure.
RESERVATIONS should be made well in advance and require a nonrefundable deposit of $380.00 per person. Final Payment of $3860.00 is due no later than 9/26/2012.
AIR TRANSPORTATION and FUEL SURCHARGES
Air transportation as included in the tour is based on economy-class transportation and is subject to all rules and regulations governing these fares. Fuel surcharges are added on a per-ticket basis at time of confirmation. In the event these surcharges are increasingly higher than budget estimates, we may require additional funds to cover these surcharges.
Airlines will frequently have flight changes that may interfere with your international connection from your domestic flight. Please understand that we are not responsible for any costs associated with airline changes as they are outside of our control. For this reason, we recommend allowing at least four hours between arrival time at the gateway city and the time the group flight departs the airport. We will communicate any pricing and itinerary changes immediately.
In the event that you need to cancel your trip, please refer to our Cancellation Policy below:
- All deposits are nonrefundable.
- Fifty percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 59-31 days prior to the sponsor tour.
- One hundred percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 30-0 days prior to the sponsor tour.
- Only written cancellations accepted.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to adjust or alter any travel program when necessary or desirable for the protection, safety or improvement of said travel program, or when local conditions do not permit operation as published. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to accept or deny participants application at its sole discretion.
RESPONSIBILITY: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL makes arrangements with airlines, hotels and other independent parties to provide you with the travel services you purchase. These parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct control. In the absence of negligence on our part, we are not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death; damage, loss or delay of baggage or other property; or delay, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from (1) the act or omission of any party other than COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL or its employees; (2) mechanical breakdown, government actions, weather or other factors beyond our control; (3) failure to obtain documents, passports, visas and health certificates valid through the date of reentry, when required, in which case a cancellation charge will be assessed; (4) failure to follow instructions including but not limited to check-in and checkout times and baggage handling; (5) cancellation or change for any reason in the travel services offered; and (6) medical or health problems or physical disabilities. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to cancel or alter the travel services at its discretion, except as otherwise noted herein. In the event of change, COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will try to substitute comparable services; in the event of complete cancellation by COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL, we shall refund all monies paid to us. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will not be responsible for any other cost incurred by participants.