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Keep Houston Press Free
4

It's Vacation (And Work) In Uganda For A Houstonian

UH prof Jody Williams isn't the only Houstonian

doing good deeds

in Africa this summer.

David Chaney, an accountant, is taking part in a neat project out of the UK that lets tourists who are visiting Uganda (and some do, we guess) work for a week or so on rebuilding schools in that country.

"The nice thing about this organization is that you can spend one day working there or six months. That is why it gets promoted to travelers because they can spend part of a vacation volunteering whenever it fits into their schedule," says Chaney.

Much of the work is Habitat-for-Humanity type physical labor, but travelers involved for longer spells who have a special interest can end up teaching students. (Teaching accounting or pounding nails in the Ugandan sun? We know which choice we'd make.)

Not Chaney, though. "The physical labor to do the rebuilding of the buildings makes up the majority of" what he'll be doing, he says.

Eh -- they probably don't have a/c in those schoolrooms anyway.

Chaney will be working through an organization called Soft Power Education. Signing up with them involves fundraising, and Chaney has a page set up for it.

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Fundraising for something in Uganda? Isn't that the place where everyone gets scam spam every month?

Not to worry, Chaney says. Soft Power is "mostly UK expatriates and the charity is based in the UK,." he says. "That is one way people can take some comfort in it not being a scam. All of the organization's finances are administered from the UK and verified by the UK government."

Any funds raised "go to support their operations. My travel and accommodations are being paid out of pocket by myself," he says.

-- Richard Connelly

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