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Nursing student “embraces” Uganda

Presbyterian School of Nursing student, Rebecca Kinney, had always heard good things about Queens University of Charlotte. After she completed her undergraduate degree in Child Development at Meredith College, she enrolled in the Associate of Science in Nursing program at Queens.

Before starting at Queens, Kinney was able to cross something off her bucket list: going on a mission trip.  In June 2010, she heard about an organization called Embrace Uganda, whose main goal is to assist and build relationships with orphaned children by living and working beside Ugandans. Kinney recently returned from her third mission trip with Embrace Uganda in March, which she says was a "life-changing experience."

Embrace Uganda focuses on three communities - Kaihura, Bukerere and Koreng - and three priorities - healthcare, education and community development.  Volunteers are divided in groups ranging from 20-40 people and split up among the three villages.  Kinney did service work in Kaihura by helping with HIV testing, delivering mosquito bed nets and reading and teaching children.

"It's hard for a lot of people to grasp that a $5 mosquito net can save someone's life.  Honestly, it was hard for me to grasp until I actually took the trip and stayed inside their homes with them." said Kinney.

One of the most rewarding experiences for Kinney was when a parent in the process of adopting a Ugandan child reached out to her for advice.

"I started a blog while I was in Uganda and posted pictures with some of the children.  A parent found my blog through a Google search and was able to see pictures of the child they were adopting for the first time.  We stayed in touch, and I was able to answer questions she had about the child."

Kinney hopes to return to Uganda this December to lead a mission trip. After graduation, she aspires to move to Uganda to work at the Hope Again Medical Clinic that Embrace Uganda is currently building in Kaihura.

For more information on Embrace Uganda, visit www.embraceuganda.org.

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