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May 31, 2017

Our new minibus – an essential vehicle for YouBelong!

YouBelong staff were delighted with the arrival of our 2005, 14 seater minibus in May. With deep gratitude to a donor who provided us with $15,500, we were able to purchase this essential vehicle for YouBelong.

It needed new tyres, shock absorbers, brakes, and engine mountings, and a good service, and now is as good as new!

Used vehicles, mainly Toyota’s, arrive by container ship from Japan, at the port of Mombassa, Kenya, and are driven overland to Uganda, where they are sold in huge car yards, called ‘the bond’. You are never quite sure what you are getting, but in our case, we think we have a gem.

Fundamental to the work of YouBelong, is moving people out of institutions/asylums, such as mental health hospitals, and getting them back to family and local community. Consequently, means of transport is essential to our work. Our mini bus will not only transport discharged patients but also our social workers, nurses, and occupational therapist, into slum areas, local villages, and in areas where roads are hardly capable of being used.

Musa, our driver, is a master of the Ugandan road system and is a key member of our team. And if our mini bus was to breakdown on the journey, he will perform a miracle and get us going again.

We hope that the minibus is the first of a number of essential vehicles for YouBelong. When we have the funds, we need to purchase a dual cab pick-up truck. Why a dual cab? Because the pick-up will be used to supplement the work of the minibus in transporting discharged patients, but also our staff as well. And why a pick-up truck? Because we need the means to transport goats, pigs, chickens, bags of seed, craft supplies, as part of our micro grant progamme, to kick start income generating activity for our discharged patients and their families.

We have wheels to do our work. It’s a good feeling!