Trishelle Sayuuni’s Desire for making change began with her first time doing volunteer work in Uganda after the end of a sporting tour. It didn’t take her long to fall in love with the African nation, despite a nightmare experience on her first day.
“I was not kidnapped as such,” she reflects, “but help up at gunpoint in the car, while my driver was forced to get out and participate in the riots or they said that they would drag me out of the car and make a spectacle of me. That was my first 7 hours spent in Uganda.”
Since that day in 2009, and following the creation of her charity ‘100% Hope’ five years ago, Trishelle’s original project has transformed into a five acre plot of land with plans to build a medical clinic, a school and develop farmland and sustainable micro-businesses in Uganda. This year, 100% Hope has already built a new set of Kindergarten to Year 2 classrooms, with plans to raise more funds through a tour of Australian schools – including the North Shore’s own Lindfield Public School.
“I think 100% Hope has been so successful because we have an amazing volunteer board in Australia and our key focus is on training and empowering local people, not just a white woman coming in and doing her thing. I believe that we’re been successful in gaining new partners and supporters over the past 3 years because we ensure that 100% of the money goes to Uganda and is allocated and used for the purposes specified,” she says.
Trishelle is currently in Australia until the end of May with her Ugandan husband Fred, her young family and the choir. They will be travelling to local schools and performing for audiences in order to raise funds for a new school Trishelle is building in Uganda.
“It has been a dream of mine to tour a children’s choir since I first heard Ugandan children singing in 2009. It is amazing to be seeing this dream become a reality,” she says.
As part of this tour, the 100% Hope Children’s Choir will perform at Lindfield Public Schools Parents and Citizens Association Social Justice Committee Nadja Leffler says.
“At Lindfield Public School, we have a parent committee which works to empower our kids to care for kids in need. [This visit] brings the need, and the joy, of sharing alive for our kids.”