The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Non-profit organization draws SMU students to Uganda for break

While the goal for most college students during Spring Break will be to get a tan, a group of SMU students will be achieving different goals in Africa.

Eight SMU students and three faculty members will travel to Uganda in partnership with the Ugandan American Partnership Organization in their first annual volunteer trip.

This trip will offer students the chance to serve needy women and children and learn more about the UAPO.

Former SMU student, Brittany Merrill founded UAPO.

She traveled to Uganda at age 19 for an abroad program and came home with new goals for her life.

While in Uganda, she met Sarah Kamara, a zealous 22-year-old woman with a heart for neglected children.

Overwhelmed with inspiration, Merrill left Uganda and raised money for four years in pursuit of Kamara’s dream to open an orphanage.

Merrill moved to Uganda in 2007 and founded the UAPO. Since then, the UAPO has become well known in the SMU community and in many other places.

“The UAPO has done some amazing things and I feel honored that I get to work with the organization,” sophomore Natalie Sherman, who plans to go to Uganda, said.
UAPO partners with the more familiar TOMS shoes, also founded by an SMU grad, Blake Mycoskie.

Both Mycoskie and Merrill have set the bar high for SMU students to dream big.
Students decided to go on the trip for many different reasons.

For some it was their interest in UAPO and service desire; for others, it was part of the “hands on” portion of Dr. Maria Dixon’s communication course.

CCPA professor Dixon will be joined by her colleagues; CCPA chair and professor,  Mark Mcphail; and head of SMU study abroad program Susan Kress.

“Community service and charity work have always been a big part of my life, but I can’t wait to take it to the next level by actually working hands-on in a foreign country that is in desperate need of food, shelter, clean water, education and so much more,” sophomore Grace Roberts, said.

While in Uganda, students will help women bead necklaces sold in the U.S. and in Uganda, visit orphanages, white water raft down the Nile River and experience a variety of cities.
 

 

More to Discover