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Making a difference half a world away

Mother and daughter to travel to Uganda on humanitarian mission

The February break is nearly upon us, and many families will take the week away from school as an opportunity to flee the snowbound northeast for a few days.

That's the plan for Theresa and Sara Weinman, but instead of kicking back on the beach the mother/daughter duo will on Feb. 12 board an airplane bound for Africa with a medical and humanitarian outreach team to spend 15 days without running water or electricity in a small Ugandan village.

For Theresa Weinman, this will be her second trip to the Village of Ddegeya, an agrarian community of about 3,500 in the south of the country. Her 16-year-old daughter Sara will be traveling there for the first time, though, as part of a team from the non-profit group Engeye.

Despite the serious mission and the risks inherent to traveling in Africa, Theresa said she has absolute confidence in her daughter's spot on the team.

I think she earned her spot on the trip, Theresa said. "She's worked so hard...she did everything we asked of her."

Sara Weinman has demonstrated her commitment to the cause not only by raising money for her trip (members of the team must pay their own way) but by starting the Engeye Teen Connection group, a small but dedicated contingent of youths that have been working for about two years to raise money to help out the Village of Ddegeya.

Sara became interested in Engeye in much the same way as her mother did, when the family hosted a young burn victim from Uganda in their Bethlehem home. The BC High student and the ETC group have since raised over $1,000 for the cause, and Sara will be mapping out a way to spend that on her trip to the country.

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