Introducing Danielle Anthony

26 Mar

IMG_0688Danielle received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology at IU South Bend. Formerly, she worked for Big Brother Big Sister as a case manager with concerned youth. She equipped and educated the mentors to positively guide and influence the youth. Danielle’s interest in working with youth and love for outdoor sports/adventures is a great opportunity to join both passions. She is assisting in the development of a sustainability plan to TRP, facilitating youth groups at the forest, and co-facilitating the all-girls climbing club. She is delighted to work with the youth of Uganda and treasures the special moments that are to come. Danielle is also the lead nursery school teacher for the Gulu International Nursery School Cooperative—where Ben and Holly’s daughter Elliyah attends school. Danielle enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing tennis, trail biking, swimming, and sharing new adventures with friends.

On the twelfth day…

24 Dec

day 12

On the twelfth day, we  simply wanted to say thank you.  So many of you have made contributions to help ensure that we are able to keep telling these stories and that means so much to us.  Please watch this clip from our program manager and founder, Ben Porter!  This work is only possible because of your generosity.  Click here to give towards more stories of hope and transformation.  With your help, who knows what’s possible in 2014.   Thank you again!  Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays! And, thank you!


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12 Days of Transformation-on the 12th day. from The Recreation Project on Vimeo.

On the eleventh day…

23 Dec

day 11

In northern Uganda, there are a lot of children that were born while their mothers were in captivity of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA).  As we may only be able to imagine, after spending their formative years in the bush with the LRA, these children have significant psychological trauma and a huge loss of childhood.  These children oftentimes have a very hard time finding their place in society.  Many of them remember their lives in the bush and continue to deal with their trauma and loss.

Over the last two years, TRP has worked with a number of groups of these children.  One particular group has come several times.  In this group, there is one boy that often catches our eye. He is quiet.  He sticks to himself and doesn’t engage with the others in the activities, or even at lunch.  One of our outstanding facilitators, Robert, has always managed to really see him, to notice him.  When the boy comes, Robert always finds him and puts his arm around him.  They find something else to do together.  It’s a moment in this boy’s life where he is pursued and recognized. untitled-5

We don’t have stats and numbers on how being known and noticed can change a young person’s life, but we all know it is essential.  We would love to continue this amazing work of noticing and engaging those children who are most vulnerable in this community! This coming year, we hope to provide a long-term, focused group therapy project solely focused on working with kids born in captivity.   This amazing work of transformation will only be possible with support from people who believe that a kid, born in the crossfire of a horrible war in a country far away, like Uganda, should be known and noticed.

Click here to give to TRP today!

On the tenth day…

20 Dec

day 10

Have you ever stood on the edge?  Tested the outermost parts of your strength, your emotions and your being?  Have you ever noticed what happens on the edge?  Maybe you are thinking of a time when you were physically on the edge of something; like taking a leap off of a giant platform, just hoping the harness will catch you and you’ll fly, maybe it was a tough conversation with a friend or a new brave idea that has a good shot of getting rejected. I know I have been on the edge many times.  I know what happens to me there.  Both a physical and an emotional response take over, regardless if it is looking off the side of that super steep point on the chair lift as I head up the mountain, or the metaphorical edge I find myself on when I’m on a ledge that no one can see.  My heart beats faster.  My hands get sticky.  My mind gets a bit foggy.  Sometimes, I come to that edge and I respond with strength and grace… and other times, I don’t. (more…)

On the ninth day…

19 Dec

day 9

A few months ago TRP’s baseball program, Waveland Academy, volunteered to be part of a three weeks softball camp in Kitgum.  Kitgum is a town about 100km North of Gulu.  During the war, Kitgum was severely affected.  Many of the attacks by LRA happened in this district.  Most of the people living in the town have experienced severe trauma.  The Peace Corp set up a softball program there a few years ago. They asked us to come and help run the softball camp that would end in a tournament.   This tournament was run as an appreciation to the Peace Corps volunteer who founded the program.  He was leaving because his two years of service had ended.

A total of 120 girls came out for the camp.   For the very first time these girls were able touch a softball, glove and a bat.  The first week was a little difficult.  Many of the girls were not accustomed to playing sports.  They were learning the rules of the game and getting comfortable out on the field.   However, by the third week, everything had changed.  During the final week, we ran the tournament and the girls enjoyed every single moment of catching, throwing and batting.untitled-1-4

On the field that week, we discovered there is indeed a willingness of the girls to play.  There are so many children who would love to have the opportunity to expand their horizons, even if just for a few weeks.  We might not ever know what stories were changed, or dreams that were birthed on the field during those weeks.  But we know that for even a few moments, laughter erupted and joy took precedence.  We would love to have the ability to help water and grow the seeds that were planted in Kitgum.  The experience opened our eyes to how much room there is here for growth and expansion.  We would love to see the long-term work we are doing in Gulu multiplied across the north.  The giant blue African sky is the limit.

Our programs can continue and expand with your support and generosity.  Click here to donate today!