We have been able to meet and connect with so many wonderful people through the Sole Hope Guest House. our staff are no exception to that! Today, our intern Jordan takes you on a tour of the Guest House, introducing you to the amazing staff that allow this place to function as it does. You are welcome! – Lis Steckle, International Coordinator
I’ve heard time and again from visitors at the Sole Hope Guest House that it is a place of joy, peace, and refuge from the hustle and bustle of Jinja Town. I am so pleased and grateful when I hear this as we have several staff members who work long days to ensure that this remains true. I want to tell you more about these employees – both the roles they play here at Sole Hope and who they are as people.
Meet Kyengera Joel (family names are written first in Uganda)
Hometown: Kabagndha Village in Jinja District (about an hour journey from Jinja Town)
Joel is likely the first Sole Hope staff member you’ll meet when you pull up as a visitor to the guest house for the first time. He will drop what he’s doing to open the compound gates and greet you with a wave and a bright white smile. Joel is an extremely hard worker. Each day he is responsible for opening the gates for any visitors, keeping the grounds trimmed, landscaping, gardening and anything else that may come his way.
Joel’s favorite aspect of his job is gardening. He feels that Sole Hope is important to the community because it provides not only employment to many Ugandans, but also friendship. Joel has no kids yet but hopes to have four one day. If he could travel anywhere in the world he would go to Washington, D.C.
Meet Nabirye Gorret
Position: Guest House Director
Hometown: Kisozi village in Kamuli district (about an hour journey from Jinja)
After driving through the gates, you’ll find Gorret waiting for you in the front doorway with a smile. She’ll welcome you wholeheartedly, show you to your room, and then give you a tour of the guest house and shoemaking quarters if it’s within operating hours. As guest house director, Gorret greets all visitors, gives tours to day visitors, keeps the kitchen tidy and stocked and more.
Gorret’s favorite aspect of working at Sole Hope is getting to meet and build relationships with guests from all over the world. Gorret has one adorable 2-year-old daughter named Juliana. She dreams of visiting London and America one day because she meets so many wonderful people from there.
Meet Akello Joyce
Position: Guest house cleaner
Hometown: Pantogo Village in Paidha district (about a 2-day journey from Jinja)
Likely the next person you’ll meet will be Joyce. She ensures that the guest house stays in tip-top shape by sweeping, mopping, organizing and generally cleaning the entire property each day. She does all this with one of the most joyful smiles you’ve ever seen and a constantly gracious heart.
One of Joyce’s favorite aspects of working for Sole Hope is getting to meet visitors from all over the world. She loves hearing about their past experiences, sharing stories about her own life, and building meaningful relationships with guests. Joyce has eight children- five are biological and three are nephews and a niece who Joyce and her husband adopted. She dreams of traveling to the US one day to visit the many friends she’s met at the guest house who live there.
Meet Apio Mary Marion
Hometown: Alukucok village in Katakwi district (about a 6 hour drive from Jinja)
When you grow hungry on your first night at the guest house, you’ll be delighted to walk into the kitchen and meet Mary, our talented chef. Mary is responsible for cooking dinner for guest house visitors every night and purchasing the supplies she needs to do so.
Before working for Sole Hope, Mary was the head chef at a popular restaurant in Jinja Town. She has been working for Sole Hope since November 2014. She also recently opened her own restaurant, Sonrisa, which is Jinja Town’s only Mexican restaurant! Mary’s favorite part about working for Sole Hope is getting to know the staff and the guests.
She laughed when I asked her favorite food and told me, “I’m a chef – I love all food!” If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would love to go to Mexico to taste their food and also the US to visit friends.
Meet Okodi Charles
Position: Laundry Services
Hometown: Kibuzi village in Kayunga district (about a 1.5 hour drive from Jinja)
Once you’ve stayed with Sole Hope for a few days and have some clothes you’d like to have washed, you’ll be so thankful to meet Charles. He is responsible for all the laundry services at the guest house. Charles loves his position at Sole Hope and is so thankful that Sole Hope is providing hope to many in Uganda who had lost it.
Charles has three young daughters. If he could travel anywhere in the world, Charles would choose to go to Virginia, USA because he has a good friend who lives there.
One of my favorite aspects of interning for Sole Hope has been getting to interact with these beautiful people every day. They’ve been so kind to me and so patient in teaching me about Ugandan culture.
Sole Hope is so blessed and grateful to have them.