Meet Lindsey Platt: HALO Uganda International Ambassador

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HALO International Ambassador Lindsey Platt presenting to a group of supporters at The Archer Foundation in Leawood, Kansas in January.

Lindsey Platt boarded a plane to Uganda in August 2014 playing the role of HALO’s International Ambassador. Four months in and Lindsey is absolutely owning her job. She is an inspiration to us in the U.S. and to those she works with in Uganda.

Lindsey wears multiple HALO hats in her role. She works alongside Molly Nalunga: Uganda Resettlement Coordinator, and Asiimwe Venansio: Uganda Field Coordinator, to help youth in HALO homes live a better life. She meets with HALO home mentors, helps with budgeting, and runs a tutoring program she created.

“Kids who have to wait until the next term to go to school are bored at home all day. Part of my job is to see gaps, find innovative ways to solve them and implement that plan.”

Sometimes the job even calls for dance parties. The boys at the Bukesa home LOVE dancing and gymnastics. Lindsey spent three hours one morning learning a So You Think You Can Dance hip hop routine she would teach to the boys that evening. Both dance parties and budgeting are necessary parts of being a HALO International Ambassador.

Lindsey is also a bridge maker. Not literally (although we wouldn’t be surprised!) but she shows the youth how Ugandan culture and American culture can connect. She debunks the myths so many have come to believe about America in an effort to empower the youth.

“I want the kids to realize Americans are human too . . . poverty and other social problems exists here and there. We’re all trudging through life with different struggles.”

(read a touching story about this here)

There are myths to debunk for Americans as well.10661658_10152431735256824_8047114662241145825_o

“A lot of times there’s this idea that when you’re giving money to Africa, you’re just handing out money. They don’t view it as a hand out. They are all very hard working. A big reason why they are in one of our homes is they want to make a better life. That’s who people are supporting.”

Some youth run to the streets to find ways to make money. Some will end up in prostitution because they have such a need to make a better life and help their family. HALO meets them where they are and shows them how they can succeed in different ways.

An integral part of HALO’s programming is art and art therapy. Lindsey sees art influencing the youth by making them think critically – something they don’t often get in school.

“When we say, “Here’s a piece of paper, do anything you want!’ they are quite confused at first and ask for examples. Art also helps them process through things. They don’t like talking about past issues. Art is the outlet where they don’t have to talk, they don’t have to tell anyone and it doesn’t even have to make sense – but they have a chance to put it on paper and get it out.”balloonsGULU

The youth HALO serves have immense, generous hearts. Some of the youth have begun planning and job searching in an effort to support themselves and move out of the home to make room for another child. Lindsey has been inspired just as much as she has done the inspiring.

Learn more about what HALO does to support youth internationally.