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Olga Slach visits a Mindset Memory Book workshop.

In April, 2018, a german photographer, Olga Slach, came to Uganda to document the Memory Book project. She visited Mindset, a training and development organisation, observed and photographed a memory Book training workshop. Below Olga tells us what made her interested in the project.

I read about the Memory Books project from the book by Henning Mankell ‘I Die, But The Memory Lives On’.

At the time I thought, what a great idea! Memories of parents are so important to the children. I know it from my own experience, because my mom died of cancer when I was 18 Months old. Unfortunately, I have no memories of her and no photographs with her.

That’s why I founded an initiative of professional photographers here in Germany last year. It is called Memories for Families www.memoriesforfamilies.com – we offer photograph sessions, for free, for families that have a parent with cancer. Our work creates valuable memory images for the children, so that they can later remember their parents.

I found my project and the Memory Books project have a similar goal. So I planned my trip to Uganda in April 2018 and really wanted to join a Memory Books workshop. Thankfully, Maureen Mugisha was able to organize one for Mindset Students.

I visited the first day of the workshop and was fascinated by how deep and fundamental the workshop’s content is. I was also able to speak to some mothers who had already written such a memory book. I was very surprised and impressed by how open these women were are about their illness and how important it was to them to enlighten their children about the situation and the future.

A mother showed me the Memory Book, she wrote over 20 years ago for her daughter, who was 4 years old at the time. The mother thought she wouldnt live long enough to see her daughter grow up, so she wrote the Memory Book to help her child remember her & her growing up years. But sadly her daughter died of AIDs a few years ago and now she is gone the Book is the biggest treasure her mother possesses.

I would like to introduce the idea of Memory Books to parents with cancer. Even though medicine is very well developed in Germany, many young parents are still dying of cancer and this has a negative affect on small children who will later no longer remember their parents.

I would give everything to have such a book from my mother.

You can contact Olga: info@memoriesforfamilies.com or olga.slach@gmail.com

The link to her Memories for Families website: www.memoriesforfamilies.com (currently only in German but they plan to translate the website in the future).