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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Our visit to St. Zoe's 2011

The visit was to review progress at St Zoes and at Good Shepherd schools and for Mike and Jean to take a detailed review of the vocational project which the Oglesby Charitable Trust are supporting.
We saw great progress and the school results for the Primary school continue to be at the top in the region. The wall chart below shows recent results from the Primary school.

The secondary school is expanding and now covers S1 to S3 with about 70 pupils. Term started in February with an additional 65 which reflects the growing reputation of both Primary and Secondary schools.
Over the next three years our German friends will be fund raising to refurbish the primary school and the site and the Director of the school, Andrew Ssempijja has started a school environmental committee which will try to change a deep Uganda cultural problem and make the site continually free of both litter and the huge range of potential accident hazards which go with so much building going on. The first new paved footpaths and flower gardens are being established but we really need some rain to make them look beautiful.

A new classroom for these children will be completed in April and the Vocational building perhaps a month later.

Climate change in this very dry region mean that all our water harvesting tanks are dry but when the rains come (hopefully in April) we will have finished a major upgrade and expansion of this scheme and will have greatly increased storage capacity.
In the meantime the school truck is spending a great deal of time travelling to fetch water from a distant well.
As the school is growing so fast the logistics get more complex. We provide dormitory accommodation, regular meals and uniforms for the children and the newly formed structure of the project as an NGO with Ugandan Charitable status is now getting started. Local Trustees have been appointed and they are now beginning to meet regularly. There first tasks will be reviewing the organisation support and deciding on future priorities.

Matt Houghton and Phil Hayward came with 4 huge bags of football shirts and kit and gave lots of coaching to the children, they are also planning how best to create good quality pitches for football, netball and hand ball and athletics in the future. The aim is to make St Zoe's an exemplar in educational, vocational, and sporting excellence and try to find tomorrows Premier Division players and Olympic competitors.

Our two Project Trust volunteers Rebecca and Naomi have now been at St Zoes for 6 months and have made a huge contribution to not only the teaching of English and Mathematics but have joined in the affairs of the school in a truly wonderful manner. 


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