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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Fancy a coffee?

Sister Jacinta, who heads the Little Shepherd School in Rutunguru, Uganda is planting coffee bushes this month.
When asked to plan an income generating scheme to improve the sustainability of her school she looked at many options, finally turning to the coffee bean.

The school will plant 2-3 acres of land with coffee, at a cost of £900 which HUGS is funding.
Over the first two years yields will be low but there after Sr Jacinta has worked out, profits will pay the school fees for 5 orphans and another 7-10 low income families, as well as provide money towards the teachers salaries. If families can’t pay for their child’s education they can work on the plantation in kind.

Coffee grows well in Rutunguru.

Friday, 6 October 2017

This Year's Graduates

HUGS has 77 students and ex students on our database and all have been supported thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Here is a summary of some of the 2017 Graduates.

Jean D'Amour who graduated in Education in Rwanda

Patrick who graduated in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry

Stephania who graduated in Education in Rwanda

Molly who qualifies in Uganda as a nurse

But it has also been a sad month. One of our long term and very generous donors died during the month. His memorial service was wonderful and he was really a very popular and highly valued person. We have a memorial stone in his memory at our Good Shepherd School in Fort Portal and all the children  (about 150) attended a special memorial mass in his memory.

We will really miss him.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Graduation day for Diana and how to hide a cow!

Diana became one of our sponsored student nurses back in 2013 and this year she graduated and will start her nursing career in Rwanda in the next few weeks. This had been her dream and she worked so hard to get the qualification. We have several other students who graduate in September and will tell you about them later.

How to hide a cow.

In Uganda most things are possible but please don't try this at home!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Education of Dambisa Moyo

If ever you want a role model for the transformational power of education and the unlimited potential of Africa, you will struggle to find a better candidate than the global economist and best selling author Dambisa Moyo.
Born and raised in post colonial Zambia, forty years later she's now an Oxford PhD. and Harvard graduate who sits on the Board of Barclays Bank and is rated as one of the Time Magazine 100 most influential people.

She is very clear on how she made the journey from her early life to where she is today. "The lynch pin of my life was being able to go to school. Look, I have no birth certificate because at the time of my birth certificates were not issued to blacks, so you can imagine there was'nt much emphasis on girls going to school".

Her parents did not agree. They were determined that she would get the opportunity. She took it and is helping to make a better world. Look her up if you want to know more.

We now have well over 100 girls at our new Asili Girls Secondary School. Maybe one of these will be the next Dambisa Moyo and another the first female President of Uganda. Someone has to be!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Lira progress and Surgery for children

Work is under way to build the vocational centre at the Asili Girls Secondary School and we expect completion by about September. Current fundraising is to make sure we have all the equipment needed.

Trustee Denise Ead has been working with a number of agencies in UK and Uganda to see what could be done to help some of the visually impaired children at Jinja to regain or improve their eyesight. This has been a complex journey because it requires considerable coordination of transport with available ophthalmic professionals. But on June 21st three children went to Mengo Hospital for surgery. We will let you know the results.

Brenda's story.

Brenda, is an orphan whose her parents died and left with her with the grandmother who is now elderly.  They took her to Kinyamasika Government primary school, where they treated her in cruel way, nicknaming her many ugly names. In the class she could not understand anything as she is deaf, and cannot express herself as dumb.  She would cry all the day long at school, and became very stressful and refused to go back to school, until luck knocked at the door to hear about Good Shepherd, she came and started at our school where she met very kind teachers, children, and  many of the children who know her language as there are other deaf children. She deemed to be a very brilliant child in class and came out with a very nice first grade from P.L.E examination.  HUGS is sponsoring her secondary education. To our surprise the head teacher and staff from Wakiso Secondary school for the deaf is amazed for her academic performance and behavior conduct as I told you, got first position in her first term examination in that school. Disability does not mean Inability.

We have just returned from Barcelona visiting the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's wonderful Cathedral which wont be complete until perhaps 2026. It must be the most beautiful in the world. We also saw the Miro Centre and his amazing paintings. I promise that I did not make the hand prints on the picture.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Something really worth a few minutes of your time

You may remember that our Lira Girls Secondary School (about 40% completed) is the really big thing we are doing at present. The link HERE takes you to a wonderful short presentation by Nobel Prize Winner Gbowee Leymah which really says so much about the benefits of education for girls.

As we move toward the start of our 23rd year we thought it might be nice to show some pictures of all the schools which HUGS has been able to help build and which have about 1200 children attending.

RWANDA  (St Therese's Primary)

UGANDA  Good Shepherd and St Gabriel's at Fort Portal Uganda

UGANDA  St. Zoes 3 schools

UGANDA  Asili Girls Secondary School at Lira

UGANDA Rtunguru

The big fund raiser this year is to help in the completion of the school at Lira.

If you would like to donate by giving a small sponsorship for our big Golf Event in June the please CLICK HERE

Sunday, 2 April 2017

But if you cannot see...

We have four partners who lead the work in Uganda and Rwanda. One of these is led by Sebastian who is the Director of the Jinja based Organisation for Parents of Disabled children,

HUGS is helping 8 young people in Jinja. They suffer deafness, eyesight problems and lameness. Trustee Denise Ead has been researching eye problems  and found that perhaps 60% of children could be helped greatly by just having an optometry test and glasses prescribed.

We ave funded an Eyesight Camp in Jinja and 10 children are being assessed. At about £40 a child this can really change a life.

The picture shows on of the children being assessed in March this year.

It was Emmeline Pankhurst who said "We have to free half the human race, the women, so that they can free the other half".

And that is what our Lira Girls Secondary School is really trying to do. Together with kick starting some Women's Groups we know that the long term effects can be enormous.

If you are a sceptic and like to see evidence then please look at some of Hans Roslings You Tube talks on demographics. They are awesome. He died in March this year.

I really commend you to take a look at this TED Talk where someone wiser than me explains it so clearly.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Getting a start

Although HUGS is all about education we have become increasingly aware that sometimes the lack of hope and opportunities some of the mothers have to endure make it very difficult to really help her children to get toe school. Survival and enough to eat today just dominate everything else.
That is why Trustee Denise Ead has been so keen to help some Women Groups to get started. She has raised money from her publishing and this has helped to kick start these groups.

Helping Peter, a disabled child in Jinja highlighted his lack of almost everything. His deafness was another problem and his mother Rose is disabled.

We have been able to help them both and with a bit extra Rose is starting a little shop from her house and this will let her earn a little money.

Sebastian, from the Organisation of Parents of Disabled Children with whom we work in Jinja said;

When we received the funds, we agreed that we use part of the funds to improve the sleeping conditions of the two beneficiaries as it was below the human condition. The two were using papyrus mats as mattresses, and no beddings and sleeping on the floor in their mud made semi permanent house which doubles as a kitchen and bed room/ rest areas.

So were bought two mattresses - one of Rose and the other for Peter, Two blankets -one for Rose and one for Peter, and two pairs of bed sheets, one pair for each.

This unexpected support and offer changed much in the lives to Rose and Peter and therefore it will go a long way to improve the well being of the family.

The balance of the funds is to be used to start a small income generating project of Rose’s choice which is a small shop dealing in the sale of salt, laundry soap, spices, kerosene, cooking oil, safety matches, tea leaves, onions, and other house hold items which are demanded by the other members of the community.

And it costs so little. Just think what should be possible with all the £12 Bn which the UK pours into International Aid.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Its not about buildings..

There must be a lesson here. While we are a bit overwhelmed with news of Donald Trump, many Ugandan families are just recovering from the long wait from the end of November until now to find out how there children faired in the big national exams which mark the end of primary school. They call them the P7 exams and this year 622,000 children took them. That has been the big news story for many families and for 12,000 schools

These results are of course the gateway to secondary education.

A total of 63,000 children got a Grade 1, that is about 10% of the entrants.

We had 13 entrants at Good Shepherd with 11 Grade one and 3 grade 2.

St Zoes had a big improvement with 7 Grade 1 out of 28 entrants

St Therese's in Rukira Rwanda got 32 Grade 1 out of 33 entrants.

These are really encouraging results and we congratulate all the teachers and children who have done so well.

These are the Good Shepherd Grade 1 children with Sr Theresa

This is Grade 1 Brenda who has speech and hearing problems.

Disability does not mean inability