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Sunday, 2 December 2018

Christmas is coming

The children's Christmas in Uganda book is becoming a best seller in USA.  Many people from all over the USA have now bought Denise's book and her new one has just been published.


LATEST BOOK LAUNCH DECEMBER 13TH







Here is s Christmas Card we would like to share with everyone. It was made by the children at St Zoes Schools.



You might like to share this link with all your social media contacts. It's the story of the cycle challenge made by Richard, Chris and Mark not so long ago







Monday, 26 November 2018

A short reminder of what we do

Just take a few moments to see this short video.

Its a nice reminder of what we are doing with all the help given by our very kind donors



Children in our Primary Schools of St Zoe's, St Therese's Rwanda, Little Shepherd Rtunguru, and Good Shepherd Fort Portal will all be finishing their Primary 7 exams this month.



These are so important for the children because without  good result their chance of secondary schooling is much reduced.


Brenda is one of our students who is deaf. But despite this she did really well in her exams last November getting top marks. She is now attending one of the very few secondary schools for deaf children. Disability does not mean Inability!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Denise and a memorable day in Uganda

Denise writes today October 15th
We had such a fulfilling day today. We went to the Eye Camp at the Lubaga Hospital which was so well organised. The sun was shining and people were sat in groups outside under canopies. Each patient is given a number. Inside, l met Primrose and her mother (also a nurse) they were busy testing the sight of those who needed to be assessed. Around the room were six stations manned by a nurse using machines to assess what needed to be done. 

Again, outside there was  a Senior Counsellor, introducing the camp and those who had made it happen. He explained the role of the UUKHA and mentioned Helping Uganda Schools as one of the partners who had been involved. Meeting Primrose was a joy. Such dedication and love of the Uganda people was truly evident.
The crowning glory came when l met Sebastian. He had brought eight patients including children and adults to benefit from the Eye Camp. Then, we met Aaron. Primrose and myself could not believe we had eventually met. He came today with Sebastian especially to meet us as his care is under a different hospital. He is recovering well from his second corneal graft and l watched him walk to the man selling drinks. He took his money from his pocket, paid for his drink and was so confident. Sebastian said to think he had been blind for 10 years until recently.

There were about 300 people waiting for treatment and the doctors and nurses were very busy. Father John, Catherine and l left to go to the Cathedral where we had the real pleasure of meeting Cardinal Emanuel who gave us a special blessing. 

We returned to the Lubaga Hospital to say goodbye to Sebastian and Primrose.

It as a truly memorable day.

Comments please to hugstrustees@gmail.com

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Denise wins the Community Award

Stockport College had its big Graduation Ceremony on October 1st and made a very special Community Award to our Trustee, Denise Ead.


Denise has been working with the Art and Design team at the college who helped in preparing her books Christmas in Uganda and also an illustrated Teachers handbook dealing with child protection. Special thanks also goes to  Pamela Davenport and Alex Tracey for their contribution to the books. 
This is s very important award and a great testament to all her hard work for HUGS.

Well done Denise!

Comments to hugstrustees@gmail.com

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Take 3 minutes if you can

Do you remember your first experience with a video camera? Big clumsy things and hard to produce anything of quality.

Trustee Richard Bircher made this short video in the departure terminal at Entebbe Airport in March this year.

He made it on his iphone.
I think you might like it.
Just click the words below

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Shall we do it?

Here is a question for our Trustees and for our supporters to consider. Over the years we have taken on the challenge of helping to fund the build of 6 schools and we are well on the way to completing them.
But we have become increasing aware that children with disabilities in Jinja have very little support. Our partner Sebastian who has a deaf child has been working tirelessly for these children.
His recent meeting with the authorities was very challenging. Here is what he told us;



A strong need for a school project that provides all opportunities for
children with disabilities in Jinja. Actually yesterday i was
attending a stakeholders meeting to analysis the challenges affecting
Children with disabilities from accessing quality education in Jinja
at the district. Among the invited district officials included the
District Inspector of Schools In Charge of Special Needs Education,
District Senior Education Officer, and District Community Development
Officer( he heads the directorate of community development and
disability). Some of the tricking facts that were revealed to us were
that;
The Education department of Jinja knows that the whole of Jinja
District has 2,728 children with hearing impairment and only 624
children were know to be attending school by October 2016. Know that
those figures (624) could have been true but the drop out of rate
might have brought it down to-date. From my own field school visits
to some the schools the officials claim to be having such children
have no such children since there are trained and experienced teachers
of special needs especially the Deaf instructors or Sign Language
Interpreters.



The needed school running from Nursery to Primary Seven. This is very
true. It is obvious here in Jinja that Children with disabilities
especially those with hearing impairment never experience Early
Childhood Development like their counterparts with no disabilities.
That is why 90% of the deaf children complete their their primary
education past 18 years old. This is so because such children join
school after their eighth birthday. Before the 8th year, most parents
are still having a hope that their children will talk, others have
failed to accept the fact their children are having hearing
impairment, within their communities are no schools and SNE Teachers
for such children, those who could be knowing where such schools are,
can not afford the school requirements including tuition. The few
schools that admit children with disabilities are very far requiring
that such children should be in a boarding section making it very
expensive for the parents to afford.
I can also suggest that since some of the children with disabilities
may not be academic giants all through their education struggles, we
need to consider having both academic and vocational skills
approaches. This will highly enable those who are not excelling well
academic to discover their talents/ vocational skills which will
enable them to sustain themselves even when they drop out school say
after primary seven.
The need for land is very critical in this project. 
My own thoughts on this issue of land is that because of the limited
financial resources to buy 50 acres, it is adequate enough even if we
were able to only get between 5- 10 acres of land. This is easy to
find and buy from within Jinja district. On such land were can
efficiently and effective do all the projects and development you have
mentioned in your email. If this done, am strongly convinced that the
school can sufficiently sustain its self even without much support
from other donors or institution.



So our  challenge is simple. Can we do it again? Can we raise about £300,000 over the next 5 years to give these children a really good start in life. I believe we can.
We have the courage to start and the experience to know how to do it.

But what do you, our supporters think?  You can reply using the link below or email hugstrustees@gmail.com


Tuesday, 31 July 2018

There have to be times when our dedicated trusted advisors take time out, rest and look after themselves.  If any of you have met Sister Pricilla you will know how hard she works. She is the only Consultant Gynaecologist at the hospital in Fort Portal, and is on call at all times for Caesarian deliveries and emergencies. She is also Medical Director. Her days are long and exhausting.

She came to the Uk in July, to see friends and talked about her desire (calling) to learn to play the guitar. One of the HUGS trustees donated the money for her to buy an instrument on return to Uganda.

Here she is on, on the road to becoming our first, Rock Star Singing Sister.

Everyone who travels to Uganda, knows how much music and singing plays a part in every community.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Building progress

We are supporting two building projects at present. One is the next stage of the Little Shepherd Primary School near Rtunguru in Uganda. Hard to find on my maps but it is in the South West corner of Uganda and near to the Rwanda border.
The school now has 275 children attending. The this new classroom block will make sure that all the children have proper school accommodation.


Many miles away (about 8 hour drive) the next stage of the Asili Girls Secondary and Vocational School is on programme and will provide science and biology laboratory resources for O and A level study.  It should be complete in plenty of time for the 2019 school year which starts in February.


September sees the start of the new University year in Rwanda and Uganda. We are supporting 14 at this level. 8 doing education and teaching, 2 doing nursing or midwifery, 2 doing medicine, and 2 doing optometry.  We wish them good luck


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Teach the teachers and Rosemary's future

Trustee Richard Bircher is taking the lead on getting the new school in South West Uganda not only built but also giving attention to encouraging teacher development. Buildings are not the solution to educational issues. Good teachers are.
So a learning day was organised and all the staff from Little Shepherd at Rtunguru spent time in Fort Portal getting some insights into how our Good Shepherd School do things. It was a great experience and great motivation too.

We must encourage more of this. Great idea Richard.



Back in Jinja, Sebastian met an 18 year old girl who is totally blind. Her name is Rosemary. The local Rotary Club finds the money for her school fees but Rosemary has not been able to return to her special school for the blind at Soroti, about 4 hours from home, because she simply did not have the clothes, bus fare and other essentials which a growing girl must have.



It sounds simple and we have been able to help her, having just had our best fund raiser ever. This years HUGS Golf Event raised over £13000. Thanks Charlotte Bob and John!!


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Nearly there

Today there could be up to 1 million people travelling from all over Africa to be present at the Anniversary of the Uganda Martyrs. It takes place at Namugongo which is to the east of Kampala on the road to Jinja.

I was there a few years ago and it was a memorable occasion.

The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in the historical kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda, who were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887.[1][2]
They were killed on orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda.





This week is also the big week for the Annual Fundraiser which centres on the Golf Event organised by Trustee Charlotte Percy. Is a tough job!


The money we raise will all go to the eyesight restoration work we are doing in Jinja and to the next stage of the Asili Girls Secondary School at Lira.

Its not too late if you would like to help sponsor in some way. We set a big target this year and are nearly there!!

The link is here  https://mydonate.bt.com/events/golfevent2018/458480


Friday, 11 May 2018

Sponsor a child?

Would you or perhaps a friend or relative be interested in helping to sponsor some of our 67 children and young people who we are supporting during their education in Uganda and Rwanda?

We promise that every penny given will go to this cause and will not be paying staff or any other administrative or travel purposes.

It costs about £150 a year at Primary Level,  £250 at Secondary and £750 a year at University.



We have been supporting children for over 23 years and many hundreds have been helped. Many have now gone on to successful careers as Doctors, Teachers, Nurses and many other disciplines.

You can give on line at the special donation page we are using this year and which is part of our big Annual Appeal, a Golf Event near Manchester.

Its all about building a future for young people and through them helping to build their country.

Click the link to donate

https://mydonate.bt.com/events/golfevent2018/458480

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Books for Children

Thank you to Book Aid who donated 1000 books for our schools in Lira. A great gift and a wonderful way to show children a little about worlds they have never seen.


Our big Golf Event takes place on June 6th. Maybe you would like to enter a team or become a sponsor in a small way.

You can do this at

Monday, 26 March 2018

Little Shepherd School Ntungamo

The 7th school which we have funded is the Primary School in the South West of Uganda in a mountainous region. Trustees visited in March  and here is their short video. We have funded the new classrooms , coffee project and water catchment but there is still a lot more to do.




Sunday, 11 March 2018

Could you help to sponsor?

With the start of 2018 we have 66 current sponsored students. If you include those who have completed their studies the number is just over 100.

Could anyone help? Our scholarships are £150 for primary school, £300 for Secondary and £750 for further education or University.

http://www.learningfromuganda.org.uk/

The donate link is at the top of the page and also HERE

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What can small charities do?


The need for charitable aid around the world, home or abroad, does not reduce but one of the inevitable outcomes of the Oxfam expose is that thousands of people are cancelling their regular donations.

Understandable, yes, but how is this going to help the hundreds of thousands in need?

Most large charities need to have large professional teams to both raise the money and also to administer its delivery. Audit processes are not free.  Spending very large sums of money can be done quickly or can be done effectively but rarely both at the same time.

However as a small UK registered charity Helping Uganda Schools raises about £100,000 a year and relies on tried and tested local Teams in Uganda and Rwanda to deliver the work, build the schools and educate the children. They are local people. Three partners are Congregations of Religious Sisters and one is an organisation run by parents of deaf and disabled children

Partners like these bring strong codes of honesty and governance, continuity, and a local passion for the cause. They have members with degrees in a wide range of subjects and fully understand the needs and the culture of their countries and their people.

We have run this charity for 23 years with great Trustees,  no paid staff, with overhead costs met privately or from non donor money, and now have 7 schools, 1200 children attending, 83 past or active scholarships, a school for special needs children and with a small exception all the projects are self sustaining. We are starting a programme to tackle eyesight problems for children in Jinja.

There is a constant need to do more and I am wondering if there are people out there who could sign small monthly standing orders to Helping Uganda Schools?

Standing Order forms are on our website. www.helpingugandaschools.org

Or make a donation at https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/helpingugandaschools




Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults

A very serious issue has been very widely publicised this week in UK. It appears that employees of the UK charity Oxfam, have behaved very badly and abused their positions of trust, in particular in prostitution.

As a charity Helping Uganda Schools has no employees working in Uganda or Rwanda. We work with 4 different partners who are responsible for the work of building and running the schools and in helping disabled or deaf children.

Three partners are three Orders of Catholic Sisters and the fourth is the Organisation for the Parents of Deaf Children.

We have been in contact with them all this week to remind them of the importance of having up to date Safeguarding Policies. Local national legislation requires such policies.

I can reassure all our supporters that we do not have any known problems in this area.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

New Term begins

As Uganda children return to school at the beginning of February following their long Christmas holiday we try to keep up with where our scholarship holders have got to. We start the year with 64 actively being supported by HUGS and a further 19 who have completed or graduated and are working in education, medicine, engineering, building and honey production.

Our scholarships are usually £150 per year at primary Level, £300 at Secondary and around £750 at Further Education or University .

And you see still some great ways to use a Boda Boda  (motor bike) in Uganda.



Chris Bishop and all his friends had a very successful HUGS and QUIZZES fund raising event in Manchester with the aim of reaching his target to fund the equipment needed for the Vocational Classes at the Asili Girls Secondary School which is about half finished. He made it!



Many supporters will remember Fr John Kyazze and will be interested to hear that he has been given a huge challenge by his Bishop. He has 35 churches to manage in a new parish and has to find ways to build himself a house to live in. There are 10,000 parishioners spread over a distance of 70 kms. Sadly it is a long way from his family home near Mubende

Aaron, the 14 year old who can now see with one good eye following a Corneal Graft (funded by HUGS and Primrose, an amazing Opthalmic Nurse from London's Moorfields Eye Hospital) had to have an emergency stomach operation this week but is recovering well. Here are Aaron and Primrose at the Source of the Nile at Jinja.





Sunday, 14 January 2018

Plans for 2018

As we start 2018 the results are coming in for the Primary 7 national examinations in Uganda. Nearly 600,000 children go through this ordeal and it was good to hear that St Zoes got 8 Grade 1 and 8 Grade two out of 16 entrants.

SCHOOLS

The big continuing projects this year will be to commission the vocational classes at Asili Girls Secondary School at Lira and start the science block. We expect about 120 girls will attend this year. Here is the newly finished vocational and classroom building.


The Primary School at Rtunguru in the South West of Uganda needs a further 3 classrooms and we plan to fund these during the year. The picture shows the most recent extension which we funded. In 2017 we also funded a water catchment system on the older buildings.


Overall our 7 schools will be providing education to over 1200 children in 2018

EYESIGHT PROJECT

This project is being led by partner Sebastian who runs the Organisation for Parents of Deaf Children.  If children cannot see to read then there schooling chances are very low. Working with the UK Uganda health Alliance and staff from Moorfields we have been able to assist with funding a number of Eye Caps and over 60 children have been helped.

SCHOLARSHIPS

We will start 2018 with commitments for funding 18 students at FE or University and a further 50 at primary or secondary school. Several graduated last year.   Some of those who we have helped are now earning money and are helping to fund other young children.
Two Optometry Students at Makerere University will be supported from September 2018.

FAMILY SUPPORT INITIATIVE

This project is based in Lira and we have provided small amounts of capital which is helping groups of women to start small enterprises and gain some personal independence. So many women get abandoned by their partners and are left with small children and so income source having to rely on the charity of their neighbours.

CAN YOU HELP?

If any of our readers in Europe or USA or anywhere else would like to help then this is very easy. We have a "giving" page at the link is here.

                         DONATE HERE IN ANY CURRENCY