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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Opinions please

We posted something earlier about the Lira Babies Home which is a wonderful initiative in an area which was devastated by the violence in Northern Uganda in recent times. Happily it seems to be more peaceful now. But lots of children lost parents and the Lira Babies home has been helping the orphans in a very imaginative way.
HUGs is not a supporter but some of you have been donating through HUGS to help them. It costs about £12,000 per year to pay for everything at the home.
I wonder if we should suggest to our Trustees that we adopt this cause? The home has been running for many years but we found this press cutting from the Uganda New Vision which is rather worrying.

Please us the comments box on the blog to let us know whether you would be interested and if you might be able to increase a standing order to help. If lots of us do it this should not be a big burden.

Preparing for the start of term

Although ther is still much to do the repainting at St Zoe's should make the school look so much better for the start of term next week

Volunteering in Uganda

We are developing opportunities for people to spend periods of time volunteering in Uganda. These can be three types of volunteering.
Medical Students in their 5th year are encouraged to spend a few weeks overseas and Virika Hospital in Fort Portal is keen to help. These students can also get very involved in Good Shepherd School and perhaps stay in the guest house there during the stay.
Gap Year students like Rebecca and Naomi could spend periods up to a year at St Zoe's school.
Doctors and Nurses, Midwives or Teachers could also spend periods at the hospital or either school location and not only help pass on their skills but gain enormously from the experience.
Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust have a number of staff either arranging to go to Virika Hospital or to volunteer elsewhere in the world.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Refurbishment at St Zoe's

Taken in early January this gives some idea of the scale of the refurbishment work being done at St Zoes.
Creating a high quality environment with proper paths and well painted and smart classrooms is important and sets standards for the children and the teachers. We created a small fund to employ most of the teachers during the long Christmas vacation to do much of this work. Altogether 221 person days of work were done so it was a win for the school and a great job for the teachers who dont normally get any pay during holidays.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Long Holiday

Uganda schools close from early December to the start of February. Much too long say many teachers because unlike UK there is no pay when you are not at work. The St Zoe's team thought that this closure could be a really great opportunity to redouble the work on refurbishment of the primary school and make it ready to the start of 2011. Because limited funds prevented us from having verandas and proper paved paths around the site there is a real problem during the rainy season. Everything gets covered in red mud and this gets onto the walls of the class rooms too.
With financial help from parishes in South Germany we  have been able to create a lot of paid work for teachers who will be showing us the results when we visit in February.

Verandas around the dormitories will be a great help

At Good Shepherd there has been great progress on the latest building which is a class room for year 6 but it will also have a meeting room for parent teaching events and a vocational skills room for the children.

Bob, Peter and Matt Houghton will be visiting from February 17th to 27th with other friends. We will be reviewing the progress on all these things and at the same time meeting with parents and local leaders to hear their views and make sure that what is being done is what is needed by the local people. Matt and a colleague will be reviewing the work on the sports fields and will also spend about 6 days running football coaching for the boys and girls.