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Thursday, 17 February 2011

On the way to Uganda

Bob, Peter, Matt and Phil set off for Uganda on Feb 17th and enjoyed the luxury of Terminal 5 shopping at Heathrow. But coming through on the way back with the dreadful security delay and systems as you go through to board the internal UK flight to Manchester really is a national disgrace and one wonders what our visitors think of us.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Commemorative Book

With February 2011 being the 10th anniversary of the opening of St Zoes it seemed like a good time to put together a Commemorative Book to record the event.
A long cold and snowy winter gave lots of time to do it.
The book is A4 landscape format with about 3500 words but perhaps 100 photographs of some of the most memorable events and places and people.

The book is 40 pages and Coffee Table style. If you would like one then please send £10 plus £1 post and packing. Cheques payable to Peter W Mount and all profits go to Helping Uganda Schools.
You can email an order or put a message in the Comments box on this blog entry.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Education and Aid

Aid to Africa is a big subject. $44 billion went there in 2008 and the figure is rising. Yet the long term effect overall has only been to widen the gap between the poorest and the rest.
Look closely at the aid and you find it is often all about political influence and not real aid. It is given even when countries have not kept their promises.
We looked at the St Zoe's schools from the point of view of the local economy and the result was surprising.
With no HUGS or other support money being used for day to day revenue expenditure and only being spent on infrastructure and capital like buildings and equipment the schools employ 49 teachers and other staff and also generate work for up to 50 families in the village to grow food for the children and make school uniforms, provide timber and work on building projects. In turn these people support their families and even at a very conservative figure of 10 per employed person the schools are helping to support nearly 1000 people and provide a livelihood. All with money generated locally. It should continue even if we were not around.

It makes you think.

HQ Coaching and Sport for Schools

Uganda is not famous for sport excellence. I think there was just one Gold Medal in the last Olympics and cannot remember hearing of any great footballers or athletes. Boxing is perhaps the one exception. Next door Kenya has done a great deal better over the years. Matt Houghton of the well known Merseyside Coaching business is visiting St Zoes with a fellow Coach Phil Hayward in February. They have raised money to allow St Zoes to purchase a very considerable range of sport equipment so that the school can encourage sport excellence. Matt believes that if children are given the opportunity and some help then lots more hidden abilities can be discovered

The idea is that St Zoe's over time becomes a centre for Excellence in Sport and Matt and his team and all the schools he works with in the Merseyside, Cheshire, and Greater Manchester areas will all be able to support this great initiative.
Thanks to British Airways we will be taking lots of sports kit as part of our baggage allowance.