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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Progress at St Kizito's near Kampala

We have not told our supporters much about St Kizito's Primary School outside Kampala and which HUGS supported for many years.

Our visit in 2009 was disappointing. Lots of happy children but the state of the school, lack of classroom stimulus and dangerous school site was not good. We met the school PTA but found that it was still being run by a wonderful retired head teacher and not by active parents.
 The school was not progressing. We felt that we might be doing no real good and did not support the school for two years or more.

When Denise and Peter met the new head teacher, Immaculate, in early 2010 she told us that the parents were not engaged and simply said to her "why worry, the overseas donors will provide"

We said we would only support if we could see real change in this attitude.

The following dialogue has been constructed to tell you where the school is at today.

“Immaculate tell us your first impressions of St. Kizito’s Preparatory School Makenke.”
 Immy:  I am so happy that St. Kizito’s was founded; I am also impressed by the good buildings and donors who help us so much.

Question:​ Does the school set standards for honesty and integrity?
Immy:​ Yes, I think St. Kizito’s has continued with that vision of her founders the church of Gayaza Parish that is to aim at very high moral standards.

Question: What about academic achievements? How are you doing?
Immy:​ Well, for academic we enjoy the services of a hard working and caring academic staff and this is not empty praise. There is always academic work to be done in form of homework practical exercise, tests and exams making St. Kizito’s a real fountain of a primary leaver.

Question:​ How about on the side of the power house, the meals, we hear the staple food is not bread and butter nor “rice and peas” but posho and beans, tell us about that.
Immy:​ Well just look at me and may be look at other children, the decision will be yours on whether we are well fed or not, but as you see our skins are shining and very smooth.

Immy:​I wish to thank our parents, our teachers and helping Uganda schools (HUGS) of for the tremendous work they have done which has benefited and continues to benefit many children of Uganda and even beyond.

​Great thanks to Rev. Fr. Mayinja Francis who helps the school in a special way

Immaculate is making a big difference. The new PTA is helping, parents are more involved and the parish is helping with many items. The school is cleaner and safer and there is evidence of stimulus for the children within the classrooms. We have given the school some money to help them with the problems caused by the drought and dreadful harvests in 2011.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Getting a new Knee

As we get older visits to doctors and to hospitals get rather more frequent. My first bit of big surgery was in September 2002. It was to replace a wear-damaged hip with a new one. It all went well and I was out of hospital in 7 days. But this blog entry is being written 9 years later and this time it as a new knee. What a difference. I arrived at 7 a.m and the operation started at 8.30 a.m. It done under a spinal nerve block epidural. No full anaesthetic this time so a much quicker and easier recovery. I could have chosen to be awake and hear all the sawing and hammering but was a bit too cowardly for that. All over by just after 10 a.m. and back to the ward by 12.00. No longer do we rest for days. Best practice is to get mobilized quickly and I took the first rather wobbly steps with a frame only 4 hours later.
Next morning the physio team started and I was onto crutches and taking short walks around the ward.

I was discharged after two and a half days and not 7. Better outcomes. Better patient recovery and mobilization. Much safer surgery. And dramatically less costly. And the nice thing so often forgotten is that it is the NHS surgeons and doctors who are leading these innovations.
We really have the best service in the world and this was verified recently by the USA Commonwealth Institute, which compares the best systems in developed countries. Our national challenge is how to protect it at a time when we cannot really afford the £100Bn national bill.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Good Shepherd and Outreach

Thanks to the help of Pat Scampion and lot of friends the Good Shepherd Outreach programme  for families and for children with disability and who love in the Fort Portal area, has now started. 
Here is  what Sr. Theresa says about it.

The major aim of this programme is to respond to the challenges as a result of changing the situation in which Children with severe disabilities are facing, more especially in their families and communities, where they are neglected and biased. Most Parents to have such children they take it as a curse, so these children become victims of hatred and they are mistreated, above all not taken to school.

First and foremost, we have started with home visits and see the needs of these Children so that they can benefit from this programme. We teach, sensitize and provide Guidance and Counselling as most Parents are biased.  We shall all also give Mothers skill training, for example, weaving, and tailoring so as to have sources of earning income which will reduce poverty. 

We shall also transport Children to School for special activities such as massage, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, teach Children various games which will help them move and stimulate the nerves.  Teach Mothers who have Children with weak bones and limbs exercises.


  • To create awareness on prevention of diseases such as kwashiorkor by teaching them balanced diet, lack of a balanced diet has caused disabilities in most children.
  • Provide Guidance and Counselling to Parents/Guardians
  • Transport Children to the School for special activities
  • To teach and sensitize parents and youth to build capacity of mutual respect towards Children with disabilities so that they can feel they are worth human being and useful citizens with a future. Also provide democracy, equality and respect for human rights to these vulnerable children and a model for community attitudes towards children with disabilities.
  • To teach, sensitize and guide them on how to care and love their children to make them happy and feel they are loved and cared for, this will help such children to become useful people.
  • To sensitize the parents and guardians the value and importance of their Children in future when they are helped, more especially equipping them with practical skill so that they can be independent citizens with a future.
  • Parents living with HIV need to booster their immunity with body building foods and a proper balanced diet too.
  • To train leaders from those parents and youth so as to train other people in the community, so that there is continuity of what we have taught them.
  • Provide a model Community which can sustain itself in providing basic needs and balanced life in their families.  Parents more especially Mothers acquiring skills, to identify resources around them and put them at good use, which will reduce poverty. And also to have sources of earning income in different projects for their survival and continuity of what we are going to teach them.
Written by Sr. Theresa Abigaba