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Saturday, 22 December 2012

.......in a Stable

My visit to Rwanda back in February 2011 was to visit Sr Mary and to see what she and her colleagues had been able to do following the Rwanda genocide.
They had concentrated on the things they knew best, Health and Education and had started completely empty handed in 1995. No money and no income but huge courage.

The early work with children helped by the community managed to get a small primary school started and that is what I saw. The buildings were begged and borrowed and some looked more like stables for animals than class rooms for children.

HUGS was able to fund a design study and costing exercise in June 2011 and the plans appealed to a major Dutch charity who funded the first four class rooms of a new school. HUGS and the imagination of a key donor and trustee raised about £20,000 to pay for two more rooms.

Today December 22nd we heard that a Spanish charity has decided to help and their donation will pay for a further 3 classes making 9 in total.

This really is fantastic news. It will all help to give a really top quality education to the children. It will probably finish the primary level project and then we start thinking about the secondary accommodation. Tomorrow's President of Rwanda is at school today.

Lots of good things start in a stable and we never know where they will end

Best wishes for Christmas to all our readers

Peter, Denise, Joanna, Chris, Bob, Charlotte and Matt

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Rwanda and other things

Many thanks to Slater Heelis who are sponsoring the Annual Newsletter this year. We felt that many of our supporters would prefer a hard copy but if you are happy to have an electronic one please let us know and we can save the huge postage cost. We will be sending them out after Christmas.

CHRISTMAS IN UGANDA  has now been translated into German and is being sold near Munich by Gerhard and his friends. But you can of course get a copy from Denise Ead or me or download it from Amazon Books. There is a link on this Blog.

Our Student Maurice is studying at Kigali University and here is what he says about things which are sone thought from a group of students.

my friends are carrying different courses at the university, some are carrying Agriculture, Business studies and other courses, and after their studies at the University they hope that they would utilize apply their acquired skills from the university to create and innovate their own new small businesses instead of moving up seeking for jobs from others.
We know America and Europe as continents made up of some countries that have strong economies with the highest gross domestic product and developed infrastructure, politically strong with good democracy and strong military capacity, and always aim at helping other countries in other continents like Africa to move out from poverty through different programs and aid.
We know micro finance projects as financial services and programs intended to lift low income individuals and micro entrepreneurs out of poverty, and are important because they provide financial services like the provision of soft loans, teaching how to save, insurance and training which also contribute to the development.
If they would bet a huge amount of money to create job what we think would be the best way to spend it is to invest through micro finance projects specifically in sectors like agriculture since about 80% of Rwandans depend on agriculture, and we think by the introduction of methods like agricultural mechanization, application of fertilization, irrigation where necessary and other methods to develop agriculture, we think would increase the output and lead to development while giving jobs many.
The health care system is somehow developing since the health centers have increased to the extent that each sector in Rwanda has its own, there is the medical insurance called “mutuelle de santé” which is for all Rwandans, and is paid periodically every year by every  family, and this has reduced the number of people who used to die at home, and through different programs people are encouraged to fight killer diseases like malaria by providing mosquito nets and also are taught how to fight AIDS.
DRC is not very near is about 100km from the campus, and our beliefs about this issue of rebels called M23 in DRC, only that we know that it was formed out of misunderstandings and failure of the DRC government to fulfill the agreements made on 23rd march 2009, with think Rwanda doesn’t help M23 because we think no interest would in helping the rebel group to fight the neighboring country.  (DRC is known as Congo.)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Thank you ORANGE

A few months ago thanks to the inspired idea which came from friends at Taylor O'Brien (probably Manchester's best Media Companies) they put in a bid to ORANGE to fund an Internet Cafe at our St Zoe's School near Mubende;

We heard today that the bid was successful.

This could make a huge difference for the children and staff and also for local villagers

Thank you Orange!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Denise's Book goes international

You will remember Christmas In Uganda the lovely illustrated children's book written by Alex Tracey and illustrated by Dominique Byron and which Trustee Denise Ead published in hard copy last year.

it sells really well with enquiries coming from Europe and USA.

It is also available for your iPad from the Amazon Kindle Books store for £1.93.

But now it has been published by friends in Germany. Well done Gerhard!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Some special children

Sr. Theresa and her team at Fort Portal have been involved with the annual Ugandan Primary School year 7 examinations. This is rather unusual because children with special needs in learning are very unlikely to ever get this far. But as she says "Disability is not Inability" and we had the first 4 children take the exams this week. Here is what she writes about them.

DISABILITY DOES NOT MEAN INABILITY is really true as these children have made it to the end!

Allow me to  write little about each Child:

1.  Mwebesa Brian:  He has learning difficulties like Dyslexia and also letter writing problems especially when shaping letters e.g instead of writing b he writes d.  He is also with behaviour disorder, he is a short tempered person and he doesn't want to be forced to do what is not of his will or wish.

2.  Katusabe Ester:  She has short attention span.  She concentrates on anything for more than a few seconds at a time and then loses morale.  She is not settled in class when given and activity and she likes moving up and down all the time.  She is also Autistic.

3.  Kemigisa Rosette:  She has emotional problems and always stressed up as she is a total orphan who lives with her uncle who doesn't care for her, we try our best to cater for her school fees and other basic needs.  She forgets easily and she is always absent minded in class due to the above problems, and always quarrels with every body.  She shows very less or little interest in studies.  We tried our level best to offer guidance and counselling which has helped her through, and we thank God who has helped us.

4.  Kabagaya Mary:  She is unable to concentrate on anything for a long time.  She has difficulty in remembering things and she has a problem in writing correct spellings of words.  She delays to respond to questions or perform any given activity.  She also has dyslexia problems, and is also total orphan.

All these children have severe intellectual impairment as professionals of special needs, we teachers tried to give them individual, special attention inside and outside the classroom.  

The classroom shown below is the one our supporters paid for this year and it contains a Primary 7 class, a hall, and a vocational space for the girls. We have a new woodwork department for the boys and this is nearby

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Our Rwanda University Student

In developing our work to focus more on educating and less on buildings we have started a range of scholarships for school children and also for further education.
Mourice is our third University Student who started in Rwanda this 

Here is what he told us;

National University of Rwanda is the largest University in Rwanda located in the city of Butare in south of the country and was established in 1963. It has about 13000 students who always come from different parts of the country and bordering countries like Burundi, Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo and Tanzania.

I am carrying the faculty of Economics and Management, the department of Management, option is Bachelor of science with honors in Accounting. For this first year I am studying in modules which include Basic Mathematics, Principles of Economics, Statistics, Financial Accounting, Information Technology, and Skills for students. From second year I will start specializing in Accounting Sciences.
In my studies here at the college I meet different important people with different skills including the Lectures, and I am also able to make new friends. And there are other different activities carried out here like sports, clubs for research, organized programs for teaching students like Anti AIDS programs.
Fortunately, I live in the hostels of the University, because of the big number of students, all students usually don’t get this chance of living there.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Trustee Charlotte is getting famous

Trainee solicitor (and Trustee of Helping Uganda Schools)  Charlotte Brinsley has helped to launch a scheme providing families with free legal advice while giving law students work experience.
The 25-year-old works in the Manchester office of Russell Jones & Walker, which is now owned by Australian law firm Slater & Gordon.
She has teamed up with the Manchester College of Law to set up a service at the Family Legal Advice Clinic, Openshaw, Manchester.
It will see two students from the College of Law meeting members of the public each week to discuss their family law issues, such as divorce or child custody matters.
The students will then take their notes back to the RJW offices, where lawyers will discuss  the best initial advice to give.
They will also be trained in writing letters to the families they are advising.

Charlotte is herself a former College of Law student and played a key role in setting up the scheme.
She said: “As a student, the one thing that I really needed was practical work experience and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to give students the chance to meet clients while being supervised by the team at our offices.
“Originally I was going to carry out the pro bono work myself but this way I think more people will benefit.”
Paul Roebuck, pro bono co-ordinator at the College of Law, said: “This important new service will not only help the students to hone their practical legal skills but also instil in them a sense of responsibility to those in society who are most in need.”
Charlotte will qualify as a solicitor with RJW next September.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Red Cross Training at St Zoes

St. Zoe Secondary and Vocational School is a fully registered Red Cross Link for both Secondary and Primary Levels. Having undergone a Basic First Aid Training last year, the patron through the school administration organized Standard First Aid training for both the teachers and students that passed the basic. The training purposely was intended to equip the participants with basic first aid skills that can help them handle common health emergencies that happen to them before they are taken to the school nurse and finally to the nearest health centre. The common health emergencies at school include; fainting, nose bleeding, unconsciousness, headache, bleeding, injuries, fractures among other. The training was attended by 64 participants including 3 teachers and 1 school nurse.
Training objective.
To build confidence in participants with knowledge and skills that can help them to handle common health emergences that happen among children.

Training materials used.
A collection of materials were used during the training to facilitate the learning process. These included,
·       first aid kit
·       CPR dummy
·       Chalk
·       Blackboard
·        Mats
·       Handout
·        Bandages

Topics  covered.
A number of topics were covered basing on the Standard First Aid Syllabus and the Training Needs Assessment conducted shortly before the training. These included,
·       Introduction to first aid principles
·       Basic life support(CPR & Kiss of life)
·       Casualty assessment and management
·       First aid kit & its contents
·       Excessive bleeding
·       Epistaxis
·       Poisoning
·       Wounds and their care
·       Seizures in children
·       Burns ad scalds

·       Stroke
·       Transportation of casualties
·       Emergency child birth
Course assessment.
The participants were subjected to a written assessment to check on their level of knowledge of common health emergences acquired during the training. Similarly, a practical assessment was also conducted in groups to check on individual competence and skills when handling a given health emergence during a real life aspect of an emergence. Results were recorded and participants who scored 50% on average qualified to get their certificates of competence in Standard First Aid.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Disability but not Inability!

Today we heard some great news from a rather special school which you have all helped to build. The Good Shepherd School for Children with Special Needs at Fort Portal.
There are 120 children attending plus another 25 or so who come are part of a school outreach programme.

Before Good Shepherd most of these children would not go to school because parents could not see any value. As one parent told us "I used to think she was so stupid that she could gain nothing"
But in November this year some of our Primary 7 children will be entering the National Primary School Examinations. This was unheard of a few years ago. We may not be able to change all the world but supporters have certainly changed the world for some great kids.

Many of you have remembered to change your regular monthly donation to our new Cooperative Bank but some have forgotten. We are trying to move away from Barclays and if you need help or have lost the details please contact HUGS.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Our New Web Site

We thought our web site was looking a bit tired and needed a facelift. Kilroy James have been hosting it for a long time and are one of the UK's best and oldest established web site designers and thanks John for all your help.

Now "Made with Jam" inspired by Gez O'Brien and Manchester's best Creative Media companies  Taylor O'Brien have come up with something new and refreshing. Hope you like it.

And maybe they could do one for you. They are really good at this. Thanks Gez and Helen.

Contact them on  www.stardotstar.com

You can see the site at www.helpingugandaschools.org

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Scrabble and St Zoes Olympics

Back to school at St Zoes was a great time to have their own Olympic Games and scores of children of all ages took part and had a great three days.
Funding from Matt Houghton's Engage for Africa allowed the team to prepare a lot of track and field areas and also to run a school house Scrabble Competition

But it was the outdoor events which created so much excitement.

Here is what the Games Prefect had to say.

A good time was had by all the children and teachers.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Now on Amazon Kindle and only £1.93

Supporters may remember that Trustee Denise published her first book called Christmas in Uganda and it was very well received and sold in quantity for last Christmas.

Now she has published on Kindle so that readers everywhere can download a copy and read it to the children from your iphone, ipad, computer etc.

It is beautifully illustrated. Go to Amazon web site, then Books, and enter Christmas in Uganda.

We hope to produce the book in German in the months to come and have already had it translated.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Alice's Story

I watched the BBC Panorama programme about Joseph Kony and the LRA recently. It seems amazing that the combined forces of Uganda and USA cannot find this killer who is now believed to be in the Central African Republic.

Our Medical Student, Grace, has befriended Mary whose life was so devastated by this man. She is just over 20 now but just before she was born her father, then working in Kampala, visited Gulu and was burnt to death in a grass hut by LRA soldiers. Her mother returned to Kampala but shortly after Mary's birth her mother died of a heart attack. Mary and her sister grew up as street children in Kampala and her sister is now lost somewhere. Mary was taken in be an orphanage and did well at school getting a place to become a teacher at the University at Gulu and funded in her first year by the orphanage and Jesuit priests.
Grace got to know Mary when Mary was in hospital recently.
We heard of nearly 2 million people displaced or killed by LRA. Mary's story is just one of many and we are looking to see if we can assist with some of her student costs this year.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Good Shepherd Olympics

Not to be outsmarted by other Olympic Games the staff and children at Good Shepherd School for Special Needs Children at Fort Portal have just had their own event, funded by the efforts of Trustee Matthew Houghton and his Engage for Africa work and his HQ Coaching enterprise in Merseyside.

And this is what the Games Teacher said about the event

This is really great from children who would have been written off by so many people only a few year ago.

Benefactors should be really proud of what Sr. Theresa has achieved

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Rwanda Schools

After a visit to Rwanda last year we decided to look for ways to help with the building of a new school at Rukira to replace the dreadful farm building that the children are taught in. But we did not want to change or use  the support our donors give to the Uganda projects.

As a result we formed a subsidiary called Helping Rwanda Schools and started to look for new sources on income which much get this new project off the ground.

An initial £1500 was found and this paid for a design study, the preparation of drawings and plans and getting planning permission to build on a 2 acre site which the Sisters had been able to acquire by their savings over many years.

The designs impressed a Dutch Charity who made a large donation last year and together with money raised by the local people the first four classroom were built and opened in June 2012

This week thanks to a very generous supporter we received a large donation which should help to start the next phase of the school.

The school is for primary school children and will take all tribal groups, children of all faiths and will also reach out to children with disability.

We will probably need to raise a further £60,000 over the next two years to finish the project but it really is worthwhile in an area where there are simply not sufficient schools for all the children.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Diamonds aren't Forever

Ever since HUGS started in 1995 we have banked with Barclays. It was convenient. They have branches in Uganda and we did not really give much thought to other banks. They were all much the same.

But recent events must have really angered so many of our supporters and that goes for our Trustees too.

After much thinking we have decided to change from Barclays and looked at banks which have some acknowledged ethical values. There are just a few. We have chosen to change to Cooperative Banking and application forms are now being filled in.

Unlike personal banking it is a bit more complicated for HUGS because we have up to 150 people paying in every month and we will be asking you all to transfer your payment to Cooperative Bank instead of Barclays

Don't do anything at present. We will contact you all in the near future and for a period we will run both accounts alongside each other.

We would welcome readers views on this. Please use the comments box below to tell us what you think

Friday, 22 June 2012

From our Medical Student in Gulu

Grace is entering her 4th year of HUGS sponsorship at Medical School in Gulu, Northern Uganda. She sent this thought provoking story.

Story of Appreciation
One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.
He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision.
The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.
The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?” the youth answered “none”.
The director asked, “ Was it your father who paid for your school fees?” The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.  The director asked, “ Where did your mother work?” The youth answered, “My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.
The director asked, “ Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?” The youth answered, “Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.
The director said, “I have a request. When you go back today, go and
clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.*
The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands.  His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid.
The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly.  It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother’s hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.  After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.   Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The Director  asked: “ Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?” The youth answered, “ I cleaned my mother’s hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes’ The Director asked, “ please tell me your feelings.” The youth said, Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.  The director said, “ This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.
Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

On the Run!

It is never too early to start.

I know a wonderful young man called Kenz aged 6.5 years. This year he ran in the Great Manchester Mini Run for HUGS.
He beat his dad of course.
And he painted a picture to prove it.

He did some tough training with his father and only collected his sponsorship money (£70) only  after he had done the run.
It is never too early to start and we are all very proud of him

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mosquito Nets

“Malaria is a problem. When the children get malaria it weakens them to the extent of death. Mosquito nets could be a solution. 
Recently, I received the above message, in an email, from Sister Theresa the Head Teacher of the Good Shepherd School.
As you know HUGS provides excellent education for the children at both the Good Shepherd and St Zoe’s schools, but we all know that children learn best when they are fit and well. If the children are getting Malaria then we have to do something about this.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) says, “Most deaths occur in young children living in Africa, where a child dies every minute from Malaria”.
Malaria is a preventable and curable. Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets are one of the ways to prevent Malaria infection as they create a protective barrier against Mosquitoes at night. Whole communities can be protected in this way.  We already provide nets for the boarders at St. Zoe’s school but we would like to expend the programme to provide nets to our other children.
If you would like to be part of this programme and help protect the children from this dreadful disease then please buy an Insecticide treated Mosquito Net for just £3. HUGS will make sure these are bought and distributed and will keep you updated by this Blog.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Catch a Caterpillar

Only 6 days to go before the HUNGRY CATERPILLARS take part in the Great Manchester BUPA 10K Run on 20th May.

You cannot miss them

And if you have not sponsored Trustee Charlotte  (second from the right) and her team it is not too late at


Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Management Accountant?

We are looking for a qualified and experienced Management Accountant who would like to spend about a month in Uganda to set up our accounting practices at St Zoes Schools about 4 hours from Kampala.

If you are interested in discussing this please contact Peter on 0161 427 4260

No there are no alligators or crocodiles nearby!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

AGM Golf and Caterpillars

HUGS AGM was held on May 3rd and our Report and Accounts will be available for all supporters to see on the Charity Commission web site in the next few days.
One big decision was that we would encourage the team at St Zoes to strengthen their management resources to give help to Andrew and give more focus to school projects and expansion.

May is the month of the HUGS Golf Event at Romiley and we have filled all the spaces with 88 teams of four teeing off for charity. Last year it was a great event and we are hoping for the same this year. We start with bacon breakfast then the game and then all sit down for dinner and prize giving in the evening.
Volunteers who spend a year in Uganda (Rebecca and Naomi) will be caddying for players and will be taking time off from University to be with us.

But on May 20th we have Manchester's 10K BUPA run and 20 supporters have decided to enter supporting HUGS thanks to Trustee, Charlotte.

She has entered a team sponsored by her employer Russell Jones and Walker and they will go dressed up as HUNGRY CATERPILLARS

They have raised about £600 in sponsorship but it would be great if we could all help top make it £1000!!

Can we help. (some of you have done so already)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Outreach and what it means

Getting Good Shepherd almost finished is fine for the 120 children with disability who are attending but our friend Dr Pat Scampion was keen to use the school as a platform to reach out to more children who for various reasons could not get to the school. One reason is that the school is now full!

So would it be possible to create an outreach programme to help children and families further afield?

Ed Paulat and friends raised enough to buy a vehicle. Pat started a charity called Improving Chances to fund an outreach project and it has now started.

She took a team of clinicians to Uganda a couple of months ago and  this is what she told us;

The team I took with me this time assessed over 60 children in two weeks plus some of the children already in the school. Many  of the children had epilepsy, and others profound cerebral palsy or other neurodisability. Theresa's teachers were very receptive, particularly to our ed psychs advice on behaviour management, and differentiating the curriculum. Theresa was also able to find a local physio from the Referral Hospital who is prepared to visit once a month and follow up the work we did.

So now Theresa has five groups of 4-6 very severely disabled children being brought into school once a week in the vehicle generally with a parent, for play, stimulation and parent to parent support, and some basic pysio. The children are truly little survivors and their parents obviously very committed, but we didn't feel able to ask them for fees given the overt and hidden financial burdens such heavily disabled children present their families. However, I think we may find that some of these parents are sufficiently assertive to want to develop the service themselves in due course. In the meantime "Improving Chances" is funding this development.

Also I have sent you a picture of Hannington who is our Student for the Out reach programme.  He is a young lad with epilepsy, who has been longing to go to school, but because of the sickness it could not allow him to live a normal life, like any other boy of his age.  He is now very happy as he comes to our school, Good Shepherd and get practical skills which will help him to live an independent life and also become a useful Citizen with a future.  He likes wood work very much.  His Parents are also very happy they could not imagine that their Son will also do something useful in life.  Also as teachers we also feel very happy to see our objectives are achieved.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Some school building progress

2011 was a bit of a nightmare for our friends at St Zoe's in Uganda. A corrupt builder stole money and set back our progress on both the secondary and vocational schools by about a year and the serious drought and massive inflation in food prices made things worse.
But the good new is that things are getting back to normal. School attendance is high and we have been able to restart the building of both the secondary and vocational schools and also build a new latrine block for the seniors. We aim to have the buildings complete by about June this year and to start using them very soon after.
We have also put in a bid to Orange for a grant to set up an Internet Cafe and have almost raised the money needed for a major fresh water borehole and associated water storage and distribution systems for both the school and the village.

 The School truck delivering timber for the new buildings at St Zoe's.

Although HUGS is not directly fund raising for Rwanda we may wish to do so in the future. But we did visit last year and gave a small grant to help the Banyatereza Sisters to carry out a feasibility and design study for a primary school.
The designs were used to raise funds in Netherlands and thanks to a charity it was possible to make a start and to build 4 class rooms and start the school The Dutch donors gave €43000, a really generous gift.
The school will open the new buildings in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A small diversion

I know this Blog is all about Uganda and the aim is to keep all our many supporters informed about what is going on at our schools.
But just now and again something pretty exciting happens and you won't mind if I share it.

This Jubilee year for Her Majesty the Queen is pretty special and my hospitals were really privileged to have her visit us on March 23rd and to open the hospitals officially.

The weather was perfect and the weeks of planning all paid off with a truly memorable day.
her great grandfather opened the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1909 and there really was a great link with the past.

More about schools in a few days time because lots of things are happening

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Why Water?

The really big thing for HUGS and St Zoes this year is to fund a major water borehole project with pumping, solar power, header tank storage and water distribution to the school and local community.

Our existing water tanks and water catchment have been a great success. But climate is changing. Lack of rainfall is a real problem.

But we are sitting on a substantial water table although it is over 300 feet down!

We had drought in 2011. Not like this picture from next door Sudan but they once had better conditions. We must plan for the future.

The project will be expensive and we anticipate a cost of over £30,000. We are well on the way to reaching this goal by July (with your help)

Trustee Charlotte is doing the Manchester 10K BUPA Run. Her team will be running as a caterpillar.
Do please sponsor her.

You can do it at Virgin Money Giving by clicking here;

The big May 16th Golf Event will also be raising money for the same cause. We have already sold all the 22 team places.

But if a supporter would like to sponsor one of the PRIZES for the winners of the event please do this at our Virgin Money Giving Site. We are very happy to mention corporate donations in the Golf Brochure which goes to over 100 people.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Hollyoaks is Helping

This year Trustee Matt Houghton and his HQ Coaching team are playing their annual game agains the stars of the Hollyoaks TV programme.

It will be held at Conway. Please go along to support. All the proceeds are going to HUGS.
Well done Matt

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joseph Kony and Invisible Children

We blogged about Joseph Kony and the dreadful things he was doing in Uganda before moving the the Central African Republic where he is believed to be.

The UTube video which is getting all the publicity is here ;


It is rather long but very moving. We covered his story in a blog earlier last year and you can find it on the history record to the right of this text. It was in April 2011.

So what is HUGS doing about it? We think our role is to try to address the causes of such atrocity and where we can to help repair the damage.

Our schools are teaching tomorrow's leaders and trying to instil a set of values which will prevent people behaving in the awful way that he and his followers have been living.

And at Lira in the North of Uganda we have been giving major support to the Lira Babies Home. Lira was a centre of much of the killing by children of their parents and siblings. The babies home is providing a safe warm and supportive home for nearly 50 children who are orphans.

Rwanda had a major genocide in 1994 and when it ended Sr. Mary and two colleagues were invited there to see if they could help. You can imagine the state the country was in with 800,000 dead which is nearly 10% of the population.

They have opened a health clinic and the beginnings of a nursery and primary school and HUGS has helped with the feasibility study for this.

Thanks to a Dutch Charity who gave a big donation the work has now started and the first phase should be completed by the end of April.

The school will teach children of all tribes and faiths and will contribute to developing racial harmony and of course good academic achievements. HUGS may wish to get more involved in the future but is you would like to help please find our donor page on Virgin Money Giving.

Many of you are supporters. If not and you would like to support then there is a page on Virgin Money Giving for HUGS and you can donate on line. Insert Helping Uganda Schools in the search box on the Virgin Money Giving site.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Leadership at St Zoes

The following was written by the head teacher at St Zoes.



This mission guides all courses of action at the school. All the curricular and co-curricular programs are aimed at achieving the school mission.
One of the elements through which a person could become round and self reliant is to learn leadership. The belief is that future leaders are trained right from infant stages. It is very hard to begin training leadership at a later stage. So, at St Zoe, children are given opportunities to become leaders when they are still young.

Two teachers were assigned the duty of guiding the young stars on the procedures. On 13th February 2012, an announcement was passed in the morning during the assembly. The teachers advertised several positions that required applications. Some of these included: Head prefect, Assistant Head Prefect, Sanitary prefect, Head Monitor, Dormitory Captain, Debating Prefect, Games and Sports, Welfare Prefect, Time keeper, Catering Prefect and Librarians.
Pupils were encouraged to apply on any position of one’s preference. All boys and girls were free to compete on any position and the community was to elect on merit.

 These were held on the 16th February 2012 in the afternoon. Here a candidate was given chance to address the whole and show the others how capable he/she is in the position he/she is campaigning for.
On the 17th February 2012, the general elections were held. Eligible voters were Primary Three to Primary Seven. Lower classes did not vote just because of age.
At the end of the exercise, a lot of joy was observed and this manifested the real feeling of victory on the side of the winners. The role of the teacher at this point is to congratulate the winners, explain the role of prefects and to encourage those who have not gone through to always try again and to join hands for the greater glory of the school. Hence, St Zoe has always seen both good winners and good losers

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The School Results for 2011

Here are the regional school results for 2011. Although St Zoes only entered the system for the first time this year it came 3rd out of all these 28 secondary schools. Numbers are small of course because the school is not yet fully established. Some of the schools get dreadful results and this must be a great disappointment to the children and the parents. Lack of a good school really gives these children a huge disadvantage.

It is a very good result!

Name of School
No. of 1st Grade
1st Grade %
No. of 2nd Grade
2nd Grade %
1st + 2nd Grade %
Sacred Heart  Seminary
St. Charles  S.S
St. Zoe Sec and Voc School
Kasenyi S.S
Silver steps
St. Joseph’s Kasambya
Mubende  Army
Madudu S.S
Light S.S.
St. Matthias Mulumba
Nabingoola  S.S
Kiyuni  S.S
Kitenga S.S
Bright  S.S
Kassanda  S.S
Comprehensive  Mubende
Myanzi  S.S
Mubende   Hall
Bagezza  Seed School
Highway Kiganda
St. Suzan 
Bukuya  S.S
St Charles  Lwanga   Lwangiri
St. Mugaga  Kiganda
Butoloogo Seed School
Kiganda  High