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Monday, 22 December 2014

A good investment

We thought you might like to see the end of term letter sent to HUGS Trustees by one of our sponsored students who is studying for a nursing diploma in Kampala.

Her letter was handwritten and would be difficult to read on a screen so we have transcribed if for you to see.

Things like this a a great reminder of just how important your help is in helping to build a better tomorrow.

I am Lunyaya Annet, a student from Nsambya Hospital Training School, near Kampala and I am pursuing a diploma course in Nursing.

I sat second to third year promotional examinations in October and managed to perform well as the results indicated. I will now be promoted to third year, which is my final year of the course.
I am so grateful to you all and expect to start the new semester on December 31st 2014.

It is said that education is the best investment in life. Sincerely with your support I have been enriched with the skills of taking care of the sick and achieved other ambitions like giving health education talks.

I am glad that I am competent with the course and able to manage patients with different conditions. For example taking care of diabetic patients by educating them in how to take care of themselves at home with diet, hygiene and lifestyle.
I can also tell you that I am going to carry out a research study aimed at accessing mother’s knowledge and practice in preventing childhood diarrheal diseases in their children.

It has been a great concern after realising that there is a big increase in child mortality and morbidity rates in Uganda.
However many preventative measures have been put in place this is still a huge problem, in children under 5 year of age.

Finally I would like to thank you for your great support and for the opportunity you have given.
I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Luyanya Annet   Student Nurse supported by HUGS

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas News from Uganda

Dear Supporters

Lots of good things are happening in our Uganda and Rwanda Schools which will be educating about 1000 children at the start of 2015.

Good Shepherd sent news about Derrick and Sr Theresa's words say it all;

I am happy to inform you that we ended our Third term successfully very well by awarding a certificate to our student Kyomuhendo after finishing his three year course in tailoring, knitting, carpentry and joinery.  Hope you still remember this young man who has speech and hearing impairment but can do very well practical skills, as our Motto is Disability does not mean inability we seeing the fruits now.

Attachments is Derick  finalising his deck bed.

Thank you very much and other members of HUGS for all the support you have rendered to these vulnerable children, to make them what they are and useful Citizen in the society.  I have a story to tell you which the Dad of DericK told me, as Derick is his first born child, after knowing that this child is deaf and dumb, he was scared to death and decided not to marry and have another child because of this tragedy.  He knew that Derick is useless in life, but he started getting a bit of hope when he had the Sister helped by HUGS are opening  a school of special needs, he just came to try, but now is a very happy man to see what Derick is doing

The first classroom at the Asili Girls School should be open in January 2015 and there is great progress on the sanitary block. More news later about this.

A money earning scheme has been started at our Rwanda School with the aim of creating a revenue income to help with children diet and nutrition.
We bought two motorcycles which are leased to young men to use as taxis.

We hope we can get more news from St Zoes soon.

And if you would like to use this Christmas Best Wishes card to send to your friends just click on the image the the rest should be easy!

And of course Dr Grace Nannyondo qualified as a doctor sponsored by HUGS and is now working in Maternal Health in a big Obstetrics Hospital near Kampala.

None of this would have been possible without your help


Saturday, 8 November 2014

First HUGS Graduate doctor

Our supporters have been sponsoring a growing number of students at University, mainly in Rwanda and it was great to hear that Grace Nannyondo graduated from the new Medical School at Gulu in norther Uganda about a month ago.
She has worked really hard and is now starting her clinical work in hospitals.
With only about 2000 doctors in the whole of Uganda with a population of over 32 million she is going to be pretty busy.  In the UK our ratio of doctors to the population is perhaps 100 times a great.

The charitable trust of the large insurance company UIA has been really generous and helped with developments at our primary school in Rukira, Rwanda.

This has brought forward the construction of three more classrooms, the funding of a sport programme and some investment in teacher training.

The school is really making an impact in this very poor part of Rwanda and as a special treat an end of year "prom" was organised for all the children and the parents. Local people made the blue graduation gowns for all the children. Little things like this are important to the community who often really struggle to find the small amount of money it takes to pay for education. They are very proud of their children and this reinforces their determination to keep them at school to gain skills and qualifications.

The last part of the school buildings was also funded by UIA and this was put into service a few weeks ago.

The sport programme also got started and builds on the work of Trustee, Matt Houghton who runs HQ Coaching in Merseyside.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Good Shepherd Sport, Lira Class room, and sustainability in Rwanda

The new secondary school for girls is planned to add one class room each year and build a good sanitary block when the first class is complete. The picture below shows good progress with the class with door and windows now fitted. Further classes will continue the building at the right hand side
Works starts on the sanitary block during November and thanks to your help we have been able to fund this.

Sport at our schools has been given great momentum by Trustee, Matt Houghton and supported by his HQ Coaching business.

Ronald, the sport teacher at Good Shepherd special needs school in Fort Portal has really got things going and is arranging competitive games and events with other schools.

Our primary school in Rukira, Rwanda is doing really well with nearly 300 attending. But this is a very poor area and the head teacher would really like to be able to start to provide some breakfast for the children. We looked at ways to help her with a sustainable plan and their wish was to invest in two small motor cycles which could be rented out as local taxis and the income would be fairly long term and allow food to be provided to the children. We have supported this sort of thing in the past and will watch with great interest.

After a few false starts we are hoping to see real progress with the St Zoes vocational project soon.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Fund raising dinner and child health and poverty

We now have nearly 80 people who will be attending our Late Sunday Lunch Fund raiser at Peruga Restaurant on Sunday 28th September. There might be room for a very small number more. It is £25 a head and starts at 1800.

At Good Shepherd school for special needs school Sr Theresa has been struggling to find a way to purchase some health care support for some of the children. One of our good friends sent some money to help and we have sent £500 to create a small health support fund.

Here in England we never think about the cost of healthcare. In Uganda you have to pay for everything.

If any supporters would like to review their donations then we can do more.

In Rwanda while they have the same problems the level of poverty is serious. Many of the parents find it really hard to pay the schooling cost of £15 a term. They even find it hard to pay 20 pence a term to buy soap for the children so that that can wash their hands after toilet use.

We are lucky.

We sent £2300 to Rwanda recently to help provide more essential equipment of the school. They were very careful with the money and managed to fund some investment in better hygiene too.

Progress on the new Secondary School for Girls at Lira is going well and we hope to show some pictures or the stage if has reached very soon.

We are hoping to be able to provide some information on the progress at St Zoes with the solar powered water borehole system and the vocational training for the children in the next month or so.

We always hesitate in using the blog to suggest to donors who are perhaps able to increase what they are giving in order to help. Many of you have a wide range of things you support. But if you can make a small increase that would be great. There is no need to fill any forms. Just inform your bank.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Save the date

On Sunday September 28th at 1800 we are having a "Late Sunday Lunch" at the Peruga Restaurant, Woodheys on the Glossop Road near Marple Bridge.

The cost will be £25 per person with reduced price for children.

We want to make this a fun event with some entertainment and also the chance to catch up with other supporters and hear what is happening in Uganda and Rwanda.

Tickets on sale soon so please save the date. Please contact us for tickets.

This week we heard some good sustainability news from Fr John about progress with the agriculture at St Zoe's.

As many supporters will remember we not only teach the children but also provide meals. For many this is the only meal they might get in a day.

Our farm project has been more fortunate this year and there has been better management and better rainfall.

This is what Fr John told me this week.

During my year last year (2013) i made sure that all school land returned to the school. I also invested in the gardens. For the harvest of February-March 2014 we got 60 sacks of maize, and this accounted for 49% of the food needs of the whole St. Zoe for the term. In the season that followed (the short rains, where the dominant crop is "beans" We harvested 36 sacks of beans. This is more that we need for a whole year (bean consumption is slower than maize), and the surplus can profitably be sold off to subsidise for other needs. It is in view of this that I think St. Zoe's school land and farm should be made into a success story of self reliant food security. 

One of our early students who has been supported by St. Zoe's right from the beginning was ordained Deacon on 2nd August 2014. He is now Rev. Deacon Taddeo NTWATWA. You cannot recognize him, but he has almost always been around whenever your visits fall in holiday periods. He will be ordained priest next year July 2015.

Trustee Denise Ead had a great Clothes Swap and Coffee Evening during August and invited lots of friends and neighbours to come along. The event was a great success and raised over £600 which has been sent to St Zoes to start some nutrition development for the children who get very little variety in their diet and eat very little fruit despite the country being a great fruit grower.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Water for Life

This week we had a visit to UK from the Superior General of our partners in Uganda who now own and run St Zoes Schools.
it has been tough few months but they have already instituted some changes, particularly in making a start with the Vocational School. We were very encouraged by their approach and their plans. Changing leadership is always challenging particularly since the school has been family owned since the start but the demands and pressures which come with the size scope and challenges needed a new approach.

Classes in Tailoring, Hairdressing, and Agriculture have started but the big plan is for them to re locate their small vocational school from another part of Uganda and base it at St Zoes.

This will bring a lot of teaching equipment and over the months to come I really believe that the dream of having a proper vocational centre will be realised.

This is the start. In the future we hope to be able to tell our readers of the skills and vocational work done at each of our schools.

Water supply problems have never gone away despite many previous projects. But at last we have an affordable water scheme which we plan to fund over the next few weeks.

it is a solar powered submersible Grundfos SQFlex system and already we have completed the water exploration work to make sure that we have a good underground supply.

Overall the scheme will cost about £25,000

Check the Grundfos web site for a lot more of the technical details.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Starting our fifth school

With the help of some very generous donors and a great Annual Golf Event which raised nearly £5000 we have been able to give the go ahead to our partners in Lira to start to build the Asili Girls Secondary School.
Most Ugandan schools don't really make themselves friendly to growing girls and for that reason many who might start secondary education often drop out when puberty starts.
The new school starts with the provision of excellent sanitary facilities and then we hope to have the first class rooms ready by about January 2015.

The school will deliver both academic and vocational skills to the girls and enable them to have choices in their lives when they leave.

Lira in in the north of Uganda.

The Missionary Sisters who will be leading the project are also the Sisters who look after the Lira Babies Home which supporters will remember that we have been supporting for some years.

To give an impression of what the new school will look like here is a picture of the Asili Primary School.

We expect that the school will cost about £150,000 to build and to equip but we are doing this in stages over the next 5 to 6 years with your help.

Empowering children and girls in particular is one of the very best ways to move a country forward and we believe that this will be one of the most important things which HUGS has done.

When this school opens there will be over 1000 Ugandan and Rwandan children and orphans supported by the charity. But it can only happen due to the kindness of our supporters.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Ten Days to Go

There are just 10 days to go before we have the HUGS Annual Golf Event.

All playing tickets have now been sold but there is still a chance if you would like to SPONSOR A HOLE.

All the money raised will be going towards the cost of a new project which is a secondary school for girls in Lira, northern Uganda.

Donations can be in any currency if you are overseas.

Any donations are welcome but we suggest £10 to £30.

An easy way to donate and gift aid your sponsorship is through our VIRGIN GIVING SITE

Te link is here  Donate Here

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hugs Golf 2014

Dear Sportsman,

Helping Uganda Schools Charity Golf Day
Romiley Golf Club – June 4th 2014
I would like to invite you to the annual Charity Golf Event at Romiley Golf Club, Goosehouse
Green, Stockport SK6 4LJ on the 4th June 2014 for Helping Uganda Schools.

Cost per team £240 for standard entry
This day offers the opportunity for networking and promoting your company; thanking your
key clients or rewarding your hard working staff.
The event will be an 18 hole 4 man team event with a shot gun start at 1pm.
11:30am onwards: Brunch on arrival
13:00 – 17:00 Golf with a shot gun start
17:30 – 19:00 2 course dinner and coffees
19:00 Prize Presentation
Included on the day will be complimentary refreshments at the Halfway House, the Pros
challenge, nearest the pin and longest drive competitions on the course. There will also be
magnificent prizes on offer including top-of-the-line golf equipment, weekends away, and
many more.


There is opportunity for a limited number of teams to
sponsor a hole on the course. This will include an advert by
the tee and in our brochure (which will be distributed to all
participants on the day) and a bottle of champagne with your
Sponsored teams costs an additional £60


The Charity itself is based locally in Marple and aims to improve education for children in Uganda, its ethos being that education is the only real escape from poverty of mind and body.

HUGS works on the principle that there can be better long term success if they enable people to help themselves. It doesn’t send workers to Uganda but does provide the money, the support and the skills to help villagers and parents to help themselves. The charity does not use any donations for the schools to pay administration costs or
other overheads. HUGS is a “Nil Overheads” charity. As we are only charging £240 per standard team entry or £300 for sponsored team entry, we are expecting places to be booked up quickly, so please book now to avoid
disappointment. We look forward to seeing you on the day!

To reserve a team entry please complete the attached application form and email to
cbrinsley@slatergordon.co.uk or post to 17 Werneth Hollow, Woodley, Stockport, Cheshire
Kind Regards
Charlotte Brinsley
Helping Uganda Schools Trustee

Saturday, 3 May 2014

A new school project for HUGS

Over the 19 years that HUGS has been Helping Uganda Schools we have been in at the start of just three new schools.

St Zoes at Mubende in Uganda with Primary Secondary and Vocational (just starting) and with 400 plus children

Good Shepherd at Fort Portal Uganda, our school for children with learning disability with 160 children.

St Therese's in Rukira Rwanda with 300 children and opened in July 2013.

So to start on a new school is a pretty major decision. But the reasons are pretty compelling. Girls in much of Africa and of course Uganda are much less likely to start secondary education and to complete it.

Existing primary school

The reasons are a combination of things. Women do most of the productive work and of course the reproductive work too. But their chances of gaining a full education and get the skills and competence to have choice in their futures is very limited. We are helping to empower and liberate the girls so that they can have wider ambitions and can achieve them.

Our new project working the the Missionary Sisters at Lira, northern Uganda is a major attempt to right this unbalance. It will be called the Asili Girls Secondary and Vocational School.

We hope that detailed phase one plans will be available soon and we can help start the building later this year. We aim to add one building each year.

it will be girls only secondary and vocational school and we aim to work with the Sisters to build this over the next 5 years.

The Sisters have already built a lovely primary school and the new school will be on the same campus.

Existing primary school

The pictures give a feel for what we plan to do and the new school will look like this.

We are confident that with your help we can do this and at the same time continue our scholarship projects and outstanding work at St Zoes.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sport in Fort Portal

Trustee Matt Houghton who runs HQ Coaching is bringing a very wide range of sport and dance coaching to schools in the North of England.
He is about to take a team to South Africa to bring coaching to schools around Johannesburg with his fundraising Engage for Africa programme.

He had been a great enthusiast for sport at the schools we support in Uganda and Rwanda and has funded 12 months of a sport teacher for both Good Shepherd and St Therese's Rukira Rwanda.

This is what Ronald has been doing at Good Shepherd.

Sport is getting little attention in many Ugandan schools and Matts work is helping put this right.

We are putting a lot of thought into the next big HUGS project which is really important, quite challenging and extremely worthwhile.

More about that soon.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lira Babies Home

Lira in the north of Uganda, has been a very troubled place over a period of maybe 20 years until the Lord's Resistance Army finally moved to Congo or Central African Republic where they still create huge problems and death.

The Lira babies home operates in this area of Uganda and this week we got an update from Sr Demmy who is in charge.

This is what she says;

Dear Peter and HUGS Supporters,

Greetings from Lira Babies Home.

At Lira Babies Home we are fair and as I write to you we have 43 babies and young children. 9 of them are HIV positive, 2 are sickly and on some treatment, 25 of them stay with us at the centre and 18 are with guardians where we do the outreach. Whatever we get we share with them since they are still under our care and responsibility. When they get to about 3 years old we will resettle them permanently.
Just last week we admitted some babies. One was found in a trench of water within the town of Lira. Another was found inside an unfinished house outside the town. We also admitted twins whose mother had died just after delivery. Their father was very young and an orphan himself and very weak,
Continue to pray for us to have the courage to support and love these children and help them to grow and have happy and fruitful lives.

Sr Demmy Frances in charge Lira Babies Home

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Thank you to UIA

Many of our supporters may not have heard pf UIA, a major Insurance company with a strong set of Corporate Social Responsibility principles.
They work closely with Trade Unions and similar bodies and provide a range of insurance products.
Over the years we have had financial help from UIA but this year they really have made a huge contribution to help our new school at Rukira in Rwanda to build a further 3 class rooms.

Your support to this new venture has been amazing and from a first exploratory visit in 2011 the school now has 9 classes, a really excellent sanitary block (see below( and a first class water catchment system.

Over the last few months the local team has been getting the external ground works sorted out with the provision of playgrounds and landscaping of the site.
We have always believed that our schools should be excellent both in academic and personal achievement but also be really attractive places for both staff and children to attend. Parents value these things.

The school now has about 300 children attending.

The other decision we have taken in recent weeks was to invest the money which Trustee Matt Houghton has raised through his Sport Coaching business, HQ Coaching, and we are funding two sport coaches. One will be in Rwanda and the other at Good Shepherd. Hopefully we can do the same at St. Zoes when the new management are ready.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Thank you McLeod Russel

McLeod Russel are a large Ugandan Tea Company and are owned by Williamson Magor, Indian based , and the largest tea company in the world.
Not too long ago they acquired Finlays Tea in Uganda who have been supporting our Good Shepherd School for some years.
It was great news when we heard that McLeod Russel will continue this support and they sent a team to visit Good Shepherd last week.
They were really impressed and Sr. Theresa made them very welcome. Many thanks to Billy Singh!

When we visit the west of Uganda we often spend a couple of nights at their lovely guest house on the Kiko Tea Plantation owned by McLeod Russel. It is one of the real highlights of our visit and it is hard to describe how beautiful the scenery is.

So if you saw some TV recently which was a bit critical of Ugandan growers we can tell you that one big grower has a genuine care for people. They have schools and a small health dispensary and a social club on the site but it is such a large estate (several miles from side to side) that it takes a very long walk to explore the estate. Next time we visit we must take a look at their schools too.

A St Zoe story about a past pupil.( We have changed her name though)

I am Teddy Nattuba. Born in 1993 I was brought up by my single mother. I started my education a year before St. Zoe’s was founded. Our school was a “universal primary education “ school (UPE). In a word, that meant “poor facilities, low teacher morale, and poor pupil performance.” But at that tender age I was not aware of this.
However in 2001 my mother immediately transferred me to the newly founded St.Zoe’s Primary School where I began a really exciting experience. I met new teachers who stressed hard work and discipline. Besides our studies, we also did co-curricular activities which broadened and enriched our lives.

My greatest gratitude to St. Zoe’s is because of the foundation in leadership which I was given by being assigned responsibilities such as time keeper in P III, sanitary prefect in PV, assistant head girl in PVI, and class representative in PVII. Leadership followed me when I joined the reputable St.Kizito’s  High School Bethany where I did my O- and A-level studies. I was chosen by the school administration as the Deputy Head-girl in SIII, and School Head-girl while in SV. I have just joined University for a BA in Education, with history and computer studies as my teaching subjects.  I am yet to find out what leadership opportunities will open up for me at university.
In my pre-university holidays I teamed up with another St. Zoe’s old student to open up a Face Book account for St Zoe’s Alumni. We now have 60 members. We are planning to develop a St Zoe’s Old Students’ Association web site. All this is our attempt to make a contribution to our beloved St. Zoe’s School.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year and New Plans for St Zoes

Over the last 2 years we have been thinking about how to develop the St Zoe Campus of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Schools together with 65 acres of farms. When we started the Charity it was simple. Fr John Kyazze and his brother managed things and this worked very well until about 3 years ago when we started the Secondary School and the building of the Vocational School. Combine this with one of the worst droughts and periods of national inflation in 2010 and 2011 and from an organisation point of view the local management was doing a great job teaching the primary age children (top 5% of all Ugandan schools) but things related to administration and development really demanded more than could be handled.
We also got thinking about the future. Title to all the buildings and land were with Fr John's family and we had plenty of warning signs from other schools that this can be a great vulnerability.
So we decided in the spring of this year that a major action plan was needed to address these weaknesses and equip St Zoes with the management experience and skills to build the sort of schools we all agreed was possible.
Following a long period of planning the decision was taken to transfer all the real estate and other assets to an order of Catholic Sisters called the Gogonya Sisters and their team moves to St Zoe's on Monday 6th January.

They will have a team of 5 Sisters led by Dr. Speranza Namusisi whose CV is really impressive;
PhD Innsbruck University in Austria in Socio cultural and Girl child issues
Makerere MA English and dissertation of Code switching in schools
BA in English language
Senior lecturere in UMU and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
Head of Dept Languages
She will be site Director. Other members of the team will head up Primary, Secondary, Vocational and Administrative functions.

For HUGS and for St Zoes this is a huge decision but one that has been taken after a great deal of thought and planning.

Parent, Local leaders, Local Government and other bodies have all been widely consulted.

We have promised to fund some proper accommodation on site for the team, just like we did for the team at Good Shepherd.

No doubt the next few months will have some problems but we will help where we can.

Denise and Peter (and others?) plan to visit later this year to get to know the team.