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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Progress at St Zoes

Blog readers will remember that we made some big changes at St Zoes Uganda Schools at the start of 2014 in order to ensure that the schools had long term sustainable local management. With that in mind we helped to change the legal ownership of the schools to an Order of Catholic Sisters, with about 350 members, a 70 plus year track record and very great experience in education and social care in addition to their religious duties.

They took on quite a challenge and not only was the school new to them but you can imagine the sort of personal difficulties they faced with suddenly arriving and gaining acceptance from local people and staff. Management changes are never easy.

The year was difficult but now, after 15 months we can give some very encouraging news of progress.

They have a team of 4 Sisters living on site and have converted some simple staff house (funded by our German friends) and created a living compound for the team.

They have fenced the whole site in accordance with a new Government led child safety initiative. They have also repainted many buildings, restored failing water catchments systems and renewed guttering and water tanks, subdivided the large vocational building and and nearly finished the building of both a proper kitchen block and a woodwork teaching block.

This is a pretty impressive start. There is still much to do as usual. Water supply to the site was intended to come from a newly created local mains water system but this is delayed. Proper living accommodation of the staff is also on the agenda.

Vocational teaching has now started with Woodworking, Building, Garment making, Hairdressing and of course Tropical Agriculture. We hope to visit in October to see all these things running.