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Monday, 18 February 2019

Heartbreaking news

Way back when our Good Shepherd School for children with special needs,  was just starting, Derrick became a pupil. He had serious speech and hearing problems. But he more than compensated by working hard and sharing a lovely sense of humour with every one he met.

When school finished for him at Primary 7 he was really competent at signing and a very competent garment maker.

The school thought so much of him that at about 19 years old he was asked to become a teacher of the deaf children, teaching all the children how to sign, and at the same time to teach tailoring at the vocational classes.

So we are so sad to hear that after a short illness Derrick died in hospital a few days ago
It's not fair.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Education in Uganda

First a big thank you to Imogen aged 9 who gave her lovely red hair to a cancer charity. She raised nearly £1900 for HUGS. We will use it to help our Uganda work with disabled children.

It's interesting to compare education in Uganda and in the United Kingdom.  About 900,000 children start school in primary one each year in both countries. But whereas nearly all UK children complete it and attend secondary school it is very different in Uganda. About 45% of children don't complete primary school. Of the 600,000 who do finish a huge percentage leave with very poor results.
And only 1 in ten of those finishing primary school manage to get to secondary school.
Lack of money is one of the big problems. While Uganda's "Universal Primary Education" is claimed to be free it isn't quite like that.  With poorly paid teachers who need to have their small gardens to cultivate for food then in harvest time this can sometimes come first. So the children don't have a teacher.
But when you look at the list of things a child has to bring at the start of term you will understand the pressure this puts on families.
It usually includes papers, first aid kits, medical fees, toilet paper, uniform, hymn book, mosquito net, sanitary towels, jerry can, computer fee and the list goes on.

Our supporters are helping to change that for lots of children. Our six schools will start 2019 with over 1300 children attending and 2018 leaving certificate results are really excellent for all the schools.

But we are also providing scholarships to 63 students and if you add in those who have completed their education to grand total is 110.

26 are at Primary level, 24 at Secondary, 13 at University or Further Education of all these 13 are children with some form of disability.

Our big projects for 2019 will be further work on the Asili Girls Secondary School, a special project in Jinja to help start a small enterprise to make sanitary wear for girls, more eye treatment for children in Jinja and trying to find a way to help more deaf children in Jinja.    Trustee Denise Ead has made a large number of valuable contacts in UK and Uganda are very keen to help with these things.