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Sunday, 29 December 2019

Some highlights of 2019

First a big thank you to all our donors. Without you all nothing could happen. With your help many lives have been changed and hope given to so many.

We have just received the Annual Report from the Jinja Organisation of Parents with Deaf Children.

If anyone would like to have a copy please ask and we will send it to you.

It is a very encouraging read and covers so many of the things being tackled by Sebastian and his helpers.

Education Support with 22 children with disabilities (CWD'S) now getting an education and one graduating with a degree of BA in Education. He wants to teach special needs children.

Sight recovery project with 145 treated since the start in 2017.

Awareness creation in the villages. JOPDC research found that so many families stigmatise and discriminate against CWD'S and refer to them with derogatory names. Many are seen a a divine punishment and are denied education and often locked away and not thought about. JOPDC has done a lot with radio and village meetings to try to change these perceptions.

As a result many parents are seeking advice on schooling for the children.

A malaria prevention programme bringing mosquito nets to nearly 500 children,

A programme to help Girls Remain in School with reusable sanitary products being made and given to teenage girls.

Children who have perhaps been denied any schooling are being given vocational training in things like tailoring, shoe making, carpentry and knitting so that they have some chance of creating a livelihood.

In January we aim to start building St Francis de Sales School for Deaf Children.

We visited St Zoe's Primary and Secondary Schools and given a warm welcome. The schools are doing well with about 400 pupils.

We visited Good Shepherd Special Needs School for the tenth anniversary of its opening. The school and St Gabriel's Children home were very impressive and the entertainment and speeches were excellent.

The on to Asili Girls Secondary School where we met a very inspirational group of teachers and leaders. The school has only been in existence for about 5 years and the progress is good.

Time and distance prevented us from visiting Little Shepherd School at Rtunguru or St Therese's School in Rukira, Rwanda. Maybe next time!

But lets not forget the great Christmas Song which Denise inspired and which two choirs in Uganda and one in Marple all coordinated to sing and which Richard carefully put together. It has raised a lot of money and this is helping to improve the living conditions for one of our sponsored children and his mother.

And the Mubende Choir led by Natiigo Daniel has inspired him to write more music.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

2019 Visit to Uganda and The Music of Love

The launch of the Christmas Song "The Music of Love" has now raised £838 for the charity and was played on air to over 6 million listeners of Radio Wa who broadcast from Lira Uganda. A great achievement. (£697 came from the launch event in Marple)

Trustees Peter, Richard Joanna and Helen have just returned from visiting most of our schools in Uganda and meeting 29 of our scholarship students.

We started in Jinja with Sebastian and Fred and visited the Madhvani Kakira Sugar factory. We hope to get their help with our new school for deaf children.

Victoria Fred and Sebastian

The factory was most impressive employing 15,000 people, running a hospital and several schools for employee's children and also generating enough energy as a byproduct of the sugar process to power the whole of Kampala. This company really is tacking global warming in a very positive manner.

Then on to meet the architect and builders who will construct St Francis de Sales starting in January 2020.

 Then to meet the parents of children who are deaf or have other disabilities.

And a visit to the site for the new school which is very attractive with great views of the nearby hills.

A long journey with our great driver, Fred, and a lovey welcome at St Zoes Primary and Secondary Schools. After a dip in performance things are really improving and the team are adding new facilities and gave built a new dormitory.

Next stop was Fort Portal for the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Good Shepherd. Great music and dancing and lots of speeches. An inspirational day!  We met the team and discussed a big sustainability project which impressed us all. We gave the go ahead message to buy 5 acres of land. More about this on a later blog.

Dancing at Good Shepherd

Then a long drive and a couple of R and R days in the Murchison Safari Park. Really worth a visit.

And then to Lira but partly along what will be a great new road being built by Chinese contractors. The school team are great and have plans to increase the intake in February next year when the school year begins..

A live goat on a motor cycle

Lira town 
Some of the Lira Womens group
Teachers at the Asili Girls School

The visit was a great boost for everyone. Meeting students who are now employed Civil Engineers but were in Primary 1 when we first met them, students who have real aspirations to become nurses, doctors, teachers, and lawyers was another testament to the importance of education.

(This visit was not paid for out of your donations.)