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Sunday, 4 April 2021

Happy Easter. 

In this update we bring you the good news that Ugandan children are returning to school, and report on how HUGs is helping them catch up.

Last week school children in Uganda sat their O level, A level and end of Primary School exams. They have done so well to cram a year of education into 5 months.  Teachers at the 6 HUGS schools (you have helped build and support) have been working under immense pressure, with less resources than usual, to get their students ready for their exams, whilst at the same time supporting the poorest families maintain a livelihood. Over the next few months, as COVID restrictions are lifted, all other pupils will be able to return to school in staged year groups. All have missed 12 months of education and most will be re-entering the school year that was halted in 2020. 


Your support has provided school equipment, sportswear, science equipment, clean water, staff training, a safe place to sleep and given hope to so many.  This year, for the first time HUGS is sponsoring children from the KosOvo slum in Kampala. These children come from families which have never been able to afford education. The first purchase for each, is a pair of shoes, socks, and a school bag. Thank you.




Education matters, and when coupled with ambition and a focus on future employment, is transformative. The Head Mistress of the Asili Girls School, Lira, Sister Veronica Akello, is an inspiration. She has been working with HUGS to write a joint proposal for the funding of a computer training lab at her school, to offer O level ICT, and provide night classes for school dropouts and young mothers. She is acutely aware that girls and young women, without the ability to be self-sufficient and earn a decent income, are at grave risk of abuse, forced marriage and teenage pregnancy. To her the connection is obvious and most importantly reversible.  

IT skills are key for employment by reputable companies and essential for successful self-employment. The Service Sector in Uganda creates more jobs and contributes more to the country’s economy than agriculture and industry, so it makes sense for HUGS to support this initiative.  The project cost is £20,000. We are looking for wealthy or corporate sponsors to join us. If you know anyone who may be interested, please contact Richard our charity chair. 

Finally, we want to tell you about a truly inspirational student. We have agreed to sponsor Rosemary Nabirye through her Degree in Social Work at Makerere University.  HUGS Helped her through her A levels in 2018 then lost contact. What makes her so exceptional is she is blind. Her passion is to help improve the lives of blind children. Thank you for supporting HUGS, you make the world a better place in so many ways.

Happy Easter

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Books and Bullocks

In this update, we share a story about the Bullock Farm at Good Shepherd Special Needs School and invite you to celebrate World Book Day with HUGS.


World Book Day, Thursday 4th of March, is when we celebrate the immense power of books to entertain, inform and change the world.  Books are places where children’s ideas are born and nurtured, and ideas drive development.  Helping Uganda Schools gives opportunity for impoverished children to not only learn the skills to access other people’s ideas, but the ability to follow through on their own. 

When HUGS Trustees last visited Uganda we had the privilege of talking to students who have been helped by your generous support. They were full of ideas.

Books are in short supply in Uganda. HUGS organised for a truck of books to be delivered to the Asili Girls School 5 years ago, and they are still inspiring the children to this day. We’d like to do more. We are talking to another UK charity which delivers large numbers of used books to Ugandan schools. Books which we would otherwise throw away. (The UK discards approximately 30 million books a year).

Can you help us celebrate World Book Day and raise funds for this project?

Please consider giving a book to a friend, neighbour or colleague, with our HUGS World Book Day card inside, inviting them to donate to HUGS.  Down Load HERE

                           


You can turn your unwanted books into a donation.  This link HERE takes you to a book collection company who will donate money to HUGS. If you want to ‘declutter’ in lockdown and don’t know what to do with your unwanted books, please use this service.

Finally, please share our 'School Books and Equipment' appeal page, (follow this LINK) so others may make a donation.

Bullocks at School


Good Shepherd Special Needs School, in Fort Portal this week welcomed nine new residents. Young bullocks. Thanks to generous donations, HUGS has funded the development of a small farm where bullocks are ‘brought on’ to increase their value for market. The farm is owned and managed by Good Shepherd School and all profits will be used for the benefit of students. HUGS always tries to help schools become financially independent and reduce dependency on donations. This is key to fostering independent decision making and ensuring organisational confidence. Thank you for everyone’s support.


Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Ready for when schools re-open

It has been almost a year since schools in Uganda closed. Only children taking their end of Primary or O and A level exams have been allowed to return.  Out of the 57 children HUGS sponsors 18 are now in class.  All are doing well, and we predict 9 will complete primary school, 7 will take their O level and 3 A level exams. 

However, we have grave concerns regarding the remaining 39. Our children are sponsored because their access to education is restricted due to poverty or disability. We do not know how many will be able to return.  Working with our amazing schools and hard-working Trusted Representatives we are making plans to ensure everything is ready when the school doors reopen.  HUGS has been asked to provide new educational equipment. Can you help? Carmel and Bob (two of the HUGS Trustees) are raising funds using a scheme that welcomes your participation.  Run/walk 5K, Pay £5, Nominate 5. Its motivating and gives purpose… two things we all need during our current lockdown.


This video explains more.  Please help.


To contribute to this fund, follow this LINK

We are pleased to inform you two construction projects are close to completion.  The Dormitory at Little Shepherd School and St Francis de Sales School are looking great.  Both projects have been funded through generous donations. Thank you. We partnered with a charity ‘Wilmslow Wells for Africa’ to build a colossal rainwater catchment system at St Francis de Sales School.  The pictures below show the 4.5m cube tank, dug amazingly by hand. 

               



      

We are also partnering with ‘Bury Africa Outreach’ and ‘Friends of Two Tone’ on a new education project; to help children from the KosOvo slums in Kampala go to school for the first time.  Children in slums face some of the most unsurmountable barriers to education, and experience violence, hunger and marginalisation on a daily basis.  The three charities have agreed to fund 30 children to attend school for the next 5 years including one free meal a day.  Ronald Kamoga from CEFOVID, the charity we are working alongside in KosOvo, tells us the first task is to buy socks and shoes for the children. 

And finally, some good news. Three of our sponsored university students have gained professional qualifications. Faith Nankinga is now a doctor, Bridget Katusable is a midwife and Bazira Yayeeri is a Social Worker.  They send their gratitude to every HUGS supporter.

Thank you.