HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful family Norman, Nicola and Sara. 20 years ago today we reached the summit of Kilimanjaro 🇹🇿 in celebration of my 50th birthday! This experience is what led me to return to Africa and my wonderful life in and love for Uganda 🇺🇬 Many of you have been ‘with me’ on my adventures and I’ve really loved that too! 😊
Wonderful news! You’ve done it! All the desks and blackboards have now been sponsored! So, since I returned from Uganda early last year, just before Covid hit the world, with your kindness and generosity, we have built two classroom blocks creating 6 classrooms, one block of ten latrines (4 each for the boys and girls and two for the teachers), 42 desks which will seat 168 children and 6 big new shiny blackboards! Wow, another achievement that I can’t thank you enough for!
The tree has been felled as you can see by the video, and Innocent is now busy getting the timber prepared for the remaining 21 desks to be made. In the meantime Nico has been working with another carpenter who is also deaf, and has made chairs and tables which will come in very useful for the teachers!
So now all we need is for Uganda 🇺🇬 to get the vaccinations that we and the other rich countries promised them, so that the teachers can get their vaccinations to allow schools to reopen and give these children the education they long for and deserve! Keep hoping and praying! I’ll certainly let you know when it happens!! X
Thank you to all of you who have donated towards the desks and blackboards for Good Luck Junior School in Uganda. There are only four desks remaining to be sponsored which is wonderful news! All the blackboards have now been catered for.
Sorry for the delay in the making of the last 21 desks out of the 42 needed for the six classrooms. The reason for the delay is simply because there weren’t the trees available! Life is so different in a country like Uganda, beautiful but different!
Innocent told me on 19/9:
‘The rainy season is on here and people have planted alot , so it has been quite hard to find a tree in free space that even if we cut it there are no plants to destroy . But thank God today we got two trees to cut and i have paid for them , soon I will be organising to cut them for timber which timber we shall be using for the desks’.
The district, as in much of East Africa, has had a long dry season so as soon as the rains started so did the planting. Every inch of space counts so they plant right up to the trees. They need every bean, every maize kernel, every cassava root, every groundnut, to dry and store for the next unpredictable dry season. Not an inch of planting space is wasted. So understandably our need for timber for the desks has to wait.
Then on the 23/9 Innocent wrote:
‘Yesterday the trees I bought for timber were cut but the timber I got from the trees were only close to half the timber I need for the 21 desks, so we are still looking for trees for timber to secure enough timber for the 21 desks.
On 2nd October he said, ‘Still looking for trees , we got some trees which were enough to do the 21 desks but if we were to buy them then we would have to wait until they harvest what is the garden where the trees are.
The harvesting might be in December, so that would mean waiting till then, but I and Ibra are still looking for trees for timber.’ (NB – Ibra is the head teacher of Good Luck Junior School who is so grateful for what we are doing for his school.)
Then this morning I received this good news: ‘Yesterday I bought a tree and hoping to cut it tomorrow.’
So as long as the tree creates enough timber, Innocent will be busy organising the building of the remainder 21 desks and soon those of you who have not yet received photos of your desks already, will do very soon!
The Ugandan government has given the impression that the schools will not go back now until the new school year at the beginning of February as they want all the teachers, medical staff and security personnel vaccinated. Who knows if they will achieve that, as it’s not clear if enough vaccinations are even available in Uganda yet! We can only hope and pray that rich countries like ours are fair and share their vaccinations! Will they?
Anyway at least the children at Good Luck Junior School will be so happy with your gifts of the classrooms, desks, blackboards and not forgetting the wonderful new block of ten latrines! Thank you from everyone you are helping, including me, as I feel a real need to help those who deserve better, but it is only with your help that I achieve my goals!
Please get in touch if you can donate for one of the last desks. £20 will let another four children sit comfortably in school. And don’t forget you can dedicate your desk to someone for a birthday etc or have your favourite saying painted on it! Like the ones in the last post.
The tree that will be cut down tomorrow to make the remaining desks. This will give the present owner some income and he will plant another tree or two too.
News from Uganda 🇺🇬, some good, some bad. The good – Over half of the desks have been built and several more have been sponsored. I just need a few more of you to donate towards the remainder at £20 each please. Innocent has had difficulty finding trees suitable for the other desks but today I had this message from him:
“The rainy season is on here and people have planted a lot, so it has been quite hard to find a tree in free space that even if we cut it there are no plants to destroy . But thank God today we got two trees to cut and I have paid for them, soon I will be organising to cut them for timber which is the timber we shall be using for the desks”.
I’m also pleased to say that I have received sponsorship for 5 out of the 6 blackboards to equip the six new classrooms, each costing just £10. So almost there with those too!
Now the bad news – Covid is still spreading in Uganda and the government issued a statement saying “lockdown of schools remains until some essential workers including health workers, security personnel, teachers, and those over 45 years old, are vaccinated”.
Then added: “Schools should remain closed until sufficient vaccination of the eligible population of children aged 12 to 18 years old has taken place.” That’s many many millions of people still to be vaccinated before the children can go back to school and from what I hear there is no where near enough vaccines coming into the country!
Online learning is available in the more affluent schools where children have laptops. But, of course, these are in the minority, and not the schools and children we support! So the great majority of children in Uganda are going without any education at all which puts them at a great disadvantage to their richer peers. Many children are also at risk of being forced to work as families are pushed towards extreme poverty, and there are reports about increasing numbers of teenage girls being drawn into sex work to help their families make ends meet and buy everyday goods including food and sanitary pads.
I’m making sure that the families of the two children we sponsor are ok. I wish there was more we could do.
However it is a wonderful thought that when Good Luck Junior School eventually opens, the children will have six new classrooms furnished with desks and blackboards, plus a brand new block of latrines. So different to when I first went to the school early last year, shortly before the pandemic hit the world! Together you and I, and of course Innocent, will have made such a difference!
Please get in touch if you can help with the last few desks and the one remaining blackboard.
Thank you! 🤗
Ibrahim, the head teacher managed to get a few children who live very local to sit at the desks for the photos.