Chapter 3 – Others and how sponsorship works

As I mentioned in the previous chapter there have been several young people before these three who have gained various qualifications and/or have been helped to start up small businesses. They would never have been able to do this without all our help. Amongst them a car mechanic, a tour guide, a nurse also qualified in simple dentistry, a market stall holder and a young disabled father of two, who was knocked down shortly after qualifying as a car mechanic leaving him with a paralysed arm that just hangs limp at his side and a damaged leg with a pronounced limp. With our help he now manages a small Mobile Money business. And of course there is my good friend and project manager Innocent who gained a degree in business and now has bar and piggery businesses.

Although we get help from several wonderful people to pay the fees for the students, plus for other requirements for school such as clothes and books, my husband and I are the major contributors and could always do with more people to support us, in particular with Emma. So if you fancy helping on a regular basis, a few pounds a month, please let me know. In exchange you get regular updates about the student you help including termly report cards. Also I report back to you when I spend time with them when I go to Uganda each year and of course, the satisfaction that you are giving such a precious gift, an education. Another important fact about giving young people in poor countries an education is that having gained an education themselves they will do their very best to make sure their own children go to school too, gradually lifting whole communities out of poverty.

I was really proud earlier this year to find out that Innocent, while attending a family burial had met a young relative whose family couldn’t afford to keep him at school for the last year of his primary education, the most important year where he would miss the chance of taking his Uganda 🇺🇬 National Leavers Exams. So Innocent, though he struggles to make ends meet for his own family, brought Alex to live with him and put him back into school at Brain Trust Primary. Alex, along with millions of other 14 year olds will be sitting his National Leaving Exams in November.                      Enjoy the photos! Please cleck on the first photo to scroll through.

Chapter 2 – Other students we support in Uganda

As well as Nico we are still supporting two others. Paul, a young man who my friend Godfrey found alone, hungry and not going to school, in 2008. Paul has progressed so much that last month, now 21, he headed off to university to study for a diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health. Amazing!
It has never been easy for Paul, an ‘orphan’ boy from an outlying village where poverty is the norm, attending schools where most of his classmates were from better off families, relatively speaking, and away from his local community. But each time he was challenged his determination and inner strength led him down the right road to success. He really WANTED an education! Now Paul has an even bigger challenge taking him to Ishaka over 400k away from everything he knows, where he will have to make his own decisions just like our young students here in the UK have to do but to a bigger extent as he does not have family to help him on his way and life in a big town compared to his rural village will be very new to him. But if I know Paul he will rise to the occasion. Actually I heard from Paul recently to say he was working hard with assignments and research and really enjoying the practical side. He said ‘It was some how fun for me as I did the extraction of blood from the person’s vein for the first time. And I did perform that on my fellow student. It was all excitement for me’! That made me smile! I wonder how the fellow student was feeling?

The other student is Paul’s young stepbrother Emma (Emmanuel) who we started supporting just three years ago when he was maybe 11 or 12 years old (many children in Uganda do not know their actual ages!). Like Paul, Emma’s previous education was of a very low standard and he spent most of his time just hanging around the village with no prospect of employment when he grew up. Emma’s report showed low grades for the first few terms at his new school called Happy Days Nursery & Primary School, mainly because of his lack of English, then during the long Uganda school holiday from the end of November 2018 to the start of February this year big brother Paul, who was waiting for his A Level results to enable him to start university in August, taught Emma to speak, read and write in English. Mind you Paul did report that Emma kept ‘escaping to the next village’ to play football!!

English in Uganda is essential in education because all books etc are written in the language and all modern business is conducted in English. Uganda has many many tribal languages but they often cannot communicate with those outside the tribe or district and very few words are written down in the tribal languages. So English is the main language along with the East African language of Swahili which is also taught in schools.

Anyway, since Paul worked with Emma his results have shot up in all subjects! Emma is so proud of his achievement and most importantly he is happy at school, especially as he can still play football! In fact he is known as Striker Emma because he scored the crucial goal in the end of year championship!


Meet Nico!

(1 of 3 chapters on the same subject)

Dear Friends, My thoughts most recently have been on the students in Uganda we continue to support with the help from a few special friends, two of whom I have not actually met!
Many of you are familiar with Nico the deaf boy, well he is the latest student we have decided to help. Do you remember, he collected my water from the borehole when I stay with Innocent in the village of Nawanyago?

Such a wonderful happy character and always there to help me in any way he could. Even to the extent of popping out of the bushes to help me put on and fasten my sandals as I step down from the steep raised veranda. He made me feel ancient but in truth I really appreciate his help as I dread slipping! It’s really lovely how he cares for me and for others.
When Nico wasn’t doing chores for me or digging in the field for his parents we shared many happy times sat in the shade looking at books where I realised he was signing to some of the pictures. Apparently he had been given a few lessons in sign language a few years ago at a school run by an English charity but again there was always ‘some little money’ to find which was impossible when his family is so poor. I was concerned that when the other children in the village were at school Nico was always hanging around. So I got Innocent to make enquires about Nico and he was told by his parents that when he was born Nico did respond to sound and then he lost his hearing possibly from contracting measles. As he grew up the family never got any help or advice about his hearing as they don’t have any money to pay for it! Well we now know that Nico is profoundly deaf. Innocent took him to an ENT specialist at a hospital in Kampala where he was tested and this was the conclusion. His parents have several other children who go to the local state school when they have surplus crops to pay for the ‘free’ state schooling’! But there is no facility for deaf children like Nico.
Once again I asked Innocent if he could search out a school for him and, to cut a very long story short, Nico is now attending the school for the deaf attached to Maria’s Care, originally a children’s home, and by coincidence is where I stayed and worked when I first went to Uganda in 2002, right up to 2007 when I branched out on my own. I loved my time living and working with the deaf children at Maria’s Care and was really pleased that Nico now has a place there, amazing! The school will help him progress with his signing and to read and write, and also study other subjects. In addition he will be taught a skill such as carpentry and tailoring which will give him a chance of employment. It’s fantastic that Nico has ended up at Maria’s Care. It’s a small world!


A thank you from Nico!

If you’re on Fb please view the video below of Nico enjoying dancing using just the vibrations through his feet of music from a wedding in the village. I enjoyed my entertainment!


Dear friends
It’s a while since I have been in touch with you but things are still moving along slowly. Funds are gradually building for my projects in Uganda from my doggie sitting and also selling items friends and neighbours donate. This week I sold golf clubs and a small tv and received enough to buy several life saving mosquito nets that I will be delivering in February. Thanks to all who have donated items over recent years, please keep them coming! And of course a big thank you to all who entrust their dogs and cats into our care in exchange for a donation. I think they enjoy their stays or visits as much as we do!
Be back soon!

Change of plan

Dear Friends
I’ve decided not to go ahead with my idea to build a four-room classroom block at Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School, Uganda. One reason for this change of plan is that very few people backed the idea by pledging the finance needed but, probably just as important, I felt in my heart, and eventually my head(!) that I really didn’t want to take on another large project again with the stress of a great deal of fund raising which I knew it would entail. Thank you to those who have pledged money, I hope you’re not too disappointed and that you will go on supporting my small but even more important mosquito net project that is certain to save many people from the misery of Malaria and therefore save lives.
I smile to myself when I remember just how many people now have happier healthier lives purely because of your kindness and generosity. You helped me deliver 1000 nets in just 18 months so, you might know what I’m thinking, could we deliver another 1000 nets by 2021, the year I turn 70? I’m all for it if you are!
I shall be returning to Uganda in February but I’ve already had donations for more nets, some people wanting to use their net donation as an alternative gift for a birthday or anniversary, and of course Christmas is always approaching!! Any requests for nets to be delivered for a celebration dated between now and February are dealt with by my wonderful friends in Uganda who are always there to look after me and help on my projects.
I am still very enthusiastic about giving talks to schools and adult groups, plus of course, looking after my doggie and pussycat friends or in fact any of your family pets either in your home or for sleep overs and holidays in mine, both in exchange for a donation!

Look forward to hearing from you and ………………………. THANK YOU!

Hover over or click to see full photo and read captions