NO LATRINES NO EDUCATION! Update on Mr James and progress on latrines at St James

Dear friends,

Firstly thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for James’ recovery back to good health. He is gradually getting there. His family report that he is ‘better and better every day’. It’s been a very difficult time for everyone but this news is a big relief. We are still uncertain that James will ever return to running the school more or less single handed and none of us would want that now, but hopefully he will captain the ship again in the not too distant future. It has been a good, though very hard, opportunity for the newly formed School Management Committee to take on the many and varied responsibilities of all that is needed to keep the school functioning. It is a big challenge but one that the members of the SMC are determined to succeed in.

Thanks to all of you who have been helping towards building the new latrine block at St James. I have received donations from many individuals, from Vernon Primary School here in Poynton and Cheadle Heath PS in Stockport. I’m awaiting cheques from Lower Park PS in Poynton and Marton and District CE (Aided) Primary School in Congleton who have also been raising money. I recently spoke to a lovely group of ladies at All Saints Church in Cheadle Hulme and received a donation from them too. Earlier in the year I enjoyed an evening with Poynton Rotary who were very generous both with buying my crafts and with their donation.

My doggy clients have also been bringing in some much needed cash so woof woof to Gonzo, Bess, Harry, Bob, Isla and Boris!

Many of you have also ‘bought’ my Ugandan crafts to help with the fund raising. The toys, paintings, baskets, jewellery and bags have been favourites! So gradually the funds for completing the latrines are coming in. I am so grateful to you all and so are the children and staff at St James because without the latrines so many of our children are not getting an education at the moment.

Because of your support we have made fantastic progress. The St James Schools Management Committee reported that the engineer had had a lot of difficulty at the start trying to find a suitable sighting for the latrines firstly because the fresh water source had to be protected from contamination and then they kept hitting rock when they tried to dig the deep pits! As you will see by the photos below the building is now taking shape and will soon be at the roofing stage.

The good news about the new latrines is that they will be permanent as they are septic tanks not the traditional pit latrines that needed regular filling in and re-siting. These will be emptied and the composted remains used to fertilise the land! So glad that there will be no more need to dig new pits every couple of years with the expense that incurred. It’s a very good investment for St James and of course much better for the children, especially the disabled pupils as we are to have two separate latrines with extra supports for their use too.

Unfortunately I still need to raise more money to complete the latrine block which I am hoping will be ready for the start of the new school year February 2017 so that we will be able to welcome back those children who have had to go to other schools or more likely have not been going to school at all this year! Please continue to support me to help St James as I cannot do any of it without YOU!

I will be at the Vernon Primary School Summer Fair this Saturday 2nd July between12pm and 3pm, to raise awareness of the needs for urgent funds for the latrines and of course I will have all my Ugandan crafts with me so please come along and say hi if you are in or around Poynton.

Other ways you can help:

1 – Take a look at all the items from Uganda and see if there is anything that you fancy for yourself or as gifts for others, including my home-made birthday and Christmas cards showing those lovely happy children’s faces! I’ll put the information on my next blog so you can take a look!

2 – Invite me to be Speaker if you belong to one of the many groups in and around Poynton district.

3 – If you have a pet needing to be looked after for a few hours or a few days, I’m willing in exchange for a donation, if we like each other (I mean your pet and me!) and I’m available!

4 – Sponsor an animal or desk for the school and receive a photo of your animal or named desk.

5 – Make a cash donation in cash, cheque or bank transfer.

6 – Organise your own fund raising activity for St James which I will happily attend if it is local.



The site of the new latrine block


This is how the pit was constructed from underneath. It is very deep with a very strong wall.


The pit is sealed and ready for the cubicles to be built on top


Real progress happening every day!


4 thoughts on “NO LATRINES NO EDUCATION! Update on Mr James and progress on latrines at St James

  1. Sheila Dixon says:

    Hi Gerry
    What is the address of the school where your selling things for St James, if we can get their Theresa and I will be coming along.
    Thanks Sheila


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