GLJS, EBOLA, INNOCENT, Happy 14th GERRY Mukisa & my knee!

Dear friends,
I’m very pleased so many of you enjoyed the post and videos of Graduation Day at Good Luck Junior School. Thank you for all your lovely comments both on here and on my private WhatsApp. That little school has come a long way over the last 2-3 years because of your support, just look at the photos I’ve added to remind you of the improvements we’ve made to GLJS since I first came across the school in January 2020 when my mosquito 🦟 net distribution was based at the school. Pre-Covid! It seems so long ago!

The old classrooms were collapsing. Dark, dingy and dangerous!
The first block of new classrooms sponsored by Poynton Rotary Club
The old latrines were falling down, we’re full up and stinking!
The new latrines
Desks were sponsored and painted with sayings of your choice

But now to the more serious news:
EBOLA closes all schools in Uganda! Yes, the Ugandan government has ordered all schools to close because Ebola is spreading!
The end of the school year is not too far off anyway as the long break for Uganda schools is December and January.
Fortunately it worked out that Good Luck Junior School’s last day was that of the nursery Top Class Graduation Ceremony which everyone enjoyed. These children will be in Primary 1 when they return at the beginning of February, the start of the Ugandan school year.

THANK YOU for continuing to donate money to support my endeavours to keep the school fully open next year. We now have two thirds of what we need, just over £1000 short, but we’re getting there. I will be sending money out to give the teachers half pay during December and January, which they have accepted and are very grateful for.

Re Ebola-Thankfully there have been no cases of Ebola in the areas I live and work in, though there have been some in Jinja District not too far away where some of my friends live such as Godfrey who has given me much guidance over my years in Uganda and Bosco the nurse who we sponsored in the past. Of course student Paul who is working in a hospital in an affected area towards the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Ebola virus came from, is at more risk but hopefully he will stay well.

At the end of August Innocent was involved in a road accident leaving him with various injuries including a broken arm. He went to the local clinic for treatment where they used the traditional method of healing of daily massage of the limb (ouch!) and binding with bandages using rough sticks to get the tension! I’ve been told and can just imagine how painful this sort of treatment is, but that is all that is on offer in many areas of Uganda unless you have money.
As soon as I learnt about it I persuaded him to go to the community hospital in Kamuli, the nearest town, but unfortunately it was too late to get it set in plaster so he has been left with a deformed and weakened limb. This wasn’t the end of his problems as two weeks ago he had a seizure (he is epileptic) and as he recovered he’s realised by the pain that he had broken his arm again! No-one in Kamuli hospital is qualified or capable of giving him the treatment he now needs, which is to pin the bone while it heals. I asked nurse Bosco for advice and through his hospital contacts he has found an orthopaedic surgeon in Jinja town who is qualified, but it would cost 3.5 million Ugandan Shillings. This is approximately £800 which is a fortune to Innocent! Are you able to help me with this bill please? I have given the go-ahead for the operation as without it Innocent would be crippled for life and, being unable to do the heavy work as a farmer, would be unable to look after himself and his family. Of course i would miss the support he gives us with my projects very much too!

Innocent in happier times overseeing the delivery of bricks for the latrines, one of his many jobs for us

HAPPIER NEWS – my lovely sweet intelligent caring namesake Gerry Mukisa (Blessed) is 14 today! Her Dad Patrick is the man who helped me fall in love with Uganda in 2002 when he took me under his wing during my first visit and showed me the real people, the real Uganda beyond the walls of the English-run Children’s home I was based at. Thank you Patrick for leading me to such a fulfilling life!

Happy 14th birthday Gerry Mukisa!

When I first started writing this post my news was that I have a new date for my knee replacement 15th February, that this seemed a long way off but that time seems to fly these days! Then I had a surprise phone call to say they had a cancellation and would I like the op on Saturday, 3rd December! Of course I accepted straight away! Fingers crossed I pass the pre op and Covid tests!

Being realistic this still means my visit to Uganda will be during our summer months rather than spring but it’s sounding more hopeful.

CHRISTMAS!🎄Yes my Christmas shopping will be an online affair this year as I don’t want to be responsible for tripping other customers up with my crutches! As usual I will be sending my Christmas greetings online too and donating 50p for every local card not sent and £1 for one that would’ve needed postage, so that should help school funds a quite a bit. I’m grateful to my friend Anne who has offered to do the same this year too. Thanks Anne. If anyone fancies joining us I’d be grateful, and of course the environment will be too!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for your support to help keep Good Luck Junior School running next year, and hoping that you can squeeze a bit more out to help me help Innocent please.

Love and many thanks to you all xxx

PS – Some of you know my story from the beginning but many have joined in recent years. If you are one of the ‘newer’
supporters and would like to know a bit more about particular parts of my history in Uganda or particular people, for instance my story with Patrick or how and why I got to know Innocent, please just ask.