THE JOURNEY BACK TO 'NORMAL'...
2022 finally saw the children return to school, and this time with a brand new dormitory at Childcare Primary School (thanks to the Brimsham Green Students who sadly couldn't travel over and so decided to donate everything they had raised to ensuring the children have a beautiful new home when they are at staying residentially at school now.
The cost of living remains high and students and families are still struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, so your continues support is very much appreciated. Anne and her team are working hard to make sure our students are able to catch up and sit their exams this year with confidence!
EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAMME
SECOND PHASE 2021
The team's hugely successful and very well received educational outreach programme has now been expanded to include the children in Ndejje, who would also usually attend Childcare Primary, as well as continuing to support for our sponsored families in Kisenyi. The charity continue to divert school fees to fund staff and resources to support the programme. In addition to providing our children with access to education and support, it also ensures that our teaching staff remain employed and are able to support their own families as well.
Pop over to our Facebook page @hosannasupportgroup to see photos and videos of the programme in action!
A huge thank you to our sponsors for making this all possible.
Reports & relief packages
Reports have now been received for those students who have been in school, our finalists have taken their exams and we are waiting for the results!
Our business enterprise students are doing really well - Paddyson has started his own barber business and David is running a video gaming club that provides customers with their favourite video games to play in their leisure time. Both boys are paying back their loans and we'll soon be ready to take on our next students!
Nearly all our children are back in school and staff are working really hard to help them catch up with the work missed. The charity has provided funds for extra tables and benches so that children can distance appropriately, as well as extra money for food to ensure that all students are well fed and ready to learn! For those families still struggling, the charity has also provided food relief packages to support our secondary students and families through the next month as the economy gradually recovers and people are able to return to work.
Reopening of schools +
Exciting news! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ The President has finally addressed the nation and schools will be reopening on 15th October for finalists! This means that children in P7 will be returning to Childcare Primary very soon and our students in S4, S6 and college will be returning to Secondary education.
The team are now working hard to prepare for the reopening of school and will need the following to make it happen: a temperature gun, three additional handwashing facilities, at least 200 face masks for both teachers and children, sanitiser and liquid soap. Not all teachers will be teaching - only five will be in school. P7 will be on school site and they will be boarding.
Support from sponsors
Despite lockdown meaning that our sponsored children cannot attend school, our generous sponsors continue to support the charity and ask after our pupils. Your continued support is very much appreciated and we thank you all for your messages during this challenging time.
The team in Uganda are safe and well, and we are now working together to put a support programme together that will provide food for families that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
Textbooks for teachers
Our school - Childcare Primary - has an exceptional team of teachers who are always ready to welcome you into their classroom! Here's Teacher Kato getting on with some marking while the children are at play.Each of the staff here are absolutely committed to ensuring every child in their care receives a great education, despite the considerably limited resources available for them to use.This term, generous donations from supporters have enabled us to send over funding for new, updated textbooks for the teachers and we look forward to receiving some exciting shots of these in action over the next few weeks!
Workshops for secondary students
The secondary workshops run at the end of each term by Anne and her team, have been a real success! These workshops bring our older students together and provide encouragement, guidance and support for all our secondary students. The charity also funds food bags for each of these youngsters containing basic food supplies for each of their families.
In response to the continued school closures, the team have been rolling out an educational outreach programme and the charity has diverted school fees to fund staff and resources to support home education. This will continue until the schools return.
The primary teachers are seeing students Monday to Friday and secondary students are being visited once a week where their outreach programme focuses on Maths, Physics, Chemistry and biology - because these are the subjects they have a hard time getting back into after a long period away from them. Teachers are marking and reporting back on this work.
Parents and staff have reported that students are now more focused and that it is keeping them safe from negative influences and activities in the slum.
The team are doing an incredible job!
✏️Some of you may have noticed that you haven't yet received student reports. This is because the postal service has not been properly operating between Uganda and the UK due to Covid restrictions. Anne continues to try, but we wanted to let you know why there was a delay.
🏚We recently received some very generous donations from our supporters to improve the main teaching building at our main site - Childcare Primary. P7 are currently attending and being taught here. It now looks wonderful with four new doors and fitted windows - very smart and much more secure now! A huge thank you to everyone that has made this possible!
👩🎓This month P6, S3 and S5 are also returning to school! They will join our examination pupils who continue to work hard in school as do the staff supporting them. For those students who are not in school still, the team have designed an outreach programme where staff are delivering resources to children and checking on their overall wellbeing and welfare. Generous donations have enabled us to purchase a photocopier and we have also made sure that everything is being done in a Covid secure way.
20th October 2020
This is a site we have long waited to see - our children are returning to school! The team have worked extremely hard to put everything into place that means our older students can safely return to Childcare Primary. Here are P7 lining up for their assembly this morning!
Masks have been made for all the pupils, complete with the school badge and number. Additional hand washing facilities are also now in position all around the school site.
There is still much to do before all our students can return. In particular, the government are requiring all students to board and this means that substantial improvements are required for our dormitories. We'll be talking more about this in the coming months and please do get it touch if you think you might be able to help!
"On May 19, Uganda further eased the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. President Yoweri Museveni, in a televised address, said private transport would start operation on May 26 and a maximum of three people all wearing face masks would be allowed in the vehicle.
Museveni said public transport would be open on June 4 and passenger service vehicles would only be allowed to carry passengers up to half of their capacities as the country continues to implement social distancing measures. All passengers are expected to be wearing face masks.
He said that public and private transport would still not be allowed in the border districts as the country moves to block the importation of new cases of the pandemic. The president said shops, hotels and restaurants would resume operations on May 26 instead of June 4 as earlier planned. These will all operate with strict observation of social distancing guidelines.
The president said education institutions will open on June 4 with only exam classes allowed to receive students."
Schools are suspended until further notice. Anne and Cindie are currently living on the Ndejje school site, rather than at home in the capital. They go to their garden every day and they have enough food. The people in Kisenyi slum however, are in total lockdown with the government providing food aid. No vehicles are moving, only government vehicles and people are remaining at home.
Visit to Uganda
This November 2019, Chair of Trustees Pridie Tiernan visited the Smile Children’s Ministries team in Uganda. Over those ten days, Pridie met all of the SCM Directors, visited both Eaglets and Childcare Primary Schools, liaised with colleagues in- country about sustainable build projects (with the view to supporting the development of the Childcare site at Ndejje so that all of our students might be transferred to the school as residential boarders and complete their primary education under the SCM team specifically), and met with students to discuss their education and explore the option of business enterprise loans after finishing senior six. Pridie will be reporting back to the board of trustees on the 30th November 2019.
In the second week of June, Uganda went back into lockdown. The children returned home again and schools and churches locked down once more. No-one is allowed to enter another district. Anne remains at the school site in the village of Ndejje and the rest of the team are in Kampala. Fortunately, the markets and shops are open. The president has said that schools will not reopen until everyone in the country has received their vaccination. This is a worrying statement and so the team are in the process of designing an educational outreach programme and the charity will divert school fees to fund staff and resources to support this home education.
End of summer update
The closure of schools in Uganda has made life exceptionally hard for our school staff. Without work and income, they are struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Many teachers have taken up jobs washing people's clothes, selling tomatoes and other food stuff, making bricks, digging people's gardens etc. In order to support the team through this challenging time, the charity has provided grants to enable our staff to establish small businesses in this interim and earn whilst schools remain closed.
This is teacher Daniel packaging up nuts to sell while he waits for further guidance from the government to be issued about school reopenings.
Update from Uganda
Our Uganda team's food aid programme for the distribution of food parcels to families who have been worst affected by the pandemic, has begun! The team are contacting fifteen families per day and inviting them to collect food parcels from the Kisenyi office as well as visiting families when they are unable to contact them.
These food parcels will replace the food bags that have been provided to secondary pupil during termly workshops over the last few years. As these cannot take place at the moment, the funds are being redirected and the team are putting together provisions to support sixty eight of our most vulnerable families.
Everything is done with the appropriate safeguarding measures in place - the required social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks.
This is a huge amount of work for team that is most definitely very much appreciated by the community.
Back to school?
Pridie has been in communication with Anne to ask about the plan in Uganda regarding children returning to school. Uganda remains in lockdown and the team do not yet know yet know when they will return for Term 2. However, following today's address by the government, the team are able to tell us the following:
The lockdown has been extended for fourteen days more. Face masks are mandatory.
The government helped the families living in Kampala by supplying them with 6kgs of posho and 3kgs of beans. Doreen has been able to communicate with some of our parents living in Kisenyi. Food prices are low for perishable goods but higher for those that can be stored.
The president has promised that schools will be opened in June but only candidate classes will be allowed e.g P.7 , Senior 4 and 6 classes. Further information to follow.
Following some exceptionally generous donations from several of our supporters, the charity has been able to send enough funding over to drill a new borehole next to school site - this will end the two hour long journey that our children have to make at the end of every day to collect water.
It also ensures that our school have a constant, safe and reliable water source from this point on! This is life changing for everyone involved and now also means that we can begin on the renovation and ultimate development of the school site!
The charity was very kindly bequeathed £500 by a supporter in their will.
That money has been used to buy much needed beds for the accommodation block at our primary school. This will make an enormous difference to the many children who are currently staying on the school site for their education.