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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Its not about buildings..

There must be a lesson here. While we are a bit overwhelmed with news of Donald Trump, many Ugandan families are just recovering from the long wait from the end of November until now to find out how there children faired in the big national exams which mark the end of primary school. They call them the P7 exams and this year 622,000 children took them. That has been the big news story for many families and for 12,000 schools

These results are of course the gateway to secondary education.

A total of 63,000 children got a Grade 1, that is about 10% of the entrants.

We had 13 entrants at Good Shepherd with 11 Grade one and 3 grade 2.

St Zoes had a big improvement with 7 Grade 1 out of 28 entrants

St Therese's in Rukira Rwanda got 32 Grade 1 out of 33 entrants.

These are really encouraging results and we congratulate all the teachers and children who have done so well.


These are the Good Shepherd Grade 1 children with Sr Theresa


This is Grade 1 Brenda who has speech and hearing problems.

Disability does not mean inability

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A look back over the last year of so

As we come to the end of 2016 we thought it might be nice to remind supporters of the projects which were completed or are currently being worked on. These are just the schools. We have covered the scholarships and bursaries in an earlier blog.

Good Shepherd staff accommodation which we helped with;


Good Shepherd St Gabriel's Home for Orphaned Children


St Gabriel's Home for Matron


Lira Girls Secondary School


Little Shepherd at Ntunguru South Uganda


HUGS would like to say a big thank you to all the people who helped to make these thins happen.

There are now about 1200 children attending the schools in Uganda and Rwanda.

Happy Christmas from the Trustees




Friday, 2 December 2016

Make a difference this Christmas


If you would like to help towards one of our current projects then send a gift to a friend  for Christmas. Choose a Gift Card below and make your donation via the website.


             The Sight Recovery Project’’
                                 ‘There can be no greater gift than to give someone their sight back’

HUGS is currently working with Sebastian in Jinga and Sight Savers to help 70 children to be assessed and treated for eye problems.  The programme is due to start on 12 December. If you would like to be involved please donate £5  £10 £25  This will  go towards helping a child to regain their sight.




 (This young boy is hoping to have his eye condition treated soon).  DONATE HERE



    Women’s Project 
                                           Educate a woman, you educate a nation”
HUGS vocational work is currently supporting 10 women in Lira, Uganda who have formed into a co-operative and are 1) Making cakes to sell and 2) growing vegetables to sell in the Market.
They are learning new skills and are hoping in time to become self sufficient and sustainable. Money they earn is helping them to pay for education for their children. If you would like to help these women then please donate £5 £10 £25 and choose a Gift Card and email to a friend as their Christmas present. 






                                             Family Support Initiative (FS)
                                      Families are the foundation of a good and caring society”
Bury African Charity are supporting this family who live in Lira and HUGS are supporting Joyce and her 5 children. We need support for Christine, or third family. All three families are living in poverty.  Please donate £5 £10 £25 to help. It cost about £300 a year to raise their standard of living.




    
                                                                      Porridge Programme
                                                          “Children need to nourishment to learn”
 We are looking for finance to continue the porridge programme at our school in Rwanda. The children are hungry and £5 will feed the children for one day.Please donate £5 £10 or £25. We need £300 for the year.



Please call or email if you would like some Gift Cards to send as Christmas presents to friends. The cards are free and we will post them to you. All you have to do is complete the box on the back of the card and send it to friends, telling your friend that you have bought, say 5 weeks or education at £5 a week and send the £25 to HUGS. But you can chose how much to give of course.


The money will go towards sponsoring some of our children in Uganda and Rwanda.

Cheques to HUGS  6 The Ceal Compstall, Stockport SK6 5LQ   Phone 0161 427 4270

Chose your card and quantity and let us know.

Card One




Card 2


You can also pay through  out Virgin Money Giving Site

                                                           DONATE HERE


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Please come to lunch

On Sunday 26th February 2017 we are having a special lunch at Stockport Golf Club to hear about Joanna and Richard's visit to Rwanda and Uganda and to celebrate HUGS having raised over £1 million pounds since it started in 1995.

We hope it will be a fun event and Fr John hopes to be with us.

Tickets are £23 each and we have already had a very good demand. We are limited to 100 people.

Would you like to come? Please let us know.









Sunday, 6 November 2016

Short Interviews from Rwanda and Uganda

Trustee Joanna and husband Richard have just returned from visiting our schools in Rwanda and Uganda.

They took many pictures but these two short videos are really worth 2 minutes of your times

First Richard interviews some of the Fort Portal Secondary Students sponsored by HUGS


video


And Sr. Mary who we have been working with since 2009 on  Good Shepherd School, St Therese's in Rwanda and now on Little Shepherd says a little about HUGS and how your efforts are helping.


video








Friday, 7 October 2016

HUGS College Students

Around the world University and Further Eduction Colleges open for business in around September each year.

Five of our students have now moved on to exciting careers;

Milli and Goretti soon start teaching.

Evereste is learning to be an aircraft pilot, sponsored by the Rwanda Government now.

Annet is Nursing


Grace is practicing Medicine and Surgery near Kampala

Maurice competed his accountancy degree in Rwandaa

Our other students are

Daniel is studying building and civil engineering

Robert is studying building and civil engineering


Patrick is doing practical field work as a trainee Veterinarian

John is studying electrical engineering.

Emmanuel is studying agriculture.

Faith is studying to be a doctor

Joseph is studying to be a special needs teacher


Karenz is studying to be a doctor

Diana is completing her nursing degree

Naturinda is studying to be a teacher.


Jean is studying to be a teacher


Stephanie is studying to be a teacher

Denis is studying petroleum engineering

Stephen who is handicapped is studying to be a teacher.

Divina is studying  to be a teacher.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

That's Manchester TV Interview

Dr. Richard Bircher, husband of Trustee Joanna was interviewed with Peter on the Manchester TV Channel called That's Manchester back in August this year.


The video gives a good picture of what we are doing and focuses on the new Little Shepherd School which Richard and fellow Trustee Chris Bircher are fundraising to help. They are well over half way there.

The Link to the Video Interview is HERE

Friday, 12 August 2016

A sad reminder

We have told you a little about a disabled young man called Hillary Dan who we planned to support following the death of his mother who had breast cancer.

Hillary went home from University at be at the funeral of his mother and caught malaria. But to make matters worse it became cerebral malaria.

After several weeks in hospital Hillary died this morning.



It is another reminder of the vital role that mosquito nets can play in preventing this terrible illness which still kills about 480,000 people every year.

Over the years HUGS has provided mosquito nets to our Uganda schools but they don't last for ever!

We can buy them in Uganda for about £3 each. It is not a lot to save a life. If any supporters would like to help it would be welcome.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Look what you've done!


Dreams can come true and life can change for the better. 14 orphaned children living in very poor circumstances are celebrating moving from their run down accommodation into a brand new building. The children are cared for by Sister Theresa at the Good Shepherd School in Fort Portal.  When we visited the school we were aware of the plight of these children and felt we needed to help them. HUGS and Bury African Outreach (BAO) a charity run by Tom and Lydia joined forces and we are now really pleased to report that the new building has been completed to a very high standard at a cost of 30 thousand pounds. The building was officially opened on 22 July 2016.

The old accommodation

 Gabriel House


Sister Theresa has shared the stories of the children and all have had a very difficult start in life. Most loosing both parents and others being ill-treated. The children were brought to the sisters for protection and Sister Theresa and the other sisters have provided a loving home and somewhere safe for them to live. However, the accommodation in which they lived was unsuitable but the best that could be offered at the time.

HUGS and BAO felt these children deserved the very best and the new building has solar panels, to provide light when it is dark. An inside bath and toilet and a lovely rooms for the children to sleep. Sister Theresa says, “The children are so excited and happy about their new home and they keep smiling all the time”.

It is so heartening to know that the children and youngsters without parents and who lived in what can only be described as a shack, now have somewhere nice to live, which not only provides a roof and protection, but raises their self esteem and makes them happy.


                     The opening event and the children who will live at Gabriel House

The name of the building is called  ‘St Gabriel’s House’ after St Gabriel’s School, in Bury, Lancs. The school raises funds for the children and exchanges letters.
HUGS and BAO would like to wish the children happiness in their new home and also to thank Sister Theresa for organising the building and thanks to the builder for doing such a brilliant job. Also, thank you to all who donate to both charities because without your support this would not have been possible.


We can all feel a sense of satisfaction, these children are now smiling.

It would not have been possible without the great help we have had from so many people since the project started in October 2015.

We heard today that Hillary Dan, suffering from cerebral malaria seems to be recovering.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Hillary Dan has Cerebral Malaria

Last month we told you that we will be supporting the Hillary Dan, a young disabled student to complete his degree in Journalism in Uganda.

Hillary went home for the funeral of his mother and while there he contracted cerebral malaria which is very serious.


He has been in a coma for 3 weeks and HUGS will be helping with his medical costs but this condition can be both life threatening and leave long term damage.
Lets say a prayer for his recovery.
This tiny mosquito is related to the one bringing zika to Brazil and other places. But there is hope that this long term damage caused by these insects can be stopped and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing a great deal to help.




Sunday, 19 June 2016

Best ever!

Thanks to all those who got involved and helped with our big fundraiser this year. it was the HUGS Golf Tournament held at Romiley and it links like having raised even more than last year and we think the total will be over £8000. Thanks to Carolyn, Bob and John for their special efforts to make this a great success.

With the start of the Rwanda and Uganda University terms starting in September this will make sure that we have enough for the new bursary grants to our students.


We have been trying to give more support to handicapped young people and have a request to support Hillary Dan who is disabled and has gained a University place to study journalism. He was being supported by his mother but she died this month with throat cancer.

Trustees felt that this could be an excellent choice of course and career for someone who is not able to walk and who has to use a wheelchair.  If anyone would like to sponsor Hillary and perhaps mentor his writing skills that would be great.

It is always good to hear of developments at St Zoe's, our first school. Well over 100 of the children are boarders and the team have been able to create proper play area with some toys and a roundabout.

This short video tells the story.

video




Thursday, 19 May 2016

Just a small push now needed

HUGS Golf Event in just 16 days time is aimed at raising money to complete the new orphanage at Good Shepherd which we started together with the Bury Orphans Charity back in the autumn of 2015.

If any of our readers would like to help achieve this target there is a
Virgin Money Giving link HERE

The picture shows progress at May 18th and it is now in the finishing stages. 20 orphans will live there and they have already chosen their rooms. We have spent about £30,000 to date on this project.

We need just a little extra to get to my GOAL of £3500 which is linked to the Golf Event, the big fundraiser which we have each year.



We want this to be a warm and welcoming place to live, with gardens, toys, books, electricity, good sanitation because we think these little ones deserve them.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Rescue and Lira progress

During a recent visit from St Mary's Hospital Manchester doctors to Fort Portal they met "Mary" a 10 year old girl who was not going to school. No, this was not for the usual lack of money reasons. She is an orphan living with grandmother and had been sexually assaulted by a neighbour in her village. Someone she would meet every day in the street. The doctors offered to fund her at a boarding school if grandmother was happy about this. She was delighted because Mary would be living somewhere safe but not too far away.

We have been able to find her a safe place to live and she is attending school as well. She had a great trauma but is slowly regaining her confidence.

Next month we think the new home for the orphans at Good Shepherd should be completed and thank to Tom and Lydia from Marple who have helped to make this happen.



The Lira Girls Secondary school now has its dormitory and second class room in operation. Starting only a year ago with one class of 27 there are now nearly 65 girls attending. They chose their uniform designs and colours.


We are looking at the requirements for the next 4 to 5 years and hope to complete the school by about 2021.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Charlotte and Steve Wedding Picture

Last Saturday Charlotte Brinsley our Trustee, married Steve Percy.  We must update our Charity details! Charlotte Percy now.

Here is a lovely picture taken in the day


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Charlotte Gets Married on Saturday

HUGS Trustee Charlotte Brinsley gets married to Steve Percy on Saturday 19th March.

Lets all send her our best wishes (add a comment to this blog and we will let her know)




Saturday, 12 March 2016

Thank you

A few days ago we told you about the applications we had received for 9 young people to add to our (already full) scholarship programme.

We have had a wonderful response and when all the new promises from our supporters are fulfilled we will be able to say YES to all the children and we can start paying in April.

This is great news and the teachers in the school asked me to say a big thank you.



This will bring our total for Uganda and Rwanda up to 50 with 19 of these at universities or colleges of further education.

You are changing lives!


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Can you help?

HUGS now sponsors 42 young people in schools and universities in Uganda and Rwanda and this is one of the key parts of our future plans.

This really commits us completely because we are also building a new orphanage at Fort Portal and the Lira Girls Secondary School.

This week we received applications for scholarships for 9 children who are from very poor families or have lost one or both parents.

We really want to find a way to say YES and to grant the £150 per year bursary which is what we pay for primary level education.

If you could help please let me know. We can provide details if each child and I will ask for photographs too.

On a lighter side you must look at this novel way of getting a goat to market.


Friday, 29 January 2016

South Sudan, another world

HUGS has been working with our partners in north Uganda for some years and the Lira Bables Home and Asili Girls Secondary School are our two projects.

But the Sisters have taken on a huge task in South Sudan and Sr Evangelista has just returned from a visit there.
This is her story.
South Sudan, especially in TOPOSA land, is where we have opened the 4th community of Sisters in Sudan. It is another world. The people are basically pastoralists who fight with other pastoral tribes like the Dink, in the same country and in other neighbouring countries, and this is the order of the day.

The major challenging factors in the area are:
The people of the area are hard to accept change, and are quite immersed in their traditions much more than you have or can imagine in Uganda!
Very high levels of illiteracy.
Women are objects and girl child is part of other property and has no say in anything.
A girl is even given off for marriage at birth and when she reaches the age of 14-15 she is married in return for 50-100 cows (dowry) which the brother has to use for marriage or the father to get the 5th......or 20th wife! These cows are obtained through raiding with a lot of tribal or clan fighting, a reason why civil /tribal/clan wars are persistent in South Sudan with a lot of people dying.
No Christian or other religious values. The issue is a tooth for a tooth. When a clan raids cows and kills 200 people then the other will go to recover the cows and kill 400 or more and that is Heroism in their thinking. Some men have marks/tattoos showing they are great fighters/raiders and successful killers! They also raid their counterparts in Kenya like the Turkana, the Kalimojong in Uganda etc
Hygiene is a story untold in the area, for example the use of toilets is not known hence the bush is everything.


While driving through, it is simple and normal to see a man emerging from the bush with a gun or to see a woman carrying animal meat (a thigh of an animal on her head). Being in a car helps because otherwise one would faint due to fear!
Women are not expected to bathe because their husbands will die!
They have rainfall once a year and that is when they plant little sorghum. Famine/hunger is part of their life and many die of starvation.

The common food eaten is animal meat because they hunt, Sorghum called Dura, milk (unboiled) and cow blood.

Amidst any challenges, we are ready to carry out education in the area.
In most cases when girls are in P4 and aged about 9, the parents organise for their collection for marriage in which case the bridegroom(s) comes to carry the bride from the school, with guns or as children go for holidays you don't see the girl anymore and only to be told later that she/they got married.

Most roads are poor. For example, we covered a 160 km journey in 6 hours instead of the normal 2 hours!

In this Riwoto area, we are in partnership with the St. Patrick fathers from Ireland who are working in some other parish in South Sudan where our Institute has worked in the area for over 22 years.
We hence have 2 communities among the Toposa in Torit and 2 other communities in another area called Rumbek where the Dinka pastoralists are the majority people.

HUGS is fully stretched with our Uganda and Rwanda work and are not being asked to get involved in Sudan.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

Happy new year to all our readers.

HUGS has two big projects for 2016.

The first is to replace this building below with a really nice home of up to 20 orphans living at Good Shepherd in Fort Portal. We have already sent £20,000 so the work starts this week. We hope to raise the other £10,000 needed over the next few months


The second is to build a three class room primary school at Kabale in the south west of Uganda.

This school has already been started by the local people and they are raising money to help in the next stage which we hope to fund and complete by the end of the year. It will cost about £20,000

And a good news story from Jinja. HUGS is sponsoring a blind teenager to go to a special school where he can learn braille. We got this message from his sponsor yesterday.

Hello Peter,

I bring you warm greetings from OPDC and your sponsored child Amiru Musa!

Musa is right now in school busy being supported by his teachers to
learn how to use the blind machines like the cubeframe and cubes.

On Monday this week i visited him and found him a lesson  with his
other blind friends and these moments were captured as show in the
photo here attached.

I

Saturday, 19 December 2015

A short movie for the holiday

Rachel and Adam, two of my Grandchildren, are very passionate about making MOVIES and have written a three part production which is screened on You Tube. Each episode is about 15 minutes long.



It is a thoughtful story about the end of the world arriving soon for a group of people. I dont know how it ends because Part 1 is available and the rest will arrive soon.

If you like it then please make a small donation to help us build a new primary school in a very remote part of Uganda.

You can donate by Clicking here  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/

and enter Helping Uganda Schools in the Virgin Money system

But please just enjoy. And tell us what you think!

Click the blue text below

https://youtu.be/Gd4IdBSHuyk