Diana became one of our sponsored student nurses back in 2013 and this year she graduated and will start her nursing career in Rwanda in the next few weeks. This had been her dream and she worked so hard to get the qualification. We have several other students who graduate in September and will tell you about them later.
How to hide a cow.
In Uganda most things are possible but please don't try this at home!
If ever you want a role model for the transformational power of education and the unlimited potential of Africa, you will struggle to find a better candidate than the global economist and best selling author Dambisa Moyo.
Born and raised in post colonial Zambia, forty years later she's now an Oxford PhD. and Harvard graduate who sits on the Board of Barclays Bank and is rated as one of the Time Magazine 100 most influential people.
She is very clear on how she made the journey from her early life to where she is today. "The lynch pin of my life was being able to go to school. Look, I have no birth certificate because at the time of my birth certificates were not issued to blacks, so you can imagine there was'nt much emphasis on girls going to school".
Her parents did not agree. They were determined that she would get the opportunity. She took it and is helping to make a better world. Look her up if you want to know more.
We now have well over 100 girls at our new Asili Girls Secondary School. Maybe one of these will be the next Dambisa Moyo and another the first female President of Uganda. Someone has to be!
Work is under way to build the vocational centre at the Asili Girls Secondary School and we expect completion by about September. Current fundraising is to make sure we have all the equipment needed.
Trustee Denise Ead has been working with a number of agencies in UK and Uganda to see what could be done to help some of the visually impaired children at Jinja to regain or improve their eyesight. This has been a complex journey because it requires considerable coordination of transport with available ophthalmic professionals. But on June 21st three children went to Mengo Hospital for surgery. We will let you know the results.
Brenda, is an orphan whose her parents died and left with her with the grandmother who is now elderly. They took her to Kinyamasika Government primary school, where they treated her in cruel way, nicknaming her many ugly names. In the class she could not understand anything as she is deaf, and cannot express herself as dumb. She would cry all the day long at school, and became very stressful and refused to go back to school, until luck knocked at the door to hear about Good Shepherd, she came and started at our school where she met very kind teachers, children, and many of the children who know her language as there are other deaf children. She deemed to be a very brilliant child in class and came out with a very nice first grade from P.L.E examination. HUGS is sponsoring her secondary education. To our surprise the head teacher and staff from Wakiso Secondary school for the deaf is amazed for her academic performance and behavior conduct as I told you, got first position in her first term examination in that school. Disability does not mean Inability.
We have just returned from Barcelona visiting the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's wonderful Cathedral which wont be complete until perhaps 2026. It must be the most beautiful in the world. We also saw the Miro Centre and his amazing paintings. I promise that I did not make the hand prints on the picture.
You may remember that our Lira Girls Secondary School (about 40% completed) is the really big thing we are doing at present. The link HERE takes you to a wonderful short presentation by Nobel Prize Winner Gbowee Leymah which really says so much about the benefits of education for girls.
As we move toward the start of our 23rd year we thought it might be nice to show some pictures of all the schools which HUGS has been able to help build and which have about 1200 children attending.
RWANDA (St Therese's Primary)
UGANDA Good Shepherd and St Gabriel's at Fort Portal Uganda
UGANDA St. Zoes 3 schools
UGANDA Asili Girls Secondary School at Lira
The big fund raiser this year is to help in the completion of the school at Lira.
If you would like to donate by giving a small sponsorship for our big Golf Event in June the please CLICK HERE
We have four partners who lead the work in Uganda and Rwanda. One of these is led by Sebastian who is the Director of the Jinja based Organisation for Parents of Disabled children,
HUGS is helping 8 young people in Jinja. They suffer deafness, eyesight problems and lameness. Trustee Denise Ead has been researching eye problems and found that perhaps 60% of children could be helped greatly by just having an optometry test and glasses prescribed.
We ave funded an Eyesight Camp in Jinja and 10 children are being assessed. At about £40 a child this can really change a life.
The picture shows on of the children being assessed in March this year.
It was Emmeline Pankhurst who said "We have to free half the human race, the women, so that they can free the other half".
And that is what our Lira Girls Secondary School is really trying to do. Together with kick starting some Women's Groups we know that the long term effects can be enormous.
If you are a sceptic and like to see evidence then please look at some of Hans Roslings You Tube talks on demographics. They are awesome. He died in March this year.
I really commend you to take a look at this TED Talk where someone wiser than me explains it so clearly.
Although HUGS is all about education we have become increasingly aware that sometimes the lack of hope and opportunities some of the mothers have to endure make it very difficult to really help her children to get toe school. Survival and enough to eat today just dominate everything else.
That is why Trustee Denise Ead has been so keen to help some Women Groups to get started. She has raised money from her publishing and this has helped to kick start these groups.
Helping Peter, a disabled child in Jinja highlighted his lack of almost everything. His deafness was another problem and his mother Rose is disabled.
We have been able to help them both and with a bit extra Rose is starting a little shop from her house and this will let her earn a little money.
Sebastian, from the Organisation of Parents of Disabled Children with whom we work in Jinja said;
When we received
the funds, we agreed that we use part of the funds to improve the sleeping
conditions of the two beneficiaries as it was below the human condition. The
two were using papyrus mats as mattresses, and no beddings and sleeping on the
floor in their mud made semi permanent house which doubles as a kitchen and bed
room/ rest areas.
So were bought
two mattresses - one of Rose and the other for Peter, Two blankets -one for Rose and one for Peter, and two pairs of bed sheets, one pair for each.
support and offer changed much in the lives to Rose and Peter and therefore it
will go a long way to improve the well being of the family.
The balance of
the funds is to be used to start a small income generating project of Rose’s
choice which is a small shop dealing in the sale of salt, laundry soap, spices,
kerosene, cooking oil, safety matches, tea leaves, onions, and other house hold
items which are demanded by the other members of the community.
And it costs so little. Just think what should be possible with all the £12 Bn which the UK pours into International Aid.
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.
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.
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
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.