It was a big team – 33 people but everyone got on very well and our time was very busy. We had a lot of musical and creative talent on the team which was put to good effect in the programme delivery we were able to offer during the trip.
The team had a wonderful time at St Jude’s and delivered both Kid’s Club and Sports Programmes. There is a new Headmaster and he has begun a very innovative programme to teach the children how even in a small space they can grow vegetables to feed themselves. He was growing onions, spinach and several other vegetables in tall grow cylinders but even more significant – growing them in old sacks. He hopes to develop this all round the school and we were delighted to be able to contribute a small amount to buy 10 more cylinders and seedlings to allow expansion of this exciting venture.
Destiny High School
It was wonderful being able to bring Bernard and Victoria from Kahara with us on the second of our two visits to Destiny and they chatted and shared so much with Headmaster Daniel. The sharing of ideas and good practice between schools is always so valuable.
The changes since we visited Destiny in January were immense with over 320 pupils now attending. More girls are boarding and the boarding department is at capacity. The team played a game of football against the school. The sports field wasn’t even there in January – amazing progress. Some of our girls played football and played well, which was radical for the Ugandan boys who were not used to girls playing competitive sport. Afterwards we played a girl vs girl football game – hopefully the girls at school will continue to use the sports field at school in future.
Julie Anne and Rebecca used the school oven to make cakes for the school, teaching the pupils how to bake banana cake.
All the pupils were excited to eat the products of the class at the end of the day. They now plan to form a Baking Club – watch this space!!!!
We saw the amazing painting and crafts produced in school and the school computer computer room is functioning well.
We saw the library and it was wonderful seeing displayed the books that Headmaster Daniel had collected from the container we sent out to Kahara earlier this year. “A” level science has been started at school as a result of the delivery of science books in the container.
There was a lot of singing, dancing and wonderful hospitality with many conversations between our team and the Ugandan young people - as the sun went down everyone said very sad farewells to their new friends.
We had a wonderful day at the Acholi Quarter Beads Project that we have been supporting. We met many of the 25 girls in sponsorship – a few are in boarding school so unfortunately were unable to be present. Some of the team were dressed in Ugandan dress to help them understand the culture of the people of the Acholi Quarter. They visited homes and saw how the jewellery is made. There was opportunity to purchase jewellery and certificates were presented to those who had successfully completed the Loans and Savings Training programme that Charlene's Project had funded.
Towards the end of our visit – over 65 girls and 26 children were brought to Emmaus. While the girls were involved in a sexual health workshop some of our team played games outside with the children.
True or False – “A woman can be happy if she is single and does not have children” was answered “False” by all of the girls. Just one of the challenges facing these young people where so often women do not have the respect they deserve and so much of their identity is tied up in their partner and their children. The Ugandan girls were shocked that the teachers delivering the programme were single, did not have children and were content.
On our last day in Uganda between 400 and 500 primary school children attended the Sports Camp at Lugogo Sports Complex. The children had an amazing time of sports and games.
It was great to have Youth Sport Uganda’s help as always – this time Joshua had arranged for all his hockey girls to help and they were a great asset. After the camp the Ugandan girls played a hockey game with our team. This year we had sodas, biscuits, muffins, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste for the children and distribution went smoothly.