A big part of our work this year in Uganda was in the schools of Kahara and Kirwala in rural western Uganda. Charlene's Project has been working in Kahara Primary since 2012 and it was good that Basil, one of our Trustees, who helped select Kahara in 2012 was part of the team this year. The change that Basil saw in Kahara from from the last time he was there was indeed immense. Two school buildings, a borehole, community hall, teacher accommodation and sports field greeting him and all the team was spectacular. As always our welcome to Kahara was so special. Kids Club, Sports and classroom work was so much appreciated by Headmaster Bernard and the other teachers.
One of our big targets this year was to deliver the Jiggers Programme. It was a joy to watch the team of nurses and helpers wash all the children’s feet lovingly class by class as part of the programme. The nurses did health promotion around jiggers and malaria prevention with the parents at the end of the long week of individually teaching each child in school how to prevent jiggers feet infection. We had the joy of confirming to parents that every child in school would receive towel, basin, soap and shoes as part of the programme and as a result of the monies raised in Ireland before we travelled. The cheer could have been heard back in Kampala, if not in Lurgan. After the parents programme silence descended again as we used projector to show the packed hall the Jesus Film in Swahili.
It was wonderful being able to distribute MadLug bags to all the children in school thanks to Dave Linton and the support of a generous donor.
We confirmed another 20 children for sponsorship in Kahara, bringing the number in school sponsored to 60. There was much singing and dancing and celebration but so much sadness as we parted at the end of the week in Masindi.
Kirwala Primary is just a short distance from Kahara Primary. Both Sports Camp, Kids Club and classroom activities went very well considering it was our first time of programme delivery in school. All the teachers were so appreciative of the work delivered and it was our joy to interact with children and teachers during our short time in school. The work men arrived during our time in school to start the painting and plastering as part of the renovations we have commissioned through our partner Build Africa. Teacher accommodation will also be built over the next few months – already funded from Charlene’s Project. Resources were left at Kirwala for teachers and pupils as had also been done at Kahara.
Diika Health Centre
We visited Diika again and it was impressive to see the brand new block built by the government. Disappointing though to turn on the taps and no water – water harvesting is needed urgently. Disappointing too to hear that it will be some time before the empty shell is kitted out with even the basic essentials a health centre needs. It was good to see the lights on and a television showing health promotion programmes thanks to the repairs of the solar system Charlene's Project funded. Brilliant too to see a hospital bed from the container in the delivery suite. Great to see again the wee team of staff there trying to do their best against the odds in this health centre that serves such a wide population including the children and families from Kahara and Kirwala. There are so many health needs in these communities. The help we can give is only a drop in the bucket. But Charlene's Project will continue to try and offer whatever little help we can to improve the overall health of these very special people.