OMICRON has impacted in Uganda too and despite the recent increase in cases of COVID infection, children have thankfully returned to school on 10th January. Over the last 2 years schools have been in and out with lockdown being very different there to regards the “Home Learning” experience. With no computers, very few mobile phones and many parents not able to speak English, Charlene’s Project has worked with teachers to provide home learning resources so that children don’t fall behind in their education.
We have continued to play our part in the 8 primary schools and local community with regards to education around COVID prevention. The impact particularly at the lower end of primary has been massive with some children not having started P1 and P1/P2 pupils having been out of school for over 18 months. The early years classes as primary restarts will be very challenging. We are expecting very big numbers.
We worked with our Uganda teachers to provide a “Return to School” workshop for Head Teachers, Vice Principals and Chairs of School Management of the 8 primary schools and it was wonderful to be able to provide input through ZOOM around research we had done in the 8 schools last year. We looked together at the challenges and future school development and support. Feedback was very positive and further information on both last year’s survey and the “Return to School” workshop is available on request for those interested in more detailed information.
We are currently building the Secondary School for the children from the 8 primary schools – this will give opportunity that did not previously exist for the children in this community to progress to secondary level education.
First phase of the secondary school build will complete by the end of March but already the secondary school has started in temporary structures (tents!) – the new school is called Charlene Secondary School – the decision to name it such was made by the local Ugandan management team. Charlene’s legacy lives on in Uganda.
As we have been working in this community we continue to see such desperate health needs. We have always wanted to do more but have lacked resources to do so. It has therefore been such an answer to prayer that a local church has taken forward the needs of the local health centre in the middle of this community of 8 primary schools. Without any drain on our resources they have fundraised themselves to put an incinerator and waste disposal facility at the health centre and are now completing a borehole, pump and water storage facility so that the health centre and in particular the maternity unit has access to clean water and safe hygienic waste disposal. This is just amazing.
There is still much to do to help with health needs and so many needs too for both the primary schools and the new secondary school. We are so thankful to so many who have supported and made all that has been done – possible.
As many of you know Charlene’s Poppa, Jim Copeland, has been fundraising to help support the work. He is 95 years old and has decided to do a virtual cycle around Ireland to help raise profile and funds. He is looking for people to join him on this 1056km journey through 2022. If you made a New Year resolution to do more exercise etc etc , maybe this can help you and you would make a 95 year old very happy if you joined him. Jim says:
If anyone wants more information as to how they, their family, their business or church can help as we move forward – please do contact us. It is always lovely to hear from so many friends. There are so many encouragements as we look back – God has been faithful to Charlene’s vision and it has only been possible through all your support. We look forward with anticipation for what is ahead.
Thanks for your help.
May you know God’s blessings throughout 2022.
Dickie and Janice