Our Ik Tribe Pupils and Students

At the beginning of each Term holiday and at the end of the year, we rent a bus to take the 36 Ik Community young people back to their mountains, their culture and their unique language.

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Mamas sang and danced because they are so thrilled their children can get such an opportunity to better their lives and the lives of their community.

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A few of our secondary students, happy to be together again with their family and community before school term resumes.

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Ik children sitting outside one of their kraals, with the mountains going back down into Kidepo and Uganda behind. Kenya is immediately behind the photographer, as they live on the escarpment.

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Young Ik boys with their slingshot, hoping to catch a bird they can share for their dinner meal with their families. Hunger is a huge challenge as so often efforts to grow crops are spoiled by cattle grazers bringing their cows through the freshly growing crops planted by the Ik people.

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Waving goodbye to their brothers and sisters as they head back down the mountains to our school, north of Gulu some 360km away, and the secondary schools our NGO is sponsoring them in.

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The route up the mountains is fun for the land cruiser, but can be a bit challenging for the bus, especially in rainy season. It’s so worth it though because these young people would simply not have even remotely the opportunity they are having with us. One Ik boy was 4th in Gulu district in his National exams last year and they are are studying so earnestly.

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Some of the beautiful family members of one of our students who is now is S3 in secondary school.

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A few of our 36 wonderful Ik young people we are schooling. Each one worth every shilling of investment and hour of love-in-action!

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Studying is Tough, but it’s Fun!

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A glimpse of our P4 class with teacher Henry. At this level, what they learn is a very relevant foundation to all that is to come.

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Our younger ones–P2 class. Teacher Matthew brought in their “Word Tree” which has the new words they are learning together.

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“Make Hay While the Sun Shines”

At this time of year, February, we are able to buy maize/corn and beans at the best time of the whole year. We had our own harvest and it has been dried and bagged, and we did some significant buying from local farms who had maize this year.ROB_5740

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The challenge is, with so many children living here, and then 50 day students, along with our significant staff, it takes very large quantities of food to keep everyone happy, filled and healthy. Our farm is a tremendous supplement for veggies, and this year we were able to buy dahl which is very popular protein alternative and very popular with the children.

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Our Secondary Student Work Force

We are now fully supporting 34 in their further studies after they leave our school. Many graduates, when their uncles see what great results they got in the National PLE exam, begin to study at secondary schools across the country. Some though, have no means of finding the funds it takes to study above Primary level, so we sponsor them in some of Gulu’s top schools that provide accommodation.
So that they’re not simply existing on Donor Funding, each of these wonderful graduates returns to our school during term and end-of-year holidays and they help on the farm, coaching other students and helping with our brick building.

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Gladys above, carrying bricks that have been fired to the new store rooms we are building.

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Working in teamwork with your long-term friends can actually be fun. Teams work early in the morning and later afternoon, and study in the cool during the hottest part of the day.

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Our students oversee and arrange the payment for local young people who love to have the opportunity to raise their school fees. We only make bricks during the dry season, but it’s convenient since this is the very time schools across the country have their annual holidays. It’s perfectly times for the school and our Community young people so we can start the year with a bang.

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Our Graduates Excelling in Secondary Schools

Since our school covers Primary/Elementary classes only, we bring in some of the most disadvantaged children, many of whom not only don’t speak English, but have almost zero experience at personal care, such as brushing teeth (with a brush and paste instead of a stick!) or laundry (if they’ve come from the top of our mountain where water is very scarce). Now they are radiant and getting top grades in some of Gulu’s finest secondary schools!

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If you talk with these amazing young people (and we are now fully supporting 29 covering all their living and academic expenses) you will learn that they are determined to pass on the opportunities they have had. They say the best investment in the future is to give education to the youth. We believe that and these young people are becoming a total proof of the pudding! Below some of our graduates now studying S3 level at Restore Leadership High School.

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Each one has a powerful story to tell, but suffice it to say–we’ll let their photos do the talking! THANK YOU for helping us help such incredible young people, who are determined to Pass it Forward, and use what they are learning–to help others!

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2017 off to a Great Start!

t’s been exciting getting off to a new year! Our pupils have been very busy with their beginning of term exams and initial studies.

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We brought in a group of 12 new Ik young people–particularly girls who had not had a chance at schooling and we’re very happy to give them this chance of a life-time. Photos coming. In the meantime, this part of our oldest class, beginning preparation for the very important National exams at the end of this year, which will determine which secondary school they’ll be able to attend. Below 2 of our Ik young people in our top P7 class this year.

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Building–Third Home for Children and Storage Rooms

It’s been exceptionally busy of late. We received a most generous donation from Nos Vies a Partage Foundation and it’s enabled us to almost finish the third home for children.

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When the donation arrived, the building had been started, no windows or doors, no roof, no finalizing of the walls etc. Then below, when the donation arrived, we got to work immediately.

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Now the main part of the construction is finished and the undercoat painting has began. The students are so excited about being able to move into their new home soon.

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It’s been so exciting seeing it being built to the point where it’s a real home to some of our dear boys. They love it!

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Above, as soon as the funds came in, we began working on the store section on the right, then below, you can see each of the storage rooms, left for all our main food storage, center for maize and such, and right for chemicals and farm items.

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The timing of this donation is absolutely perfect. We are about to harvest the maize in the next 2-3 weeks and it’s the first time we’ve needed storage of this size–exactly when we were able to build it. God is good! Plus you’ll see, now the storage rooms are completed, we have begun a more permanent kitchen which will be very airy and fresh for our cooks.

In addition to finishing the third home for children, and building far better storage facilities, we have been busy constructing new roofing for the staff houses.

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Above you can see the bundles of special roofing grass that is piled, ready to replace the existing roofing.

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Thatching the roofing is a difficult job to ensure structural integrity, and make sure it’s completely waterproof and all takes a real team effort.

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The finished roof is just a work of art–warm in cooler nights, cool in the hot sun, unusually quiet when it rains. This design has been effective for thousands of years.

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Sports Day and Football

Football and Volleyball are the current most popular sports at our school, yet recently on our Sports Day, we had a range of games to give each one a chance to excel and to enjoy life together.

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Above our football team with Teacher Opiyo. We walk to schools within a few kilometers from us and so far, we are almost unbeaten! It’s a great encouragement to young people who have had difficult backgrounds to have experiences together like this.

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Above, cheers from our school members as our footballers win the game! Immediately above, on Sports Day, the young ones are given a chance to test their coordination with a special relay.

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We have some skilled girl football players also, and they too have been getting excellent scores when competing with other local schools.

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Enthusiastic cheer teams. These great T-shirts and hats were donated by the Partage Foundation who also gave funding for finishing our 3rd home for children, solar power for our library and campus lighting which we are currently working on. Photos to come. We are extremely grateful for their generosity!

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Excursion for Top Class to Historical Site

A notable historical site call Fort Patiko lies not too many kilometers from our school, so since it’s part of the curriculum, we arrange an excursion to learn the history each year.
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Our top class wrote a lot of notes in their books since there were so many interesting elements. As they climb, you can see 3 storage rooms built by Arabs during the slaving times.

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The fort has some very large man-made caves amidst the large rock outcropping, which was used for the slaves to be held-this is the women’s cave. Tragically any who tried to run away did so at their own risk as lions and hyena frequented the surroundings. The fittest slaves were made to walk all the way to Cairo.

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In the 1840s Sir Samuel Baker used the Fort as his base when he came to Uganda representing the Germans. Our young people learned a lot, being able to explore the rich and often tragic history that surrounded this spot.

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All Taking Turns to Help on Our Farm

We began this school project depending on donor funding–and continue to need it. Our ultimate goal though, is to move towards self-sustainability. One of the main elements to help us achieve that is in this is … our farm.

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After classes, classes take turns in the later afternoon to dig the produce we are growing. It’s a nice break for them from studies and they have a real pride in growing their own vegetables and maize.

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Above, the boys are weeding the onions. Cabbages are still in the nursery beds and it’s exciting to start to get a bigger variety again.

 

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