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!

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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!

It’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 Store House

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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In addition to the new home for children, our maize harvest from our farm has been exceptionally good this season. That means we need a very sizable storage to bring it, dry it and process 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 sections, 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!

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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End of Term 1 Celebrations

Each term it’s exciting for the children to have a chance to receive awards and recognition for their hard work during the term.

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We give award certificates to children from each class, not only for the top academically, but to encourage others–like the “Most Improved” or the “Most Punctual” etc. The small gifts of boxes of coloured pencils, books and such are very appreciated by the children of each class.

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Officials

Because we’re a Community-Serving school, our local officials have been a tremendous help to us, to the point of even being instrumental in recommending us to be able to get a bore-hole well. They took turns at presenting prizes and certificates to the children and some shared some words of encouragement and wisdom also.

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We were very happy with several groups singing and dancing inspiring songs. Then…what is an African celebration without lots of good food! 2 goats were included in this scrumptious meal complete with maize flour, rice, cassava and beans.

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Mr. Oyeta, the head of the Parents Association and Director Robin.

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Our Ceremony was held on the last day of Term 1 so the following day, all the pupils returned to their families for their Term 1 holidays. These motorcycle taxi (bodaboda) drivers are very experienced. Just as well considering the loads they carry daily.

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New Librarian!

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We are so excited that our new Librarian is so well educated and skilled. She is also very good with computer, so when we eventually get solar power  she’ll be able to competently help the children with research, watching video clips, movies and utilizing other programs.

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We had a wonderful donation of 2 million shillings worth of text books from  the SKAL Uganda team! This is a huge help to our pupils as it’s completely on the curriculum and having copies they can read in their study time and during class is going to be a major boost! Thank you SKAL!

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Running and Sports Preparation

Nation-wide we have Inter-school sports competitions this term. Our young people are actually particularly athletic and love volleyball and football throughout the year. This season though, they’ve been quite intensely practising running and relay practice.

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4 Brick Kilns

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We have built 9 classrooms, and admin block, almost 3 homes for children and many other structures–all from the bricks built on our own land. This is the normal technique throughout East Africa and the bricks provide excellent structural integrity.

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Our latest 4 kilns (shot as the sun is just rising at dawn). They fire for 4 days and nights then are kept sealed with the external mud packing to cool down for the rest of the week. Bricks come out fully fired and ready for building.

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