Our hard working staff of teachers is a key to the children feeling well-cared for. Most children have hardly even heard English when they join us, many have had extremely difficult lives so far, and most haven’t learnt even basics of life such as bathing, toilet care, sanitary living, not to mention kind interaction with others. It means the teachers’ jobs are more than doubled. We are so grateful for each one!
We love the concept of Teamworking as each teacher brings very valuable elements to the table and each one has a range of talents and insights we appreciate and need.
We have a large staff apart from the teachers, and above, our amazing Matrons Nancy and Filder care for the children closely every night. You can see these photos were taken during our annual dry season, when we build bricks and fix grass thatched roofing. It lasts for 2 months, then the rest of the time it’s rich and green.
Teachers moving from classrooms as the bell rings for break and class change.
For the last 4 years, we have been not only supporting the orphans and disadvantaged young people as they study at our elementary/primary school, but as they graduate, we have continued fully supporting quite a number who are very focused on going far academically and who have no other support options.
Above our group studying at Restore Leadership High School–one of Gulu’s best. They each score excellent results year after year and we’re so proud of them!
Some of our most recent graduates, (along with Director Michael and a couple teachers) headed off to their excellent secondary schools. They worked hard to achieve grades that could be accepted by these schools and we know they’ll continue to excel.
11 years ago, we were involved in a team which took hand-cranked tape recorders with Bible stories in the Ik language up to the extreme north east of Uganda. This tribe had never heard these stories in their own language. The Bible stories meant a great deal to them and we formed a bond that lasted and grew since then.
At the request of the elders, we had 12 wonderful Ik pupils at our school last year. Because they did so well, other members of the different communities across the escarpment which borders Kenya requested if we could bring more Ik young people to study with us. They are delightful kids so we happily arranged to pick up a total of 20 we are now caring for and teaching.
As the land cruisers we’d hired moved slowly down the mountain as we headed to our school, we had a very enthusiastic crowd cheering and singing.
It’s a real privilege for us to work with this very disadvantaged and forgotten tribe, the Ik. Their young people are doing so well, we’re now sponsoring the first 4 in secondary school and the ones studying in our school (some of whom are pictured below) are excelling!
What a way to start 2016 off with a bang! Our dear friends at Let’s Go Travel donated most generously, 3 complete sets of Text books for each of our classes!
These books are exactly what each class needs to help them understand every subject and point on the curriculum. It’s just wonderful!
Last year the Let’s Go Travel team also sponsored our traveling P7 class to a beautiful meal when they were on their excursion to the capital! We are so grateful!
In Uganda, we don’t have accumulated grading, with credit for work done throughout the year, so far, until the system updates, it all depends on one exam. This is most impactful for those finishing elementary (Primary) school. Their whole futures in secondary school depend on how they do on the one National exam. That exam this year will be on Monday or Tuesday, so thank you for your prayers for our kids to do well.
We know each child has been giving it their best. We’re so proud of them, for their efforts, and their determination.
We’ve been really enjoying life at the school amidst the very serious studies going on with end of year exams coming really soon. Below–teachers challenge the students to a lively volleyball game. Both sides are actually really good.
An enthusiastic group of watches loved the antics on the volleyball field!
A group of girls headed to get their evening meal after a fulfilling day. Living together students develop a lot of warm friendships, which help a lot in the healing of the difficulties of their past.
Every evening we have our generator light up all the classrooms from 7 till 10 for the oldest students. We’re hoping for solar power for our library soon. In the meantime, teacher Douglas is instructing one of the boys on how to replace the 4T and fuel.
The children we have in our school have mostly come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. Most have not seen even a small town, a lake, or any real development since they come from mud huts in the deepest and most remote villages. To help in their exposure to the world around them, and to help them learn what living in 2015 really means, we arranged a 4 day trip to the capital, through a Wild Life reserve, to visit the university, the airport, to ride escalators and elevators, to swim in Lake Victoria, to have a tour of a hospital, and to learn as much as we could squeeze into those few days. It was a life-changing experience for them and we heartily thank each of you who contribute to our care of these exceptional young people to make something like this possible.
It was thrilling for each child to be able to see so many animals, to go on safari, to ride a boat along the River Nile.
Our P7 class with some teachers. We traveled to the top of Murchison Falls where the massive Nile squeezes through a 7m wide water fall. The power of the river is unforgettable.
It was thrilling watching planes land, take-off and cargo and passengers being handled at our main national airport in Entebbe.
Our visits to the National Museum and here the Wildlife Education Center were so informative.
At each point, the students took notes at what the guides explained and each will do a presentation about what they learned from their life-changing excursion and how it’s impacted their life-choices from here on.
Traditionally, the end of each term schools love to celebrate all that has been accomplished. After a series of exams, it’s always a very welcome break and reward.
This term again, we awarded children who had either excelled academically, or in their attitudes, their progress during the term, with several books and pens each.
We choose to not only reward academics since the holistic development of the child is so important to us–plus it gives particular encouragement to those who are trying hard.
Apart from receiving Certificates of Appreciation, we also had a lot of dancing and games. Below sack races were a lot of fun for the younger classes.
The group of girls below sang beautifully: thanking God for His care and committing to follow Him. Then below, Acholi dancing is always a favourite way of celebrating.
We have been putting a lot of emphasis on finalizing two children’s houses. We look forward to the time in the future when we can plant trees, hedges, put in flowers and such–but it’s all step by step, as funds allow. We are very happy with our painters (who also painted the classrooms and admin block) who are doing an excellent job here.
A few of our girls who are thrilled with their new home. It’s looking so nice and just imagine when we get nice grass and plants around–it’ll be gorgeous!
A photo showing both our most recent buildings for the children. We still need to put Facing board up, but progress is very steady and we are most grateful for your donations.
Each child is giving it their best this week as we’re finishing up Mid-term exams for Term 2. Taking exams regularly helps us find which areas the children don’t understand well enough yet, and which they easily grasp. Here, our teaching staff between classes with Director Michael in the back.
Girls just about to begin their chores after class.
While exams have been continuing, the first painting has begun on our 2 latest housing units for the children. In the background you see the first with its full undercoat, ready for paint to very hopefully be donated. The building closest is being worked on as we write.
Below, one of our two newest housing units, with the outside painting on its way. It’s so exciting for the children seeing their home and surroundings growing so steadily. We really thank God and each of you who contribute to making these miracles in the bush possible. The aggregate rock around the building is from the freshly constructed 3 new toilets, and to be stacked, ready till we receive another miracle and can make our final 2 housing buildings.