The format is a little like our old newsletters before we joined the “blogosphere”!
School Hall at Bubebbere
We are very proud of the construction of the hall. It is the biggest capital project that we have ever attempted. For that we must express our gratitude to the Region of Haute-Normandie. Without its support with a grant, we could never have got this far.
As I write, the final touches are being made. It will then serve as a facility for the school itself, as a place for the children from the orphanage to relax in the evenings, as a centre for the live-in staff, and whenever needed as a community facility; the only one in the area. Of course with no electricity, its use would be severely limited which is why we are currently making arrangements for solar lighting to be installed. This will continue the lighting revolution that we helped to get under way in the orphanage three years ago. We plan to have it in place in time for Christmas.
We are very fortunate to have the support of a charitable foundation which, over the years, has helped us in a variety of ways. At the heart of this support was the financing of the construction of the first three classrooms at Bulumbu. They have now given us 50% of the money needed to build a fourth one. A start has been made and our colleagues are waiting for us to find the necessary funds to complete the work.
Clean water scheme at Bubebbere
It is with great pleasure that we can report that the Conseil Général (Seine-Maritime) has agreed to give us a grant for a clean water scheme at Bubebbere. There is a spring within the grounds which will act as the source for this project. Once the area has been cleared and made secure, the water will be pumped up to the school and the orphanage.
At present the boys and girls must carry jerrycans of water from a more distant source every morning and every evening. Once this work has been completed, not only will there be guaranteed provision of clean water, but the quality of life of these young boys and girls will be much enhanced.
As a footnote, it is worth noting that currently our colleagues have to pay for tankers to deliver water to the schools whenever they want to get on with a building programme.
We have discussed this many times during the year, so let us keep it brief. That more than 90 youngsters are currently being supported gives us real pleasure. Even more pleasing is how generously sponsors seek to help their Ugandan children with all sorts of extras. Many have bought gifts to improve their lives (among other things, school uniforms, shoes, clothes, mattresses), others are paying for food to enable unfortunate children to be cared for in the orphanage, and there has even been help for families (economic projects, medical care). Without this kind of generous support, these already needy children would have even poorer lives.
End-of-year examinations have recently taken place in Uganda. A young woman (the third now) is in the final stages of her studies in Early Childhood Education at the Nangabo Vocational Institute. For the first time we have a student taking her ‘A’ levels, others are being tested with their ‘O’ levels and, as every year, several are taking their Primary Leaving Exams (they need to pass these to have a chance of progressing to the secondary school level). Our best wishes go to all of them.
The power of the blog. The piece that we wrote on the subject of jiggers had an important and beneficial result. It persuaded many sponsors to buy shoes for their Ugandan children and we have also received a good supply of second-hand pairs. Thank you everybody.
Expansion of the farm at Bubebbere
Our motto has always been “Helping others to help themselves”. The expansion of the farm at Bubebbere is a fine example of how this is working. The production of fruit and vegetables for the school children and for those in the orphanage not only cuts down on the cost of purchasing food, but is also a way of improving the diet and so the health of the children.
Balade Contée in France
Earlier in the year we told you about the plans for our Balade Contée in France. I am delighted to report that it was an enormous success. We were blessed by the warm September sun, people turned up in good numbers, the setting was beautiful, and our storytellers brought great pleasure to the participants – both young and old – and much-needed income for our projects. Our thanks go to everybody who helped to make this such an enjoyable afternoon.
A small group of us will be visiting Uganda in February when of course we shall be able to spend some time with the sponsored children. This is just an early reminder that if you want to write a message to your child, you need to get it to us before the end of January and we shall hand it over with great pleasure.