Sponsorship The only disappointment during 2015 was that we failed to attract as many new sponsors as we need. Although this is a great challenge for 2016, we must not allow it to mask the real pleasure we gained elsewhere.
It was so simple in our early days. All of the children were in nursery or primary school, but success gave us a real challenge as the youngsters moved on beyond this level. We now have 14 children at various stages of their secondary education; with several more due to join them this year. Several young women have gained a certificate in early childhood education from the Nangabo Vocational Institute. The latest success from there is Florence Namitala who gained a Grade A pass. Florence has progressed as a sponsored girl from the village to secondary school and now beyond.. She has returned to Bulumbu to work with the little ones there. She is determined to give back something of what she knows has been done for her.
We have had other successes: a young woman is now earning her living as a hairdresser and a young man has just qualified from a welding course. A third is about to start his second year on a hairdressing course at the YMCA in Kampala. Perhaps the greatest pleasure rests with a girl who has been sponsored since her primary school years and has become our first ever university entrant.
Of course, none of this could have happened without the generosity of the people who support them. Each level of education naturally becomes more expensive. Our congratulations go to the students; but our gratitude goes to their sponsors who have often built up a relationship with the boy or girl whom they are helping, and that in itself is a real delight.
Gifts Our thanks also go out to those who over the year were even more generous with the purchase of gifts for their child: clothes, shoes, school uniforms. One sponsor bought mosquito nets for his child and for his friends, to try to help them to avoid malaria which is a constant threat. Another, whose boy had been intermittently ill for many years, has helped with the payment of medical fees to help him to overcome the problem.
Clean water project at Bubebbere It is with great pleasure that we can report that this project has been completed. Water can now be pumped from a protected spring to the school and orphanage where a tank has been installed to store the water as well as, during the rainy season, taking it from the roofs of the school buildings. We thank the Department of Seine-Maritime for its help with this. Their grant made a great difference to the work.
Fourth classroom at Bulumbu The construction of the 4th classroom at Bulumbu has been completed and a start made on the 5th and 6th rooms. This would have been impossible without the support of a charitable foundation which, although it wishes to remain anonymous, knows how grateful we are for its support over many years.
The same organisation enabled us to purchase an ecological brick-making machine. Not only will this help us to cut costs on building projects but will in due course bring in further revenue at the same time as protecting the environment.
The classrooms at Bubebbere Because of the shortage of funds, these were never built to an acceptable standard and over the years they have deteriorated. We have started a rolling programme to renovate them in order to try to give the children a decent place in which to study. We have not got the wherewithal to do them all in one go as we should have wished. The first two have been completed and the others will be done one at a time as money becomes available. Finally, we shall need to replace the leaking roofing sheets.
Reading for Pleasure The initiation of this programme has been a great delight. A dozen individual sponsors and Westwood Primary School in Lancashire have provided funds to buy the first set of books and we shall follow the progress of the scheme with great interest. If enough money becomes available, we hope also to be able to purchase text books for the school. It sorely needs them.
Forever Friends of Uganda After an initially difficult start, a partner charity to Les Amis d’Ouganda is now up and running in UK. We could not have got where we are without the support and work of Pam Winders in London. We shall keep supporters on both sides of the Channel up-to-date with what is going on with this partnership.
And Not To Forget In February 2015, three of us (Jeanette, Pam and Keith) visited Uganda. We were able to meet the sponsored children at all levels – always a great pleasure. In addition, we participated in the official opening ceremony of the new school hall at Bubebbere. This was another partnership development, and our thanks go out to the Region of Haute-Normandie for the generous grant that contributed significantly to the success of this project.
There is so much more that we should like to achieve but at present cannot. If current supporters/readers could spread the word it would give us a real boost. The more people who know about us, the more we should be able to achieve.