Our Charity and the Dream Scheme principles
Our charity, based in the small Normandy village of Saint Lucien, works with some of the poorest people in Uganda. There are 11 “Dream Scheme” groups around the capital, Kampala. They are led by volunteers who care for their communities; men and women of principle who have a desire to improve the conditions of their fellow citizens, both young and old.
The principles of Dream Scheme – WORK POINTS REWARDS
We take as our starting point the idea that children – even the most disadvantaged – are capable of doing wonderful things, and that they can gain pleasure in return for community service.
Outside their hours in the classroom, primary school children (many of them AIDS orphans) learn skills and go out to give something back to other people in their communities, Among a range of projects, they repair the homes of elderly people; they clean village water sources and tidy up around markets, giving a practical lead to their parents; they plant flowers and trees to improve the environment.
For each hour that children in a Dream Scheme group work, they earn not money but points. When they have collected enough, they are rewarded with a treat. Often this is a day out; many village children have never visited the next town let alone the capital, only an hour’s drive away! Sometimes they can spend time at the nearby Lake Victoria or meet visitors at the airport. On a recent visit, we were able to take a group of sponsored children to an evening of dance and song at a Kampala cultural centre. That was something very special.
For us these are small things; for children with nothing they improve the quality of life enormously. If these youngsters are going to have any kind of future, they will need some practical skills; remember that few of them will be able to benefit from secondary education. That is beyond the aspirations of the majority.
The state cannot give them these skills, and this is where Dream Scheme Uganda comes into the picture. Their leaders work extremely hard, but without help they will lack the resources to support these youngsters.
We, at Les Amis d’Ouganda, are doing all we can to give them those resources. But what we can do will never be enough.
Make a difference
What have we achieved so far (we only started in 2004)?
– helped to buy land in the village of Bubebbere; this allows youngsters to learn farming skills: to feed themselves and to produce cash crops; we have given aid to help them become self-sufficient in the provision of fruit and vegetables both for the school and its orphanage.
– helped to rebuild the Little Angels Primary School in the same village. This school is run by Dream Scheme people, so there is interaction between that, the training, and the community service. We have funded the building of a kitchen and staff housing to help persuade teachers to come to this poor and isolated village.
– supported the Dream Scheme orphanage and financed a solar panel in the dormitories. The provision of electric light represents a true revolution for this village.
– financed the construction of three classrooms in the village of Bulumbu which until then had nowhere for the children to learn. We have also provided a water tank to enable them to harvest rainwater.
– found sponsors for village children. The money paid for school fees not only enables the children to benefit from education, but gives the schools stability. Now the teachers can be paid on a regular basis so that our colleagues can attract qualified staff. In addition a poor area is being rejuvenated.
– funded a number of self-sufficiency schemes: particularly poultry, pig and sewing projects. The principles are simple: a) few of the children will have the opportunity to go to secondary school but they receive training which will eventually help them to earn a living. b) the schemes act as models which will enable others to learn from them and replicate the ideas. c) the produce is sold to ensure that the projects can stand on their own two feet.
– financed healthcare projects; Aids awareness courses, the provision of clean water and of mosquito nets for vulnerable children.
– run a course in basic healthcare, particularly dealing with basic nutrition and problems of diarrhoea and dehydration in very young children.
We visit Uganda regularly to look at the projects and to meet the children. In this way, we can ensure that the money you give us is being properly used.
Sponsorship. The children that we want to help come from very poor communities. They live at a subsistence level. Life expectancy is very short – diseases such as measles, diarrhoea and malaria are common. Nutrition is poor. And many of them are orphans whose parents have died of AIDS. Even among those who embark on primary education, many have to drop out. They cannot afford the school fees; they have to look after their younger brothers and sisters; often at a very young age they have to work.
Their future looks grim. Les Amis d’Ouganda is dedicated to helping our Ugandan colleagues to improve their chances in life. Please sponsor one of them. Show them that someone, somewhere cares. £65 a year (little more than £1 a week) is a small amount for a child’s future. This will pay for: – a year’s tuition – his or her school uniform – lunch every day of the school year – administration charges We cannot help every child in need – so how do we choose the youngsters that we seek to support? We are trying to help: 1. Orphans. 2. Children from poor families. 3. Marginalised girl children (Ugandan culture tends to favour boys to the disadvantage of girls) 4. Bright but poor children – and those who have the personality and desire to succeed. 5. Children working on Dream Scheme projects. We promise to give you feedback; initially in the form of end-of-term reports and photos. Later those who have made enough progress will be able to write to you.
Currently, our sponsors are supporting 72 children in primary school, 10 young people in secondary education (youngsters who have passed through our primary school project) and three young women in training who are progressing through a course in Early Childhood Education/Nursery Teaching and whom we hope will return to Bubebbere and Bulumbu at the end of their course to help to make a real difference to the children and young mothers in the villages.
PLEASE HELP US TO CHANGE THINGS FOR THE BETTER
We are happy that our early efforts to support our Ugandan friends and colleagues have started to make a difference and we are grateful to groups and individuals who have made donations to support this work. It is not enough though, and without your contributions it never will be enough for all the projects that could benefit so many youngsters if we had the necessary start-up funds. We long to be able to give that support.
PLEASE HELP US. Your membership of Les Amis d’Ouganda, or your donation, could make the difference and give other groups of youngsters a future. A small amount can go a long way in Africa
Please talk to us if you think that you can support us in any other way. We should welcome help with open arms.
Please note: We promise that every single pound or euro that is donated will go directly to the people in need. We make no deductions to cover our costs. We pay them out of our own pockets.
Our work is in the hands of : Keith Mills – Président; Marc Filliat – Treasurer; Martine Filliat – Secretary; Jeanette Mills – Assistant Secretary. Committee: Olivier Camus, Jacques & Hélène Carré, Philippe Cavillon, Andrew & Gill Partridge, François Perotto.
I should like to help to change things
Please find enclosed my contribution : Ordinary member : membership : 5 € (£4.50) _____
Patron : minimum : 25 € (£20) ______ Other donation : ____________
Please make cheques out in favour of: Les Amis d’Ouganda (French supporters) Friends of Uganda (UK supporters)
For further information, or if you think you can help us in any way:
Keith Mills, Les Amis d’Ouganda, Les Quatre Oiseaux, 16 rue du Bas, 76780 Saint-Lucien, France.
Email: 4.oiseaux @ wanadoo . fr