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Archive for August, 2012

Sponsor children

Monday, August 27th, 2012

We had lots of time to visit with our sponsor children this time round and really enjoyed spending time with them all. Rita (P5) and Gertrude (P6) from Lilly are doing really well. They were part of the group that visited  Gulu and stayed in the hotel with us and Philip, Dusman and Jonny took them for a fun shopping trip to pick up school requirements. They live near Philip’s mom house so we were able to chat with them often.
We had a lovely breakfast at Acholie Inn with Anne, who is in second year of a four year law degree at University. After discussing the challenges of taking a degree with out a computer we decided to purchase her one!

Michael (S6), Opio (S6), Carol (S6) and Winnie (S1) are all at St. Henery’s in Kampala. During their holidays they came to our opening ceremony and encouraged students to work hard. Michael, Opio, Winnie and Daniel attended either Lela Obao or Palenga Primary School, so they are good role models for the younger students.

Daniel (S2) is in Gulu High School, we plan to move him with the rest of the gang in Kampala for S3.

Beatrice (P6) from Bright Valley Academy in Gulu had a chance to meet Rita and Gertrude when they came to Gulu. They were all happy to find out they would be attending the same high school in Kampala when the time comes.

Sponsor children at opening ceremony

Beatrice with Philip

Daniel with Philip

Rita with Jan and Bob

Teddie Primary School

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This trip the honourable Betty Bigombe took us to see Teddie Primary School in Amuru Distirct, Northern Uganda. It was a Sunday, so school was out but many community members showed up to welcome us. I thought upon first glance at 2 temporary classroom structures that it was a small community school of about 100-200 students. I was surprised to learn that the school supported 780 students from P1-7 and had seven teachers paid for by the parents. Teddie is a community school, completely supported by parents and we were really impressed with their efforts. If they are short money for payment of teacher salaries parents will dig the teachers garden for them. We have asked Dusman and Evelyn to explore more about this school to see if there is a role for Ssubi to help them with infrastructure.

temporary classroom structure for lower primary classes

temporary classroom structure built by parents with support from Save the Children

Students at the school

Betty meeting parents from the school

Some of the parents

Lilly School visits Gulu

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

This year we brought the orphan troupe from Lilly Primary School in Kampala to Gulu to perform at the hand over ceremony at Lela Obaro Primary School. Since we support schools in both Kampala and Gulu, we thought an exchange between schools would be exciting for the students and help to create unity and understanding between the north and south. For most of the kids it was their first time out of Kampala and they loved staying in the hotel. They wanted to stay longer as it was so much fun. The Lilly orphans live in very crowded dormitory conditions in Kampala, so this was a special treat.

My favourite part was all the people that joined in when Lilly was performing, it was very festive. In the background check out the some of the Ssubi workers dancing in a circle.

Lilly kids having breakfast at hotel in Gulu

Lilly kids swimming in pool at hotel in Gulu

George talking with the Lilly kids about the history of northern Uganda.

Hand over ceremony at Lela Obaro Primary School

Friday, August 10th, 2012

After one month of construction, four teacher units were handed over to Lela Obaro Primary School. It was a very festive day, with special guests, Lilly School Orphan Dance Troupe from Kampala capturing everyones hearts. The event guest of honour, Betty Bigombe, Minister of Water and Environment gave a powerful speech encouraging the people to take pride and care of their new buildings and to build on the success of this achievement through providing a higher quality of education at Lela Obaro Primary School.

Calm before the hand over ceremony. The new teacher units with beans, planted by the parents growing in the foreground.

Gulu band warming up with a little help from Philip!

Students of Lela Obaro warming up for the parade

Evelyn (Ssubi), Tracy (Ssubi), District Education Officer, Minister Water and Environment, Regional Presidential Representative, Gulu Chairman LC5, and Philip (Ssubi) at hand over ceremony.

Philip introducing Mwanda and John (project engineers - far left) and the builders.

Ssubi sponsor children introducing themselves at event, 2 of them attended Lela Obaro School.

Ssubi receiving gifts from the Parent Teachers Association

Lilly Orphan Dance Troupe from Kampala performs

Commissioning the building

Finishing Touches

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The teacher accommodations are almost complete and the opening ceremony is just around the corner.

Buying furniture for teacher accommodations.

Judy G. testing out the new chairs.

Anything for a good shot, Judy and Ian filming the installation of the solar panels.

Ssubi hired a grader to flatten the sports field which still had a number of army trenches from the civil war.

Views from the Road

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

We almost always see something we have never seen before when traveling from Kampala to Gulu, here are some of our recent photos….

Bike on Boda (photo thanks to Ian Haggerman)

Chicken transport

Stressed Beef – cattle transport truck- they are in there somewhere, usually there are cattle limbs sticking out the side of the truck.

No electricity - Dusman cranks us some diesel.

Seriously!! This one is from last year, but I think worth the re-post, we were scared to even pass as it looked like it could topple over at any moment.

Palenga Primary School

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

We visited Palenga Primary School the other day and spent some time in the library, which we built a few years back. Madame Openy the hear teacher retires in November, a big loss to the education system, but we are confident she will always be an educator and a strong community leader.

Ssubi poster displayed in library at Palenga (poster developed by Clay Graphic Design, Calgary, Alberta). The photo was taken when students were transferring books to the new library from storage, one of the boys is now in Primary 6 and the other is in Senior 1.

Most of the teachers are living in huts built for the Palenga Internally Displaced Peoples Camp. The school requested a few not be destroyed when the civil war ended and people moved back home. Imagine there were thousands of these huts all very close together during the time of the IDP camp.

Solar lanterns donated by Star Ecoworks still in use by teachers after three years.

The Kids of Lela Obaro

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Everyday we enjoy watching the kids of Lela Obaro School going about their daily lessons. At lunchtime you realize how big the student body is as they fill the school grounds and play.

King of the Castle

Football game during gym class

School is out!

St Henry Secondary School

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

We were lucky to sneak in a visit with Michael, Carol, Opio and Winnie at their high school just before a one-month school vacation. They are all very happy with the quality of the learning environment and we felt there was a noticeable difference in their confidence and focus. Opio and Michael graduated from primary seven from Lela Obaro Primary School when it was stationed at Palenga Internally Displaced Peoples’s camp during the civil war and are now  close to graduating from high school.  Winnie, received a 1st grade (greater than 80% in all subjects in national exams) from Palenga Primary School and is now in senior 1 (grade 8). The head teacher requested we send more children like Winnie her way! We are very proud of all the sponsor children.

Carol, Michael and Opio at St Henry

School principle, Dusman and Philip greeting the students

Students at assembly

Michael and Opio sending us off. Along with Carol, they will have a one week vacation in Gulu and then return to the school to focus on their studies over the break.

Construction on Schedule

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The construction of the teacher accommodations at Lela Obaro Primary School continues at great speed.  We have now had visits from most of the district administrators, including Gulu District Deputy Chairman, Gulu Distirct Education Officer and his Deputy and the Gulu District Engineer. The district engineer provided us with a run down on some of the new building methods they are testing to improve environmental sustainability, including different style’s of pit latrines. Stay tuned to learn more about that:)  This year we built the toilets out of cement bricks to increase the strength of the building and to reduce our use of red clay bricks made using firewood.

Gulu DEO and District Engineer meeting with Mwanda and John (project engineers) and Ssubi team.

John (project engineer) on site

One of our women workers constructing a chimney

Pit latrines made with large cement bricks