The playground at Lela Obaro is also experiencing high use, again the swings are a favorite. All the tire swings needed work, the tire rings had all been broken, they were replaced by metal rings and are once again functioning. The school has organized teams to clean up garbage and rake the playground sand regularly. We are encouraging Palenga to also develop this system to improve safety and neatness of the playground.
Before we left Uganda, Philip, Evelyn and Joni were in Gulu for a few last meetings to tie up lose ends.
This year many of you gave donated items for Teddie Primary School in Amuru District, Northern Uganda. We would like to thank Anyim Projects for their donation to purchase desks, book shelves, staff room table, teacher desks and chairs, Star Ecoworks for donating the solar lateen, Vermeulen family for purchasing textbooks and sporting equipment, a calgary school for donating kids t-shirts and the Emmanuel Foundation for donating bikes. All of these items were handed over to the school and will help to improve the teaching environment. I also forgot to mention we would like to thank the parents at Teddie whom prepared a meal for everyone who attended the opening – including hundreds of parents, community members, invited guests and for all the children. WOW!
The Ssubi Foundation handed over a classroom block, administration offices and latrine block to Teddie Primary School in Amuru District. The building was commissioned by Betty Bigombe (MP for region) and was handed over to the community of Teddie. The ceremony included many performances from Teddie students as well as students from other schools whom had traveled to attend the opening. The support from parents and region was wonderful and together they presented Ssubi with a large male goat named Gadaffi:)
We had a wonderful meeting with most of the 35 members of the RRLWG where they provided us with a progress report of their activities. Last year we supported two initiatives, we provided financial assistance for the group members to train other microloan and savings groups and we purchased some chairs in support of their newly developed event business.
Over the last year the group worked with three other micoloaning and savings groups and a number of improvement were noted, including improved record keeping, opening of group bank accounts to keep finances safe, increased savings amoung group members, introduction of buying shares and retaining 10% of groups savings to accumulate funds. The RRLWG reported there were many other groups requesting similar training. Building on this success, The Ssubi Foundation agreed to continue to support the RRLWG in training other groups.
In addition, the group started with 100 chairs and some tables which they rent out for events. They were able to make some profits and have reinvested into the business through the purchase of more chairs. The group would like to expand the business to include tents which they currently sub contract from other event businesses. They feel their customers would benefit if they were a more holistic service provider. The Ssubi Foundation plans to fundraise over the next year to help with some of the start-up costs associated with the group expanding their business.
The playground at Lela Obaro is now open, thank you Emmanuel Foundation and Mary Tidlund Foundation. We named the playground Mwanda Park in memory of our late engineer who built teacher accommodations, classrooms and a library at the school. I loved the reaction to the tire swings- there were so many kids on it but they were all pushing it different directions so it went no where:) Soon enough it was figured out with after a helpful demonstration.
Dirisa (Solar Engineer) recently installed solar lighting at the new classroom block and administration offices at Teddie Primary School. Although the lighting is important to the community, the ability to charge cell phones is really exciting. A special thanks to Star Ecoworks from Calgary who donated a solar lantern and cell phone charger to Teddie and also provided an updated case and parts so older models of the lanterns can now charge cell phones.
Dirisa updating older solar lantern from Star Ecoworks so it can charge cell phones.
A number of bikes were included in the shipment send by the Emmanuel Foundation and Mary Tidlund Foundation. Philip and Tracy along with 2 bike mechanics from Gulu spend the day ensuring they were all road ready. These bikes will be donated to the teaching staff at Teddie Primary School to improve their transportation.
Tracy working on bikes
Tracy and Philip racing bikes
The playground at Palenga Primary School in Gulu District is officially open for business and it had a jam packed first day. After a lengthy opening ceremony including a marching band and seven speeches the kids were set free. It was mad congestion that apparently continued until 8pm at night. We have created mayham for the teaching staff who quickly put together a time table for day 2 so classes could have a proper play. Thank you Emmanuel Foundation, Mary Tidlund Foundation and all the wonderful volunteers whom came to help build the playground.
Playground is open for business
The slide is a favourite
Two to a swing
Philip with marching band
Evelyn translates for Deputy Speaker of Uganda