Christmas Greetings and End of Term in Nabugabo 2019
We hope all our supporters are well and looking forward to the Christmas break. As you may recall from David Batten's last newsletter the official handover of Nabugago Community Learning Centre, Uganda took place on the 30th November and we are therefore writing on behalf of NCLC and HUGE to thank you for your continued support. School term has now finished at NCLC and both staff and children are enjoying a well-earned rest.
It was a busy and productive term. Most importantly as many of you know, the children in Primary 7 sat their Primary Leaving Examinations at the beginning of November and in the period leading up to these exams, the teachers did a fantastic job in preparing the children for the task ahead and we thank them wholeheartedly for their commitment and support. Special thanks should also go to Pete Lawrence from the Sotogrande International School community who spent three months with the staff and children providing additional help and advice.
All ten children in P7 sat the exams and under the Ugandan education system these had to be taken approximately 10 miles away at another school because this was the nearest registered exam centre. As a result, the children had to spend two nights away from home and we are very proud of how they coped with this situation especially in strange surroundings. After the event, the children all felt the exams went reasonably well and now it is a long wait until the results are released in mid-January.
At the end of term and in keeping with Ugandan traditions, the school held a wonderful graduation ceremony to mark the fantastic achievement of the children in Primary 7. This was particularly poignant because these children really are pioneers having started at the school seven years ago and now, all being well, will attend secondary school in January 2020. We thank you for the very important role you have played in supporting the school and children so that they were able to complete their primary school journey. The event was attended by all the children and staff at NCLC and, importantly, parents, guardians, VIP guests and friends of the school. The attendance was strong which is another testament to the strength of the school and the community.
The graduation was a day of celebration and enjoyment, with gifts to each of the P7 children including a memorable graduation year book with heartfelt messages from supporters around the world. Other classes from NCLC performed some wonderful dancing and singing, and there were also notable speeches from many including Vincent Yefusa the headmaster, David Batten, Sister Magdelena from Ssunga clinic, Valentina Stirling and Pete Lawrence. We thank Valentina from Kindred Project and Jane Lawrence from SIS for making the special effort to come over from Spain to attend the graduation.
One of the significant turning points of last term was the launch of the Secondary Education Fund whereby Huge have committed to supporting the children from NCLC on the next stage of their educational journey. A secondary school called Kizito Secondary School has been identified and we welcome the opportunity of working with this school going forward. We thank all those who have been instrumental in the launch of this fund particularly the Beatrice Laing Trust, Pangbourne College and SIS Kindred Project.
Throughout the year we have had some amazing fundraising activities for HUGE and we would like to thank all of those who have got their running kit on, made calendars, held wreath making workshops, worn jeans for a day, made canapes, donated pants and socks, requested donations to HUGE instead of birthday presents and many more. Thank you to everyone - we are extremely grateful. We also held a party to celebrate seven years of HUGE supporting NCLC in London by kind permission of JLL and had a wonderful turnout. Thank you to all who attended and donated.
Having officially taken the baton on the 30th November, we at HUGE are very excited about the future at NCLC, Nabugabo and in particular working alongside schools such as SIS and also individual supporters. However, it is an emotional handover and we on behalf of HUGE and NCLC would like to pay a tribute to the amazing work David and Judy Batten have achieved over the last 8 years. From the outset, they came to Uganda with a passion and a desire to educate and this they have certainly done turning their Field of Dreams into a thriving beacon of a school which dares to do things differently with the welfare of the children as paramount. Not only have a generation of children received an education they would otherwise have been denied, but many teachers and the community have benefitted from their wealth of experience and compassion to see things done fairly and properly. It is very big shoes to fill and we the trustees, will work very hard to keep up the phenomenal work they have tirelessly carried out.
With Very Best Wishes and Thanks,
Richard, Bridget, Marc and Mel
Trustees of The HUGE Partnership