Latest news from the lakeshore March 2014
Meetings with remarkable people
Uganda has had much harsh press worldwide, often deservedly.
But there are many remarkable Ugandans who quietly, invisibly, do inspirational work despite often living under most extreme conditions - remarkable people who refuse to 'give in' and offer selfless service, despite formidable obstacles. People who consistently put others before themselves - they are not simply community members; they are educators - powerful visionaries who 'Make a Difference'.
They are people, mostly women, who look way, way beyond 'now-now' (today) who strive for self-determination and a preferred future, not only locally, but globally for future generations and the planet as a whole. Their stories deserve deep respect. Here is just one of thousands of stories.
For many years, Nyonyintono Immaculate and a small group of friends, have cared for the elderly within her community - more than 85 people, all over the age of 65 years. Immaculate is a devoted Christian but she extends her love and care to all regardless of race, colour or creed; the majority of the people she (and her teachers/school) care for are not of her tribe, clan or religion. She is quiet, focused and distressed... but not disturbed. It is impossible to convey the depth and breadth of her and her colleagues work.
Immaculate is 40 years of age with four children. She opened King's Kids Nursery School in Kyangale (35 kms west of Nabugabo), in 2010, which now has an enrolment of 108 children (half of whom are orphans), recognising that the future lies in children's hands and the trust of the community is a shared affair. Meeting salaries and providing food is difficult, as in all schools in Uganda.
There are 4 teachers at the school (including Immaculate).
The teachers' salaries are 180,000ugx per month (£45 per month, £11.25 per week), with accommodation provided.
The 4 teachers share a single room with all their children. Water is taken from the well at the bottom of the hill, when there is water. There is no electricity.
Every day, after work, Immaculate and the teachers look after the elders in the community. They bathe them, clean their homes and clothes, cook for them and make every effort to ensure that they are comfortable and awarded the respect they deserve but have lost due to their age and many other complex factors.
Health Matters at Nabugabo
Tropical sores are a pain; they are usually caused by a simple scratch or jiggers. Few children wear shoes after returning home from school. Raymond (age 6) revealed his problem after limping to school yesterday. He lives with his grandmother who is partially sighted so she was unaware of his difficulty because children (and all others here) simply do not complain about discomfort. Basic health and hygiene is always problematic. Thanks to the generosity of many donors who provided a well-stocked infirmary at the school, Raymond will recover swiftly.
Malaria continues to hammer away despite all best efforts. The Emergency Health Fund has made a massive difference. In the past 6 weeks, 9 children have been treated/admitted at Ssunga Clinic with chronic malaria at a cost of 130,000ugx. All are now well thanks to the HUGE Partnership, Sotogrande International School, the International School of London, Qatar and especially Michael Soutar and so, so many good friends in Canada.
Finally... the kitchen and two store rooms begins construction
After much deliberation, the kitchen and two store rooms begins construction thanks to the purchase of land and serious funding by the HUGE Partnership (UK).
The old wooden kitchen, with its eco-friendly stove, will be preserved for staff and dependants' use. The new kitchen will build upon lessons learned. One store will house food, the other will house school materials, sports equipment etc. Both store rooms will be rat, snake, bat and bomb proof!