Sunday, 30 May 2010

A message from the Headmaster...

Please see pictured the letter from Royal Pride's Headteacher and staff to those who kindly donated funds for the school. It means so much to them and this term should be relatively mud free!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Half Term at Sipi Falls

Once again combining a work trip with some sightseeing, we hit the road over the girls' half term break. We visited 2 of the IMC clinics with which Alison has been working based in Lira and Pader in the North of Uganda, until quite recently inaccessible due to the war waged by Kony's Lords' Resistance Army. Particularly in Pader, the level of healthcare is very basic and there were a lot of sick people waiting in line to see the only doctor in attendance that day. Pader clinic is IMCs first venture into a private/public partnership, so there is a great deal of effort being put into making it work, but inevitably a lot of obstacles need to be overcome, not least of all differing working practices.

After leaving the clinics we headed back to Kampala via the beautiful Sipi Falls, which comprise a series of waterfalls fed by the glaciers of neighbouring Mount Elgon, once Africa's highest peak. The accomodation comprised rustic huts with hot showers supplied by wood fires and the fresh mountain air was a welcome break from the dusty heat of Kampala. We spent 2 full days there and were joined by some good friends Natalie and George. We trekked to all 3 waterfalls including a trip over the top of one of them upon the recommendation and reassurance of some local likely lads. Their idea of steep and slippy was somewhat different from ours, but we made it over the rickety ladders and precarious bridges to live to tell the tale. Another example of the disparity between English and African risk assessment!

The journey home was rather drawn out as it coincided with the start of the new Ugandan school term and most children board here. There was also a local election happening and the roads were full of supporters and armed police and tanks. Doesn't bode too well for the presidential elections early next year, but we will thankfully be gone by then!

Happy Birthday Stacey!

We recently hosted a surprise birthday party for our friend, neighbour and fellow volunteer Stacey. Amazingly, it was the first BBQ we have undertaken here and took place in the 'secret garden'- a grassy patch beyond our compound walls. We generated a lot of interest from the local kids who enjoyed the balloons and some tasty burgers and trifle.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Pride at the Academy...

The new floor at the Royal Pride Academy has been completed whilst the children are off on holiday. It was a bigger job than expected (as always!) but fortunately we were able to finish what we wanted thanks to your generosity. The staff and children are so excited and grateful. It now means they have raised classrooms so that the water can't affect lessons. Here are some of the teachers and children stading proudly atop their new flooring. One of the teachers, Irene, calls the new flooring a 'quencher', as it has quenched the fire of those people in the community who used to say that they were wasting their time with the school and it would never come to anything.
It is a massive step in the right direction for the school. We had to put back the old wooden structure for the classrooms until we have funding for brick walls. We're also hoping to develop the 'playground' in the future too. The teachers' plan is to hire out the largest building and compound to the local community for functions at weekends, thus raising some extra school funds.
The Headteacher, Godfrey, has written a heartfelt thank you letter, which we were hoping to post, but the website doesn't like the scanned PDF file so we'll email it to those who contributed.

Monday, 3 May 2010

with big thanks from Naomi...

Thank you to all those who are helping to support Naomi and her family. If you want to follow her amazing story then do so on her blog 'My Family and I' at

May Day Madness!

One thing Kampala is not blessed with is lots of children's 'activities' so we could not resist the offer of a 'Children's Fun Fair' on May Day. This consisted of a muddy field surrounded by tents and filled with more bouncy castles than you could shake a stick at. There was even a shabby camel for the children to ride on, although we did see a few fall off at the sudden unexpected dismount!