In my last report I was looking back at my February visit; now I’m keenly looking towards my next visit which is only a few weeks away!The main thing to change since February is that we now have a new principal, Josie Abong. I have known Josie since I first went to Siriba in 2008. Since then she has studied hard at Gulu University and has obtained a Diploma in Secretarial Studies and Information Management. We all wish her well .Bishop George Kasangaki and I have been in touch constantly since I left and he has given much help and encouragement, not only to the VTC, Govenors and staff but also to me! His keen eye and attention to detail is good news for all of us.We now know that our refurbished tools have arrived in the 'Tools with a Mission' warehouse in Kampala. It has taken four months to reach here from Norfolk in England. Due some clever logistics by Robert the warehouse manager, and Geoffrey of Uganda Development Services, they are going to fit all of them into Geoffrey’s minibus. I am travelling with the tools and have been told that my seat might yet have to be on the roof… and we are still in the rainy season! Maybe they are joking.The final amount raised by St Leonard’s Church, Woolaton, in their Lent appeal was £2122. We are truly grateful to the congregation for this fine effort. This will go a long way in helping the most underprivileged of youngsters.I have now launched a personal appeal of my own under David’s guidance and I am hoping for a good response from family, friends and business colleagues. You can read it too, here: http://hatw.org.uk/2014/09/17/hugo-masons-special-appeal-for-siriba-vtc-uganda/
The new term has started. This year has seen plenty of activity during the holidays. Four volunteers travelled to Monze to help facilitate a holiday club during August. By all accounts this was a great success. The children had fun making masks, drawing and painting, playing new musical instruments and enjoying sports. The volunteers too had a wonderful time including a memorable trip to Livingstone with 64 students, where they saw the Victoria Falls and visited an animal park.
Mawini, who was one of the first students to study at PIZZ School has been accepted at Lusaka University where she will study to become a doctor. This is a great tribute to the standard of education at the school and evidence of the life changing opportunities offered. We are looking for additional funds to ensure that all students leaving the school with the appropriate qualifications are supported through secondary and tertiary education, or technical training.
In late August, we were able to obtain room on a container heading for Monze. This enabled us to send out some bikes for the care givers and extra clothes and books for the children and their families. This consignment should arrive before Christmas.
The school now has a strong room in which to keep the examination papers but, in order to obtain registration as an examination centre, they need to buy books relating to the new syllabus. We are therefore particularly seeking funds for these books.
Our thoughts go out to the 215 students starting their new year at PIZZ school and particularly those in grade 1 who are starting on a new adventure which, with your help, will transform their lives.
Thank you so much for your ongoing interest and help!
The new academic year is just starting and there is a lot of interest from young people wanting to study at the Centre. New staff have been engaged to undertake the training in carpentry and tailoring. The Department of Forestry has been impressed with the bee-keeping programme and has offered to provide training in bee-keeping. Seeing all the activity taking place around the centre, the students are keen to gain extra knowledge about agriculture and bee-keeping in addition to the more formal carpentry and tailoring courses.
The project has been busy during the year. Despite poor rains 30 x 50Kg bags of maize were produced - most of this is being used as part of the feed for the chickens. Tomatoes, okra, impwa, chibwabwa, rape and cabbages are also being grown and sold from the vegetable garden. The chickens are doing well - producing eggs (about 250 a day) for the local community. The Guinea fowl will also start delivering eggs very soon. The dairy cattle are thriving thanks to the new irrigation system generating luscious grass in the paddock. The piggery is also in operaton and is expected to make a significant contribution to the income for the project, as well as providing another opportunity for the students to learn.
The chance to learn agricultural skills helps the students to be better equipped to sustain themselves and their families and is a valuable addition to their technical skills. Wth your help the students will leave Kaliyangile equipped to provide a sustainable future for themselves and their families.