The work at Siriba has had its highs and lows this academic year. The principal reports that a good number of students were enrolled at the beginning of the year, some 80 in number, but that this has halved during the course of the year primarily because students could not afford the fees. The fees are really very small but those who are orphans continue to find raising even very small sums difficult. There are also difficulties concerning buildings because some students travel from some distance and there is no accommodation at the centre.
The principal reports that a kitchen is in the process of being built so that during the day at least the staff and students can be given something to eat. Water supply is still difficult but we have plans to help install a rain water catchment system shortly, with a grant promised through friends of Global Giving.
The major issue facing the VTC is how and when the VTC can become more self-sufficient. The Board of Governors has met to work on this and has agreed that training for staff (so that courses can be of the quality required by the local government Dept. of Education) and training for the Board Members needs to be undertaken so that they can work more efficiently together especially in finding new sources of funding. The hope is that by the end of this December they will have a strategic plan in place for 2014 onwards. We have promised to provide some money by way of grants towards this training because, until this is addressed, the Board cannot effectively manage the project.
The other problem that the principal has had to face is his own ill health both with eye problems and intestinal problems. He does report that he is now improving but health care in Uganda is not free and can indeed be quite expensive.
Sadly, poverty means that many people continue to live precariously on the edge. Please help us support them if you can! Thank you.
The New Life Centre school in Sarberia has been awarded a bursary to build a day boarding centre for girls. Alindra Naskar the Principal of the school is keen for girls to stay on beyond the primary age. When the children begin at the school between the ages of 3 – 4, the classes are more or less 50% boys and 50% girls, but as you go up the school the number of girls decreases. In many cases as soon as the girls hit puberty, their parents keep them at home. They are afraid for their daughters to be out unchaperoned during the day.
In an attempt to overcome this, Alindra decided that a day boarding facility for girls would allow them to remain within the school grounds, until their parents can collect them after work.
In the photo we see some of the girls in the school in an after school sports session. These are a minority, whereas the boys who return for sports are many.
Wouldn’t you like to provide a better future for these girls by sponsoring one of them?
The following is an e-postcard from Kai Iizuka, a GlobalGiving Representative in Zambia.
At the PIZZ School, I was greeted by a sea of happy faces eager to show their visiting guests things that they had been working on. Many of the children are orphans from the neighboring compounds who would otherwise not be attending school, but thanks to the good work of Hands Around the World, the head teacher Mrs. Sianga and her staff of twelve teachers, they are able to receive an education that keeps them off the streets. Though the school faces numerous challenges, such as the lack of classrooms and furniture, as well as no running water, the staff is all making sacrifices, such as providing their own materials from home, to ensure that the children are able to learn. There is even a small garden plot maintained by the students under the supervision of staff that help to teach life skills as well as generate a bit of income for the school.
As I sat in front of the assembled mass of all three hundred or more students, groups came up one by one to showcase their many talents. A group of 6th grade girls sang a song about AIDS and HIV, another group showed us a traditional Zambian dance, and the one that seemed to generate the most laughter from the crowd was a play from the boys of the drama club. This act in particular was so full of life and energy, you couldn’t help but laugh at the comedic actions of the various cast as they told the story of two young students getting in trouble for not attending school and instead mistakenly stealing a sick man’s food and medicine.