HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD seeks to help vulnerable children around the world, encouraging enthusiastic and well-prepared volunteers to offer practical help, skill-sharing, support and friendship.
Mar 17, 2014

March 2014 Update

Former trainees now with steady jobs
Former trainees now with steady jobs
It is always with excitement that I visit Siriba Vocational Training Centre and I have just returned after spending nearly the whole of February living with the local Community and paying daily visits to the tutors and students.This time it was better than ever! And it was wonderful to meet two former trainees who have now found employment.
 
Almost every time I entered the Principal's office someone was enquiring about a course at the Centre which encouraged me. It really makes all the hard work very worthwhile. Things have greatly improved since my last visit two years ago and I was delighted to be able to meet Bishop George Kasangaki and his colleagues who were most supportive of all that we are doing.
 
Non-formal three month courses have now been developed in tailoring, carpentry and joinery, brickwork and concrete practice and motor vehicle technology and they are proving to be very popular because they are low cost. Unfortunately many very poor young Ugandans still can not afford the fee so they have been turned away.
 
I am keen to prevent this happening and will soon be developing with HATW, a simple sponsorship scheme which will cost little more than fish and chips for a family of four in the UK! This is something we simply must pursue. We know that these three month courses give so many young people, many of them orphans, the skill and confidence to look for real work in the future. Without this the future is very bleak. We really don't know we are born!
Hugo meets the Bishop during his visit
Hugo meets the Bishop during his visit
Watching woodworking training
Watching woodworking training
Mar 13, 2014

March 2014 Update

Tailoring students with bee suits they have made
Tailoring students with bee suits they have made

After a slow start to the rainy season the rains have been better than last year - promising a reasonable harvest. Some maize and beans are well on their way at Kaliyangile. These crops will be primarily used to feed the students and the livestock.

An introductory course in bee-keeping was given in December and, when the rains stop next month, the bee-hives will be sited around the Centre and the real work will begin.

The tailoring students are proving themselves competent and are starting to earn some money. They are currently using the equipment at the Centre to establish themselves – some have now been able to buy their own sewing machines and begin to start their own businesses.

On the poultry side, the new layers are now becoming productive, laying about 250 eggs a day. There is a great demand for eggs in Chisamba with a steady stream of customers visiting the centre daily.

The piggery is ready to receive a pregnant sow. This will mark the start of this new enterprise.

I hear also that the fish have grown well in the small reservoir on site and will soon be ready for market.

In recent months calves have been born and the milk production will be increased.

I will be visiting Zambia next month and will spend some time at Kaliyangile working with the local management to see how we can further improve the opportunities for the local teenagers. By introducing them to a range of skills we hope to enable them to provide for themselves and their families.

Thank you for your support!

One of the Cows at Kaliyangile
One of the Cows at Kaliyangile
Mar 11, 2014

March 2014 Update

I have recently returned from Sarberia, West Bengal, my fourth visit to this inspiring school. When I first visited in 2008 on a building project I took this photo of one of the students in the school.

The new building in the background was the reason I was there, the Vocational Training Centre which doubles as classrooms during the school day. This girl’s thoughtful look as all around her seem distracted captured my attention.

The school has grown from 100 students in 2008 to over 300 now. The area is extremely poor and most of the parents cannot afford the small school fee, so Alindra Naskar the Principal, is always looking for ways to subsidise the school, a constant struggle.

When I was there last month I asked about this student and she posed for the photo below.

Six years on and a new building, a day boarding centre for girls, which will serve her well, and more classrooms, which are vitally needed.

This girl is one of the lucky ones, she has stayed on at the school despite lack of funds, local mistrust of why girls need to be educated, and fear for her safety as she goes to and fro from school.

All of these things we take for granted in our country; education for these children is essential if they are ever to escape the poverty trap, and yet at the same time fraught with difficulties.

Here she is in 2014, older, smarter and ever hopeful that these new buildings will enable her to reach her potential in life; the right of any child surely?

Thank you for your support!

 

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