"My first day was marvelous.” - That's the report from Kamanzi after his first day at Calvary Primary School. But Kamanzi isn't a student there. He's a teacher.
Kamanzi started in the Bridges for Children program when he was 11 years old. Now, nine years later, he has returned to primary school in his new role as a teacher.
“Coming back at my school is fabulous, because I am glad to meet children whom I left when they were young - but they are now grown up," he says. "That amazes me."
After two-and-half years of training, Kamanzi is teaching English in grades Primary 4-7 at Calvary Primary School. Helping children learn listening and speaking skills will be part of his challenge as a first-year teacher.
“It’s so different,” he says, “Because I am now independent."
Three other students have also completed their studies:
Milly completed her Certificate in Business Administration. After she finished secondary school, she started working in the program office while attending classes at the YMCA. Now she has earned her certificate, and she recently married.
Kawere completed a Certificate in Auto Mechanics while also running a business with his brother.
Margaret earned with a Diploma in Accounting from Uganda Technical University and says God has been faithful to her. She managed to obtain a job in a bookstore doing finances. She uses that money to support her family.
Thank You for investing in the lives of these young people!
The school year in Uganda has ended, and the holidays have begun! During the long break from school, activities such as the weekly Awana club continue. This helps our families and provides a safe haven for children.
Let me tell you about some of your students who have had big accomplishments this year – and you were a big part of making it happen!
Twenty-four students at Calvary Primary took the Primary Leaving Exams (PLE). This is a huge milestone in their education, and their performance on this national exam determines if they can continue on to secondary school.
Sixteen secondary students took “O” Level exams. These exams take place over many days, and each section is hours long. These high-pressure exams determine if a student can go on to “A” Level classes. Two students took “A” level exams this year for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.
They will find out how they did sometime just before the first term of school next year.
After secondary school, students can go to vocational school or college. This year, Milly completed her Certificate in Business Administration. She has been working in the Bridges for Children office, handling paperwork for students involved in the program. Kawere opened a video rental business with his brother, and attended classes at night to complete his Certificate in Auto Mechanics. Margaret completed with a Diploma in Accounting. She already has a job and is able to support her family. Kamanzi completed two years in teacher's training college and will be graduating next year.
None of these students would be in school without your generous support - Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This report is from Jaja Rosemary, one of the grandmothers you help support through the Bridges for Children project in Uganda. Three of her grandchildren attend school because of you!
I come from the northern region of Uganda. I came here because of the war after the death of my husband, and some of my children. I had to run here for rescue.
Things were not going on well. My grandchildren were not going to school. My own children were not going to school. So one day in the morning I sent one of them to go and buy for them some small something to take some tea.
That is when they met Sister Rose. And Sister Rose pitied my grand child, who was crying seeing other children going to school, when for them they were not going to school. And yet we were just staying next to the primary school. So, Rose requested the young girl to bring her home where she stays, and she found me. She started talking to me and asking me my own story. And she said, “It is okay. Lets pray about it.”
Then after some time she came and said, “We are requesting you to give us these children to take them to school."
Oh - I jumped onto my legs! At least I became happy, because - that was always my cry, because my own children didn’t go to school and my grandchildren were now not going even to school. So I really thank the Calvary Temple Church - Bridges for Children, who have helped me and taken my children to school.
So, I’ve really benefitted from that because Bridges for Children - like especially Rose, she’s very much concerned. She wants to know about my health. Because most of the time I’m down with diabetes. And when I’m down with diabetes, the children suffer. They don’t have food.
I used to be okay when my husband was there. Sometimes I ask myself when I get help from people I say, “Now, why do people help me?” Then I sometimes I remember when I was in the village with my husband. I would not even see widows and orphans just suffering. Because my husband was very hard-working and he was a policeman. We used to have a very big land, and we would cultivate, so we had food.
So, sometime people tell me in the way, when I go to the village, they say, “God is helping you, because you used to help people.” And I thank God for that.
Sometimes...they give me some little funds to go to the hospital. Go and buy food. Because really it is a struggle. Like today - since morning we have not eaten. I’m trying to make something, so that we eat. We take lunch/supper [combined]. Especially when they’re at home [between school terms].
It is doing a great, great, great work. Because now, like when the children are at school I don’t worry because of what the children are going to eat for breakfast and lunch.
We’d like to thank God for you people on the other side who have been supporting these people to let them be able to support us. We are really very grateful. Because it is not easy to help. Even if you are so rich, or you are poor, it is not easy to help. It comes from the bottom of your heart to see that you help somebody. Me, now I have seen it.
Thank you for the love and support that you are showing to children in Uganda!
Because of you, 411 children are able to go to school through the Bridges 4 Children program this year!
Because of you, 19 students are attending Nakaseke Teacher's College, and 9 are getting vocational training!
Now we're in the second term - about halfway through the school year. This is when students at Calvary Primary can get their hands dirty, learning to make things out of clay.
They've been learning about things that can be made in the community from the natural materials common to the area, like clay, banana fibers, sticks, and sisal. They made dolls, balls, ropes, and baskets from plant materials. They made pots, sauce pans, and water containers out of clay. Some even made toy cars and toy radios from clay. Pots were modeled after those used in Buganda and the Northern regions of Uganda.
It's good to see children discover new skills and interests as they work with their hands and try new things!
And you are making something great, too - YOU are making a big difference in children's lives!
Please join us on June 25th, when Microsoft YouthSpark is matching your donations by 100%! Your donations help children get the nutrition and education they need to for good health and a brighter future!
Matching starts exactly at noon EDT on June 25th - be sure to make your donation as close to that time as possible, because matching finds can run out fast!
As always, we thank God for you!
Do you know what you are accomplishing in the lives of children? Irene, one of your students in Uganda, wants you to know what she knows about school.
"Every child has right to go to school. I have a reason to go to school because I have a dream that I will be an important person. I water my dream with education and weed my dream to remove the weeds of bad friends. I will keep my dream until it comes to pass through the support given to me. Some children go to school to pass time but others have dreams and goals like me.
Children do need a lot of security and love and care. When we go to school we are protected from very many things, e.g rape, Aids, bad groups, drugs and becoming young mothers. There are many ways girls and boys are abused simply [because] they do not go to school. Some parents do not see children as important and do not provide basic needs for their children. Others have lost their parents, and others are poor so they can not get school fees. Some children drop out of school because of money .
With all support given to me I want build my future because today I'm young. In future I will be big and if I waste my time in future I will suffer. If I do not study today in future I will be poor. I have to work so hard and read so I make a better future.
With the help given I will finish and have my dream in Jesus' name."
Irene was very sick and nearly died last year, and many of you prayed with us for her recovery. God answered our prayers and also provided special fortified meals that helped her small body recover. We praise God for the hope she now has for her future!
Thank you for being a part of this ministry! Thank you for helping us dream!
Mark your calendar: on May 7th, you have the opportunity to get a 30% match for your donation on GlobalGiving!
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