We wanted to give you a brief update on the great progress made on building the third classroom block during May and early June. The weather fortunately has not been too rainy which has allowed the workers ample time to do most of the exterior brickwork on the classroom building. All usable bricks that the parents had gathered on site were used, and each family had to provide additional bricks, either through making the bricks themselves, or by buying bricks that were made by others in the community. In the attached photo, you can see some of our Cubu students ferrying the bricks from the family locations to the school yard. The workers were using them almost immediately.
Soon it will be time for roofing! We'll let you know when this happens. Thanks for your support in helping make this happen! We have heard from even the district officials about how exciting this is for them to see nonprofit donors in partnership with the community helping to rebuild and making sure children have access to a good education.
It's that time we've been eagerly awaiting! Our builder and his construction team are on site. Construction began last week after a rigorous two weeks of the Agwata community collecting the last remaining sand and gravel materials that represent its contribution to the project. When Carol Davis, OU's president was on site in February, the exact locations of the new Nursery block and the new Primary class block were marked, and the area was cleared of any trees or other debris.
The new school year started in February and teachers and students alike are excited about the construction of the new much needed class blocks. Currently, the two Nursery classes are still meeting in the dilapidated mud and thatch building along with the P-1 and P-2 classes. The P-3 class is meeting under the tree.
We too are excited to provide our more than 70 Nursery students with a bright, safe and secure classroom Not only will the Nursery block have two classrooms, but there will be a small room in the middle which will serve as a Nursery teacher staff room, and either a small Nursery library or a small "Babies" class area. A Babies class is the first year of Nursery (approximately 3 year olds) which so far we have not offered due to lack of space. The teachers are already talking about a fenced playground area for the Nursery students once their class block is completed.
We still have about $800 to raise for the Nursery block. Please tell your friends and family about this opportunity to help our very youngest students get a good start on their education.
Thank you so much for your support of our project with over 10 new donations this past month! This has brought us very close to reaching our goal and being able to wrap up this much needed project. Our two Nursery teachers, Grace and Josephine are also quite excited about the thought of teaching in a brand new building with chalk boards built into the walls! Now that we've almost reached our goal, we've analyzed the original budget which was made over one year ago. We realized that another $1000 is needed to cover slight projected materials/labor cost increases plus we want to have metal shutters on the classroom windows in addition to metal bars. This will offer more protection to our classroom equipment and books inside the classrooms. The shutters will prevent rain from blowing into the building as well as keep other objects out of the classroom.
November and December brought exciting developments to our project. In mid-November, we were excited to host Farley of Global Giving in our Agwata community. The teachers and even one of the sub-county leaders warmly welcomed her to the village and showed her why our Nursery classrooms are so badly needed. She was amazed to see the poor condition of the existing Nursery building (see the photo attached to this report), but was also greatly encouraged by seeing what Outreach Uganda and the community had done relative to the cement blocks for the primary school and the establishment of the health clinic which opened in June.
We have continued to receive more donations in November and December for this project and are excited that we are very close to reaching our fundraising goal. It is now dry season in Agwata and the final preparations needed to be done by the community should be completed soon.
We are hopeful that construction on the Nursery classrooms can begin as soon as the final donations are received! The attached photos show our two Nursery teachers outside the old existing Nursery classroom building. And in case we forget, the second photo is a good reminder of why the new Nursery classrooms are so badly needed: the old mud and thatch building is in a dangerous state of repair, is very dark and damp during rainy season, with water leaking into the dirt floor creating mud!
Your generosity towards this project is greatly appreciated.
Our project to build 2 additional classroom blocks has been delayed while several very important events take place:
1. The community continues to gather their portion of materials such as sand and small rocks, but more earthen bricks are still needed. We want to be sure these materials are in place so that once construction begins, the project can move quickly and not be delayed in process. This is also very important so that the community continues to feel involved and take ownership of this project.
2. We needed to make sure that all needed agreements were in place before construction begins so that all duties and responsibilties are clear amongst all parties involved. Most of this has been done in August and September.
3. The contractor who built the first 2 classroom blocks still needed to complete some minor finish work on those first two buildings before submitting a final bid on the next 2 blocks. We are happy to report that this work was finally completed in September.
Now it is rainy season in northern Uganda. Because of this, we expect to delay construction until December when it should be dry season, and when the children are on their two month holiday break between the school years.
We were in Uganda in June and July and inspected the current status of materials gathering by the community. The bricks already made have been tarped so they don't spoil. We are looking forward to beginning construction before the ending of the year! The school has continued to increase its enrollment, and the 2 blocks are greatly needed. We appreciate your continued patience on this very important project.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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