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.
Jan 17, 2017

Teaching English at Muko School November 2016

Teaching English at Muko School
Teaching English at Muko School

This was my third trip to Rwanda and once again, it was a pleasure to help with English language teaching in Bugarama.

We were greeted in Kamembe by some old friends including Wellars, Jean and Georgine. It was great to see all of them again. We took taxis from Kamembe to Bugarama and settled in to our accommodation. On my previous visits, we had stayed at St. Francoise, but this time we stayed in a house in Bugarama. On the one hand, this meant that we didn’t have to spend an hour or so travelling from St. Francoise to Bugarama each day, which made things easier. Not that it was a bad commute of course…. Travelling through the Rwandan countryside with sweeping views over the hills is quite a good way to travel to work every day!

 As with previous visits, the emphasis was on building the teachers’ communicative competence by focussing on grammar and vocabulary and then using speaking activities to allow them to make active use of the language which they had learned. Between 10 and 25 teachers attended each day. The lowest attendance was on the first Friday, which was due to heavy rain and the highest attendance was on the final day.

Overall, this was an enjoyable visit. It was really good to see that there had been improvements in the level of English of some of the teachers, especially the lower level ones. It was also good to see how much progress had been made on the building works, especially at Mirabura school which is now very different to the first time I visited it in 2015.


Ideas for the future

  • Continued English Language support for teachers. Not only teachers from Muko, but also other teachers in the future

  • A focus on methodology used for teachers with a higher level of English

  • Collaborative teaching with a native speaker

  • Provision of teaching resources such as flashcards and dictionaries with the possible creation of a self-study area for teachers to improve their level of English in their own time

  • Of course, the ideal would be to have a teacher present at the school for a longer period of time who could be involved in providing English language support to pupils and teachers.


Ceri Thomas

Dec 30, 2016

December 2016 Update


It is raining in Monze!! This is good news because the past years have seen little rain and resulting crops have been very poor, leaving many people in Monze hungry. The early signs are that this year will be better.

We are eagerly awaiting the results of the grade 9 examinations at PIZZ School. The successful students hope to move into local secondary schools.

Last year Sandra was one of these students. She has settled into Fountain Secondary School and has found that she has an aptitude for biology. She wants to pursue a career in nursing. Studying at home presents challenges because she has no electric lighting, but she is doing her best to keep up. Sandra continues to be supported through PIZZ School.

We hope that once again many of the grade 9 students will be able to join Sandra at secondary school. We have funding for 12 students, but are hoping for many more to pass their exams. Our micro project is appealing for funds for a further ten students.

The past year has seen great progress at the school. Some children will move to the new buildings when the school re-opens in the New Year.

Thanks for all your support during 2016. You are helping to make a huge difference to many orphaned children in Monze, Zambia. Thank You.

Chris Barrell

Dec 13, 2016

December 2016 Update

Some Cattle and a Banana Plant
Some Cattle and a Banana Plant

The bees have been busy – producing about 15 litres of honey in recent weeks. This is the start of a new income stream at the centre. Together with the piggery, the self sustainability of the project is looking positive.


The young people attending the centre have a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in the agricultural activities of the project. These include livestock – cattle, chickens and other wildfowl, pigs and bees; and crops – beans, tomatos, rape, okra, onions, carrots etc. Fruit trees are also being cultivated – bananas, mangoes and citrus fruit. Instruction in these areas help the students develop useful life skills to add to the more formal training they receive.


The last year has been particularly difficult because of poor rains with the resulting bad harvest – anything that can be grown on site is a significant bonus.


Your support is always appreciated,


Thank You.

Some Beehives among the grass
Some Beehives among the grass

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