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Jun 20, 2014

AAH April - June 2014 upate

Studying math
Studying math

Mark your calendar! June 25th at noon EDT, Microsoft will give a 100% match on your donations to AAH made on this Global Giving website.  Please join us on June 25th at 12pm.  Please share this opportunity with your friends, as every donation matters!  


This year is our 10th Anniversary, and with your support, much has been accomplished!  There have been challenges and adjustments along the way, but that is part of the learning process and part of development.


Primary School.  Our school is in the top 2% of more than 19,000 primary schools nationwide. We’ve been busy both at our primary school in a tiny mountain village in Uganda, as well as at the nearby local schools we lend a hand to.  We can only accept a fraction of the students who apply to our school and local schools are often in dire condition. In addition, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our model by helping local schools interested in reform to improve their performance.  We have provided school supplies, teacher training, girls mentoring, and in some cases, teamed with partners to build classrooms in order to reduce class size.  We give scholarships to the top students at area schools we work with, as an incentive to their students.

There has been more emphasis on math at the school, as this is a growing need in the job market these young students will eventually be in. In order to give the students a strong foundation for secondary school and beyond, we are strengthening math and science. The AAH Annual Reading Challenge this year incorporates math and reading.  The summer reading challenge is a big event at our school, and the children will each read at least 50 books and complete 5 math activities.  The school participated in World Read Aloud Day, to encourage reading. AAH students read to lower grades, to local schools, and at nursery schools.

In April-May, we welcomed teams from Lasell College and Marymount University who did teacher training, helped introduce new teaching techniques and activities, did girls mentoring workshops, and helped teachers and students prepare for the all-important Primary Leaving Examination (PLE). In Uganda, it is not automatic that students continue on to secondary school after 7th grade; students must pass a competitive national standardized examination (the PLE). The assistance of Marymount and Lasell has an impact in boosting morale and skills at local schools, and building self-esteem. For example, we measure the impact of PLE training by testing students before the training, then testing them again after the training sessions and practice. There is a definite increase in scores – not just immediately after the training but also months latter when the students take the actual exam. We believe this is one of our more important “outreach” activities because it empowers students continue their studies after 7th grade, when primary school ends.  

We aim to give all our students the where-with-all to succeed. The class was full but we could not turn away Amos, who lost an arm and a leg to an attack by a pig.  He will have special challenges as he grows, and we knew local schools wouldn't have the resources to help him.  He more than keeps up with the other children, inc. dancing or playing at recess!

Secondary students. About 280 secondary students are studying hard at school.   On school breaks, they come back to the village and have access to tutors at our school. They also perform volunteer service, which is something we emphasize. For those students who completed secondary school last December and do not start university until August, we have created a program where they serve as teacher’s aides in local schools. We also had secondary school graduates gaining experience at the health clinic. We provide a stipend and orientation, and they gain some “real life” work experience that builds their CVs and will ultimately make them more competitive in the job market.

One secondary student, Justine, did so well in Girl Scouts at  school that her group won a national competition and even got to travel abroad for an African competiion! This has been great exposire for her, and her  leafership skills and self-confidence has really grown.

Tertiary education. Not all students will opt to go to university, and that is okay. Some will choose to go to a vocational school, nursing school, or teaching college. As each student chooses the path best for them, we recognize there are a number of valid options for gaining education and job skills.

Secondary student Justine excelled at Girl Scouts
Secondary student Justine excelled at Girl Scouts
World Read Aloud Day 2014
World Read Aloud Day 2014
Volunteer at a local school
Volunteer at a local school
Amos lost an arm and leg in a wild pig attack
Amos lost an arm and leg in a wild pig attack

Links:

Jun 4, 2014

Final Report

This Global GIving project is being revised.  Stay tuned for an exciting health sector training project in the future!  We have built two health clinics in rural Uganda that see over 10,000 a year.  We are now working on how to use the clinics to also provide training opportunities for students interested in the health field.  This may focus on the "gap year" between secondary school and the start of university, often 9-10 months.  We could have students at the clinic during this time and possibly on some school breaks to gain real world experience that will help them in the future when seeking jobs.  Thank you so much for your interest in AAH and please see our other ongoing projects on Global Giving!

Jun 4, 2014

Health Clinic Update

Georgetown Univ. Med Student volunteers at clinic
Georgetown Univ. Med Student volunteers at clinic

The Arlington Academy of Hope, Inc (AAH) is enabling vital health care to be provided to over 20,000 in a very remote part of Uganda.  The first clinic was built next to our primary school in Bumwalukani, Bududa to address students' health issues such as malaria, gastrointestinal issues, etc.  It quickly became a very valuable resource for their families and the community at large.  A second clinic was built in Bupoto, Manafwa, near where our co-founder Joyce Wanda grew up.  Joyce lost four of her sisters to preventable, treatable conditions so she knew first-hand how important it was to have assessible health care.  Today, our partner FIMRC runs the clinic at the AAH school and we run the Bupoto clinic.

Major conditions treated at the clinic are malaria, UTIs, respiratory conditions, HIV/AIDS. We track patient date and health trends at the clinic.  Care for pregnant women, delivery, and care for children aged 0-5 is also provided.  Community outreach plays an important role in making sure patients are taking medicines as prescribed and are making other needed adjustments to get healthier and stay healthy.  There is also follow-up for those diasnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Bupoto is a lovely setting, near the top of the mountain, green and lush.  But it is remote and has intermittent electricity which is a challenge.  Some vaccines and medicines require refrigeration and power is also important for urgent medical care in the evening, including delivering babies.  Soemtimes medicines have to be discarded when the power is out for too long.  We are researching options at the moment for upgrading the solar panels and batteries at the clinic to improve the power situation at the clinic in an affordable way.  The generator is expensive to run, and the more we can use solar power, the better!   Even when there is power, there are spikes which have ruined computer equipment.  Because there is such a high volume of patients and they often do not bring patient medical history with them, we need to computerize this data to have it for their return visits.  Having it all on paper is time consuming and inefficient.  Ultimately, we would also like to be able to use telemedicine at the clnic to treat patients but this will not be a real option until we can improve the power situation at the clinic.

Progress.  We have upgraded and streamlined our procurement processes for medicines and supplies.  This will enable us to, for example, make purchases quarterly instead of monthly, thereby saving time and high transport costs (given our remote location)..

The clinic also provides training opportunities for local residents interested in a career in health.  We fund several nursing scholarships, and the students help out at the clinic while on break so they gain experience. It is also a way for students to give back to the community - something we emphasize at AAH.  School resumed in February, so the nursing students are back at school.

We have been fortunate to have had a number of students from the U.S. volunteering at the clinic, including a Georgetown University medical student who returned for hs second trip to the clinic and several Marymount students pursuing masters degrees in health care management.  They have helped tremendously! 

Note:  We are in the process of developing a training/education project with the clinic and expect to have that up and running soon!

A Marymount Univ. intern comforts a young patient
A Marymount Univ. intern comforts a young patient
Doing inventory by candelight!
Doing inventory by candelight!
visiting clinic stations
visiting clinic stations
Community education room at clinic
Community education room at clinic
The clinic is near the top of the mountain top
The clinic is near the top of the mountain top
 
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