Dec 19, 2018

Holiday Update from SHARE Project

Primary 2 students pose for a photo
Primary 2 students pose for a photo

Happy Holidays friends and donors,

These past few months have been trying on our school and organization. We regret to inform you that in early November we lost two students to Malaria related illness. These losses have left a gaping hole in our community and our hearts. Fortunately, the children were with their families at the time of their deaths. Recent disbursements have helped a lot in this time of loss, especially in transporting the children and members of the school community to attend burials. The funds also contributed to medical expenses and providing food for the ceremony. We have you to thank for our ability to offer this to the families.  

Beyond this, donations have gone to the usual places; providing food, supplies and medical care for the children, and to support the teachers salaries. Despite the recent tragedies, the students and teachers continue in high spirits and look forward to the new year. We remain determined to sustain our mission of providing an education, shelter and love to the most vulnerable children of Pallisa. 

That said, every small bit counts as we continue to provide each child living at the school with adequate food and living supplies, including a proper mat or mattress and a mosquito net. The latter is of utmost importance to reduce the risk of further deaths due to mosquito-borne illness. Therefore, we request more donations to help improve the children’s sleeping conditions. We will be adding the cost of a mosquito net to the donation list shortly (priced at around $12 USD) so that you can purchase one for the students. Additional funds attained over the next quarter will go to provide for their medical needs and transport in times of emergencies.

Secondly, future funds will be needed to construct a classroom for the primary seven (P7) class, which we hope to complete next year in time for our first students to take their exams for secondary education. Additionally, the nursery students continue studying outdoors in the shade (see photo). Our long-term goal is to provide a permanent classroom for them as well.

Lastly, GlobalGiving's full audit report, completed by Chris and Jamie was finally completed. It was very helpful in understanding where we are as an organization, and how we can continue to grow in a sustainable fashion. I have provided an excerpt of their findings below as an additional update for you. Please also find a handful of new photos of the students, including a video of the children singing in the classroom.  

From everyone at SHARE Project and the Hammerslag School, we thank you once more for your repeated generosity and wish you the happiest of holidays and a Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Charles Olupot

 

Global Giving Audit Report Excerpt

"SHARE has made great progress over the last few years in supporting the construction of the school building. There are now a number of basic classrooms, toilets, and some accommodation for teachers which altogether is helping to provide education for around 200 children. This has been largely possible due to the donations of one family in particular upon which the project is very reliant. The project has received all its funding to date from Global Giving. 

In terms of further construction, it has been identified that more toilets are needed to ensure gender separation. In addition, at least one further classroom could be built, as the nursery classes are currently taking place under a tarpaulin. Purchasing land to expand the compound, and improving the standard of accommodation for the teachers and boarders are some of a number of areas that the project would like to address going forward. 

Project staff also talked about plans to expand their work to include support for community members and the families of some of the students, as well as considering if there was a way that they could support youth with some employability skills. 

It was noted, however, that at present the project regularly struggles to pay the salaries of teachers and support staff in full. These are set at 100,000 and 50,000 Ugandan shillings respectively, but are often limited to 70-80,000 and 20-30,000. Payment of salaries is taken from, and dependent on, the amounts of funding received from the parents who are able to make financial contributions. This is likely to have a negative impact on the morale of the teachers and should be addressed as quickly as possible, before any expansion of the school itself is considered. 

There is support from another NGO, called Good Neighbour, which is supporting 33 students with their food, materials, and uniforms. Aside from that and financial contributions from the community, the project is wholly dependent on Global Giving. 

We encourage SHARE to work on expanding supporter base, with a particular focus on securing recurring donors (giving small amounts) who can then be the focus of further campaigns around construction, purchasing of land etc. Running a crowdfunding campaign could be a way to achieve this. Moreover, by considering timings, this strategy could potentially run alongside a GG matching campaign. 

The school meets an obvious need within the community and it is clear that the pupils would not be receiving an education were it not for SHARE and the work that they do. 

We discussed the importance of attracting some recurring donors to the project given the need to meet ongoing costs as a priority, in addition to the extra costs of further construction."

Nursery students learning in a temporary shelter.
Nursery students learning in a temporary shelter.
Students gather for memorial to Osako and Justine
Students gather for memorial to Osako and Justine
Completing a lesson in the classroom.
Completing a lesson in the classroom.
Nursery students pose with their teacher.
Nursery students pose with their teacher.

Links:

Sep 13, 2018

SHARE and the Hammerslag School Project Report

To all our sponsors,

We are happy to continue receiving your support, which has managed to take us to Superstar status on GlobalGiving and also helped increase our search ranking on their site from a position of 3,000 to 300; a remarkable improvement!

This August, 2018, the Organization was blessed to host GlobalGiving’s project evaluators, Chris and Jamie. We received an email about this opportunity from Hannah, one of GG’s administrators and we gladly accepted them to come and see the work we have completed (with your support) to benefit the disadvantaged children and surrounding community of Pallisa. The visit also brought many learning opportunities to SHARE as an organization, and to the teachers and children of the Hammerslag School.  Please find an excerpt of Chris' notes from his visit at the end of this report. And if you have the time, read GG’s full field report to hear their opinions and suggestions for our project.

Namely, our evaluators report a dire need for more funds to help us complete our facilities to an adequate standard, and to maintain the health of the children (e.g. food, shelter, school supplies). In the meantime, the children are in high spirits and learning more every day. We hope that with the continued support of GG and generous donors such as yourselves, that our students will become educated, productive citizens whom may uplift their communities and Uganda as a country. Thank you for helping them and believing in us.

Below is a more specific breakdown of the spending of funds received between January and June, 2018, as well as our remaining areas of need.

Hosting of GG evaluators:

First off, funds helped us to host Chris and Jamie and provide them with food, transport and accommodation, as follows.

  • Paying for fuel and transportation costs to and from Kampala Airport to Pallisa (a distance of about 500 km, along with movements within Pallisa (e.g. from office to school, a distance of about 20 km)
  • Visiting beneficiaries and families. in the community
  • Preparing and providing sufficient food and accommodation 

Food and boarding:

As always, the funds have continued to help us provide food for the boarding children. However, we do not have enough to feed all the children 3 meals a day with GG funds and Good Neighbors food donations (a charity which sponsors 33 of the children) alone, and so at this time, parents are asked to contribute a small amount to maintain this service. Nonetheless the children are healthy and we have managed to make ends meet with our current supplies/funds.

Improvements to the Hammerslag School:

With the funds, we were able to put up a wall between the baby room and the primary one and two classrooms, making for a better learning environment. Previously, learning had been difficult as all three classes were sharing a single room. With future donations, we plan to partition the upper-school rooms as well.

Another area Chris and Jamie noted was of great importance for us to improve was the sleeping and living conditions for the children. The school has very few mattresses and children mainly sleep on dirt floors, with inadequate blankets and bedding. We will need funds to buy mattresses and/or mats for every student, along with more blankets and pillows. Secondly, we are in need of scholastic materials and clothing for the children. We were able to replenish some of these supplies with recent donations, but with so many children, the need is still great.

Finally, we remain unable to pay our teachers a living wage, especially considering the difficult working conditions at the Hammerslag School. Alas, we need your support to be able to pay each teacher the proper shillings per month so that they may continue to provide valuable teaching and care for the children, as well as their own families. In line with national standards, this only equates to $70 USD.

NGO Registration by Government of Uganda:

These funds helped SHARE to pay the legal fees necessary to register as a NGO in Uganda, Previously, we were operating as a Community Based Organization (CBO), which meant each year we had to process a new certificate; a costly and time consuming procedure. Now that we have internationally recognized NGO status, many more opportunities are available to us.

Our next guests:

As the new school term begins, we plan to host a guest from Peace Corps USA, and another from Home of Good Hope. These two guests are coming to see if SHARE and the Hammerslag School would be a good organization for them to send volunteers to. We are hoping for the best, as outside support is needed now more than ever.

Thank you again for your sponsorship. Your help and ongoing donations have made all our progress possible.

Sincerely,

Charles Olupot

SHARE Project leader

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Notes from Chris:

Note from the In-the-Field Traveler
Charles and his team went out of their way to welcome us to Pallisa and ensure a comfortable stay. They were very responsive to our queries and were very happy to tailor the itinerary based on our requests.

Recommendation for how to better use GlobalGiving
It would be great if SHARE was able to increase the number of people donating to their organisation, in particular, to cover the running costs of the school. Please see our full report for more detailed recommendations on how to achieve this.

Feedback on your programs
The team are enthusiastic about expanding their activities and the school, which is wonderful to see. We do recommend that they should focus on consolidating their current position before stretching themselves too thinly.

Quote from the In-the-Field Traveler
SHARE PROJECT is a small, committed organisation which has made great progress in a short space of time. The team are enthusiastic and determined to do their best for the children they serve.

Aug 16, 2018

Update from Global Giving Evaluators

Hello GlobalGiving donors!

Instead of the normal report from Charles we thought we would write this entry. We are two Project Evaluators from GlobalGiving’s UK office that have been working with SHARE-PROJECT to support in aspects such as fundraising, Digital Communications, Finance, among other areas of the organization. We are writing this from Pallisa in the midst of a power cut, so hoping we the internet café will be open soon so we can get the report uploaded!

We firstly wanted to say how inspiring it is to see the incredible work that is being done by the passionate staff and volunteers of the Hammerslag School. Without the kind generosity of GlobalGiving donors, the achievement made by the team would simply not be possible. Huge progress has been made in a short amount of time.

Being shown around the school was a great experience. We visited each classroom and were able to interact with the children and teachers, see how they work and even had the chance to see how the boarders live in the school in the evenings. Pallisa is an area with many challenges; the school ensures that the children get a decent and can study, ready for a brighter future.

There are still many things that SHARE-PROJECT needs to overcome, and we have been working in particular to consider how the school can be sustained long term. Whilst the project receives contributions from the community, and food donations from an NGO, it is not enough to meet the demand of teaching and feeding 200 children.

That’s where you come in! We will be recommending that SHARE-PROJECT tried to build its base of recurring donors, to provide security in providing the on-going costs of teacher salaries, materials, and food. A teacher’s wage here is about $7 a week, so as you can imagine even small donations will make a big difference.

We would love to hear from you if you are a current donor or thinking about giving. Contact Charles, the team leader at shareproject6@gmail.com or Chris and Jamie at cmanion@globalgiving.org and jnunn@globalgiving.org

Best wishes from Pallisa,

Chris and Jamie

 
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