Apply to Join
Apr 2, 2018

Porridge Power

Singing children at Potuke Nursery School
Singing children at Potuke Nursery School

The first term of the school year in Uganda is over and we have noticed that there are more children in our five nursery schools than ever. This is fantastic news, especially as there are lots of girls. Porridge Power has a lot to do with this and we are so happy to see that it is enticing children into the school! The power of porridge also means that the children are much stronger and have a greater resilience to falling sick with preventable diseases, such as Malaria.  They can concentrate more and enjoy singing and dancing without wanting to go to sleep.

Because the parents are also farmers, they are growing the maize to make the porridge and selling it to the school. It is this porridge that your donations are funding, thank you so much.  Your money is working doubly hard because Seeds for Development pays for this porridge. The money the farmers receive means they can contribute to their children's education and also have money to pay for medicine and other day to day requirements.  The money stays in the local economy and we can see small positive changes taking place.

Getting girls to stay in school through primary school and into secondary school is a major challenge and one that we are addressing already, when the children are in nursery school.  We have a team of women farmers who move from home to home and school to school educating parents and children (boys and girls) about the importance of going to school.  They also talk to the girls about sex, menstruation and family planning.  Most girls have no idea that they are going to have periods and so you can imagine the shock when it all starts.  There are no sanitary products available and the girls end up missing a week of school every month.  We don't have the answer to that - but if you do, please get in touch! 

Our goal is to help the people of northern Uganda build resilient and sustainable communities where the people prosper, children go to school and they dare to hope for a happy future - just like us really!  And it all starts with a cup of porridge at nursery school. 

Thank you so much for supporting us achieve our goal and the goals of the people in northern Uganda.

With best wishes

Alison

Tiny girls going to school
Tiny girls going to school
Laughing girls at Secondary School
Laughing girls at Secondary School

Links:

Jan 2, 2018

Porridge and mortar boards in northern Uganda!

Vision Hope Graduation Ceremony
Vision Hope Graduation Ceremony

Hello and a Very Happy New Year to you

2017 was a very special year for Vision Hope Nursery School in northern Uganda, where - thanks to you - every child receives something hot to eat every day. In fact, it is not only at Vision Hope where the children have something to eat.  Because of your generosity we are able to ensure that more than 700 children in FIVE nursery schools have a big cup of porridge every day.  This changes their lives and the lives of their parents who don't need to worry about feeding their young children.  When we started out on our Global Giving journey, we set out to feed 400 children with beans and posho (a bit like polenta) every day.  However, we realised that this wasn't the best solution because the children only attend school in the morning and we weren't sure of exactly how many children were benefitting from our school lunch scheme.

 We made the decision to ensure that every child in every nursery we support (five) would have something hot, filling and nutritious every day - so now they all have porridge, which is grown from the corn/maize seeds that we provide to the farmers who are their parents.  This is something we will continue to do through 2018 because the impact is astonishing.  It is easy to see which children are eating and which children are not.  You can tell because they have shiny skin, a sparkle in their eye and so much more energy than the children who are not lucky enough to attend one of the nursery schools. Our children come to school in clean clothes and some even wear shoes!

I mentioned 2017 being a very special year for us, well this was because 123 children graduated from Nursery School! Yes, in Uganda Nursery School graduation seems to be as important as graduating from university!  This was a slightly bizarre concept for me to get my head round, but having attended the first Vision Hope Graduation I can now see why!  The parents were beside themselves with joy and excitement that their children have achieved the first level of their education and can see a future of hope open up before their eyes.  The children, on the other hand, were just slightly bemused by the whole occasion!

Penny (the other trustee of Seeds) and I were proud to be the guests of honour and hand out the graduation certificates to the children. It was a massive celebration with around 1,000 people attending.  There were also graduation ceremonies in the 4 other schools we support.

You can see in the photo of Potuke Nursery School that there is still a lot of work to be done to help the nursery schools. Vision Hope is the only one in a semi-permanent brick building, the others are all in mud huts or wood and grass built structures that burn down every year.  In 2018 we shall continue to feed the children and, money permitting, continue to pay the salaries of 2 teachers per school.  Above all, we are going to support the whole community so that they are able to develop their own communities with our help.

Thank you again for all of your support and we send you love, best wishes and porridge for 2018.

All the children wear gowns and mortar boards!
All the children wear gowns and mortar boards!
Presenting the graduation certificates
Presenting the graduation certificates
Potuke Nursery School
Potuke Nursery School
Sep 26, 2017

Our children are moving on

Zakiah's graduation certificate
Zakiah's graduation certificate

Zakia was just two when I met her three years ago at our fledgling nursery school Vision Hope.  Now she is preparing for the next big step in her life, going to Primary School. She always stood out to me, with her passion for learning - even at the age of two and her enthusiasm and joy for life and joining in.  

Zakia is one of 125 - yes one hundred and twenty five - children who will graduate next month and Penny (my fellow trustee) and I are so excited that we will be there to celebrate this big day with them.  We can't wait to share our stories with you in our next report!

Another child moving on to Primary School is Innocent. He was just three when I met him and was as timid as a little mouse.  His confidence has grown and you can see in his exam paper, shared below, how smart he is.  Innocent is very lucky as he has a sponsor (Darren) who will support him through Primary School, which takes away the burden of school fees from his parents.  It costs just £300 a year to sponsor a child through school.  The Ugandan government provide the teaching and education but the families still need to pay for school uniform, books and the all important lunch.  We don't actively promote sponsorship but if you are interested then please do get in touch.  

GlobalGiving is such a wonderful way to support us and knowing, through your support, that our children eat every day frees us up to work on other very important projects.  For example, the head teachers of the five nurseries we support recently went on a week long workshop in the south of Uganda to learn about leadership and community development through education.  We would never have been able to fund that workshop if we had any doubt that our children wouldn't have any food.

It is such a privilege to be part of the unfolding story of these children as they develop and grow.  Eating something every day makes a huge difference to their lives and we are so grateful for the support you have given us as we continue to support them and the 125 children who will take their places in February.

Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to sharing our next update with you soon. If you would like to continue to support the next intake of children, we thank you in advance!

With all best wishes,

Alison

Zakiah was 2 when we met her
Zakiah was 2 when we met her
Innocent was 3 when we met him
Innocent was 3 when we met him
Innocent's test paper
Innocent's test paper
Innocent's graduation certificate
Innocent's graduation certificate

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.