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!
Presenting the graduation certificates
Potuke Nursery School