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Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda

by Sadhguru Schools
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Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Adopt a Child's Education in Rural Uganda
Our Open Magic box to the King
Our Open Magic box to the King

Magic Boxes to the King of our Kingdom

Year 4 had just 5 days (!) to prepare to meet our beloved King of Tooro. This was no ordinary meeting: His Majesty, King Oyo had invited Sadhguru School to perform on the 24th anniversary of His coronation, at the Royal Palace in Fort Portal - less than 30km from school. 

The children wrote and performed a poem dedicated to the protection of the beauty of their Tooro Kingdom, hiding safely all those things precious to them in their magic boxes which they offered to their king in the final verse. One of our volunteers, a master craftsman (fine cabinet maker), made a beautiful wooden box jointed with dovetails and hinged with handmade brass studs, which the children decorated with their artwork. 

A little snippet about our King: at the tender age of just 3, The Prince made global headlines, entering the Guiness Book of Records as the youngest prince in the world to be crowned king, ascending the throne to the Tooro Kingdom at the death of his father, on 12th September 1995. See the video in the link below to discover what was inside the magic boxes.

Red Hen Bread & Indigenous Food Fair

Reception children, as young as four - baking? Yes! Inspired as part of their Red Hen project, a story that they worked on for a few weeks, the little ones learnt how to make bread like the Red Hen. Led by a volunteer, the little ones learnt a skill in such a joyful and fun way, baking together and enjoying the yummy bread just like the Red Hen.

If we are going to talk about baking, we should at least know the source of the ingredients: our Nutrition Club participated in the Rwenzori Regional Indigeneous Food and Seed Fair, where they enjoyed learning about native seeds, cultural tools and methods used to farm in the olden days. The food fair focused on sharing ways to utilise indigenous food and seeds to end hunger. Our children also performed a skit that was carefully prepared for the event.

Stalagmites and Stalactites

Recently Year 3 and 4 were learning about stalagmites and stalactites. As part of their studies, they visited the famous Amabere caves and waterfalls near Fort Portal. They were in awe when they found out about the scientific reasons behind all the legends that they had heard about surrounding the caves. Added to this, they found out how waterfalls are formed and how to make maps, and they listened to cultural and tribal stories - all in one place on a fun-filled field day.

Jiu Jitsu

Do you remember from an earlier blog our children beginning to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? At that time our students had started out wrestling and grappling on the lawn... Recognizing the effort of the team and the risk of injury involved while wrestling on hard surfaces, a few people from the USA contributed wrestling mats to make wrestling an on-going possibility at school. We now have a batch of eleven wrestlers competing in their very first competition as I write! Look out for our next blog to see how these little angels fare: though small in stature, our students are strong in stamina, vigour and intensity - a natural offshoot of the physicality of their rural backgrounds, which the school is trying to nurture and direct for their wellbeing through disciplines such as jiu jitsu.

Performing the Poem at the coronation ceremony
Performing the Poem at the coronation ceremony
The King and Queen Mother
The King and Queen Mother
Magic box
Magic box
One of our pledges
One of our pledges
Inside the Magic box
Inside the Magic box
Reception baking
Reception baking
In the Oven
In the Oven
Preparations in progress
Preparations in progress
We made it..
We made it..
Matching during the food fair
Matching during the food fair
Performing a skit at the food fair
Performing a skit at the food fair
Checking out food varieties
Checking out food varieties
A walk around the caves
A walk around the caves
Learning session
Learning session
At our best on the new Grappling mats
At our best on the new Grappling mats
Here we go
Here we go
At the waterfalls
At the waterfalls

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Muay Thai Kickboxing world champion, Umar
Muay Thai Kickboxing world champion, Umar

The Boon of Volunteering 

We are continuously blessed with creative and willing hands at Sadhguru School. In the past few months Lily, Carlo and Daisy have thrown themselves into the fray, from two weeks to three months. Lily is an art Teacher from the UK, Carlo a graduate in poetry from Kenya and Daisy, a pebble's throw from the UK's Stonehenge, is on a gap year before training as a teacher. Some of their involvement covered training teachers in creative and enquiring methods within the classroom, directing a school play based on 'talk for writing', carving and scorching wooden toys (or 'learning aids') for reception and year 1, and inspiring the children through art projects and experimentation.

In Lily's words: 'The huge smiles, warmth and a wonderful curiosity that greeted me from staff and pupils alike made me feel right at home from the very beginning of my visit... After an inspirational two weeks spent with the staff and pupils of Sadhguru School I have returned to the UK full of admiration for all those who have planted and nurtured this awesome learning environment and brought it to fruition.'

Lily has thought provokingly expressed three existing areas of Sadhguru School in a fun and challenging framework, for us to keep coming back to as we take the school forward; again in her own words:

'By poetic manner or through the surreal stages of boredom and jetlag experienced during my homeward journey, I came upon the idea to pair these 3 key elements, integral to Sadhguru school, with the elements of atomic structure and the Indian trinity of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu:

  1. YOGA - Represented by the Neutron and Vishnu, the maintainer - at the heart of the school: without the maintenance of yoga’s energetic presence within the school, it simply would not exist as Sadhguru School.
  2. CULTURE - Represented by the Proton and Brahma, the creator - a fusion of old and new, Eastern, Western and most importantly African cultures. The true craftsmanship, strength and sensitivity required to delicately balance the schools rich and varied genetics.
  3. ACADEMIA - Represented by the Electron and Shiva, the Destroyer - for a curriculum that should be fluid, flexible and continually adapting and evolving to meet the current needs of each individual child in an ever changing world.'

 

Mixed Martial Arts

Yogesh has been teaching the older children grappling skills, drawing on his background in Juijitsu. Beyond the practical need to learn the fundamentals of real life self-defence, the discipline and commitment instilled by martial arts are invalueable. He and Tanamayi took some of the children to Kampala to watch a martial arts competition. They slept in a traditional Japanese dojo ('place of learning') used for matial arts practice at the kindness of its Japanese founder, Fugi, who offered them all tremendous hospitality. See the short heartwarming video they put together of their visit in the link below, where you can see them having a go at capoeira too. 

Along the same theme, we were fortunate to have Umar, the Ugandan two-time World Champion in Muay Thai kickboxing and his friend, Seth from Lionheart Mixed Martial Arts in the US, visit Sadhguru School for a short workshop and question and answer session with the children. Umar explained: 'Muay Thai techniques are what have helped me become what I am now. I do this with high regard for my native country Uganda and for the core values of the art like discipline and respect... The nature of the game is like this: you win some and you loose some. But mainly you keep trying. You keep going.' 

 

International Day of Yoga

In the run-up to International Day of Yoga on June 21st, some of our children together with our two hatha yoga teachers offered some simple 'yoga tools' workshops in Kampala. Our nine and ten year olds were demonstrating yoga to corporate managers and employees, as well as to school children from a mix of cultures and sophisticated city backgrounds. The level of involvement and openess of participants and organisers at each venue was a giant boost for our children. They also got a first time experience of the cinema (Aladdin), rounded off with cones of ice cream... images below. 

 

Beautiful Books Galore

Old Kamapala Senior Secondary School alumuni (OKAS fund), in partnership with Books Abroad, sent 2,000 books to Sadhguru School, which had started out being assembled and lovingly selected in Scotland, UK. This tremendous book feast was made possible by the indefatigueable Arun, who spent his childhood in Uganda and is an alumni of Old Kampala Senior Secondary School. These are books that you and I might have discarded from our shelves and, rather than throw away, Books Abroad can make use of them. You can imagine the mix up that might happen from an ecclectic mix of reading ages and tastes stacked in a warehouse and then sent to a primary school 4,000 miles away overseas. So we were astounded and delighted by the care and relevance with which they were chosen for our children; we now have a substantial proud beginning to our children's reading library. 

 

Closing Words from Carlo's Volunteering Experience

'Where to begin, the heart-melting welcomes from the teachers, students, environment and all the neighbours of the school? Falling asleep under a valley of stars and waking up to the smiles, dances and laughter of every member of staff? The sheer enthusiasm, dedication and curiosity of both teachers and students? The love, energy and care that goes into every aspect of the School’s being? There are too many beautiful moments and experiences to begin to put into words but I know one thing, Sadhguru School is a place of nurturing and inspiration like no other.'

 

 "Volunteering is a way of learning to make our lives into a process of just giving and being willing. Not just willing to do this or that, simply willing." - Sadhguru

Future Champions in the making
Future Champions in the making
Enjoying their first-ever swing at the Dojo
Enjoying their first-ever swing at the Dojo
Lily
Lily
Making friends at KISU
Making friends at KISU
International Day of Yoga at KISU
International Day of Yoga at KISU
Before the movie
Before the movie
Enjoying ice-cream after the movie
Enjoying ice-cream after the movie
Umar and Seth at Sadhguru School
Umar and Seth at Sadhguru School
kids enjoying carefully selected books by OKAS
kids enjoying carefully selected books by OKAS
Learning from each other at KISU
Learning from each other at KISU
International Day of Yoga at Tata Motors
International Day of Yoga at Tata Motors

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The art of using rocks to create crater lakes
The art of using rocks to create crater lakes

We are lucky to have received another team of long-term volunteers: Yogesh and Tanamayi from the US and India, and Carlo from Kenya, joined us in January and are helping to set the school on fire.

As you can tell from the pictures below, there is so much color trending: the paint brush is at its peak. Dance classes have evolved: the kids are now enthralled with Bollywood dancing as well as traditional African tribal dances; and they can't get enough of the new natural 'fallen tree' playground, where they are being slowly introduced to a form of 'parcours', called MovNat.

Meanwhile, Yr3 and Yr4 have been exploring the crazy craters in our region of Uganda. As an entry point into their topic, the children were taken back to the beginning of time to explore what the earth looked like before the continents were created. While studying about the earth millions of years ago, the children were passionate to learn more about dinosaurs. They have been working hard to create the very first dinosaur museum in Western Uganda. They have written information texts in Literacy class, built 3D dinosaur skulls and created some lovely artwork, studying in depth  their favorite prehistoric animal. Following on from this, they have been learning about the structure of the earth, and are next going to study our very own (as in, right on our doorstep) rift valley.

Yr1 and Yr2 have been discovering more about habitats and animal adaptation. It just so happened that one morning a beautiful camel and her owner were walking past the school. Luckily, they kindly agreed to come in and visit. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn first-hand about animal adaptation. We studied its long eyelashes and hairy ears for keeping out the desert sand. We looked at its broad hooves, and learnt about its hump for storing food. We also discussed how the camel's mouth is very tough which makes it perfect for eating spiky cactuses. One fact we all excitedly discovered was that a camel can close its nostrils in a sand storm.

Thank you Hattie, for choosing to volunteer with us during your gap year period. Yr3 and Yr4 are loving the netball (heavily rivalled by the staff) thanks to your meticulous introduction and tireless coaching; not to mention that you first had to design, source the steel, and make the goal posts in a day with our non-english speaking welder Julius.  

The Art as inspired by Andy Goldsworthy
The Art as inspired by Andy Goldsworthy
See all these Dinosaurs
See all these Dinosaurs
Yes. We made it
Yes. We made it
See what i have got
See what i have got
Here i am
Here i am
Yr1 at it-creating own mixed medium shoe habitats
Yr1 at it-creating own mixed medium shoe habitats
More habitats from all around the world
More habitats from all around the world
We all love the Ocean
We all love the Ocean
Awesome fish
Awesome fish
Here is the lovely Camel
Here is the lovely Camel
We loved the netball game
We loved the netball game
We all enjoyed the game
We all enjoyed the game
Isn't this so beautiful
Isn't this so beautiful
Traditional dance in session
Traditional dance in session
The Art as inspired by Andy Goldsworthy
The Art as inspired by Andy Goldsworthy
Indian dance
Indian dance
This is some awesome stuff happening
This is some awesome stuff happening
And now yoga
And now yoga

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Sneak preview of our 2019 calendar
Sneak preview of our 2019 calendar

We have a new art teacher who joined us this term - Laura is causing a revolution among the children with a paint brush, and opening our eyes to a whole new set of possibilites at Sadhguru School.

In our excitement we wanted to share with you a draft preview of a 2019 calendar we are working on as a small fundraiser and awareness campaign, using the children's artwork - all proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go to supporting Sadhguru School.

Quotations on each page are from our founder, Sadhguru.

The ink paintings above and below of years 2 and 3 (ages 6 to 10), with the exception of the cats, are partly inspired by their trips to Queen Elizabeth National Park, 2 hours drive from Sadhguru School.

We hope you too enjoy the exhuberance.

 

Oh Yes its Raining Again

How could we resist sharing this Purple Monster image below? Splendid raincoats for everyone with thanks to Maureen.

 

With love

Bliss, the staff, children and volunteers at Sadhguru School

Pussy cats galore
Pussy cats galore
Year 2 in Queen Elizabeth National Park, early Nov
Year 2 in Queen Elizabeth National Park, early Nov
wooooooo, I'm a friendly ghost
wooooooo, I'm a friendly ghost
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Jonathan Scott arrives
Jonathan Scott arrives

Purrrrfect

We were blessed with a flying visit, literally, from BBC Big Cat Diary presenter Jonathan Scott, who dropped in on us by helicopter, to squeals of excitement which narrowly missed the helicopter taking off again 'flown' by 50 small aspiring pilots (you might remember from the previous blog that they'd already coincidentally had 'flying lessons'). Jonathan regaled the kids with fabulous snippets on cheetahs, lions and leopards, but his best piece of advice came from his old teacher who told him, 'The best thing you did in your life was not to listen to my advice'. (See the two min movie below, under 'Links').

International Day of Yoga

We celebrated June's International Day of Yoga (IDY) in a big way, with an eight day yoga workshop for Years Two and Three (ages 7 to 10), led by an irresistible Isha Yoga teacher who joined us from South India and who wooed us within minutes of saying Sadhguru School children had a healthy balance of vivacity and attention, and that we must be doing something right not to have supressed their exuberance but at the same time to have kept them engaged with their daily yoga practices - which have been happening since we opened in January 2017. During the workshop the kids learnt Surya Shakti (a dynamic form of sun salutation, which cultivates great physical fitness and strength), played games, learnt about caring for themselves, each other and the environment, drew pictures of what they had learnt, and put together a finale of dancing and singing performed with much aplomb in front of their parents. 

Meanwhile, for each of the eight days, the imperturbable Stina from Sweeden, who has been a volunteering angel in the kitchen, was teaching our kitchen staff such exotics to the rural Western Uganda palate as banana, chia seed (now grown in Sadhguru School veg garden!) and cinnamon smoothie, gooey banana biscuits, date energy balls, pumpkin and coconut soup, hibiscus honey tea, and lettuce, cucumber, parsely and corriander sandwiches (all grown at school) on homemade brown bread. These were all tentatively trialled on the yoga workshop-going kids at the end of their morning sessions, as so far we've been sticking to a fairly conservative menu based on the traditional local diet. We honestly thought they would pull the lettuce and cucumber from out of the bread... but within seconds the sandwiches had disapperared, innards 'n all, and they were begging for more, and we were jumping for joy.

World Environment Day & Recycled Sports Day

Taking heed of the 5th June World Environment Day call to action: 'Beat Platic Polluniton. If you can't reuse it, refuse it', the children had a presentation and video session on how plastics are damaging our planet through irresponsible use; and then got together into their house teams to clean up their local market village, Rwaihamba, where plastics float, bob, ebb, sway, and mulch in a chaotic market sea. This was followed by a Recycled Sports day afternoon whereby, still in the same house teams, they competed against each other using footballs made our of yarns of plastic bags woven into a ball, and obstacle relay races where the 'baton' was two full shopping bags, and obstacles included old car tyres, and a chance to show off their recently learnt forward roll from gym class. This was the first full sports session on our now ready-for-use beautiful hoe-levelled and hand-planted playing field, which we had been longingly watching gestate, forbidden, in her own sweet grassy time. (See the 70 second movie below, under 'Links').

Summer School: Music Dance Drama Week

The week following the end of term was fired up into mornings of music, dance and drama, led by Wanjiru, visiting from the UK and of Kenyan descent, who gave herself wholeheartedly to inspiring the children (see penultimate pics), despite a painful leg injury. In her own words:

'In the school I found the kind of ethos that I sought all my working life; a balance between play and work; creativitiy and information; stillness and activity; yoga and dance. I spent nine intensive days in a valley in Ndali, surrounded by hills, and the children soon started to open up like beautiful flowers in springtime.'

Learning Showcase for Parents

We held a special day for parents from the local Ndali community around Sadhguru School to experience how their children are learning, through methods unfamiliar to them which involve no blackboard or homework. If any of you are a little confused as to what active learning means, I hope the below 4 minute movie under 'Links', 'Learning Through Discovery and Play', will shed a little light.

 

With love, 

Bliss, Lulu and Jane

Jonathan Scott sharing Big Cat images
Jonathan Scott sharing Big Cat images
Giving the heli a helping handstand
Giving the heli a helping handstand
Kids 8 day yoga workshop
Kids 8 day yoga workshop
Yoga workshop: sukha kriya
Yoga workshop: sukha kriya
Yoga workshop art from Precious: flower smelling
Yoga workshop art from Precious: flower smelling
World Environment Day: teaming up
World Environment Day: teaming up
local market - rubbish collection
local market - rubbish collection
Recycled sports day & hooray the grass has grown!
Recycled sports day & hooray the grass has grown!
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama performance under The Magic Tree
Music Dance Drama performance under The Magic Tree
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama Workshop
Music Dance Drama Workshop - Wanjiru on right
Music Dance Drama Workshop - Wanjiru on right
Learning Showcase for parents: carpentry
Learning Showcase for parents: carpentry

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Organization Information

Sadhguru Schools

Location: Fort Portal, Kabarole - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @https://youtu.be/xxUcvaJaPto
Project Leader:
Bliss Grace
Fort Portal, Kabarole Uganda
$64,511 raised of $410,000 goal
 
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$345,489 to go
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