Angel: Head Girl for Sanitation at her School
Dear Bitone friends,
Warm greetings to you all from Bitone children and staff. We congratulate you for whatever success you have achieved since we last heard from you, and we wish you luck in your next endeavors. We wish to thank you for your continued support towards Bitone programs. Thank you so much. Your advices, guidance, and support will always be appreciated. On behalf of the children and staff, I would like to update you on a number of issues as they have emerged in the past three months:
Here are the successes achieved in the past three months:
• Six Bitone candidates sat and successfully passed their examinations.
• In April, Bitone Troupe was hired to perform at two local weddings in Kampala. The troupe raised a total of $400.00 which has been used to purchase food staffs.
• $340 was spent on children’s medical bills and supplies.
• $1,792 has been spent on procuring food staffs and home supplies and personal items for the kids during the months of March and April.
• $150 has been spent to buy school uniforms for all primary kids at Guiding Star primary school.
Due to financial constraints, we have not been able to procure the remaining needed set of costumes as we had hoped. According to our initial budgets, Bitone is still looking out for funds to make the following dance costumes to enable us mitigate hiring costs which depletes a big portion of our performance revenue. Below are the dances and their cost structure for which we are seeking financial assistance:
Name of Dance Quantity Cost
Ekizino 25 pieces $375
Ekitaguriro 25 pieces $300
Tamenaibuga 14 pieces $210
Mwaga 25 pieces $375
Amaggunju 25 pieces $375
Otole 25 pieces $375
Bamagara 18 pieces $210
Dingding 14 pieces $375
Gaze 14 pieces $210
We wish to congratulate all the Bitone Children who successfully completed their various levels of education.
1. Aisha Nabitosi completed her senior four at Excel High School and past in the 1st grade. She was the best candidate at her school and was awarded a certificate of recognition. Vision Uganda –a Ugandan based organization which gives education scholarships to academically successful students has awarded tuition assistance to Aisha for her senior five year of study in recognition of her academic excellence. She is now pursuing her education at Gayaza School in the science department offering Math, Physics, Economics and Entrepreneurship subjects. Bitone is really proud of her achievements.
2. Damalie Nabanakulya completed her senior four level of education at Kawempe Royal College and past in the 2nd grade. She is offering arts subjects with emphasis on economics. Her dream is to become a woman activist –a voice to all women who are mistreated because of their gender and societal-cultural placement.
3. Mary Nansamba completed her senior four level of education at Kawempe Royal College and past in the 3rd grade. She is now majoring in the arts subjects and her dream is to become a school teacher.
4. Elizabeth Nantongo completed High School at Happy Hours Secondary School. She scored 13 points and she is pending joining College /University in August this year 2010. She was the second best performing student at her school. Elizabeth would like to purse her degree in Human Rights subject to position her with means to create a social positive change in Ugandan local communities. She is particularly interested in promoting the values of a girl-child and her goal is to fight vices of rape, defilement and child labor.
5. Junior Kiiza successfully finished primary seven and has now joined senior one at Kawempe Royal College. He scored a super second grade. At Kawempe Royal College, he has been offered a half bursary for the coming 2nd term of study because of his outstanding academic performance he showed last term.
6. Steven Seguya completed his primary education with a 2nd grade. Steven also joined Kawempe Royal College and like his colleague Junior, he has been awarded a half bursary because of his academic excellence.
We congratulate you Bitone kids and we wish for you success in your academic endeavors. Meanwhile, this year, we have five (5) primary candidates studying at Guiding Star Primary school and three (2) senior four candidates at Kawempe Royal College. They hope to sit for the national examinations at the end of this year. Unfortunately, Aisha Nandujja was unable to register for the said Examinations (UNEB) because of her sight and hearing illness. We pray that she gets well and rejoin her academic journey soon.
Bitone Home Affairs:
We wish to report to you that the general welfare of our children has continued to reflect great values despite the on-going financial constraints bitone is facing. Each day that passes, kids become more aware of their future roles and value. By providing healing, intellectual, education and interaction through music and dance, our children's voices have reverberated- offering strength to talk about their past with assurance. We would like to invite you pay us a visit at the center and share with you our love, smiles, and talent. We call upon any interested volunteers to work with us in the various programs Bitone offers.
Bitone Troupe (Music and Dance Project):
The Bitone music and dance troupe has continued to become more vibrant and recognizable both in our local communities and across the country. Every kid has mastered a wider range of performance repertoire which includes dancing, singing, and instrument playing. We do hope to generate more revenue through the children’s performances to assist the center. Currently, due to lack of sound machines, enough costumes, and other resources required for a performance, most of our revenue is depleted through hiring such resources. You may access the Bitone music and children’s stories through the following links: http://www.myspace.com/bitonetroupe or http://www.bitonetroupe.blogspot.com/
Once again we would like to thank all of you for the support you have rendered to us in support of the children. In lieu of the current financial challenges, the management of Bitone Center is currently considering to initiate small scale programs which will help the center acquire the needed resources and to form partnerships with schools, organizations or any interested individuals. Some of the thought programs include:
1. Gardening: Leasing a sizeable pieces of land one which we can grow vegetables, fruits and short term growing crops. This project will not only improve on the nutrition intake per child but also will provide opportunities for the children to learn and acquire basic gardening skills for their future life. It is our intent to equip the children with such extra valuable resources.
2. Solar Cookers: Bitone seeks to buy and install solar cookers at the center in response to the global environmental concerns and to the rising prices for charcoal. Since its inception in 2004, Bitone has been using charcoal for cooking costing us about $ 8.00 per day. Money spent on buying charcoal could be used to support children’s education or other home-related needs. Three solar cookers can efficiently serve the center. Currently, each solar cooker costs $243.00 according to the: http://www.altestore.com/store/Energy-Efficient-Products/Solar-Ovens/Global-Sun-Oven/p1654/. Any assistance on this project item is highly appreciated.
3. Pen pal Program: In January, Bitone initiated a pen pal program between students of Greenville school and Bitone Center in which they share their personal stories, struggles, successes, dreams and everyday life. Initially, the program is made possible through letter writing. The future plan is to involve music sharing in which members of both groups will work on a single musical item in succession. The project is aimed at helping kids find confidence in expression and at the same time learn life (cultural interaction) of each others countries. We believe that young people can be charged with responsibility to talk about issues concerning their communities and propose possible solutions to those challenges. Bitone would like to have more pen pal programs with other schools, clubs, etc. Kindly let us know of any interested parties in this project idea.
4. Performance Tours: One of our best achievements so far has been the formation of Bitone Dance and Music performance Troupe made up of Bitone children. The troupe performs a varied repertoire of professionally designed/ choreographed Uganda traditional music, dance, and folklore. Currently, we are seeking opportunities on launching performance tours both locally and internationally. Apart from raising self esteem, confidence as well as psychological and physiological well-being of the children, this project will definitely generate revenue for the center. Anyone interested in helping us launch this project is welcome.
Finally, we would like to welcome any suggestions, support, advice, and any other forms of assistance needed to complete these projects. Please let us know what you think about these plans. We would love to hear from you. Thank you so much and as always “In art We Unite”. For more information about the above projects or general inquiries, please write to our Executive Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Godfrey: Head of Children's Disciplinary Committee
Steven: Sharing his skills with Ryan
Branco: Playing with his Kids at the Center
MusicTherapy: Ryan plays empowering guitar music
Donation: Kids receive blankets from Ryan and Abby
Kids perform for locals at Bitone Center