These are tough times in Kampala, Uganda. Food prices are high. People are preparing for the elections in 2016 which means possible changes which makes them feel insecure. Many people are trying to save up to prepare for potentially tougher times. The Christian Upliftment School feels these hard times on a daily basis. Some students come scarcely to school as they instead go to the stone quarry to break stones to sell in order to eat. Hunger has become a big problem in the homes of our students since the food prices have risen. We hope to be able to provide a meal a day at school, but the limited funds competing with paying teachers and building repairs and maintenance has made it impossible up to this point. Nonetheless, without the help that our trusty supporters do provide, we wouldn't be able to provide the education at all.
A new term started on May 18th. Director, Hellen reaches out to students who have not showed up. She pleas for help in providing a school lunch as she knows it will bring the attendance back to what it was before the food prices rose. She looks toward the new elections not with fear as many do, but with faith that even through the hard times, the school will be provided for, and they will continue working for the education of the youth... which is the future of the country. Thank you always for your support.
Well, the charger for the camera was apparently lost and this has kept Hellen from being able to use it. She did not lose it but was never able to receive it, unfortunately. I honestly cannot report on whether she has been able to or should have been able to purchase a new one because she has been very out of touch lately.
The last we spoke more consistently was via e-mail in July. She had let me know that she was having legal problems with the teachers holding her accountable for pay. She was not able to pay them regularly since the school did not receive enough money through donations and from parents to pay them regularly, but they were not very understanding about that apparently. Funds were sent in July and she confirmed their receipt but then has been very out of touch.
I have been so busy too so it took me months before I called her. When I called her she said what I had assumed and hoped was not the case. She has been in and out of the hospital. This seems to have been the case ever since she got in a car accident maybe two years ago. It seems that her health has been consistently poor since then. I asked her to please put me in touch with someone else working with the school and she said she would but I have not heard from her. Due to many obligations, I can't dedicate much time to this until mid December. But after that time, I will be much more diligent about calling her, finding another contact at the school who can communicate in her absence, and also reaching out to more groups in Kampala.
So I'm sorry I do not have more details.
Thank you always for supporting the school and the children!
We hope you are well! We were recently able to send some funds to Hellen to help out with this term, thanks to your genorosity! We were also able to get a camera to her but there was a problem with the charger. We expect this problem to be fixed soon and more pictures!
A new term started on May 26th and is about to end. You may be interested in learning about the way the Ugandan school year system runs, as it is quite different than the U.S. system, and many other countries.
Term 1 runs from February to April. Then there is a month long break.
Term 2 runs from May to July. August is a break month.
Term 3 runs from September to November. Most of December and January are holidays.
And here is a video of one of the classrooms they are working on constructing for the schools.
Thank you always for your support! Your investment is valuable to the lives of many.
Our fundraising efforts for the Christian Upliftment School have grown slowly but surely over the past two years. We were able to send $500 to Hellen again in February and are letting funds accumulate for another transfer. Hellen reported that the funds came just in time to do some repairs on a classroom and the fact that the inspector sees that they continue to work on it is what keeps the school opened. I let her know that it is very important that we receive receipts of payments made, even if she is buying bricks out of a truck who doesn't usually provide receipts. She said that she was adament with the man she contracted to do the roof to come and pay the payment voucher and was late in sending me an update as she was waiting for his signature. So she took the request seriously!
She sent pictures, which are attached. We would love to have contact with a volunteer or missionary in the Kampala area who would be willing to do visits to the school and perhaps help Hellen learn to use Google Drive so she can report things like teacher attendance and student attendance. We also are looking for a donated camera to send with someone who is traveling to the area in late April and has volunteered to take the camera to her. Please e-mail GrassrootsSchools@gmail.com if you can donate a camera for this cause or if you are in the Kampala area or know someone who is and could do school visits. She currently takes pictures on her phone and reports having a really hard time getting them to me via the computer. She had to print these ones off and scan them aparently, but if she has a camera with its USB cord she can just upload them.
Hellen says that things are going well with the school in general. Their biggest needs are the remaining funds for the school repairs, more funds to properly pay teachers and purchase materials regularly, and funds for school meals.
She sends a huge thanks to everyone who is supporting the school!
I am sorry that it has been so long since you have received an update on the Christian Upliftment School in Kampala, Uganda. We recently were able to send Hellen $568.75 from funds accumulated throughout the summer. We have another $112.88 to be sent. This is still a long way off from the over $1,000 US a month the school needs to function properly, but it is a great start, and they are still going, despite what they lack!
School & Personal Update from Hellen
I have not updated because I have been waiting on an update from Hellen. It turns out that she has been in the hospital again, still suffering effects from the car accident she was in months back. She said that she also had a case of malaria. She believes she will be out and back home on Monday and can send me a breakdown of expenses and pictures at that time. I know that the funds sent are so much less than the school needs, but it sure is great that we are still able to help out in some way.
I recently spoke with Hellen on the phone as it was difficult for her to write much via e-mail. I asked her if the school is still functioning fine without her presence and she said yes, of course. There are seven teachers working, basically voluntarily, teaching 260 students! They ask for a small fee from parents but many cannot pay and others pay inconsistently, so this is all the teachers have to live off of. I asked if teacher pay is the school´s biggest need. She said no, and reminded me of the inspections going on this year that will determine whether or not the school is allowed to continue functioning in the building they are in. Their most urgent need is to make some building repairs. Then another big pressing need is consistent payment for teachers, as well as school meals, and materials to work with.
I also spoke to Hellen a little to learn more about her personally. You probably know that Hellen's husband who founded the school passed away in 2006, but you may or may not know that she has 3 children, all in their teenage years, who she is also putting through school. Two boys and a girl. If you are waiting for a picture of your sponsored student, we hope this will move along a little quicker when Hellen is out of the hospital, although I am not sure how much access she currently has to a camera either, although she mentioned having some pictures to send. But bear with us!
New Giving Opportunity - Global Giving Matching Day!
More than half of the funds we have raised recently has been through Global Giving. Global Giving has a matching day coming up for projects in Africa on Wednesday, October 9th. Start time: 7:00 am Nairobi, 5:00 am London. Let's see, this means that it's 12am EST, correct? There are $25,000 in matching funds and they tend to go fast, so try to get your donation in early. Donations are matched at 30% and there are two $1,000 prizes - one for the project that raises the most funds this day and one for the project that brings in the most unique donors this day. So spread the word and give CUSchool a chance at winning one of these extra prizes!
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