In Nabikabala, our 2021 is off to a strong start. Our primary seven students started the year on campus where they safety engaged in learning in order to sit for the national primary seven leaving exam in March. We are pleased to share that all of our students completed their exams and we expect their results in the coming months. These students and their teachers have worked incredibly hard to make up all lost learning during school closures due to COVID-19 and have been diligently working in the classroom since October 2020.
We have also been engaging with our younger learners through our home learning program, and are welcoming several grades back on campus in the next few months. As the situation with COVID-19 in Uganda improves, we are excited to engage with our students in person more regularly. During this time, we are continuing to support families in the community with food and nutritional supplements as needed.
We are so grateful for your support and look forward to a promising new year!
What a year it's been! Despite the challenges we've faced as a collective community, we have so much to be grateful for this year. When COVID-19 began to spread across the globe so many months ago, we knew that we would be stretched in ways we hadn't imagined. Whether making sure our community families had access to food and sanitization material, ensuring children continued to learn even while they were away from the classroom and had no computer or internet access, or providing our staff with financial security while ensuring their continued safety, continuing operations in 2020 was no easy feat. However, our team and our supporters went above and beyond month after month to provide our community with the lifesaving resources they needed while demonstrated positivity and optimism.
In 2020, we shifted students learning from the classroom to safe, socially distant locations spread around the community. We provided approximately 92,000 meals, 300 mosquito nets, and hundreds of bars of soap. We also continued to engage with our teachers in training remotely, sharing learning over text message and meeting in person in small, safe groups. Our work has never stopped, and the imapct of this continuity of serivces on our families has been tremendous. Thank you for your support, now more than ever.
In an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our community, we have distributed food to our students’ households in surrounding villages at least once per month since March, reaching 408 families with these distributions. During these initial distributions, we also carried out a COVID-19 education session with our families, discussinghow COVID-19 spreads and how to best prevent transmission.
This summer, we provided academic support to 320 primary seven children from 10 schools in our sub-county through the production and distribution of academic enrichment materials two times per month.
Since June, 15 SOUP teachers have been carrying out daily home school lessons for small groups of children in the community, reaching 389 students each week in a safe, socially distant environment and holding classes outside when possible.
Over the past few months, our team has created an ALP handbook with input and guidance from educational experts across Uganda and the United States. This handbook will be a useful reference guide for teachers of all levels to implement active learning in their classrooms after they have completed training with our ALP team.
This month, our team hosted a dialogue session at a local teacher training college were the ALP is implemented. We discussed the impact of COVID-19 on education and teacher training, and discussed how active learning can be applied successfully in this new learning environment.
Sending you all thoughts, well wishes, and love at this challenging time. Families around the globe are facing hardships now more than ever, and we deeply appreciate your support.
In order to mitigate the tremendous challenges faced by our SOUP community, we have taken the following steps to support our families and students:
All students were sent home with their families on Friday, March 20 in accordance with government regulations
Families were sent home with food rations and sanitizing materials and will be provided with additional nutritional resources in the coming weeks
Students, families, and staff were educated on COVID-19, its spread, and how to take protective measures including proper hand-washing and social distancing
Our office has instituted a work from home policy and teachers were allowed to travel to their home village before public transportation was suspended
We distributed food, sanitizing materials, and some academic work to 265 families on April 3 and April 16. We will continue to do so a t least two times per month for the duration of the COVID-19 response period.
I want to thank you so much for your continued support as we monitor the situation in Uganda, and adjust our services to ensure our families are protected. Over the next few months, we will be refining the Active Learning curriculum, and considering ways to reach teachers and students in new and creative ways. Our community programs will be providing additional nutrition services, fresh drinking water, health counseling and education, and other small support services as needed. We are also protecting our employees' health and finances while asking them to shift their responsibilities to meet our community's evolving needs but continuing to pay salaries during this time.
Please know that your efforts have allowed us to grow to where we are today, and we are so grateful.
On behalf of The African SOUP, I would like to thank you again for the continuous support you have provided to us to expand our reach over the few months. I am pleased to share our progress since October 2019. I am so grateful for the partnership The African SOUP and the GlobalGiving Community have built together. Your donations have truly played an integral role in expanding the scope of our work and in driving our community programs forward.
SOUP Demonstration Nursery and Primary School
All 39 primary seven students sat for their exams in November.
The school year ended for all students on December 6.
All SOUP teachers and support staff attended a staff retreat from January 7 – 9, designed to provide intensive training and teambuilding ahead of the 2020 school year.
Secondary Enrichment Program (SEP)
39 scholars attended a weeklong enrichment and leadership workshop from December 9 – 13.
All of our 49 scholarship recipients sat for their final exams in December and will receive their results early this year.
Active Learning Project (ALP)
210 first year students at Bishop Willis Primary Teachers College have completed our weekly methods course in 2019. These students sat for the final exam for the ALP methods course on November 7
An awards ceremony for the students was held on November 15 to celebrate their achievements and was attended by the Principal and Deputy Principal of the college, as well as several instructors, all students, and members of the ALP team.
24 Bishop Willis instructors have attended engagement sessions with the ALP staff since August, giving them access to ALP theory and methodology.
Our data collection team conducted a community vulnerability assessment in November and December to collect and analyze valuable statistics about the economic, education, and health status of our community.
We at The African SOUP want to thank our giving team so much for their generous contributions, especially around the busy holiday season. It is through your support that we are able to provide the highest quality services to our community. All the best to you in this new year!
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