Growing our schools in Uganda!

by The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project
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Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Growing our schools in Uganda!
Tree Farm Project
Tree Farm Project

Since 2004, when we started our school gardens, Nyaka has worked to do its part to invest in the land surrounding Nyakagezi in southwestern Uganda. We take pride in our tree farm and many gardens located near and within our community.

The Nyaka Tree Project (started in 2019) is a key element of Nyaka’s commitment to sustainability. The project aims to preserve land, and teach forestry and land management skills to the local community. Additionally, the land is used for environmentally friendly practices, such as bee keeping and goat rearing.

We believe when we take care of the land, it will take care of us.

Many community members and grandmothers are taught and use sustainable farming practices to feed their families and bring in additional income. Ensuring the community farms in sustainable ways ensures the land will meet the needs of future generations.

Our school gardens and tree project has allowed us to successfully expand our education program to the community and within our schools. Students learn inside the classroom and outside in nature. Recently, the Farm Manager worked with students to plant vegetables and maize in the school garden. Nyaka Vocational School students go to the farm for agricultural practicals. In the photos below, students were learning about farm layout and were able to see some farm structures.

NVSS Students in school garden
NVSS Students in school garden
Primary Students in school garden
Primary Students in school garden

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Nyaka Marathon
Nyaka Marathon

Thank You For A Great 2021!

Although the COVID-19 pandemic persisted in 2021 and schools remained closed, we had a year full of growth and expansion. We also celebrated 20 years of changing lives! We have at least ten achievements that stand out in our minds as the best in a difficult year.

1. Our SGBV team had essential worker permits and has been able to respond to the increased reports of violence during lockdowns in the pandemic.

2. We have retained all our staff and recruited new staff members to support our expansion - Nyaka is growing.

3. Nyaka’s Education Program adapted to the extended school closures in Uganda (many students have been out of school since March 2020) by conducting teacher visits, student counseling, a mobile library service, distributing study materials, masks, soap, sanitary towels and emergency food.

4. We broke ground on staff quarters.

5. We have introduced a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Team at Nyaka.

6. Our Grandmother Program expanded into the new district of Rubanda in southwest Uganda. Nyaka now works with 20,000 grandmothers across 3 districts who are caring for 86,000 orphaned and vulnerable children. 

7. Nyaka’s first Leadership Training took place this year in Kampala, training 24 team leaders in leadership skills.

8. Nyaka UK carried out its first fundraising campaign focused on soap, which led to the distribution of 720 bars of soap to grandmothers and children.

9. We participated in the 50th Annual TCS NYC Marathon with 20 runners. This marathon was simultaneously run in Kampala and Kanungu.

10. The Nyaka Football Club was launched.

Of course these accomplishments are not possible with you! Thank you for your ongoing support and we can't wait for another great year.

Webale!

Grandmothers W/Masks
Grandmothers W/Masks
Breaking Grounds On Staff Quarters
Breaking Grounds On Staff Quarters

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Teacher Lydia
Teacher Lydia

Meet Teacher Lydia, Nyaka primary school teacher & counselor 

Lydia began working as a student teacher with Nyaka in 2003 and then as a full time teacher in 2004. Usually she works as a teacher in Nyaka Primary school, teaching students in Primary 2, 5 and 6 (equivalent to Grades 1, 4 & 5). During the pandemic, Lydia’s role has changed a little… Lydia has been working to support students who are out of school. She helps to identify suitable educational materials, print them out and distribute them to students. When government guidelines allow, she supports students in small clusters, helping them keep up with their learning. She also does a lot of counseling. Students have experienced a lot of loss during the pandemic and teacher Lydia helps them to process their feelings and feel less alone.  

Quote from Lydia: “My role in the pandemic is to counsel and guide students on how to cope with the lockdown.”

Many teachers like Lydia are continuing to travel to their student's communities to deliver materials and to teach small clusters. Instead of giving up when the Nyaka bus transporting teachers to their student's villages got stuck in the mud, teachers went as far as to walk to their student's villages to distribute study materials.

Nyaka teachers will stop at nothing to continue educating our students while schools remain closed. 

Student Receiving Materials From Teacher Lydia
Student Receiving Materials From Teacher Lydia

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Brick Laying Exam
Brick Laying Exam

Every year, vocational students from around the county sit for their final exams. There are several exams students take including the Directorate of institution training (DIT) exam, Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exam, and Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exam. These are students’ final assessment exams that test their ability. Yearly, our students pass with flying colors. Successfully passing their test is the reason why many of them get employed immediately after school.

Over the last few months, Nyaka Vocational Secondary School (NVSS) students have gone through a phased return approach to school in order to take exams. Candidate classes senior 4 and vocational year 2 students completed their DIT Exams. 

  • 32 students took their UCE exams in March and will be joining other schools for S5 or take up a course at a different institution depending on how they score on final exams.
  • 16 vocational year 2 students sat for their DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training) exams in April. Passing students are able to take their skills in tailoring, carpentry, brick making and brick laying to earn some income in their communities.
  • 23 senior 6 students took their UACE exams in April. They will join university or another higher learning institution for further education during the next academic year if they excel.

The education these students are receiving is life changing and even allows for some students to work and help their families while attending school.

Tailoring Exam
Tailoring Exam

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NVSS art students designing COVID-19 posters
NVSS art students designing COVID-19 posters

In Mid-October, schools reopened for the candidate classes of P7, S4, S6 (Grades 5, 10, and 12 equivalent) and finalists in tertiary colleges/universities.

Nyaka was thrilled to welcome students back to school after seven months of mandatory countrywide lockdown. Since their return, we have been following the Ugandan Ministry of Health's guidelines to keep students, staff, and the community safe. Soon after NVSS students returned, they began doing their part to help keep campus safe. The NVSS construction team built an in-ground system for the removal of wastewater from hand washing facilities and art students took part in designing and hanging up posters on COVID-19 control around the school.

We all remain hopeful that we will have all our students back in class soon. We are still awaiting guidance from the Ugandan government to let us know when non-candidate classes will be able to return to school.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this time.

Teachers meeting with returning students
Teachers meeting with returning students

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Organization Information

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project

Location: East Lansing, MI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ Nyakaglobal
Project Leader:
Twesigye Kaguri
Founder/ Director
East Lansing, MI United States
$16,364 raised of $25,000 goal
 
157 donations
$8,636 to go
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