Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda

by Stichting Kinderhulp Afrika
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Help vulnerable children go to preschool in Uganda
Florence in Class at SAM.
Florence in Class at SAM.

A Teacher’s Story from Lockdown 

Like so many day-care centres and nursery schools across the world, our SAM buildings have been eerily quiet since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown began in March. Nothing has been allowed to open, not even for key workers’ children, so sadly we can’t bring you news of our children.

We can however bring you news from one of our brilliant and dedicated teachers - we currently have three former students working as qualified teachers at SAM. They were all selected solely on their qualifications and abilities, and we are delighted that for them as individuals, and us as an organisation, that they have come full circle with us.

Although we are currently unable to visit Uganda, Florence – one of our first teachers in post when SAM opened in September 2019, now tells us her lockdown story... so over to Florence: 

“We miss the children very much because it has now been a very long period. I'm afraid that they will forget a lot of things they have been taught in school and fall behind in their education. We tried with WhatsApp to send work to the children, but for the young children that is very difficult, they really just need a teacher! And not everyone has access to adequate internet. Power failures and unstable internet are part of daily life here.

As staff members of SAM, we enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the Kinderhulp Afrika’s employees at Children’s Welfare Mission and we are all very happy indeed that we still receive 70% of our salary.  I live on the school campus together with many other permanent staff members. We have a place to live, we are safe, our children have food, and we have access to medical care in the Clinic on the campus if we are sick. We are very grateful for this. I am happy to report that my partner and I and our two little girls have been safe and well during these difficult times. We have been able to see other staff members living on the campus and to help each other, although we have missed being able to go to the Church that has had to be closed. 

When I was 10 years old, I came to Children’s Welfare Mission. I was staying with extended family as both my parents had died. I should have gone into Primary Class P5, but the teachers put me in P3 because I had missed a lot of schooling and was unable to keep up. I settled in quickly and thought it was a very nice place to be and was proud of it. At home we were very poor, so it was a real difference to have a bed and regular meals. The rest of the family were jealous that I went to this school. I worked really hard in my lessons, my results improved and I passed primary school exams in P7. Primary school is compulsory in Uganda, although not every child gets the opportunity to complete and pass the national exams, so I was very fortunate to carry on to secondary school. The conditions were good, the teachers and staff very kind and supportive, and we had enough school materials and books.

When I finished S4 (‘O’ level), my sponsor family encouraged me to do a course. I wanted to continue with secondary school, do ‘A’ level and go to University, so I was not keen at first. However, I was persuaded to do a teaching course, and on completing that course I got a job right away! I had a place to live and I worked really hard.

Then I met my partner and we moved to another place. There we soon discovered it was very hard work, long hours, poor conditions, and our salaries weren’t paid every month.  It wasn't a nice place to live, certainly not for a young family.  Someone offered me a job in the Middle East, where I worked as a housekeeper with a family. This was a terrible time…I wanted to go back home, but that wasn't easy. After 3 months I was finally able to return home. 

I went back to the Mission and told them my story and then applied and got a job as a teacher for P1.  I was and am so very happy about this! I'm very proud  of this school. It's a very good place to work. In hindsight, I'm very happy that I had the opportunity to do the teaching course.  I really love primary school teaching and when the Day Care and Kindergarten opened, I was given the responsibility of leading the team at SAM.

I am really very grateful that my sponsor family gave me the wonderful opportunity to go to school and do the teacher training course. Their generosity helped change my life and now I am able to teach other sponsor children”.

Thank you to Florence for her story, I will let you know as soon as SAM can finally re-open their doors and the eerie silence is once again replaced by children’s laughter!

In the meantime, we do have a positive update from our Samaritan Primary and Namugongo Secondary Vocational School, which was selected to re-open in October for 220 pupils in their national exam years. We are delighted that children in Class P7, sitting Primary School Exams are back with us. We have also welcomed back students in Classes S3 (National Vocational Exams), S4 (‘O’ level) and S6 (‘A’ level), with the expectation that these exams will take place in March and April 2021. The rest of the education system should hopefully resume at the end of January, but of course nothing can be certain in these pandemic times!

FROM HELPLESS TO HOPEFUL...

Our organisation’s slogan is “from helpless to hopeful, give a child a chance!”, and I am sure you will agree that Florence’s story really epitomises this! Helping disadvantaged children like Florence, supporting her family and contributing to their wellbeing, and therefore to the local community, is why we all work so hard. In Uganda and in the office in the Netherlands, we are determined to keep on helping individuals and families in need, our young infants at SAM, the pupils in the primary and students in the secondary and vocational schools and all the staff and patients at the clinic. Working to bring our slogan to life and give it an even broader meaning!

Christmas Extra

With your fantastic support and generous donations, we have already been able to give an extra Emergency Aid Parcels to 100 of our children’s families to help them survive in lockdown.

We would now like to give all the families of our sponsor children and all the permanent staff members an extra Christmas Food Parcel to the value of €20. To do this we are asking our supporters to donate and help us achieve our target of 400 Christmas parcels, which will cost in total €8000, i.e. £7,150 or $9,500.

Worldwide Giving Tuesday – 1st December

It is wonderful to receive donations on any day, and on Tuesday 1st December they can go even further!

Our thanks to our fantastic platform GlobalGiving – it is participating in this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign and has ONE MILLION DOLLARS to share out proportionally to all its projects!

IF YOU CAN MAKE YOUR DONATION ON TUESDAY 1ST DECEMBER - IT WILL HELP SAM AND KINDERHULP-AFRIKA EARN A LARGER SUM FROM THE MILLION DOLLAR FUND! 

Click here to give: www.globalgiving.org/42553

 #GLOBALGIVING 42553, #MoveAMillion.

You can donate in $, £ or €!

Giving Tuesday lasts a full 24 hours and starts at midnight ET in the USA, 5am GMT in the UK, and 6am CET in Europe.

Corona proof  Christmas Presents!

This Christmas holiday season is going to be a little different  this year—but you can still share the joy of giving with GlobalGiving Gift Cards. If you are looking for Corona proof presents this Christmas, look no further! Why not consider sending a GlobalGiving Gift Card and ask the receiver to support SAM.

It’s easy! Just click this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/gifts/ to buy and send the cards digitally. The recipient can then choose which project to support, so it’s very important that you kindly ask them to donate their card to SAM! www.globalgiving.org/42553

  

Thank you!

Thank you for your support and interest during this very difficult year. 2020 will be a year none of us will forget in a hurry. If you can’t give now, we of course understand, and would be grateful if you can help us by sharing the link and telling your friends about the work we are doing and all that we are achieving in Uganda.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all the staff at SAM and Kinderhulp Afrika to wish to and your family a Very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for a healthier, happier, and safer 2021!    For all of us, “FROM HELPLESS TO HOPEFUL”!

Jill van Leeuwen.

For more information visit our website: www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/en/

Florence in the campus grounds.
Florence in the campus grounds.
Florence as a young girl in her Sunday best.
Florence as a young girl in her Sunday best.
Giving Tuesday flyer.
Giving Tuesday flyer.
Gift card flyer.
Gift card flyer.
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This path needs improving!
This path needs improving!

In all the years since our charity opened her doors in 1993 there has never been such a long time without children on the campus. SAM is empty, no patter of toddlers feet in the corridors, no singing in the class rooms, nor happy children playing in the garden. Equally the two schools on the campus are also closed. Normally the longest school holiday is from the end of November to the end of January. During this time the maintenance team swings into action, checking each (class)room repairing things were necessary and applying a lick of paint here and there, so that everything is shipshape after the holidays. SAM’s staff have been checking SAM’s buildings and garden regularly and keeping the grass under control,  so that no snakes or other dangerous insects or animals can access causing possible disease or danger to the children when they finally return.   


However, since lockdown started in March,  we have utilised this extra time very well. The staff have been able to make renovations to the campus, erect new water tanks, improve and extend dormitories, complete the new house for the headmaster of SAM and the primary school, Joshua and his wife Mirjam and their daughter. See photographs.

Making SAM and the schools Corona Proof

In August the government set up a Corona inspectorate that has identified our organisation as one of the few educational institutes that will be able to reopen its doors when President Museveni finally gives the green light.

The staff have been working extremely hard to make sure that all the demands are implemented so that we are ready for opening. These are substantial demands and include.
  • Hand washing facilities at the entrance to the SAM and to each (class)room.
  • The water used must be drained away properly.
  • A health committee should be set up and a sick bay should be set up with a qualified nurse.
  • There must be social distancing in the classrooms.
  • Visitors must undergo health checks, non-contact thermometers, masks and face protectors must be used.

At the end of this report you can see photographs of the various improvements that have been made and one of the guards checking the temperature of a visitor. Realistically speaking, we are not expecting that SAM, nor the two schools on the campus, will resume normality and be able to fully open until next year, but we have to be ready just in case. These really are tense and unprecedented times for everyone!

SAM, closed for children but open for long lasting improvements!

We have also been taking advantage of the empty campus to do jobs that are very difficult and unsafe to do when so many children are around. One of the improvements we would very much like to carry out, now the lockdown looks likely to carry on for a while, is to make a paved path from the athletics field up to SAM. This very steep path is not only used by the children and staff of SAM but is also the back entrance to the compound and used daily by staff, students and patients attending the clinic. At the moment this path is just grassed over and it can get slippery when it rains and also when its extremely dry! The children’s shoes not only get ruined but it can be very dangerous indeed. It is so steep that in a heavy downpour the path quickly becomes impassable for pedestrians and vehicles, and the buildings therfeore inaccessible for several hours or even the whole day!  Our aim is to make a path 210 meters long and 2 meters wide, so that in an emergency a vehicle could get up. Like the path photographed below, we plan to use paving stones that are made by hand on site and then set in a concrete base. This is one of the best and most effective ways to construct paths in the tropical climate.

Would you help us to make the path? It has been budgeted at £4,500.

Next week GlobalGiving is hosting a week long “Little x little“ campaign whereby each donation up to $50, (or the first $50 of a larger amount) will receive a 50% match. This will help make your contribution go much further!

The campaign begins at 2pm GMT, (3 pm CET) on Monday 14th September and runs until midnight on Friday 18th September.

Donate within the above times at : www.globalgiving.org/42553

We will post a reminder on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kinderhulp-afrika

Your contribution helps!  As we said earlier, “we are closed for children but open for long lasting improvements!” Your donation will help enable us to make long lasting improvements to the safely and wellbeing of our needy, vulnerable young children and their incredible staff at SAM and also benefit the rest of the campus students, staff and at the clinic.

For more information visit our website for regularly updates: https://www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/en/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office via the website or myself personally, jill@kinderhulp-afrika.nl, I would love to hear from you. 

Last but no least – Thank You

In the last report we mentioned a “Relief Fund” that was set up at the end of June. With your help we were able to help 100 families, where one or more of our sponsor children are housed, by means of a food package which had supplies for up to 2 months. We received such an incredible response that we are delighted to announce that we will be able to give each family a second package as the lockdown continues. This should keep them going till the end of the year. Here are three links to thank you videos from two of our primary school children who received emergency Food Aid packages,  Paul and Precious and from Joshua and Mirjam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuREfyG-1CQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF_0vATcdFQ&feature=youtu.be

https://www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/nl/crowdfunding/woonhuis-hoofd-basisschool

 

I’ll keep you posted!

I will post an update on the SAM project page as soon as the schools return or before Christmas!

Thanks again for your interest and invaluable support.

In the meantime stay safe and keep well.
Paving stones hand made on the campus.
Paving stones hand made on the campus.
A path we finished earlier!
A path we finished earlier!
Floods after one heavy downpour!
Floods after one heavy downpour!
Guards checking visitors
Guards checking visitors
Corona measures: water for handwashing
Corona measures: water for handwashing
Corona measures: safe drainage of water
Corona measures: safe drainage of water
Joshua and Mirjam
Joshua and Mirjam
Family receiving emergency supplies.
Family receiving emergency supplies.
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SAM's pupils waiting to return to school soon!
SAM's pupils waiting to return to school soon!

Still in Lockdown….

When I wrote my last report no-one could have imagined what an impact the coronavirus pandemic would have worldwide. I never envisaged the impact it would have on my own personal situation, let alone the devastating impact that it is having in Uganda and the consequential restrictions on our Stichting Kinderhulp Afrika (KHA) projects.

The Ugandan nation has now been in lockdown for over 14 weeks. Schools and colleges remain closed and unfortunately no date has yet been set when the children and students will be allowed to return. General movements are still restricted, and social distancing is in place, although this is almost impossible due to the over-crowded conditions that most families and communities live in. The motorbike taxis, boda-bodas, are permitted to transport goods but not passengers and this has led in part to huge increases in the costs of daily living. Food prices have also rocketed following more stringent border controls, and to add to the challenges a plague of locusts has decimated crops!

 As a consequence, the economic crisis in Uganda is growing by the week. The continuing lockdown is fueling uncertainty about when things will improve, and many people are struggling to make ends meet and already going hungry. Fear of further economic problems and major health issues are looming and increasing anxiety across the country.

KHA is doing everything it can, and our attention has now switched from pre-coronavirus activities to providing emergency help to families in need. As there is no social security network or government financial support in Uganda, those not at work receive neither salary nor financial benefits. KHA set up a Relief Fund to provide our local staff with 70% of their normal salary and we are very grateful that generous donations have enabled us to meet our goal to be able to pay salaries until at least September.

Our immediate focus is now on the Ugandan families who are looking after the children who are on the KHA sponsor programme. An audit has revealed that around 100 of the 300 families concerned now need additional support as a direct result of the pandemic. These families are often taking care of several children as well as 'our' sponsor children, and money and food are starting to run out after so many weeks of lockdown. We have therefore also launched a Relief Fund specifically to help these families. If you would like to help out please consider making a donation via The Samaritan Day Care and Kindergarten (SAM) project on GlobalGiving: www.globalgiving.org/42553 or directly on website: www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/en

Should you want to help these families out in a very generous way then on Wednesday, July 15, GlobalGiving is hosting a special Bonus Day for donations over $100, £80, € 89 . These donations will receive at least a 30% match. Bonus day starts at 9 a.m. ET in the USA, 14.00 hrs GMT in the UK and 15.00 hrs in Europe till midnight, 4:59 hrs and 5:59 hrs respectively.

For more infomation see: https://www.globalgiving.org/leaderboards/july-bonus-day-2020/

Not all doom and gloom!

I am delighted to tell you that, despite the coronavirus crisis, we have run a very successful campaign on GlobalGiving through a microproject to raise funds towards the costs of buying an innovative new education programme for SAM and the Samaritan Primary School, namely the Jolly Phonics Literacy & Grammar Programme.  We have already raised a total of £1,300 (€1416), which is well on the way to our goal at £2,200 (€2340) to purchase one package of the programme materials. The money raised so far has been ringfenced so that once our school can re-open and funds allow, we can purchase a first package of materials.  Ideally, we would like to buy 2 packages, so we will be continuing to fund raise and hopefully circumstances will enable us to repeat this microproject in 2021.  If you are interested in learning more about the Jolly Phonics approach to language teaching and our project to use it at SAM please go to:  https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/fund-jolly-phonics-literacy-and-grammar-programme/  and https://www.jollylearning.co.uk/

As I promised in the last report, we will post an update on the SAM project page as soon as the schools can return, this will hopefully be before another quarterly report is due!

I hope you will continue to follow and support the work we are doing in Uganda, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at jill@kinderhulp-afrika.nl, I would love to hear from you. 

Thanks again for your interest and support.

In the meantime stay safe and keep well.

Deserted corridor
Deserted corridor
Empty quiet garden  :(
Empty quiet garden :(
Example of Jolly Phonics books
Example of Jolly Phonics books
July Bonus day
July Bonus day
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Enjoying their new class.
Enjoying their new class.

Here’s an update from our frontline in Uganda in these challenging times.

Our Samaritan Day Care and Kindergarten, SAM, opened its doors for the new school term at the beginning of February. There were 37 pre-school and kindergarten pupils and 3 children attending our day care section. We had high hopes to enrol new pupils into the day care as word gets around that SAM is not only a school!

School was going really well, and our new teacher was settling in. She is a graduate student of NSVS, our secondary school on the campus. We now have three former students working at SAM, all selected solely on their qualifications and abilities, and we are delighted that for them as individuals and us as an organisation that the circle is complete! We will tell you more about these three incredibly special and talented teachers in a future report.

For now, however, we want to inform you about the current situation in Uganda concerning the Coronavirus Pandemic. The first case was recorded on March 17th. The President, Yoweri Museveni, immediately announced that all schools would close at the end of that week for a period of 32 days. This has subsequently been extended for another 3 weeks and further extensions must be anticipated.

SAM, together with our 2 other schools on the campus, took the necessary steps to close as the “Lockdown” became reality. Three of our Dutch volunteers, including one of the International Directors, managed to get safely repatriated, but the long-planned week to host a group of 10 ladies was of course postponed indefinitely. All our children, some 850 in total across all the campus, had to return home to their parents or guardians. As you can imagine this was a huge exercise, particularly as most schools in Uganda are boarding schools. Almost as soon as the announcement had been made the main roads around the capital, Kampala, and other major cities became gridlocked as people tried to pick up school students and the University students also travelled home.

Social distancing in Uganda, and certainly in a boarding school, leaves a lot to the imagination. See the attached photograph of students leaving University.  Luckily they were still able to use a Boda-Boda’s, the main form of transport for the majority of people in Uganda, before they too were banned.

At the time of writing the lockdown is working very effectively. The number of recorded cases is only 79 and 47 of these are known to have recovered. Thankfully, no one in Uganda has so far lost their life to this terrible disease. The lockdown restrictions are extremely strict. No one is allowed to use their car unless they are doing essential work. Consequently, food prices have soared, and many people are having to walk long distances to get basis food supplies and water. As in the rest of the world many individuals and families have lost their livelihoods and are struggling to survive.

Although SAM and our campus schools are closed, we are still paying staff salaries and carrying out maintenance jobs so that when the children are able to return everything is in good order and we are ready to continue with all our work. We have no idea when this will be, no idea how many children will be able to return due to the economic crisis, nor do we know what the government guidelines and ongoing restrictions will be. There are so many unknowns and there will be exceedingly difficult challenges to face for a considerable time to come. What we do know is how much we appreciate you, our donors and volunteers, who make our work in Uganda possible.  

We will post an update on the SAM project page as soon as the schools can return, but if you have any immediate questions please do not hesitate to contact me at jill@kinderhulp-afrika.nl.  I would love to hear from you and in the meantime stay safe and keep well.

Happy friends hoping to see each other again soon!
Happy friends hoping to see each other again soon!
Going home from University on the Boda-Boda.
Going home from University on the Boda-Boda.

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SAM’s Flying Start to 2020!

Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to read this, our first report of 2020 from ‘SAMaritan Day Care & Kindergarten’ – SAM!

2020 is definitely off to a ‘flying start’ at SAM. We have increased our numbers steadily and now have 32 children and toddlers/babies in total attending regularly. Each receives day care and early years education appropriate to their individual needs and stage of development. Our own on-site kitchen is now operational and provides nutritious and healthy food using local ingredients. We are also hoping to recruit a third care giver in the next few weeks, which will allow our team to offer one to one care to the most disadvantaged youngsters.

Our children come from varying backgrounds, this presents a considerable challenge when we start to introduce the children to the literacy skills they need to develop ready for their primary school education. We teach in English and Luganda and find there is a lot of work to be done to bring every Kindergarten child up to the same level before we can start to teach them all to become fluent readers.

Through our teachers’ contacts we recently learned about a respected resource – ‘Jolly Phonics’ – a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. We managed to buy one of the colourful wall charts from the package of innovative and creative materials available - see the photo below.  Teaching with this chart is already showing positive results and our teachers believe that the multi-sensory methods that the programme uses are truly excellent.

We are therefore excited to announce that we have ambitious plans to give our Kindergarten children the Jolly Phonics ‘Flying Start’ by raising funds to purchase the full Jolly Phonics programme package of materials. We are launching a microproject on GlobalGiving specifically to raise the money needed, and we are taking part in the GlobalGiving ‘Little by Little’ Matching Campaign in March. Please look out for more details on our website and facebook pages for the campaign publicity.

You, our donors and volunteers, are so important to us and we really thank you for all the support you give. We and our staff at SAM appreciate the time and energy that visiting volunteers give and are so happy that this appreciation goes both ways. In the words of one such recent visitor:

“Dear Colleagues in Uganda

Thank you very much for the wonderful time I have had with you!

You made me feel warm and welcome. I have had a lot of fun with you and it is very nice to get to know you.

You are wonderful teachers; you have a great heart for the children and you have so much love for them. Very beautiful to see!

And you are very involved with all the children and show in everything that you love them!

The children are lucky with such good and loving teachers at their school!

I wish you all the best and good luck for the future and God’s blessing for the work you do, but also in your personal life!

Lots of love A…..”

Little by Little campaign  Please support SAM by donating up to $50 during the period March 23rd  -27th March and your donation will get a 50% match from GlobalGiving.

Please note the campaign is worldwide: It starts at 09.00 hrs ET in US, 13.00 hrs GMT in UK, 14.00 hrs CET in Euro zone and ends at midnight 27th .

Better still, if you start a recurring donation during the campaign and keep it active for 4 months the initial amount of the donation will also  receive a 100% match!

Don’t forget Gift Aid in the UK!

To help even more please tell your friends about our work and this campaign and if possible share it on social media.

For more information look on our website: www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/en/preschool and Facebook page.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on info@kinderhulp-afrika.nl

Wall chart
Wall chart
Lego is a great way to play and learn.
Lego is a great way to play and learn.
More books to read!
More books to read!
Drawing ia also great fun!
Drawing ia also great fun!
Example of Jolly Phonics sounds.
Example of Jolly Phonics sounds.
Little X Little flyer.
Little X Little flyer.
Friends for life!
Friends for life!
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Organization Information

Stichting Kinderhulp Afrika

Location: 1430 AB AALSMEER, Aalsmeer - Netherlands
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Jill van Leeuwen
1430 AB AALSMEER, Aalsmeer Netherlands
$11,095 raised of $10,000 goal
 
207 donations
$0 to go
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