Unofficial opening SAM path.
Good News…SAM’S New Path is Open!
We are really delighted to announce that the new path up to SAM has been completed and unofficially opened by the children from the primary school! It is thanks to the help and generous donations from our GlobalGiving supporters that we have been able to make this wonderful path.
Please join us for a virtual walk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZGjfCnNgV8
This very steep path is the route up to SAM for the children and staff from the main campus, and now an important back entrance. The 210-metre-long path is used daily by staff and students of the primary and secondary schools and by patients attending the clinic. Each paving stone was hand-made on site and then set into a concrete base that is 2 metres wide, a key improvement allowing a vehicle to safely use it in an emergency.
The continued support from all our GlobalGiving donors is helping us make other improvements to the safely and wellbeing of our needy, vulnerable young children and their incredible staff at SAM. We really hope that this wonderful building will once again soon be filled with the patter of toddlers’ feet in the corridors, singing in the classrooms, and happy children once again playing in the garden. SAM’s staff have been checking the buildings and garden regularly and keeping the grass under control, so that no snakes or other dangerous insects or animals can get in and cause disease or danger to the day care and kindergarten children when they finally return.
The Not Good News…
Although there was great joy when most of our primary and secondary school pupils returned in the spring, under a staggered reopening of education as part of the Ugandan Government’s Coronavirus Roadmap, sadly this joy was short lived. We were celebrating that a group of children from SAM were finally able to start at our primary school, and they were settling into their new routine. Then, totally unexpectedly, on Saturday 29 May the President addressed the nation and imposed yet another strict lockdown for at least 42 days. Schools were given until Monday at 8 o'clock in the morning to close their doors! The children who had literally just started or returned to school for a week now had to go home again. Sad and despondent, with their school bags packed, uncertain goodbyes were once more said.
Thankfully, the national primary and secondary exams (equivalent to 11 Plus, ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels) had already gone ahead as planned in April and the students are now waiting for their results.
The government is promoting online education in this latest lockdown, as it did in previous ones. Regrettably, this leads to ever greater differences between the privileged few with internet access, and the vast majority of disadvantaged students. As they have throughout the pandemic, our dedicated teachers at all levels have been following up on the children’s education progress, using the internet when they can. Children unable to access the internet but living close enough to the campus are given work delivered by hand or collected by their parents. The SAM teachers are also teaching and providing support to the younger children who live on the campus and in the immediate neighbourhood.
Teaching staff, medical and nursing staff are priority groups for vaccination in Uganda, and all our staff have now received their first dose of vaccine. We are hoping that second doses will be given very shortly, so that SAM and the schools can reopen as soon as possible after this latest lockdown.
Given the situation it is evident that our emergency aid fund will still be needed in the coming months. As we have previously reported, your donations to this emergency fund have helped provide vital support to our staff. We have been able to pay 70% of wages, help children access learning materials, and give emergency food packages to vulnerable guardians. Now there is another lockdown, uncertainty about the future is increasing once again, and prices rising. Any donation that you can make to the emergency aid fund is therefore so greatly appreciated. For more information see the website. https://www.kinderhulp-afrika.nl/en/emergency-aid
Please visit our website for more information and regular 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear from you.
I hope to be able to give you a more positive report in the Autumn.
Until then I want to wish all our readers a very happy and safe summer 2021!
Jill van Leeuwen.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kinderhulp-afrika
SAM ... eagerly awaiting the children's return!
Happy faces reporting back to school.
Despondent faces having to pack again.
Hopefully SAM can reopen soon!