Tin Trunks and Teaching Aids
Carpe Diem Group with the Classroom Aids they made
During their recent visit to the Special Needs Education Centre in Kitanga the Carpe Diem Group from Portland, Oregon, USA made some very useful learning posters for the classrooms. Creative materials are scarce in Uganda so they had to use white sacks and they did an amazing job!
In addition they painted all the tin trunks for the dormitories. Some of the children had brought trunks from their homes but most had nowhere to keep their clothes or personal belongings. We provided the trunks and Carpe Diem provided the creativity! Now every child has their very own trunk with their name on it – colourfully painted by the students.
Once again we are very grateful to Carpe Diem for their continued support of the Special Needs Education Centre, we hope the group enjoyed their East African adventure and wish them all the best for the years ahead!
Nursery School Kids have an amazing day out!
On March 14th our nursery school at Bufuka hosted the Life Academy Nursery School from Ntungamo – one of the nurseries in our Circle of Friends.
Paul the founder of Life Academy has sent us this letter which eloquently expresses their experiences of the day.
Our time in Kabale at Bufuka was superb!!
Time Check- Thursday Thirteenth around mid day, the taxi operators inform us, they could only carry 14 kids each!! Total would be 28 kids yet we had thought all along we would take 40 kids!!
2pm, 13th- The local vicar agrees to call up the head teacher of Kabale secondary school to allow us use their bus for 400,000 shillings!! 15 minutes later, he calls back to say we would have the bus.
By then our kids have already been informed and are preparing for the trip excitedly. Parents are calling at school unexpectedly to confirm the news their young ones would be traveling to Kabale on an all expenses paid trip!! Most have never been to Kabale before and there is sweet suprise in their eyes when I answer the question in the affirmative!!
By 7am Friday 14, 2014 the kids start arriving at school in their smart beautiful African print Uniforms!! The whole school is bursting at the seams with excitement!! By 9am, the bus arrives!! None of our kids had ever been on a bus before!! They are all excited at this moment and clapping uncontrollably!! Tears are welling up in my eyes that these kids are getting an opportunity I never had as a child. I am thinking to myself, Edirisa has made my dream come to pass!!
Shortly after 9am, the bus sets off through the local trading centre- Kyemepene. All the traders are out of their shops to catch a glimpse of young nursery children on a bus traveling to Kabale. It is unbelievable. We stop briefly and people are flocking the bus windows to confirm this was real!! Yes it was. THANK YOU EDIRISA.
Afew moments later we are out of the trading centre!! The kids are screaming their lungs out!! They were shocked to see trees “run” past the bus in the opposite direction. Soon some people start “running past” the bus in the opposite direction and the kids are extremely excited about all this. Jubilation and singing fill up the air. I instruct the 2 nursery teachers we were traveling with not to stop the kids from enjoying their moment!! We soon arrive at a Tarmac road in Rubare Trading centre. All our kids had never seen a road made on Bitumen and rocks. We stop for them to take in the moment!! You should have been there to see the amazement!!
Soon we are heading in the direction of Kabale. The singing is defeaning, the excitement and joy almost tangible!! We pass big and small cars on the road, the hills are moving backwards, etc. All the kids are on their feet looking through the windows and commenting all the way to Kabale. Soon we are in Kabale town and the kids are amazed at mostly houses “sitting on top of each other!!” (Read storeyed buildings)
Fast forward, we are in at lake Bunyonyi. My phone is ringing off the hook as Phionah from Edirisa tries to make sure we are safe and ok!! We finally arrive at Bufuka!! The view of lake Bunyonyi captivates the kids!! One of the kids on the trip Richard, gets scared of the water body and decides not to exit the bus!! ha ha ha. It took good convincing to have him get out and join other kids for a delicious cup of porridge prepared by EDIRISA.
Shortly after, our kids join Bufuka kids in their respective classes! The classes are something our teachers had never seen before. The system of teaching, very different from ours!! As teachers at Bufuka sat in a circle teaching, our teachers fidgeted looking for a chair to sit!! The Bufuka teachers were above their game!! We were totally blown away!! One it was all different for our kids and teachers, two EDIRISA had decided to give us an opportunity of a life time sponsoring the trip and allowing us ful l access to the work they do at Bufuka!! Quite humbling!!
After class, we went for sports activities. Football was one of the games plus several others!! Life Community Academy kids won one of the events just before lunch time!!
Lunch was another big one for our children. Less than five in 40 had ever drunk a bottle of soda!! They are still talking about it until now!! It is what every parent says the children still talk about at their homes!!
Then the lake trip!! I was personally scared too…..except I made it safely across. The kids could not believe what they saw and experienced. They went singing on the boat, from Bufuka shore Past Nature’s Prime Island, past the various camp sites and hotels on the lake shores!! Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!!!!! 7 of our kids refused to do the boat ride!! The mass of water was simply overwhelming!! Around 5.30pm, the curtain came down on our adventurous and very educative trip. Every child of nursery going age, in my village should surely experience what we experienced!! It is still the biggest news.
Kids saw new things
Learnt new songs
Studied in a different environment
Never closed their eyes on the bus to sleep as we had anticipated. They were all very excited and wanted to see everything they had to see and saw could not bat an eyelid and miss out on anything. By 8pm, we were back at school with very happy parents waiting to walk their kids back home.
LONG LIVE EDIRISA. THANKS FOR THE WORK YOU ARE DOING IN UGANDA AND FOR SPONSORING THIS ALL VALUABLE TRIP NEVER DONE BEFORE BY ANY NURSERY SCHOOL IN RUGARAMA OR EVEN NTUNGAMO DISTRICT. TO MANY SCHOOLS AND PEOPLE, NURSERY KIDS ARE JUST A NUMBER. OURS AT LIFE COMMUNITY ACADEMY, WE SAY THEY DESERVE THE BEST.”
The children at Bufuka benefited from the day as well and we hope to host more children from our partner nurseries in the future.