Winter 2017/2018: Christmas Appeal
Following Peter Scott's recent visit to review the work of the charity in Uganda we have decided to launch a Christmas appeal that will improve both the health of the people and the living conditions.
It is well known that HIV and malaria are major health problems in Africa and we have an ongoing programme to address these at the camps. The more chronic issues relate to dirty water (we have sunk a borehole and have installed rainwater capture facilities) and inhalation of smoke from lighting and cooking; this prevents proper lung development in children leading to long term illness and premature death.
The funds raised will be used to install communal kitchens (stopping people cooking in their living quarters) and replacing kerosene lamps in 200 homes with solar lighting (cost is around £25 for each dwelling), and to install solar lighting in two primary school classrooms.
If you are able to help financially please use the BT Donate facility on this web site, or send money by bank transfer to the Serve Africa account
Update on the IT course
The IT course we started this year is just about to finish. The students have worked hard and seem very e
nthusiastic. When Peter Scott, during his recent visit, saw the students he was so impressed with how positive and outgoing they were. This is a considerable change from a few years ago when many still carried the deep scars of having had to flee their homes in the North and see acts of violence and hatred towards them. This is a wonderful testament to the people working with us in Uganda who have dedicated themselves to making a real difference to the refugees.
The students have developed really good relationships with their teacher, Viola. We are also impressed with Viola's commitment to the students. Over recent months she has regularly worked in the evenings with two students, who now work during the day.
The effectiveness of the course will partly be evaluated by how many students get useful employment. What is however encouraging is that already 4 of the students have found long term IT related work, even before the course is finished.
A couple of years ago the vehicle we had became uneconomic to maintain. For the intervening period our staff have had to rely upon motorbikes (buda budas) to get to the camps and transport supplies, in particular medicines and vaccines.
This year our finances have been sufficient to enable us to purchase a second-hand seven seater vehicle. Rosette (nurse) can now easily transport all her medication, Lydia has flexibility with undertaking counselling and picking up and transporting food and other necessities. We also now have the means to take villagers to town when medical emergencies arise, including expectant mothers to clinics.
Play things, footballs and netballs
The children in the camps, until this year, have never had play equipment.
We had an appeal at Bath City Church and raised money to buy the swings and roundabout shown here. This has been a resounding success, to such an extent that we had to close the park area during school so children were attending and not just playing outside on the equipment! Recently we have purchased larger swings for the older children as they were missing out.
The boys now have new footballs and are having matches with teams in the local area. The older girls were also given netballs and skipping ropes.
Primary School interns
Two girls, Gift and Hellen, have been appointed as interns at the primary school at one of the camps (Kivuuvu). The nursery and year 1 are the largest classes at the school so the girls are supporting the teachers of these classes. Our intention, on successful completion of a year’s internship is to send them on a two year course in teacher training.
To date we have minimised capital expenditure, investing in individuals to attend external courses or getting trainers to provide practical skills that needed no formal classroom environment. This year we decided to set up our own facility to enable students to get structured IT and business administration training. We have been supported by Ludovick and Lydia’s (Co-ordinators in Uganda) church, who allowed us to upgrade one of their meeting rooms, installing power and the internet as well as enhancing the security of the building.
Viola (training professional) has been appointed and she is running a course for 10 students. They are learning to use basic software and gain skills for working in a business environment. We have purchased computers, a projector and associated software. We have also found a competent computer specialist, William, to maintain and give any necessary support to keep everything operational.
As Uganda is prone to regular power cuts we have also purchased batteries and inverters to keep the equipment working even when the power goes down.
Car Mechanics and Metal Fabrication
Ludovick identified two businesses that would be willing to train young men in car mechanics and metal fabrication. Peter Scott met Ishmael (garage owner) and Julius (metal fabricator) when he was in Uganda in November. They explained what training would be offered and what possibilities the trainees might have to get future work. Both men came across as wanting to be very supportive of any prospective trainees.
We have agreed that two young men should undertake training at each business. They will initially receive one year’s structured training, which Serve Africa will pay for. After this both owners have agreed to pay the boys and continue their training before offering them a position in their own workplace, or arrange a position elsewhere doing the same job. This is a major step forward as to date we have been trying to identify training options that will enable individuals obtain gainful employment and this time others will undertake this task on our behalf.
Providing High Protein Supplements
famine across much of Sub-Saharan Africa. This is having an impact in Uganda where drought is affecting food supplies and costs are rising. The little money the refugees manage to get, mainly through casual work, is not going as far as it has done in the past. There is less food to eat and we have been seeing signs of malnutrition in the younger children. We are addressing this aspect by providing high protein supplements.
We would also like to buy school uniforms as most of the children have only their normal clothes. Here is what the school uniform looks like: