Newsletter – June, 2008

Beth Pipe Nursery & Primary School

Second School Term Began May 26th

On February 7th,  2008,  the first classes for our new school began for the first term.   The temporary school structure was completed just on time for school to begin with a great team of Manitoban volunteers who had helped with the construction.  We are running programs from Nursery to Primary Four classes with eight children in the baby class and seven children in the top class of nursery.  We allow a maximum of 36 children per class from Primary One to Four and fitted in the children from EWCV first.   We had met with the Lubumba Village Chairman who formed a committee to select the most needy orphaned children from Lubumba to fit the classes to maximum.  This meant that 93 children are now attending from Lubumba Village with free education provided by EWCV.

Kitchen and Stove

We realized that we needed a school kitchen and stove all of which we hadn’t budgeted for.   However, after meeting with the village chairman once again, he assembled a team of villagers who came and volunteered to build us a kitchen out of poles, mud, cow dung, and straw along with a thatched roof to match the school.  They also built us an energy efficient stove also out of mud, cow dung, and straw using banana stems to fill in the chimney space and other space where the firewood is fed into the fire chamber.  The stove was allowed to dry for one month and by that time the banana stem shrank in size and could be removed leaving an empty space.  The two large cooking pots had been placed on the top of the stove during construction to form a mold around them so that the space would be perfect for cooking.   Then the pots were removed leaving the spaces above the fire chamber.  Wood is used for cooking, but due to the efficiency of the stove less wood is used than usual.

School Cook

The cook prepares maize porridge at break time in the morning to feed the children and then feeds them portio and beans for lunch.  Sometimes the villagers donate cassava and bananas to feed the teachers for a treat.   The cook, Gaudencia, is a single mom whose three youngest children we are assisting at EWCV with schooling and the two oldest children are away at other schools.  She had lost her husband suddenly two years ago and then the following month her ten year old boy died of meningitis and her thirteen year old boy developed severe arthritis whereby he couldn’t walk to school.  She is so grateful for the assistance provided by EWCV to help her family.  The Head Master tells us that she keeps excellent time with having the meals prepared and has developed quite a wonderful relationship with the staff and children.  We are looking for somebody to sponsor Gaudencia’s salary at $40 CAD per month to be paid through the EWCV office in Winnipeg .   Contact Francie Humby (Pipe) at 204-257-2483.  There are also three teachers needing sponsorship at $135 CAD per month plus the Head Teacher at $200 CAD per month.   There is a great need to purchase class sets of text books and work books from the local book shops here in Masaka and in Kampala when the funds become available.  Right now we have no text books for any of the children and only the teachers have their books needed for preparing lessons.

School Supplies

We had one of our young senior secondary students as well as several volunteers build nearly 50 children’s desks (3 children per desk) at our EWCV carpentry shop so that there was a seat for each child the first day of school.  Cabinets and desks were also built for the teachers to store their supplies.   School supplies including pencils, pens, exercise books, and teachers’ guides, were purchased.   The children from the village were overwhelmed to have all these supplies given to them to use.   Many of them had never been able to go to school before as the distance was too far to walk.  We now have two young ladies whom we sponsored at sewing classes and are now making school uniforms for our children.   One of our large bedrooms in our home in Masaka Town has now become a sewing room.   A group of five families from Steinbach are buying a sewing machine for Annet as she graduates from her sewing class and this will come in handy for her to set up a sewing room in their home in the village near EWCV after she completes the work on our uniforms.   She has been heading her family of two brothers and one sister after both parents died of HIV/AIDS.   These are the types of people we assist through our Extension Program at EWCV as we reach out into the community around us.

Problem with Monkeys

Our Head Teacher is challenging the classes to prepare and develop a garden behind the school as the bush is cleared.   His class planted maize and beans.  However, the monkeys came and destroyed the crops.   This means that there is more bush needing to be cleared near the school to keep the monkeys away as well as the snakes, especially the pythons.   The Mayor of the nearby town of Lukaya donated one thousand coffee seedlings to EWCV.   Most of the seedlings have been planted and this will provide a cash crop as we aim towards self-sufficiency in future years.   He also donated fruit trees and our two families have planted orchards on their sites.   We also now have one heifer cow and a goat ( gave birth to twins last week) and would like to purchase several more cows in the future as we continue to expand.

A Well for EWCV

We have also been waiting to have the drillers come to drill our well.   We are told that the drillers are all in northern Uganda .  We had the hydrogeological survey completed showing us where there is a high chance of finding water on our property.  However, we were having water hauled in on a couple of bicycles during times of water crisis on the property.   Once we can get the well drilled and the water cistern built, then we will need to have a water purification system installed for providing drinking water for the children and staff.

Loss of  House Father for Family #1 at EWCV

Our Family #1 of 24 children had the loss of their House Father, Tatta Caxton Kawuma, April 14th when he died unexpectedly in Kampala .   The children received some good counseling from the staff of teachers and social worker.   Now we have the House Mother, Mamma Christine, back with the children at the property and have hired a single man to act as the new House Father for the children.    He began his position last week and is now settling into his new role.  Our condolences also go out to the family of Wayne and Sharon Gallant of Gilbert Plains with the loss of their daughter, Jennifer.

Solar Installation for Family #2

Ultra Tech Company from Kampala recently installed a solar system for Family #2.   This provides solar power for each children’s’ dormitory hut.   We are very grateful to the German Organization GTZ which provided the solar panels, batteries, inverter, monitor panel, and did the installation for us.  We were responsible for the wiring of the buildings,  connecting the wiring between the buildings, and for the fixtures and solar bulbs.   We were there when the lights went on after installation was completed.   There were many loud cheers from the 24 children and staff of Family #2.   The lanterns and paraffin used for lights were put away.

Family #3

There are now fourteen children living with us as part of Family #3 in our home compound here in Masaka Town .   Our Social Worker, Allan, has another ten children waiting in their villages to come to join us when we are able to provide for them fully.  We are so thankful that each one of these fourteen children is now sponsored as well as the ten children waiting to come.   When they come to us from the villages we provide them with medical testing and treatment immediately as well as a bed, mattress, sheets, blanket, clothing, and other basic needs.   We have a school teacher coming to our home each weekday teaching these children.   Most of the smallest children spend part of their mornings in the sandbox or playing with some of the new toys sent to us recently from two Kindergarten classes in Frankfurt , Germany .

Land Fund

We now have the option to purchase another 130 acres adjoining our property at the rate of $200 CAD per acre.   This land will be used to house further families of children, build a senior secondary school and perhaps a technical school as well as to provide an area to raise goats.  There have been quite a number of squatters who have settled onto some of the land we are interested in purchasing.  This always provides a challenge.   A special land fund is now set up at the EWCV office in Winnipeg until we have enough money to purchase the land and have the surveying completed.

Canadian Board Member Visited in March

We were blessed to have the Chairman of the Canadian EWCV Board, Ken Buhler, visit with us in March from the Parkland Region in Manitoba with his wife, Marg Buhler.  During their visit, they were able to tour our project and get a good overview of what is going on here at EWCV Uganda.  They stayed with our Ugandan Chairman of EWCV, Rev. Christopher Muwonge and his wife, Harriet, at the Hospitality Center .   This was a good time for them to interact and learn many things about the Ugandan culture.  Ken’s expertise in farming was valued with his guidance for our farming program.

Our Thanks

We appreciate the support from people who provide monthly sponsorship of staff and children as well as from the donors who provide for our General Fund and special projects like the building of the school.  This enables us to continue expanding and caring for more and more needy children all the time.   We can’t do this work alone and are thankful to have you walking with us as well as praying for us.  We also truly appreciate the work, encouragement, and support given from the heart of volunteers who have been with us.