October Update 2016: Read the latest news from our friends at Katega Primary School here
May 2016 Update: William, the Headteacher of Katega Primary School has been unexpectedly moved to another school in Uganda. Milton is now the new Headteacher of Katega Primary School and very keen to keep the link with the Flying Start Federation. He has written a report about his school which you can find by clicking here. Moses, the Deputy Head keeps in regular contact as he is keen for us to continue to work together and hopefully visit our schools himself one day. We are now investigating further opportunities to work together through the British Council Connecting Classrooms Program.
Ugandan Adventure- October 2015
Watch this space for reports on Mrs Finch and Miss Millman's visit to Uganda
They will be flying to Entebbe, and from there driving to central Province to visit William's School, and to visit our Edukid child, Prisca. They will try to update you of their trip through this page.
Thursday 22nd October. Bradley, Fireflies class mascot, has safely arrived in Uganda after a long 13 hours of travel, so he was rather tired. He ,along with Miss Millman and Mrs Finch are staying on a farm on the outskirts of Mubende. The farm has electricity from solar panels and a purpose kitchen with a wood oven in it. Bradley has really enjoyed the food and there has been plenty of it. Yesterday Bradley visited Katega Primary school, where both teachers were make very welcome and treated like VIPs. The first thing that we were shown were the new latrines which were sponsored by some of our parents, and were now finished. They were also shown the school gardens which grows a lot of food for the children and teachers to eat. Also Miss Millman and Mrs Finch had to plant a tree in honour of their visit. Today(Saturday) Bradley visited William's home and family. After that Miss Millman and Mrs Finch went to see William's garden and then on to a local meeting of a savings co-op which was very interesting. The countryside is beautiful, and the people are so friendly and hard working.
Sunday. Bradley went to church which went on for about 3 hours. There was a lot of fantastic singing which everyone enjoyed, and then prayers and speeches. Even Miss Millman and Mrs Finch had to give a speech! After that we all went to lunch at Julius' house. Julius is a farmer and also a key farmer trainer for the Food for Thought project we which are part of. Julius did visit our schools last year and showed us how to make bag gardens. Gardening and growing food is very important in Uganda, because if you can grow your own food you will have enough to eat, and can hopefully make some money as well selling the surplus. Julius started small but now has 70 pineapple plants. His pineapples were delicious when we tried some at lunch time.
Monday and Tuesday. Today was the first proper day in Katega Primary where we could work with the children and try teaching them. Miss Millman and Mrs Finch spent a long time the previous evening making resources as there are no laptops to print out sheets, no laminators and in fact no electricity in the school and hardly any paper. The children start at 8.30 and leave at 5pm, so quite a long day. The children were delightful to teach, they worked hard and tried their best. They were not used to talking to each other about their learning and asking questions, but they managed very well to speak English to us. We are learning a few words of Ugandan, however there are many local languages so English is the common language for communication. Children start school in Primary 1 whatever age they are and only move to the next class when they pass the end of year test. This means some classes have quite a few mixed ages in them. Also it seems that some days there were not enough teachers to teach each class. This is because teachers are paid a very low wage and so sometime need to find supplementary work, and as they may live a long way from the school they can not get there.
Each day we were given lunch which has been grown in the school gardens and cooked over the school kitchen fire, rice, potatoes, beans, ground nuts, all very delicious.
Wednesday. Today was our last day at Katega. We spent the morning in the P1, P2, P3 classes. In the P1 class there were about 70 children, all very squashed, but they still learnt the story of Jack and Jill, and drew a picture, although we had to hunt for some pencils. These are in very short supply. Children are meant to bring their own equipment, but some just can't and the school has very little in resources. Mrs Finch spent some time with William the headteacher, helping him with his school improvement plan and putting together project proposals such as putting concrete in 2 classrooms to stop the children getting jiggers in their feet, as most come to school in with no shoes, and plastering the walls to make them brighter and nicer to be in.
The children of Katega made wonderful presentations of dance and song to say farewell and thank you. It was very sad to say good bye.
Thursday: Today was very wet, which made our journey to Gulu very long and treacherous. It is the wet season in Uganda which is good for the crops and for us to as it can be cooler. We have had several hot days which means we have been careful to drink enough water as well as put plenty of sun cream on. The rain makes the roads very dangerous as most of them are just mud and stone. Even main roads may have some stretches or tarmac but also lots of stretches of unmade road. All the minor roads are little more than tracks. This makes travelling very bumpy and slow, so it took us 10 hours to get to Gulu. A distance which would take about 4 in the UK! However this slow journey gave us chance to notice the difference in house building. Around Mubende, in central region, most families live in simple one or two room, brick built rectangular houses with a tin roof and a fire shelter outside for cooking. However as we traveled further north we notice that the houses became round and built of woven sticks covered in mud with a thatched roof. Even so the shops along the road were all the same- simple brick squares with a flat roof.
Friday: Representatives from the CIFORD organization that work with Edukid met with us today to tell us more about their work in and around Gulu. We meet project lead Darwinton who is a university graduate who works for Edukid as a volunteer. He keeps contact with local schools and helps them identify children who might need support- maybe because one or both parents have died, or they are neglected. The organisation has helped many children since it started in 2008, and Prisca and Harriet are just two of them. On our way to meet Harriet and Prisca we met two older young people who had been helped by Edukid and are now working, one as a vet and another as a builder. Because Edukid supported them through primary school it meant they could go on to secondary and even further education or vocational training. Finally we met Prisca and Harriet at school, and talked with their teachers who say they are doing very well. Prisca is in P5 and Harriet is in P2. Prisca wants to be a teacher when she grows up. We visited Prisca at home and met her mother and younger siblings. During the afternoon we toured Prisca's school which has 1000 pupils and met with the headteacher who is very enthusiastic about helping all children to achieve better outcomes. At Prisca's school there are 50 children that Edukid is helping to support, and all of them have ambition to get a good job such as pilot, president, teacher, headteacher!
Saturday: Darwinton took us to visit another project which CIFORD is helping to support. This was aimed at teaching women and young girls sewing and craft skills so that they could earn their own money or get a job. It does seem that girls do not have the same opportunities as boys and often have to get married very young. This group had made some beautiful items which Miss Millman and Mrs Finch could not resist buying some examples of. The group were very keen to get their products to more customers so that their business can grow.
On Monday Miss Millman and Mrs Finch start the long journey back to Entebbe so they can catch their flight home on Tuesday night. They should be in school on Thursday to tell you more about this amazing journey.
William, the headteacher from Katega Primary School in Uganda has now sent us some pictures of the ongoing work to replace the toilet facilitates at his school, which were just about to collapse. Some parents collected together some donations which William took back with him. See the work that has been done so far. He also shows us the work going on in the school garden, but the work has been held back by a lack of rain.
Uganda June 2015
William, the headteacher, from Katega Primary School in Uganda, visited our schools. This was all made possible by a grant from the British Council Connecting Classrooms program which aims to develop Global citizenship. William stayed with several of our parents and joined in with many school and community events.
The school councils of both schools have been busy over the year, raising money to sponsor our Edukid child, who is called Prisca, through education for 5 years. Prisca lives in the north of Uganda, near a town called Gulu. The councils have raised just under £400 this year, by having cake sales, water fun days, talents shows, fun runs.