Alice Tumusiime will be visiting the UK for a few weeks from 22nd May. She will be travelling around various support churches and groups. If you would like to know her itinerary please get in touch via the ‘contact us’ button.
We recently learnt that the solar pump in the borehole at Rukungiri Modern Primary School had ceased to function and so the staff were having to buy water for both the primary and nursery schools. The borehole is situated just outside the boundary of the primary school and has a submersible pump that is powered by solar panels on the roof of one of the classrooms.
Pipework then takes a supply to the nursery school. Various tanks at both schools are filled daily for washing, cooking and laundry. The children wash their own clothes at the weekend if they are boarders and as you can imagine a bit of splashing makes the chore more fun!
In order to sort out the problem we sent £4,000 to cover the cost of a new pump that has now been installed and is providing plenty of water.
Thank you to all those sponsors and donors who continued their support through the two lockdowns. We were able to give out food parcels to the most needy families, pay the staff and had enough money in the bank to cover the extra expense for the pump.
Plans are in place for a visit from Alice Tumusiime later this month. We will let you know more about it when the details have been sorted out.
We hope you are well and surviving this situation we currently find ourselves in!
As you will appreciate, life in Uganda has not been easy for the past 17 months. The schools have been opening and closing, some children have been at school for some of the time, while others have been there on and off and some haven’t been at all since the initial lockdown. During that time, the trustees were mindful that without the teachers being paid, there is no other support for them and almost all are supporting extended families who are orphans. Potentially if they had to leave to find other work, the school would be short of teachers when it did open. There is also the school building which still needs to be maintained, children and families still needing to be fed and there was some emergency work that needed to be carried out to the playground. The fee paying families at the school have had no source of income so there has been zero funds coming into the school. The situation became quite serious and unfortunately is beginning to get much worse.
The trustees considered very carefully our christian responsibility to the school and all the families and felt it should not just be helping those who are sponsored but all of the school families who were suffering, so we used the monthly contributions to fund the teachers salary, send a lot of food parcels to families and children (sponsor children included, distributed by the deputy head and a team) and funded the emergency repairs and some other repairs to the school. The situation has now become very precarious again. Schools and educational facilities have been closed for a further 42 days, together with a large number of other restrictions including transport. Food is in very short supply again and families are beginning to run out. There are no food banks to support them.
Uganda has all but run out of Vaccine and Oxygen. Anyone who has already visited Uganda will know how woeful their hospital conditions are in the main and they never had much to start with. They have little facility to admit anyone to Intensive Care and have nothing to give them even if they do. The teachers in the school have had one dose of the vaccine. Cases have risen by 2800% and are getting out of control. Where the spread was not as rampant before due to distances between towns, the new Delta variant and the South African variants are spreading like wildfire. Just this week, Rukungiri lost their Bishop to Covid. Some of the trustees had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions. The people of Rukungiri will feel his loss. The churches are close knit communities.
We are intending to continue to support the school in the same way using the money we receive from you for your sponsored child for at least for the next 42 days and maybe beyond depending on their situation and will keep it under review. We are very aware that we, as a charity, have been trusted as stewards of your money and must distribute it in ways that meet the requirements of the charity commission and most of all, to the benefit of the children and their families. We are so grateful for your continued support but if you have any objections to what we have already done or intend to do in the interim, please let us know. We are happy to discuss the situation should anyone want to.
Life is hard enough for them without Covid. They have been praying for us while we have been going through the mill. Can we ask that you continue to pray for them too?
The Trustees – Rukungiri Orphan Partnership
We have now set up a charity giving account on Smile Amazon under the name of the charity. Sign into https://smile.amazon.co.uk. We receive 0.05% every time you order something, but you must be signed into Smile Amazon, not the main Amazon site. Go to ‘your account’ and select a charity. As you start typing into the dropdown bar, Rukungiri Orphan Partnership should appear. If you have any problems, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org set up specifically for this purpose.
For the majority of 2020, the school was closed. The charity were and still are sending money to pay the teachers as we agreed that they should not be penalised because they couldn’t teach through no fault of their own. We have kept close contact with them during this difficult period.
Whilst Covid has been doing some damage in their country, they have not suffered the same number of deaths as the West, probably because there are big distances between their main towns and cities. However what they have been suffering from is a lack of food, starvation in some cases.
We have provided food parcels to a lot of the families through the hard work and dedication of the Deputy Headmaster Silver, supported by the Headmaster and other members of staff who are completely committed to the children and their wellbeing.
The P7 children (top primary) have been back at school for a while and are preparing for their national exams in March. Please pray for them. The Ugandan Government is allowing P6 to reopen in March with P4&5 reopening in April and P1-3 reopening in June. If anything changes, we will keep you updated.