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End of The Girls’ first year at school

Having got off the dreaded bus in one piece it was a case of hitting the ground running. We had a team meeting in preparation for the Christmas party at the school as we as the mosquito net distribution the following day.

Mike and Ian the two male volunteers  from Vancouver and Nottingham England had spent the best part of the afternoon painting the new classes, Tracey and Tracie two friends from Shepperton Middlesex had seen to the Christmas decorations.

I had the job of chairing the Water project sub-committee and meeting with the Head Teacher to discuss the direction of the school in the year ahead.

With all that sorted we settled in front of the fire and waited for the big day, which kicked off with the mosquito net distrubution

Mike, Ann and Ian kicking off the mosquito net distribution

With that out of the way we headed to the school. The children put on a song and dance for the parents and it was heart warming to see. We had drinks and bites courtesy of Hastoe Housing Association staff who selected this community as their overseas project

Princess and her classmates enjoying the Xmas party

I sneaked off and had a meeting with the Head Teacher to see how he was settling (only been with us for 3 weeks) and also met the Girls’ teacher. She gave me a sneak preview of their end of year class reports. Although they are only 5 they had to do exams, Perfect was 5th out of 80 and Princess was 12th, whilst their older sister Cycline was 5th out of 30. Their best subjects are English and Maths. I can’t tell you how proud that made me feel. I also learned that our contributions were enough to cover Cycline’s fees last year so we have have sponsoring all 3 girls!

Princess, Cycline and Perfect

A pleasant surprise for me that day was meeting the girls’ mother for the first time, she invited me back to their home but sadly time wasn’t on my side. She asked me to let you know how grateful she is that you all have given her girls an opportunity for a decent education. I was touched by this and I can’t tell you what it feels like to see the difference you are making in someone’s life by a simple act of kindness. A big thank you to all of you ladies/BIRDS for supporting me and my efforts to make things better for others.

My colleagues had a surprise for me too! I was to be guest of honour at the event only no one told me until the event was actually under way! As you can see from these photos all the parents were very well dressed and I turned out in a St Patrick’s Day T-shirt given to me by my local pub back in England and Jeans! I have never so wished that the ground could swallow me as I did that day!

So there you are ladies, the girls are doing well they are now on our equivalent of a summer break, the new term starts on 7th Feb 2011.

One thing I did notice amongst the school children and the twins included, they suffer from a fungal infection that affects the scalp. If you are a doctor and are reading this and can help please drop me a note.

Merry Christmas from Me and the Girls, in Uganda


Ida is the managingEditor of AFRICA ON THE BLOG and by day she isa Community Development Consultant. She is the Founder of Ethnic Supplies a social enterprise working to alleviate poverty amongst East African women involved in textile and handicraft production as well as the Chair person of a community Development charity LET THEM HELP THEMSELVES OUT OF POVERTY.

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