I was lucky enough to visit Tower Primary School, Kamutuuza in Uganda at the end of October. I was invited by Alan and Doreen who support the charity Just Care, which has set up a sponsorship scheme for young children in the area near Masaka who cannot afford the fees, food and equipment needed to attend school.
I travelled for nearly 24 hours to Entebbe via Amsterdam and Rwanda and then spent a day retrieving food and supplies around Kampala before arriving at the school where I was introduced to Head teacher Dan and all of the children.
The school is made up of seven small classrooms and several dormitories for the older children that stay on site; there are also several classrooms that make up the Kindergarten and Evelyn’s House that cares for children that have been abandoned or orphaned.
On my first full day at the school I was asked to teach adjectives to a class of 73 children aged between 10 and 14 which pushed me right out of my comfort zone; it was the start of a busy week teaching!
I visited the medical centre on site which mainly treats severe cases of malaria and acts as a physiotherapy centre for the young children in the village. I met the staff and discussed the vaccination schemes currently happening in the area.
I met Frank, our school sponsored child; he is now 12 years old and working hard with his studies. Frank hopes to train as a police officer after high school.
I visited Masaka, the nearest town to the school to pick up more supplies at the weekend. Thanks to a donation made by our school PTA I was able to purchase 150 sets of washable sanitary wear and knickers for all the female staff and older girls at the school.
Whilst in Masaka I visited an orphanage for severely disabled children, supported by the medical centre at Tower School. It cares for children that have been abandoned due to their disabilities and it is run by a very inspirational woman called Noleen.
On the Sunday I ran a Sunday school session for the children of Evelyn’s House and was treated to a music and dance show as well as planning lessons with teachers ready for the following few days.
We gave out all the sanitary wear to the staff at school which was a great opportunity to get to know everyone.
We had a tour of the local village to meet some children that cannot afford to go to school; they spend their days working in the fields, usually harvesting coffee beans and collecting water for family. We visited the local well that has just been completed; it has been such a benefit to the locals as the previous water source was little more than a pond.
The last couple of days were spent teaching several of the younger classes and sharing how I teach phonics with class P1 and several of the teachers that were very intrigued.
It was a busy, nonstop week; the children and staff were amazing and although it was quite emotional and overwhelming at times, I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to go.
Thank you for all of the donations of stationary and toiletries, they have been distributed to the children of Evelyn's House and shared amongst the classes. I was also able to pass on the donations made to the Buy a Brick scheme, the dormitory has now got the go ahead to be built over the next few months so thank you for all your support with this.