Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 5

Today the team went to Wairaka for the first part of sponsorship day.  The adults and kids get so exited for this day. The sponsored kids wrote a letter and did drawing for their sponsors.

The women of the village cooked rice and soup for everyone!

KATHY: Monica asked how you were. She is dying to have you come to Uganda and asked me if you would come next year. Mark also showed her the email you sent her, she was ear to ear in smiles. She looks so good!

All the children really look very good and healthy. The sponsorship you all provide is doing wonders for them.  There is money in their accounts. They are improving their way of life because of all of you!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Poetry class

Hello all,
I was prepared to teach a world geography class at the high school and it went very well with Andrea's assistance,   but also ended up assisting Denise teaching  a poetry class as well. I never thought it would be so popular, with boys as well as girls. Many of them truly wrote from the heart and read their poems aloud to the class.
So much going on every day there is always room to be involved. Everything we do is so appreciated and the children are so well behaved.  I am not so sure are education is so "advanced" back at home.  Thats all for now,  Mike T
Keeping busy with several projects, today I did an education session with high school kids and we discussed  some basic first aid such as bleeding control, fx management, nutrition, and HIV/Aids issues. Many good questions were asked, especially concerning HIV. Several misconceptions were cleared up and many ideas were exchanged. Nutrition was difficult with the pervasive hunger issues that plague Uganda. We were able to feed many children at Kagoma Gate, a very poor village along side a sugar plantation. My soup making ability brought many smiles to hungry faces! The children are precious! I've been hugged like a Teddy Bear all week!

                                                                      Fred G. aka The "Soupman"


Project Plan Continued....

Day 2 Wednesday

Sam and Danielle arrived in  Jinja around mid-day. They ran out of fuel on the way home, so they had some delays but made it safely but tired.

The team went to Wairaka to teach our craft women how to sew Aprons.  The team not doing the sewing played with the children.

Katie held a soccer game as well.   Was a great day!

Day 3 Thursday

The team traveled to Basoga Elementary School where we read books and activities surrounding the reading with the children.

Katie held a soccer game and Peg hit golf balls with the kids too!

Some of the team also did puzzles with them too.

Mid-day the team traveled to Kiira High School where we held:
- teach the teacher
- music class - these kids are SO talented!
- poetry class - the kids wrote amazing poems!

Day 4 Friday

Today the team traveled again to Kiira High School.  Some of the team taught the following classes:
- Geography
- DNA/RNA/Protein
- First Aid
- Dance
- Talent Show

The kids LOVED the dancing and talent show the best but we sure made a big difference in their lives. We donated 2 laptops, a printer and other supplies.  The HeadMaster told us that the gifts we donated last year save them a lot of money in copying and having computers to better teach their kids!

Such a great experience. Stay tuned for other team member blog posts!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

This is Ann and I want to tell you about what I did today at the high school because it was very exciting! I was able to work with a group of about 30 teachers of different subject areas and grades who came together after a day of teaching their students for a 1 hour inservice with me. I introduced to them Cognitive Critical and Creative Thinking Skills for their students. It was very new for all of them so we talked about why they needed to do it. We did a brainstorming session to practice one of the creative thinking skills as well which certainly challenged them! After this "quick and dirty" intro to these concepts in which I told them they no longer were allowed to open their students heads and pour info in and close it and send them home, they saw that thinking was a good thing to do in school! I also threw at them the basic skeleton of Response to Intervention concept with some ideas and materials left behind for them to learn more about before I return next year. I hope I have lit a fire in their educational fireplace, because the educational system needs a boost. I also told them that teaching is an important job and they are an important person in their students' lives- never underestimate that! I'm happy to be back working with the children in the schools.

Our beautiful Koi Koi Kids. Kagoma gate school and new kitchen and

                                 our Monica
                                Our best artist Fred
                                Family meal at the Koi Koi house day 1
                             Our beautiful Koi Koi Kids.
                               Our beautiful Koi Koi Kids.
                             Kagoma Gate children lining up for school in their Giving Circle uniforms
                             TGCA Midwife/ Nurse  Elizabeth
                                    Kagoma Gate kitchen building just before finish painting

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

          Hello everyone. My name is Katie and this is my second time visiting Uganda with The Giving Circle.
          This morning we were awoken by tragic news that our driver and more importantly our friend, Yasin, and his wife had miscarried their 5 month old baby. Being in Uganda can sometimes be hard. Although the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, we were quickly reminded that we are still surrounded by poverty and death. However, this afternoon was spent laughing and playing with the villagers in Wairaka. After making some Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style videos with the children, I was sitting and my Ugandan family: my sponsor child, Joan, my parents' sponsor child and Joan's brother, Shafiq, and their sister, Priscilla. They were asking about my brother, my mom and my dad. They remembered their names from the Christmas card we sent them with our Christmas gift. We mean so much to them, almost as much as they mean to us. Being with them was just thing I needed to lift my spirits.
          Also at Wairaka, the children demonstrated the reason that I have been yearning to return to Uganda all year. We gave them empty water bottles (chupas) to refill in their well. Not every child had one but once we walked down to the well, the children with water bottles took a drink, and then proceeded to refill them and give them to their siblings or friends who did not have a water bottle. Then, I watched my sponsor child Joan as one of us mzungus gave her a pack of gummies. She took the first three and distributed them to her baby cousin, Linda, her little brother, Shafiq, and one of her friends. She bit the last one in half and shared it with her sister.
          I often refer to my experiences in Uganda as a roller coaster. Although in Uganda we are surrounded by struggle and it can be sad, we are also surrounded by love, happiness, and hope. These children in Wairaka are so wonderful. Such genuinely kind people deserve to have someone out there who loves them, cares about them, and is working to help them reach their full potentials. Joan wants to be a lawyer, Shafiq wants to be a teacher, and Priscilla wants to be a doctor. I hope that these amazing children can overcome the hardships they face and succeed in achieving their goals. They most certainly deserve a bright future. Thank you for reading, have a great night! -Katie

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kagoma Gate

When we visited Kagoma Gate in 2012 the children were quiet, had difficulty making eye contact with us, and spoke no English. Yet they were so happy to watch their new school being built. School classes commenced in January 2013, and when we returned to Kagoma Gate today - well the change in these children was almost overwhelming to absorb. These same beautiful little ones were waiting for us when we arrived. They joyously greeted us as we disembarked the bus with greetings in English of Hello and Welcome! And they sang and danced for us with gusto. We observed them in their classrooms and they are excellent students. They have learned so much in the last 6 months. The women were just as excited to do the pad project today. They sewed those by hand and the end product was as good as any sewn on a machine. At the end of class each young woman requested more pattern pieces to take home to make even more. Eight of the women are pregnant and they were so very thankful for the birthing kits.  One woman said that her baby would come soon and she feels "no longer of anxiety" knowing that she has clean birthing materials and our midwife there to assist her. The children were served porridge from our new kitchen in the morning, then later in the day Fred used the kitchen to make chicken vegetable soup. The children left school with their tummies full and smiles on their faces. And I have to say that I was happy to be able to use our new latrines instead of the open sugarcane fields. When we left for the day, everyone in the village was still smiling and laughing, and so were we - and when I took one last look, I understood the sincerity of their interaction with us and us with them. For we are family, one family working on common goals, each rooted in bringing hope and healing to those in need. We learn from each other and Love just grows and makes Hope a real and sustainable concept. Looking forward to growing more love and hope tomorrow in Wairaka.

Day 1 of our Project....

Hi everyone!  Today was Day 1 of our project and here's what we did:
- Traveled to Kagoma Gate to visit
- Toured the new latrines, kitchen building and school
- Met Elizabeth, our new midwife
- Made soup for the village children (very special treat)
- Held pad project for women
- Painted new kitchen building
- Soccer game with the kids
- Stopped in Wairaka to say hello to our family

Today was a great day.  Everything got done that was planned. For our new travellers, it was very enlightening.  

I will post pictures when I can.

We are here!!

Hi everybody!! We arrived safely in Entebbe around 7:30am. It took us over 4 hours to drive to Jinja with the traffic in Kampala. So, was a long day.  We went to the hotel and unloaded the supplies. Then the best part of the day -- we went to the temporary Koi Koi house to see our kids! The house is great, the kids are great too! We brought each koi koi kid a tub full supplies for each one of them and the house. Later I will post pics for you to see. Pauline and Sara made a great meal of tomato and avocado salad and Rolex wraps! Yummm!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's almost time...

We will be leaving around midnight tonight from the Bertrand's house. One pickup in Albany for the remainder of the team.  Our flight from JFK to Entebbe (through London) departs at 8AM Sunday.  It will be a few days until you hear from us again - we arrive Monday in Jinja!

Take care and we'll be back in touch soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A BIG Day in Kagoma Gate!

The Soroptimist Birthing Center Clinic construction has been oked just today!  The National Forestry Authority officials were on the site today, courtesy of the minister who went to the Executive Director demanding that something be done today.  And it WAS!

Here are the pictures of the official with Paul and Akim, the political assistant of the minister,  and our beautiful kitchen.  

This also allows us to plant our 200 fruit trees and build the second block for the school, making this a full primary school!

The Kitchen Building - how awesome is this!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013