Sunday, July 19, 2009
A NEW PROJECT IN ENTEBBE ???
On the banks of beautiful Lake Victoria there are many poor fishing villages. In one such village we found the Lakeside Preparatory School. Like hundreds of other schools we have seen here it has many more needs than we could possibly meet. What we saw there are scenes that are repeated all over Uganda, every day. The conditions at this school are worse than some; better than others.
We are going to try to put a rain water catchment system on the school but will have to slope the roof to one side first.
There are 458 children in the school and 3 teachers. This classroom holds 80 children and the firewood supply for cooking.
Elaine always spends time letting the kids practice their counting in English.
Art gets to just play around with the kids during lunch time.
For lunch, each child has to bring a cup of maize flour from home so porridge can be made.
Those who don’t have flour don’t get porridge and have to find sugar cane or a mango to eat, from the nearby forest.
One of the big needs here with growing children is shoes. Most of the children are bare footed all of the time. This is a school where many cannot afford the uniforms. We are trying to get permission to seal dirt floors with a thin plaster coating to prevent diseases and parasites.
Some of our good friends from the U.S. have sent children’s books, which are received with joy at the schools. Books of any kind are a novelty in schools here. Most of the teaching is done by repeating back, in unison, what the teacher has said. They lack any writing materials.
In spite of circumstances as we see them, the children are always happy and friendly and like to lead us around by the hands.
For the 458 children there are 2 pit latrines and 2 open air urinals. These pose a serious health hazard and we are going to try to get approval to build new concrete latrines at this school.
The school’s “kitchen” also needs some work. We have plans for an adobe brick stove which we can build that uses very little wood and vents the smoke outside.
As we left, we were struck by the contrast of the forest just beside the school. There is much to be done here…