Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tables and clean water for the children

I am currently volunteering in Uganda with the wonderful local charity Beacon of Hope . They work to support the poorest and most vulnerable people in the area by building schools and clinics, running workshops, organising microfinance and so much more.

One school that I am working at is called New Hope Junior School. It is a free school for local children aged 4-10 (but in reality there are some 11 year olds who have just started school for the first time). The school is desperately poor and so are the children. They deserve so much more and that is why I am asking for your help.

In the classrooms there is no floor, just dirt. There are some low benches which the children use as tables. This means they have to crouch on the ground for hours (they do not sit because of the dirt and the bugs). Whilst this might just about be acceptable for the very small ones, it is horrible for the 12 year olds.

The plan is to use the existing benches as seats and get 13 new tables made for the 3 classrooms. For this we have been quoted around £60 - really nothing when you consider how much it would cost at home and what a huge difference it will make.

This school is in a very rural area and the closest source of water is a "well" that the kids walk through over grown fields and past some scary looking cows to reach. When I say "well" I really mean a large muddy puddle. The water is filthy but often they have no choice but to drink it and make porridge with it.  For now I can provide water purification drops but they will not last very long. What they really need is a rain water tank and this is something that I am looking to fund with any donations.

The school is almost completely lacking in resources. They have no sharpeners so the children are using blades to sharpen their pencils. The only books are the ones I brought with me.

More generally the children need more resources for themselves. Today I gave several children their first ever pair of shoes - they are aged between 9 and 13. Most cannot afford school uniform (4 dollars for a girl and 5 dollars for a boy) and are wearing dirty ripped clothes.

It is hard for me to express how little they have and so much they need. I love these children to pieces. They are hard working and so grateful for the smallest thing. They deserve so much more than what they currently have and I can see the huge potential of this school.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I would be so grateful for any donation,  no matter how small. I promise to keep you all updated on the progress we make with this project and I really hope that it can be a huge success.

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