Lessons for Life Newsletter January 2009

Busoco School

Busoco School is being built on a remote mainland peninsula over an hour’s drive from Kampala to cater for the primary schooling needs of 2 local communities.  When this school is completed, it will initially give over 200 children the chance to learn that they have so far been denied.  No-one knows how many children there are in the two communities (with some estimates exceeding 500).

The mainland community currently have the impractical option of sending their children on a 10 kilometre walk to school and the Sowe Island community have no access to schooling facilities whatsoever. For the children of Sowe Island, this will now mean a 10 minute boat ride. They have started building a boat which will have 30 lifejackets so the children on Sowe Island can get to the school.   

The school project itself is being managed by Kate, one of Lessons for Life’s in-country representatives, who has got the project moving with a grant from the US Embassy.  However, further funding is required to equip the school and to run it – the least glamorous and most difficult funding to find.

This is where Lessons for Life comes in.  We would like to raise several thousand pounds per year to support this project.  We don’t yet know the exact level of funding required to run the school properly as this depends on what funding comes from the Ugandan government and from the local community (through school fees).

However, we do know that our support will be essential to give the children the chance of a proper education and will be excellent value for money – for primary school projects we aim to make a difference for between £30 and £50 per child per year. 

We can provide some support from regular donations we already receive, however another £300 per month in regular donations would make a huge difference.  Every little helps – we would rather receive donations that can be comfortably afforded and continued for a long time.

If you or anyone you know would like to support this project please use the following form (and tick the “Directly fund schools or programs” box:

Regular Donations

We are also hoping to be able to provide c. £10,000 for equipment and start up costs. We will put some of the one-off income that we have already received towards this, however if you or anyone you know would like to help with the setup costs for this school, please click here to make a one-off donation.

One-off Donation

Visit to Sowe island and Busoco School

Our VSO volunteer went along with medics from another charity (Hope Clinic) to spend a day on Sowe Island – arranged by Kate as there are no basic healthcare facilities available. 

Several Mzungus  got on a boat and travelled to Sowe Island to work with the children. The inhabitants of Sowe Island are not allowed to grow crops as this affects the ownership rights of the land. It is purely supported by the fishing industry.

It was a very calm stretch of water when we set off at 9:00am. We arrived on the island and set up in their community hall which is used as a church, school and meeting centre. On entering parents registered their children for the school and then had the children photographed. They then moved down the line to the medics who gave all the children free health drugs – de-worming tablets, vitamin A tablets and anti fungal tablets (no shots!). 

Out of the 80 pupils who registered for school and the 92 children treated only 3 mothers had up-to-date medical records. As we were about to visit the village on the other side of the road the heavens opened with an amazing show of thunder and lightning. We were trapped inside the hut with half the village so we entertained ourselves with songs and the few boarding-school educated children reading books that Kate had collected and transported from New Zealand.

When there was a lull in the storm, we crossed over to the mainland to visit the school which has recently had the roof and guttering fixed so the rain water collects in a massive water butt. This water is used for the pupils to drink and to water the women's collective vegetable patch.

On a follow up visit to the island, one of the children was given treatment for an eye infection without which they would have lost sight in one eye.

Island Kids

Island Kids

Island Kids