Today was a busy day with lots going on. Here’s a snippet of what has been happening. Tasks not written about include sanding our big rough wooden dining tables, the eternal task of donation sorting and allocation and a trip to donate some toys and clothes to the local primary school. The students (and there was a lot of them) and staff were so thrilled to receive what we took, but it hit us hard to see just how huge the scale of need out here is. The children had nothing, and it was difficult walking away knowing that they needed so much more help.
“We dug the foundations for the new kitchen. We had to dig it two feet deep, we used hoes, shovels and pickaxes. It had rained in the morning so the ground was muddy and hard and it was hot which made the job more difficult, we also had to hack through and clear the roots and stumps and plants. At the moment their staff kitchen, where they cook all our meals and all the school students meals, consists of two small metal shacks. The new one we are making will be bigger, in a better location and better quality. The trenches are finished, and now we are waiting for hardcore and cement to build the foundations. We were all knackered after three hours of hard graft, had blisters from using the tools, and were all desperate for a cold shower as we were dripping with sweat.”
-Tom Stratton, Zac Roberts, Flynn Thomas, Orlando Davies, Ellis Baldry, Trey Penrose, Josh Stephens, Joss Evans.
“We sat outside with A-level students and gave them a geography lesson. Mr Merrick started by teaching them about glaciation and continental drift, we were then paired up with students and they asked questions related to English geography such as mining, weather, crops and fishing. We also asked them about ‘Idi Amin’ and his reign of terror over Uganda which ended 30 to 40 years ago.”
-Jhanelle Grey, Blaise Hinshelwood, Robin Howard, Perry Oakes, Pheobe Miller, Cameron Robins, Alfie Griffiths.
“Bunjako School have an expensive solar pump which pumps water from the bore hole into the water store. Because of its value it could be easily stolen so we built a brick cage around it and secured it into the ground by digging a trench and burying the pipe. We have also built a roof for it so we can attatch the solar panel. We have designed this so the solar panel can move to follow the sun. The pump housing also has a bolt to make it secure. We cut the bricks with a machete, we used metal shovels for digging and we sourced left over building materials from the construction of our mission house. The rain that morning had turned the dust to mud, so we all wore wellies. Simon Merrick was our project manager but he left us to design it. Tom was foreman, Jack was site engineer, Jess, Ben and Henry were the contracters andwe worked so hard it is very nearly finished.
-Tom Norris, Jack Robertson, Jess Dash, Ben McDonnel-Coates, Henry Cooper, Alfie Griffiths.
“We painted the outside back wall of the girls dorm. It had never been painted before and it took us a few hours to finish one coat as it was a large area. We are now painting the inside walls of their dorm to freshen it up. The Ugandan girls are helping us. They have pushed all the bunk-beds into the middle of the room, it’s a bettter standard of living than what we experienced at St. Judes in Bukamansimbi. We spend a lot of time here covered in paint but we really enjoy it, we are excellent at painting now and it’s nice to know we are helping people”
-Maya Perry, Erin Carter, Neya Sabetian, Lilybeth Collins, Jess Knight, Katelyn Daw, Maddie Palombo, Lottie Bourne, Charles Todd, Cameron Robins
“We went to drop bras at a local health clinic. The ladies were so excited, they ran from the road. It was an emotional sight seeing how happy the girls and ladies were, next year we must remember to collect more small sized bras and bring out lots of underwear. We had an eye opening tour of the facilities. Words can’t describe the conditions that we saw, especially the labour ward. They dont have electricity, the roof is falling apart. It serves 50,000 poeple and the island is 35 miles wide. They used to have an outreach motorbike but it hasn’t worked for 4 years so they aren’t able to do home visits. Only women who could walk to the clinic would be able to deliver their babies with medical attention. There were 2 delivery beds but they were old, rusty and falling apart and the whole place was dark, depressing and dirty. The main 3 diseases they treat are malaria , HIV and typhoid. The remaining solar panels that work need to keep the fridge working so that the medicine doesnt spoil, leaving the rest of the building without power. It humbled us to see what its like out in the local community and it made us wonder what we could to help.”
-Jess Dash, Katelyn Daw, Jess Knight, Abi Jacob, Maia Perry, Erin Carter, Holly O’Brien, Lilybeth Collins, Neya Sebastian.