Our Crafts Section was chosen to participate in a training and networking programme run between 12th August and 6th November last year. This programme was part of the United Nations Development Programme and was facilitated by the Uganda Tourist Board and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
Our Operations Manager, George Kakonge, and our Crafts Administration Manager, Cleophas Asiimwe, attended the course which took place all day, every Thursday at Cephas Inn, Kabale.
George has written this report of his experience:
“The major expectations of the training were:
- A) Gaining Experience and knowledge sharing.
- B) Devising solutions for some of the current challenges and problems faced by our businesses
- C) Getting practical and workable ideas of improving and growing business.
Some of the Topics which were helpful to participants included:
- Business planning.
- Accounting and bookkeeping basics.
- Identifying and developing business opportunities.
- Marketing and Networking for success.
All this was aiming to:
- Business growth
- Unlocking potential for tourism business
- Business linkages and networking
- And skills development.
The training was run in an interactive style and everyone was involved in contributing ideas or skills that you may have.
At one point I was chosen to talk about the importance of branding, I did some research and I presented it the participants.
Many other entrepreneurs were invited to talk about some topics or testimonies on how their businesses have developed.
In general the program was very good and inspiring. Personally I benefited and I got a new understanding of what the tourism industry is and its contribution to the economy of our society, country and the whole world in general.
However I felt like some of the topics were not given enough time or attention like, the business planning and skill development. They put more emphasis on Business linkages and net working.”
Good feedback George – Thank you.
Here are George and Cleophas with their certificates!
On February 17th, 2013 Rita left Uganda with her aunt, Linate, headed for Aswan Health Centre in Egypt. A week later Sir Magdi Yacoub performed heart surgery on Rita and he was able to repair, rather than replace, the damaged valves. As Chain of Hope covered the cost of the flights and the operation some of the funds we raised were spent on a monitoring machine for Kabale Hospital and for 2 years of follow up appointments and medicine.
Over the last 2 years Rita and her mother have travelled to Kampala every 3 months for her follow up examinations and treatment and we are happy to report that she has made amazing progress and has been back at school now for over a year.
In December I attended a Chain of Hope Carol Concert in London and had the opportunity to thank Sir Magdi personally. I will be sending this lovely photograph of Rita and her mother to Chain of Hope and maybe can persuade them to send a team to visit our clinic on Bwama Island one day!
Wishing all our supporters a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and joyful 2015.
In the run up to Christmas THE BIG GIVE organization provides an opportunity for charities to double donations received. This scheme is one of our most important fundraising initiatives as it allows our supporters to have their donations matched. This year we are raising funds for water harvesting tanks for the elderly, disabled, and families impacted by HIV/AIDs (watch our video and find more project details on our website).
Our target is to install a minimum of 10 new water tanks. Over the last five years we have installed over 100 water tanks to homes, schools and nurseries impacting more than 2000 people by providing clean water. Water borne disease and poor sanitation still kills more people globally than all forms of violence, including war, and is a huge hurdle in the struggle out of poverty. The cost to install one rainwater harvesting tank is GBP500. This simple piece of infrastructure improves health, allows children time to go to school (rather than walk long distances to fetch [dirty] water), increases gender equality, and improves opportunities for food growth and enterprise. A small price for such a significant impact.
If you would like to support us there are three ways to donate. Our preference is for transfers directly to our UK charity account – we will then pledge the money on your behalf. This avoids us paying fees on the transfer.
Bank account details are:
Sort Code: 20-03-53
A/C No: 50376531
IBAN GB34 BARC 2003 5350 3765 31
If you would like to transfer funds please do so in the next few days so we can ensure your funds are pledged!
Alternatively you can make donations via The Big Give site when the race is on to secure matching funds (as the pot of cash runs out fast!). You have to be organized as the funds are released at 10am GMT on the 4th, 5th and 6th of December only! If you are kind enough to make a direct bank transfer to us, Edirisa UK will pledge the funds at the right time to maximise the opportunity to get donations matched.
Or, you can donate on our website.
A little goes a long way in Africa, and what Edirisa UK does makes an impact – please help us continue to do that if you can. Thank you! :)
A few weeks ago Anja, from Slovenia, undertook an Art Project with the children at Ryabirengye and Nyakasiru Primary Schools. Here is her report on her experiences and the results of her project.
In the first two weeks I was observing the children and trying to figure out where I could help and make their education better and mostly more interesting for them. As it was already in the middle of a term I decided to teach art and make my own art project.
Goal: To awake their creativity and present it at the exhibition in the classrooms.
Methods: Photography and story writing, different topics for drawings.
The first week we covered the topics of “family”, “friendship” and “favourite food”
Followed by “What they want to Become”, “Animals in Nature” and “Home and Family”
I had two photography classes with P5 at Ryabirengye and Nyakasiru. I gave children my little camera, explained to them how to take photos and told them to take a photo of a place around the school that is most important to them/ or of where they like to spend time the most. Children took photos of different places and they seemed to really enjoy it. I printed out the photos in Kabale and a week later I came with photos and papers. I gave each of them one photo that they took and told them to write a true story about the photo or about the place (about something that happened there).
With P5 and P4 we also drew “What they want to become in the future?” They really enjoyed to do something different and therefore they were really looking forward to drawing classes. It’s a shame they don’t practice more of art during the whole school year. I chose this topic because this was the most interesting topic for me to make the exhibition out of- as a reminder and motivation! I put their drawings on the back wall of their classrooms.
Later teachers and pupils came to view the pictures and talk about them
Thanks Anja for all the hard work – we hope one day Art will be one of the subjects on the primary school timetable!
During their recent visit to the Special Needs Education Centre in Kitanga the Carpe Diem Group from Portland, Oregon, USA made some very useful learning posters for the classrooms. Creative materials are scarce in Uganda so they had to use white sacks and they did an amazing job!
In addition they painted all the tin trunks for the dormitories. Some of the children had brought trunks from their homes but most had nowhere to keep their clothes or personal belongings. We provided the trunks and Carpe Diem provided the creativity! Now every child has their very own trunk with their name on it – colourfully painted by the students.
Once again we are very grateful to Carpe Diem for their continued support of the Special Needs Education Centre, we hope the group enjoyed their East African adventure and wish them all the best for the years ahead!
On March 14th our nursery school at Bufuka hosted the Life Academy Nursery School from Ntungamo – one of the nurseries in our Circle of Friends.
Paul the founder of Life Academy has sent us this letter which eloquently expresses their experiences of the day.
“Our time in Kabale at Bufuka was superb!!
Time Check- Thursday Thirteenth around mid day, the taxi operators inform us, they could only carry 14 kids each!! Total would be 28 kids yet we had thought all along we would take 40 kids!!
2pm, 13th- The local vicar agrees to call up the head teacher of Kabale secondary school to allow us use their bus for 400,000 shillings!! 15 minutes later, he calls back to say we would have the bus.
By then our kids have already been informed and are preparing for the trip excitedly. Parents are calling at school unexpectedly to confirm the news their young ones would be traveling to Kabale on an all expenses paid trip!! Most have never been to Kabale before and there is sweet suprise in their eyes when I answer the question in the affirmative!!
By 7am Friday 14, 2014 the kids start arriving at school in their smart beautiful African print Uniforms!! The whole school is bursting at the seams with excitement!! By 9am, the bus arrives!! None of our kids had ever been on a bus before!! They are all excited at this moment and clapping uncontrollably!! Tears are welling up in my eyes that these kids are getting an opportunity I never had as a child. I am thinking to myself, Edirisa has made my dream come to pass!!
Shortly after 9am, the bus sets off through the local trading centre- Kyemepene. All the traders are out of their shops to catch a glimpse of young nursery children on a bus traveling to Kabale. It is unbelievable. We stop briefly and people are flocking the bus windows to confirm this was real!! Yes it was. THANK YOU EDIRISA.
Afew moments later we are out of the trading centre!! The kids are screaming their lungs out!! They were shocked to see trees “run” past the bus in the opposite direction. Soon some people start “running past” the bus in the opposite direction and the kids are extremely excited about all this. Jubilation and singing fill up the air. I instruct the 2 nursery teachers we were traveling with not to stop the kids from enjoying their moment!! We soon arrive at a Tarmac road in Rubare Trading centre. All our kids had never seen a road made on Bitumen and rocks. We stop for them to take in the moment!! You should have been there to see the amazement!!
Soon we are heading in the direction of Kabale. The singing is defeaning, the excitement and joy almost tangible!! We pass big and small cars on the road, the hills are moving backwards, etc. All the kids are on their feet looking through the windows and commenting all the way to Kabale. Soon we are in Kabale town and the kids are amazed at mostly houses “sitting on top of each other!!” (Read storeyed buildings)
Fast forward, we are in at lake Bunyonyi. My phone is ringing off the hook as Phionah from Edirisa tries to make sure we are safe and ok!! We finally arrive at Bufuka!! The view of lake Bunyonyi captivates the kids!! One of the kids on the trip Richard, gets scared of the water body and decides not to exit the bus!! ha ha ha. It took good convincing to have him get out and join other kids for a delicious cup of porridge prepared by EDIRISA.
Shortly after, our kids join Bufuka kids in their respective classes! The classes are something our teachers had never seen before. The system of teaching, very different from ours!! As teachers at Bufuka sat in a circle teaching, our teachers fidgeted looking for a chair to sit!! The Bufuka teachers were above their game!! We were totally blown away!! One it was all different for our kids and teachers, two EDIRISA had decided to give us an opportunity of a life time sponsoring the trip and allowing us ful l access to the work they do at Bufuka!! Quite humbling!!
After class, we went for sports activities. Football was one of the games plus several others!! Life Community Academy kids won one of the events just before lunch time!!
Lunch was another big one for our children. Less than five in 40 had ever drunk a bottle of soda!! They are still talking about it until now!! It is what every parent says the children still talk about at their homes!!
Then the lake trip!! I was personally scared too…..except I made it safely across. The kids could not believe what they saw and experienced. They went singing on the boat, from Bufuka shore Past Nature’s Prime Island, past the various camp sites and hotels on the lake shores!! Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!!!!! 7 of our kids refused to do the boat ride!! The mass of water was simply overwhelming!! Around 5.30pm, the curtain came down on our adventurous and very educative trip. Every child of nursery going age, in my village should surely experience what we experienced!! It is still the biggest news.
Kids saw new things
Learnt new songs
Studied in a different environment
Never closed their eyes on the bus to sleep as we had anticipated. They were all very excited and wanted to see everything they had to see and saw could not bat an eyelid and miss out on anything. By 8pm, we were back at school with very happy parents waiting to walk their kids back home.
LONG LIVE EDIRISA. THANKS FOR THE WORK YOU ARE DOING IN UGANDA AND FOR SPONSORING THIS ALL VALUABLE TRIP NEVER DONE BEFORE BY ANY NURSERY SCHOOL IN RUGARAMA OR EVEN NTUNGAMO DISTRICT. TO MANY SCHOOLS AND PEOPLE, NURSERY KIDS ARE JUST A NUMBER. OURS AT LIFE COMMUNITY ACADEMY, WE SAY THEY DESERVE THE BEST.”
The children at Bufuka benefited from the day as well and we hope to host more children from our partner nurseries in the future.