Back to School and More!

It’s back to school time in Uganda and the landscape is once again scattered with school children marching along the red, dusty roads and the air is filled with the sound of drums calling the students to assembly. For Edirisa it means welcoming back our nursery teachers and students, but sadly saying goodbye to our summer volunteers, as many of them return home for University.
It has been a busy and fun-filled summer, with lots going on, especially over at Teach Inn Bufuka. Bristol Volunteer Development Association (BVDA) volunteers canoed over to Bwama every day to help put the finishing touches to the clinic. Education program volunteers saw significant progress in the students’ reading abilities at Kyabahinga primary school (using the successful “Butterfly Book” phonics program by Irina Turk). They also ran a summer swim school in our newly refurbished swimming pool. Intern Jair and cyclist Graham travelled around Kabale’s remote villages with our Tough Stuff and Sun King solar products, talking to locals about their solar needs, making affordable payment plans and installing the panels.

Installing a panel

Installing a panel

The Edirisa Crafts Team has also grown over the past months and is still growing! We have welcomed our new Crafts Manager, Kirsty McMahon, to Uganda and have employed two Ugandan interns over the summer holidays. The staff have been working hard to stock our brand new crafts shop at Bunyonyi Overland Resort, meanwhile sponsored student Ahimbisbwe Laban has done a great job of selling it all!

Overland Shop

Overland Shop

The women in the basket weaving groups have also seen a big increase in business since we opened the shop – to the point that one woman broke into spontaneous dance at the weekly meeting!

Bukinda Craft ladies and Jair

Bukinda Craft ladies and Jair

Over at SNEC Kitanga the school harvested 15 kilos of beans, continuing to utilise the donation of gardening tools and seeds supplied by a volunteer. The harvest has helped to feed the children who remained at school during the holidays. Unfortunately for some of our students going home is too dangerous, as some uneducated families still abuse children with disabilities.

Children at SNEC starting the garden

Children at SNEC starting the garden

Other harvests this summer include five kilograms of honey out at our beekeeping project in Kamuronko. After a celebratory taste it was packed off to the market to make a profit for the beekeepers and school. We’re hoping to see our harvest increase in the New Year and have now donated two additional hives to the students at Bunyonyi Vocational School.

Finally, the end of this summer saw the completion of the building work at our new clinic on Bwama Island. The community are very excited to see it and are already inundating staff with questions about the facility and opening times. Before we do open however we still have work to complete inside the building, as regards equipment, water tank and solar panels. We’re still fundraising for this stage so if you want to help us out it will be greatly appreciated!

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