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Last year’s news and Happy New Year!

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Welcome to our first blog post of 2014!

2013 was a busy year and we are grateful to all our supporters for their generosity, to our staff in Uganda for their hard work and commitment and to the volunteers who have brought enthusiasm, ideas and energy and have undertaken a variety of tasks with relish.

Machine Maintenance

Machine Maintenance

CRAFTS

Throughout the year we ran sewing workshops with the craftwomen’s groups in Bukinda and Rubona thanks to a grant from the Give a Hand Foundation.  The women learnt how sew and were taught useful skills for maintaining and fixing their sewing machines.

For many years now we have run our own craft shop at the Bunyonyi Overland Resort. It’s been steadily growing in popularity and recently outgrew it’s kiosk! Consequently, a new shop was built giving us much more room to display the beautiful products being made locally by the women in our craft groups.

Overland Shop

The New Overland Craft Shop

Overland Shop

Our New Overland Craft Shop

We also opened a brand new craft shop at the Lakeview Coffee House at Kachwekano which we are extremely pleased and excited about.


EDUCATION

During the year our nursery school children enjoyed a variety of creative activities. They also received communication, in the form of scrap books, from their partner nurseries around the world who take part in our Circle of Friends programme, an initiative that is steadily growing. Our Circle of Friends links nurseries around the world to promote creativity and friendship through the sharing of information, cultures, ideas and friendship.

The children were also lucky enough to receive a shipment of story books from the charity Pelican Post who deliver books to disadvantaged children all over the world. The nursery children certainly enjoyed hearing the stories and looking at the colourful pictures.

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends : a scrapbook arrives!

Reading

New Books from Pelican Post

Not to be left out, the teachers also participated in two nursery workshops organised by Alma Burciaga who was our Operations Manager up to September. She did a great job, ably supported by our Nursery Co-Ordinator, Ashaba Phionah. Teachers from our own 4 nursery schools were joined by teachers from the other 5 Ugandan nursery schools that are members of our Circle of Friends, it was a great opportunity for them to meet, share ideas and learn more about child centred methods of education. Alma left us to return to Mexico and we wish her all the best for the future.

Teaching Aids

Teaching Aids

HEALTH CARE

The clinic on Bwama Island has been busy all year and the Slovenian Doctors have worked extremely hard getting everything organised. The maternity and overnight ward is almost finished and soon we will start constructing the new latrines and showers.

Maternity Ward East side

Maternity Ward East side

At Nyakasiru with a grant from Kitchen Table Charities Trust  we have built a new 4 stance latrine at the primary school together with a new water tank – they are not quite finished yet but will be before the new term starts.

Nyakasiru latrines

Nyakasiru latrines


EDIRISA UK OPERATIONS

George

George

In August we welcomed a new Operations Manager. This is George Kakonge, he is married with 2 daughters and we hope he will enjoy working with us.

In September we said goodbye to Kirsty, our Crafts Development Manager who spent a hugely successful year with Edirisa UK, and in her place we welcomed Antonia who joined us in December from England. Antonia will be assisted by Sheryl, who comes to Uganda from Australia with her seven year old daughter.

We wish Kirsty well and hope our new arrivals Antonia and Sheryl enjoy their time with Edirisa UK.

THAT’S just a few of the things we’ve been up to this year.  Christmas was celebrated with a lunch at the Lakeview Coffee House attended by 48 people – Edirisa UK’s 36 local staff, the District Education Officer, 2 of our local priests and other local partners. 

Staff Christmas lunch

Staff Christmas lunch

HAPPY NEW YEAR  FROM EVERYONE AT EDIRISA UK –  UGANDA

Putting the “Fun” into Fundraising

August 26, 2013 1 comment

The UnTOUCHables put the “FUN” into “FUNDRAISING” when they joined in the SFP Group CHALLENGE DAY

The Team

The Team

SFP GROUP set the teams a number of ridiculous challenges to raise money for various charities with the UnTOUCHables supporting Edirisa UK.

And They're OFF!

And They’re OFF!

SFP Group is made up of six entities, Touch Financial, SFP Recoveries, SFP Forensics, SFP Property, SFP Datastore and SFP Restructuring Limited. They all joined forces for their very first charity event.

The UnTOUCHables was headed up by Edirisa UK’s trustee SIMON CARTER who is a director of Touch Financial. We would like to say a HUGE “THANK YOU” to all the team who helped to raise in excess of £2,000 for our projects.

Grabbing a seat

Grabbing a seat

That’s Simon, second from the right, with what looks like a walking stick! Great fun was had by all and they must have made a real spectacle on the Isle of Dogs!  All the suited financial types must have wondered what on earth was going on. The challenge now is what to do next year!

Clinic News!

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

The doctors and medics from the Tropical Medicine School in Slovenia have now left Bwama Island and are heading home.

Whilst at the clinic they have achieved a lot in such a short time. The contract has been signed for the floors to be finished off with a special screed and for the work benches to be built and installed. Meanwhile they have been improvising.

One of the first patients at the clinic

One of the first patients at the clinic

 

They bought some basic tables and chairs and one of the girls enjoyed sitting on the verandah sewing curtains.

Sewing on the verandah

 

The Pharmacy

The Pharmacy

The government are in the process of building the maternity and overnight ward, you can just see the building on the photo above, right hand side up on the bank.

Lots of things still left to do but we are getting there! Watch this space.

Challenge Africa Cycle Ride – Conquer the Virunga

June 12, 2012 1 comment

Early in the morning of Saturday June 16th twelve intrepid cyclists will fly out of Heathrow Airport bound for Rwanda. After months of training and raising sponsorship they are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

Back in late 2010 Edirisa UK  signed up with Classic Tours to run a “Charity Challenge” fundraiser giving willing participants an unforgettable experience plus the opportunity to raise money for Edirisa UK through sponsorship.

The challenge is to cycle 300km starting from Rwanda’s capital city Kigali and finishing at the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda where some of Edirisa’s projects are located.

The countryside they will be cycling through is some of the most spectacularly beautiful in East Africa. The route takes them through the Virunga Mountains into Uganda and on to Lake Bunyonyi. At Bwindi they will spend a day tracking the mountain gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virunga Mountains,  a magical experience and something they will never forget.

mountain gorillas

mountain gorillas

When they arrive in Kabale, Uganda they will visit the Home of Edirisa and see the small Cultural Museum of the Bakiga (local tribe).

Edirisa staff in Uganda will show the cyclists around the volunteer accommodation at Teach Inn Bufuka (The Heart) followed by a tour of the Edirisa Nursery School and a traditional Ugandan lunch at the Teachers Centre.  Later they will visit the clinic being built on Bwama Island, have refreshments in the afternoon on Bushara Island and then take the motor boat back to the Overland Camp. After cycling through the mountains they will be glad to relax at the Lake.Lake Bunyonyi

We would like to thank all the cyclists for their support, for all the fundraising and training they have done and we wish them a fantastic time.

Creativity, fun, sports and more with Carpe Diem Education Volunteers

April 14, 2012 1 comment

Carpe Diem Education (www.carpediemeducation.org) are regular visitors to Edirisa, stopping in Kabale twice a year, each with a different group, as part of their East African semester. A semester with Carpe Diem provides students with a unique opportunity to study and volunteer abroad.  Volunteering, community and cultural exchange are central to Edirisa UK and Carpe Diem,  and it was great to welcome another group this March.

A visit to Kitanga’s Special Needs Education Center (SNEC) has been on Carpe Diems itinerary for the last two semesters and is becoming a favourite amongst it’s students. Days at SNEC were split between classroom renovations and creative workshops. Due to the fast expansion of the school in recent years there are more classes than classrooms at SNEC, requiring different abilities and ages to be taught in the same classroom. Edirisa UK with the help of Carpe Diem  have provided partitions for two classrooms to ensure a more practical learning environment. With the help of students and teachers  Carpe Diem painted educational material specific to different classes on each side of the wooden partitions, creating a fun and informative backdrop for each lesson.

Bead Making

Bead Making

 

Creative workshops in the afternoons provided an opportunity to work closely with the small classes of students, each with specific learning difficulties. The theme this year was jewellery and our visitors taught and assisted the SNEC students to make their own necklaces and bracelets using hand made beads of rolled paper. With these beads now fashion statements in Europe and America it was a great workshop for Carpe Diem to lead and a bright, colourful, fun and very sticky afternoon for the SNEC students.

 

The second half of Carpe Diem’s visit took the team to the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, and the ‘Heart’ of Edirisa. First on the itinerary was a day spent with one of Edirisa UK’s women’s craft groups at Rubona. This gave the students a chance to look over the plans for the future Rubona development – an orphanage, nursery school and craft workshop at the top of the hill over looking the lake – and to experience a day in a craft woman’s life. The craft lesson started with the ladies teaching the group two simple bracelet designs; one using banana fibers and one with raffia grass. After the students mastered these (some better than others!) it was time to learn to use the pedal powered sewing machine. This caused some problems for the students used to automatic electronic machines, but proved to be a fascinating learning experience.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

After a deserved weekend relaxing and visiting islands around the lake, the final task for the volunteers was to run the annual Edirisa Nursery School sports days, over 2 days, at Bufuka and Kyabahinga Nursery Schools. The nursery students were split into teams, each with an American team captain and over the course of the morning competed against each other in a number of grueling relay races.

An obstacle course kicked off proceedings at both schools which saw the toddlers negotiating a tricky arrangement of balancing beams, tables to crawl under, and benches to jump. Then came an egg (ball) and spoon race, a hilarious three-legged race and a very excitable sack race! Although one team from each school had to be declared a winner, a great time was had by everyone and the teams went home satisfied with their performances.

Obstacle Course

Obstacle Course

The following evening we bade our visitors farewell, and wished them a safe onward journey to Kampala. Here in Kabale, we’re already looking forward to welcoming a new group in the ‘fall’.

Christmas Celebrations

December 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Top Nursery student with his mother

Top Nursery student with his mother

Christmas is almost here and our nursery schools have all ended the academic year with excited children, proud parents and lively celebrations. In Uganda the schools run from February to December and so our Christmas celebrations were also a chance to congratulate our graduates in Top Class who will move up to Primary One next term.

At Lake Bunyonyi the graduation ceremony was held in Kyabahinga church, with parents from Bufuka crossing the lake to see the performances and honour their children. In a country where rural education is often neglected (with families preferring children to help in the fields) it was great to see such a high turnout of parents. The ceremony was presided over by our Mushomesa (church leader) Edirisa’s Head of Nurseries, Ashaba Phionah .

Students from each class performed songs, dances and drama sketches, with thoughtful messages from both of the graduating classes. Bufuka children asked the audience to take care on the road and “avoid dangerous driving”, whilst the Kyabahinga class reminded everyone of the importance of education.

Kitten in the play

Kitten in the play

Of course the highlight of any function in Kabale is the traditional Kikiga dancing, this time led by the smallest students. Anyone who has been lucky enough to participate will know that the drums and dances become more energetic and exciting as they progress and although the performances began with only our nursery children, they culminated with parents jumping in too; the church floor thumping and dust flying into the air!

There was also lots of dancing and singing in Bukinda as school ended. Our volunteers Maria and Johanna organised a Christmas concert, which combined new songs taught by the girls and traditional songs led by music teacher Joseph.

Xmas celebration at Ryabirengye

Xmas celebration at Ryabirengye

At the end of performances Operations Manager Lewis Dixon looked back over the past year, thanking parents and students for all of their hard work and looking forward to all that we have planned for Edirisa UK in 2012 (and there will be a lot going on so watch this space!)

Overall it has been a great ending to the term and welcoming of the Christmas season! To Edirisa volunteers and supporters around the world: Kulika Christmas from all of us in Uganda!