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Archive for the ‘Child Centred learning’ Category

HAPPY NEW YEAR and read all about 2015

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Nursery kids July 2015

Wishing all our friends and supporters all the very best for a Happy and Prosperous 2016

Click here to read our 2015 newsletter and find what we have been doing in Uganda

Star Fundraiser

August 29, 2015 Leave a comment

When people fundraise for our various projects it is such a huge benefit to our small charity and we are very grateful to everyone who helps us.

In December 2014 Clayton Woltz together his mother and Hubab Hood visited our projects in Uganda and were shown around by our Operations Manager, George Kakonge. Clayton and Hubab had a “drone camera” and took this wonderful picture of the clinic on Bwama Island.

Aerial of clinicClayton told his niece Belle about our projects and Belle was keen to help and to fundraise for a playground at one of our nursery schools. We sent her information and posters and she set about her task.

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In her own words here’s how Belle raised the funds:

Upon pondering ways to collect monetary means for your charity, I happened to contact my language arts teacher and very close friend of mine, Megan Macke. Megan advocates for youth community service and has many groups of students, including myself, reaching out and giving back to our small, rural town. In her efforts raise money for a mural, she and other students sold cheese. The cheese is made by Pearl Valley Cheese (http://pearlvalleycheese.com), a local farm not too far away from our county, and one makes 4(8-9)% profit from all sales.

Cheese

With this being said, the sale of cheese is supporting our local economy as well as the profit going to a wonderful cause, not to mention they manufacture award winning cheese products. I adopted the cheese sales as means of fundraising, as well as networking with many family members and small businesses, and had much support from major healthcare companies. My fundraiser was conducted over the span of one month, with my monetary goal being $500(cost of one playground). Conducting this fundraiser has been such a great experience for me, and I plan to continue my efforts. As you know, I exceeded my initial goal, by raising $541.50. I had $498.50 collected in cheese sales, $241.50 of which being pure profit. I had $300 worth of donations. 

With this being said, my successes show how youth have the power to make a difference, and change the world. My experience has been completely rewarding. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity, and proud that I have so many individuals connected to Edirisa, from southern Ohio, USA. 

Belle

Thanks Belle and thanks also to Clayton who matched her efforts with his own donation!

The playground at Nyakasiru is being built and will be ready when school goes back on September 7th.

Edirisa UK Circle of Friends

May 14, 2015 Leave a comment

The nursery schools in our Circle of Friends have been exchanging recipes and telling each other about the foods in their countries. Here is the information that the Life Academy Nursery in Ntungamo shared with Oakleys Explorers in Dundee.

Hello Oakley explorers. My name is Treasure. I am in Baby class. It is the entry level into our education system in Uganda.

Treasure

We are 18 children in my class. Recently we did not have enough furniture in our class. Thank you Oakley explorers for buying for us a very big table and four benches. My classmates and I are very happy and can attend class more comfortably. Below are my friends sitting around the table you bought for us.

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My school Life Community Nursery School is located in South Western Uganda. My village is called Rugarama in Ntungamo district. Below I’m going to share with you about the type of food we eat, how we get it, prepare it and serve it.

Our staple food is majorly Green Banana (Matoke) and Sweet potatoes. Matoke is a type of plantain that grows on a tall tree while sweet potatoes are a root crop that grows under ground. Families till the soil with a tool called a hand hoe, plant their own crops, harvest them carry the produce home on their heads. Every family must have their own crop field where they grow their own food. Before steaming, the raw food is peeled first using a knife. The peeled food is then placed in a pan and placed on an open fire to cook for about 40 minutes to an hour. The exercise from planting, to weeding, to harvesting to cooking and finally eating the food can be very tiresome. However, it becomes normal daily routine that one gets so accustomed to that it all flows so smoothly and get done quickly.

Planting sweet potato

Planting sweet potato vines above.

 Peeling

Peeling harvested Matoke and sweet potatoes.

Our food is prepared on an open fire using firewood for fuel. Below is food cooking on fire. Food is covered in banana leaves to steam.

Steaming

 Cooking sweet potato wrapped in banana leaf.

My mother packs lunch food for me every day. I carry it to school every morning in a container.

Greetings to you all from me, my friends, and my teacher.

THANK YOU ALL. IT HAS BEEN GOOD SHARING ABOUT OUR FOOD.

Primary School Children Get Drawing

May 10, 2014 1 comment

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.

Drawing class April 2014

The first week we covered the topics of “family”, “friendship” and “favourite food”

Drawing lesson at Ryabirengye April 2014

Followed by “What they want to Become”, “Animals in Nature” and “Home and Family”

Drawings from Nyakasiru Primary

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.
Nyakasiru drawings April 2014

Later teachers and pupils  came to view the pictures and talk about them

Nyakasiru drawings on display April 2014

Thanks Anja for all the hard work – we hope one day Art will be one of the subjects on the primary school timetable!

Tin Trunks and Teaching Aids

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Carpe Diem Group with the Classroom Aids they made

Carpe Diem Group with the Classroom Aids they made

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!

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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.

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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!

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Nursery School Kids have an amazing day out!

April 1, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

Children & Teachers from both Nursery Schools

Children & Teachers from both Nursery Schools

 

“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!!

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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.

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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!!

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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!!

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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!!

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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.