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All the News of 2016

January 13, 2017 2 comments

balloonsWe didn’t manage many blogs in 2016 but we were active on our facebook page so you can also keep up to date with our news on facebook.

Click here to read our 2016 newsletter and find out what we have been doing in Uganda
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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.

New table  lge

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.

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

Nursery Schools Circle of Friends

August 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Edirisa’s Circle of Friends is an initiative created to enhance nursery children’s knowledge of different cultures and create friendships with children from different parts of the world.

On Saturday 13th July in Kabale, Uganda, we held our first workshop day with the Ugandan members of our Circle of Friends. Two or three representatives from each nursery school attended, travelling from as far away as Mbale and Ntungamo, as much as 12 hours away by bus. Our Operations Manager, Alma Burciaga, led the workshop, ably supported by our Nursery Co-Ordinator, Ashaba Phionah. Mugayehwenki Richard,the local Education Officer, was very impressed with our work with the nurseries on child-centred teaching methods.

Sharing ideas

Sharing ideas

The day started with each member introducing themselves and participating in an “ice breaker” – this involved blindfolds, tasting and trying to describe different “Muzungu” (western) sweets.  Liquorice wasn’t very popular and strawberry “starburst” proved the winner!

What am I tasting?

What am I tasting?

The morning continued with the following sessions: What is the Circle of Friends?; Child-centred teaching methods; Circle of Friends as a learning tool; Scrapbooks and how to use them in the classroom.

Looking at scrapbooks

Looking at scrapbooks

After a hearty Ugandan lunch we covered the topics: How to share with your partner school; nursery projects; members opinions on the Circle of Friends; the way forward.

Teaching Aids

Teaching Aids

The day was a huge success with everyone getting to know each other, learning new things and enjoying themselves. Teachers learned how to use different teaching aids and media to stimulate children’s imagination and creativity.

In the Edirisa-run nursery schools we are implementing the Learning Framework for Early Education issued by the Ugandan Government. This document provides basic guidance on how to work with children in 5 major areas, these being: maths; knowing my environment; language and creativity; taking care of myself; and relationship with others. Several of the nursery schools in the Circle had not heard of this framework and were able to obtain copies from Richard.

Next term we hope to host some of our members at our nursery schools in Bukinda for some classroom training.

Books winged their way to Uganda via Pelican Post

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Our nursery schools have just benefited from a delivery of picture books that were donated by kids from the Blackheath Bluecoat Church of England School in London – the school Rio Ferdinand attended!

Blackheath Bluecoats School

Blackheath Bluecoats School

Edirisa UK has partnered with Pelican Post – a charity that allows people to make a direct contribution to stimulating a culture of reading in an African school by sending books. Books educate and inspire young minds, but throughout schools in Africa, books are in critical short supply. In particular, picture books and early learning story books are unheard of in many schools. The books are all in English but are culturally appropriate for African children.

Nursery Children

Nursery Children

The nursery children have received beautifully illustrated story books like – “We’re going on a Lion Hunt”, “Mama Panye’s Pancakes”, “Handa’s Surprise”.

Story Time

Story Time

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the children and staff at Blackheath Bluecoat School and Pelican Post for enriching our children’s lives!

Look at this!

Look at this!

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For more information on Pelican Post, please visit http://www.pelican-post.org

 

Head of Nurseries writes about her experience in Kampala

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently our Head of Nurseries went to Kampala to the Acorns School to see different methods of teaching. Here is her report:

“Thanks very much for having thought of the idea of taking me to an international school. I was happy with them, and they tried their level best to help me achieve what I achieved through discussions with teachers, administrators and taking part in all school activities, including in classrooms as well as outside.

During that time I achieved the following:
– How to deal with water play during teaching and learning
– Sand play when outside
– Story telling by both learners, and teachers by using the available books and stories for them
– How to use and promote ‘Jolly Phonics’ (a book Phionah was given from the school – it includes rhymes/songs to teach each sound in the English language. We’ve photocopied it for each school and Phionah is introducing it to each teacher) in the schools, instead of teaching the alphabet letters.
– How to use time properly by joining break and snack time.
– Library use by all the classes.
– Displaying learners work during learning, rather than putting work made by teachers on walls.
– Teachers to be with learners all the time when at school, including inside and outside activities.
– How to make message books to ease communication between parents, teachers and administrators.

With all the above achievements I am now trying very hard to promote them in all of our schools.  I am even willing to help in the Primary school in the future, as I also visited the primary section of the international school. During the first week I was at Nakasero helping in the Nursery, second week at Bukoto with upper classes. I now have the knowledge on how the children can learn by using the available resources with the help of their teachers, especially on reading and writing.

Being creative

Being creative

This is to inform you that our four nursery schools are now using new methods of teaching and now there is a great change in all our schools.

Bufuka and Kyabahinga:
Now we use circle time instead of standing in lines, they use water play as a method, story telling by both learners and teachers. We joined break and snack time to save time. We use stickers to motivate the learners use of different learning materials in the schools and outside. ‘Jolly Phonics’ includes songs and actions to learn phonetics, and English is the second language, so learners are now trying to speak a little English. Next year children will start using the library and have swimming lessons and we will introduce message books.

Nyakasiru and Ryabirengye:
The schools are also doing well with the same activities because I visited each school to introduce them and my plan is to keep visiting to know what they’ll be doing. At these nurseries volunteers are also taking part because me and Lewis discussed with them, what we need from them and they are happy to take part in all school activities.

In all four schools, children and teachers are busy preparing for the top class graduation by learning songs, games and other activities. Teachers are now happy and working to achieve the best in future with our children.

Also, now teachers teach while in the circle with all the children sitting on mats. That is to say, that teachers are not expected to teach while standing in front of the children. When it is time for writing, drawing or colouring, students sit at the tables and benches.

Thanks very much for the great support towards the development of our nursery schools and I am trying my best to achieve more.”

In the New Year we hope teachers from the Acorns School will visit our nurseries in the Kabale District to help to build on Phionah’s experience.

Circle time outside

Circle time outside

This is a very exciting time for our nursery schools – for teachers and children!

Edirisa Nursery Teachers Learn New Methods of Teaching

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The provision of nursery education is increasing rapidly in Uganda and for Edirisa UK this is where it all began. One of the first projects that we invested in was the construction of a nursery school adjacent to the Bufuka Primary School at Lake Bunyonyi in 2006.  The standard method of teaching in Uganda is the “chalk and talk” method, with students learning by rote or copying from a blackboard. We have been introducing our teachers to alternative methods of teaching and trying to promote a more interactive environment in our nurseries.

Sand play

Sand play

Our biggest breakthrough happened a few weeks ago when our Head of Nurseries, Ashaba Phionah, travelled up to Kampala for a work experience placement at the Acorn School, an international nursery and pre-primary school – http://www.acornsschool.com/.

We often say that the best way to learn is by “doing”, not simply listening. The same is obviously true for teachers. We have long spoken about child-centred learning and this trip enabled Phionah to put the dialogue into the context of a classroom environment. Many teachers have not grown up using puzzles, reading storybooks or playing in sandpits; the concepts are foreign to them and so first they must also learn how to play. Using her new knowledge Phionah is leading our nurseries towards more playful, interactive, child-centred learning. Outside “Circle Time” is also attracting the attention of the primary school children.

Phionah taking Circle Time

Phionah taking Circle Time

Some of the things that Phionah learnt were important teaching tools; such as why it’s important to teach children letters using phonics rather than simple recitation of the alphabet. Other things were more subtle; “I realised that in our classrooms we only have posters made by teachers. It’s important for us to also use the work of the children as it motivates them as learners and gives them pride” explains Phionah.

Other teachers are also happy to be benefiting from the new ideas. Teacher Jackeline at Bufuka Nursery commented on how much easier it is to interact with children during “ carpet time”: “When you get down to the childrens’ level there is less shouting, children are interested in the stories”.

Circle time

Circle time

With Operations Manager, Lewis Dixon, Phionah held a PTA meeting to communicate their plans for the schools. Parents were all enthusiastic about the changes and many were asking about how their other children at primary level could also benefit. A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Acorn School for hosting Phionah and helping us to make this leap forward into more child-centred learning. We are looking forward to hosting their teachers in Kabale next year and continuing our schools’ friendship.

Happy Children

Happy Children