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Posts Tagged ‘construction’

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.

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.

Clinic on Bwama Island, Uganda

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The building for the outpatients clinic and accommodation for international doctors on Bwama Island is almost finished and the Slovenian volunteer doctors have started work!

In July and August six volunteers from BRISTOL UNIVERSITY bought paints and brushes and set about the mammoth task of painting inside and out. Every day they canoed over from the Bufuka peninsular to Bwama Island and got stuck in! The builders were still working so they started painting the doctors accommodation.

BVDA Volunteers with Graham Carter

BVDA Volunteers with Graham Carter

Massive thanks for all that hard work. The building is now awaiting the installation of the water harvesting tank, the required funds have been raised and work should start soon. Now we are busy raising funds for the solar installation.

Here are some recent photos of the clinic.

Just before the gutters went on

Just before the gutters went on

With gutters

With gutters

The waiting area needs some benches!

Waiting area

Waiting area

At the end of September we welcomed a new group of medical volunteers from Slovenia, who will be with us for one month and will help us to open the new clinic. The Section for Tropical Medicine at The University of Ljubljana has been sending volunteers to work at Bufuka for several years now and the clinic has been built to give them better working conditions and to improve patient care around Lake Bunyonyi. The Tropical Medicine School has partnered with us on this project and are responsible for furnishing and equipping the clinic.

The volunteers have moved some equipment and old solar panels from Bufuka over to the island and have had a taste of the work that went into the building; all the materials for the clinic – bricks, cement, hardcocre etc –  was taken by boat  across the lake and then carried up to the site. They had to do the same, all the medical equipment,  boxes of medicines, medical supplies, books, benches, tables, shelves and their luggage they carried over! By the end of the day everyone had had a good workout and was thoroughly tired of moving boxes. Well done for all that effort!

After that it was time for the government staff to move into the new clinic. They had been working from an old building on the island so moved all their equipment and medicines to the new building, ready to begin work with their Slovenian colleagues. Of course in true Ugandan style this move also called for a small celebratory party, with traditional food cooked by the local village women. The next day was spent unpacking and lots of cleaning!
Now the clinic is open the volunteers are spending their time between treating patients and managing carpenters, locksmiths and electricians. Some of the girls have even become tailors, sewing home made curtains (the eyes of all-too-curious school children are keen to see what the Muzungu are doing at all hours of the day!).

For now staff and volunteers at the Health Centre have opened two clinic rooms for wounds and bandages, a microscopy delivery room, and of course room for the reception of patients. The local staff are enjoying working with the volunteers and have excitedly discussed how “very experienced” they are, as well as being impressed that some are already learning the local language.

For us at Edirisa it’s very rewarding to see what was just an empty building a few weeks ago becoming a fully-fledged Health Centre.

Back to School and More!

September 8, 2012 Leave a comment

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!

WATER IS LIFE – Savious’ Story

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

In November 2011 Edirisa UK, in partnership with fresh2o and Compassion International, donated ten water tanks to families living with HIV in the Buranga community of Kabale.

Water provision can be a challenge to those living with HIV and their care-givers. Culturally it’s a child’s job to fetch water for the family, with children in rural areas travelling long distances with no guarantee that the water source is clean and safe. One recipient, Kemigisha Savious, is twelve years old and used to walk forty five minutes to fetch water, three times per day.

Savious, in the green coat, with her mother and sister

Savious, in the green coat, with her mother and sister

Savious is one of an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV and AIDS in Uganda, averaging 10% of the population in urban areas and 6% in rural communities. The numbers of those infected are on the rise and many believe this is due to the change in government stance on preventative advocacy, with emphasis shifting from contraception to abstinence. NGOs and health workers face the tripartite challenge of treating, preventing and changing attitudes towards the disease.

Another recipient family in Buranga - Frank, with his mother and sister

Another recipient family in Buranga - Frank, with his mother and sister

As part of their child sponsorship programme Compassion International support the medical needs of infected beneficiaries and their families. In Buranga this equates to approximately 5% of families. Project Director Andrew Muzahura explains that the biggest risk for those infected is secondary, opportunistic infection; “It’s very important that children with HIV are careful about their health. It depends a lot on the care-givers who have a responsibility not to overwork the children and to ensure they stay in hygienic conditions”.  He holds workshops on the “Dos and Don’ts” of caring for someone with HIV, with the aim of also combating local myths and stigmas surrounding the disease. Only a few years ago an infected family would be ostracised from the community but with education relationships have changed drastically. Water provision aids relations, as those with tanks are often able to help their neighbours with a surplus of water during the rainy season.

Children carrying water

Children carrying water

For Savious and her family being given a rainwater-harvesting tank means a clean source of water, which highly reduces their risk of secondary infection. Mr Muzahura also explains, “being careful about hygiene means using more water than an average family, which is a problem because they should also be wary of sending the children out working so often”. These days, instead of fetching water, Kemigisha Savious spends her time after school studying science and maths. She hopes that when she finishes school she will serve her community as a nurse.

A household water tanks costs around  £400 – this includes training in maintenance and sanitation. Our programme is ongoing and donations are gratefully accepted at http://tiny.cc/4b0kz

Water is Life – Edurida’s Story

January 30, 2012 2 comments

Edurida is one of the beneficiaries of our water provision project in partnership with the Diocese of Kigezi. In March 2010 her tank was built with funds raised at the Live and Don’t Let Die Event in London – a collaboration between Edirisa UK and fresh2o.  In a society where women are regarded as secondary citizens, a woman with a disability faces a double disadvantage in her life. Read her story below:

Edurida and her brother

Edurida and her brother

“I was born without arms. My father took me to the hospital and they announced my birth on the radio, asking for support and prayers. Some Muzungus (white people) heard that announcement and they wanted to take me away. My father refused. He and my mother told them they could not give their daughter away; they loved me. When he came back to the village people were advising my father to kill me, but others were kind to us.

Some parents with disabled children are ashamed; my parents were not like this. They also had another child with Special Needs; my younger brother Vincent is mentally handicapped and also has a problem with his hands. They loved us and they sent me to school. I was writing with my feet and the other children loved me. I managed to finish Primary 7 but I was unable to go to Secondary level because my parents died.

With both parents gone I became responsible for my brother and myself. My brother is able to help me around the house but he cannot do things alone; I am the one who instructs him. We work together and we have a good relationship. I can do things with my feet, so when we are cooking he is preparing the food and I can prepare fire. My brother can’t refuse to do something when I ask him.

At times we do struggle but our neighbours help us. We grow our food and when there is a surplus we can sell it and make money. I save this money and I use it to pay those people who are helping us with digging.

Our neighbours would also help us to carry water. Sometimes they could do it for free but other times we would have to pay them. Vincent would also go to fetch water but it is very difficult for him. He can only carry 10 litres at a time and he struggles to carry things with his weak hands. It would take him one hour to bring the water and he would have to go twice in a day; when he arrived back he was exhausted.

Having a water tank has changed our lives. Vincent can stay helping me at home and we don’t lose money, paying people to bring water for us. I’m very, very grateful that we were given the tank because it makes our lives a lot easier.

If I could give other people living with disability a piece of advice it would be to have faith and to look to God. Sometimes things are so difficult and you can’t imagine that people will ever come to help you.  We were also struggling to get water; now we have been given a tank. I don’t worry about the future because I work hard and I am hopeful that God will continue to keep us in this way.”

Edurida with Rev Reuben, her brother and Milton Nkurunungi

Edurida with Rev Reuben, her brother and Milton Nkurunungi

In 2010 Edirisa UK and fresh2o installed 50 tanks at the homes of the elderly and disabled in the hills around Kabale and have just provided more funds for a further 8 tanks to be installed.  If you would like to contribute towards a water tank you can donate through the Big Give https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/donate/donate.php?charity_id=7758

 Elderly recipients

Elderly recipients

Rubona Community Project

January 16, 2012 1 comment

A Creative Partnership between Edirisa UK, the Rubona Community and Uganda Martyrs University

As a charity working in Uganda there’s nothing more satisfying than watching competent local partners take charge of a project. Of course we love to be at the heart of what we do, but it is so much better to see local people taking ownership of Edirisa initiatives. That’s why we’re so delighted to be working with the faculty of the Built Environment (FOBE) at Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) on the Rubona Community Project. The women in Rubona have always impressed us with their hard-working attitude, constantly searching for innovative new ways to help improve their livelihoods and now we’re also delighted to see young, Ugandan, aspiring architects helping this community. After two visits to Rubona village and many late nights in the studio, the students at UMU presented Edirisa with an impressive portfolio of designs.

Orphanage

Orphanage

Their work was fantastic. They had given us a whole landscape focused around playfulness and creativity. The crafts group at Rubona currently support 22 local orphans in very poor housing so the students made accommodation a priority, giving us the option of a “nuclear family” structure or a dormitory. One thing that really captured our imaginations was that the designs sought – in a prospective plan for 40 orphans – to ensure a semblance of private space for the children and create the feeling of a “home” rather than an institution. Other focuses included a Nursery School (our current nursery functions out of the church) and of course a beautiful crafts workshop as crafts are the glue holding this project together.
Orphanage Unit

Orphanage Unit

Perhaps the most striking thing about the presentations was that the students had really taken this project into their hearts and given us 100%. They had carefully considered what the children at Rubona would need day-to-day: a relaxing environment for rehabilitation, buildings and landscapes that will encourage playfulness after trauma and sustainable solutions that will help the community maintain the buildings.

The concept for involving architecture students in this type of work comes from visiting scholar Marga Jann, who believes that universities house some of the best creative minds in the country and should use them to help the community. She asks the question “why should students be designing a conceptual building in New York that will never be built when they could be helping their communities with their designs?” It’s a great premise and after a successful first semester of work we’re excited to see this project progress next year.

Crafts Workshop

Crafts Workshop

More details and plans will be posted on our website soon so watch this space!