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Posts Tagged ‘craft projects’

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

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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

Amazing work at Special Needs Centre by Carpe Diem Groups

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

We recently hosted 2 groups from Carpe Diem Education, Portland, Oregon at SNEC – our Special Needs Education Centre at Kitanga. Their Program Director, Adam Fischer, suggested that on this visit they should get involved in something a little more physical – as well as doing something with the kids. We hope they forgive him for the suggestion as we set them the task of creating a concrete pathway from the dormitories to the classroom so the kids who use wheelchairs can move about more easily. It was a tough task!

Digging

Digging

The first group with Edirisa UK Operations Manager George Kakonge

The first group with Edirisa UK Operations Manager George Kakonge

Here’s what George said:

“For us here what we thought was going to be a busy and stressful time turned out to be an enjoyable time. Both groups the Nkula and the Kifaru were all nice, hard working people. The first group were able to interact with the children more and painted the T.shirt for them. The work to dig the path was also done successfully. The length of the path that was made is 103 meters.”

New T Shirts!

New T Shirts!

“The second group however had a big challenge because mixing concrete became a really hard job. In Kabale town you can see a machine mixing those things but at SNEC those machines are not available.So the 2nd group members did their best and one thing I noticed was that both girls and boys were very strong and that surprised me!”

Concreting

Concreting

Path making

“The path is very important to the children as some of them really need it for wheel chairs and others now have a better place to walk. Some have to crawl on it which is better than using a muddy path.”

After their busy time at SNEC the groups had more physical activity – canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi and trekking through the mountains with Edirisa Canoe Treks – http://edirisa.org./?language=1&cat=27 – we hope they enjoyed themselves.

Huge THANKS to all the Carpe Diem students and their leaders – you make such a difference to the lives of the children at SNEC and we look forward to more groups next year!

Punishment Island – the documentary

April 9, 2013 3 comments

Laura Cini, an ex Edirisa Volunteer,  has been making a documentary about Punishment Island on Lake Bunyonyi. Here is her account of her experience:-

Punishment Island

Punishment Island

“Since I volunteered for Edirisa in 2009 to film a short documentary about crafts makers,  my life has been haunted by an idea: documenting the story of Akampene. Akampene is a tiny island on Lake Bunyonyi in South-West Uganda where un-married, pregnant young women were abandoned by their fathers/brothers and left to die in an attempt to shun the shame they brought to their family. What struck me immediately was that nobody had tried to research the story before. The only further information I gleaned from the older members of the local Bunyonyi community was that on occasion poor men, unable to afford to ‘buy’ a wife, would pick up one that had been left on Akampene island. So, I decided to document the whole story.

Two years ago I convinced a camera operator to invest his time, and his equipment, in the crazy mission of finding survivors. Next, I wrote the script, which I developed in Nairobi thanks to a program run by European Media, and I spent a year looking for funds. The market is tough and no broadcaster or documentary foundation will come on board if they don’t see a rough cut. So last year we started another crazy adventure, crowd funding on the web (http://www.ulule.com/punishmentisland). In the end we managed to raise over €10.000  for the filming thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

In February this year we finally went to Lake Bunyonyi with an International crew plus two wonderful local translators. It was tough, from many points of view. Our first and greatest challenge was finding the women who had been left to die on Akampene Island. But find them we did. Then came the next challenge, convincing them to share the story. As it happened this was easier than I had anticipated!  As the women listened to each other it was clear they found it easier to share their own experiences.

And so the next step is to edit a rough cut and present it to all broadcasters and foundations that expressed interest.

Now we face our next challenge. We need to raise money for the last part of production and post-production. “Punishment Island” won’t be a traditional documentary; the crazy difficulties experienced during research will be part of the narrative and the story will be reconstructed from a point of view inspired by the local animist traditions. Apart from concentrating on finishing the film, I am also thinking about an outreach campaign run by local teachers with screenings at local schools to spark off dialogue about equal rights. I wish the film to become a local educational tool focusing on gender issues and a way to raise public awareness about vulnerable women in remote parts of the world. If that would happen, this massive and crazy mission will have been worth it.”

Laura (left) with some of her team

Laura (left) with some of her team

We wish Laura every success and look forward to seeing the documentary.

“Punishment Island” is not Laura’s first documentary. As she mentioned in her account above, she worked with Edirisa on a Craft Documentary. In September 2012 a viewing was held in one of Edirisa UK’s nursery classrooms and the craft women involved travelled from all around Lake Bunyonyi to view Laura’s finished work. This was the first time most of them had ever seen themselves on film!

Phionah laughing at herself

Phionah laughing at herself

Watching the video

Watching the video

Island Experience at Tom’s Homestay

March 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Tom's Homestay

Tom’s Homestay

Tom’s Homestay is a community overnight visit hosted by the family of Tom Karemire on Habukomi Island (Lake Bunyonyi) and organised by Edirisa Uganda. It has to be booked in advance, as it includes much more than sleeping on a remote island – it is a full-blown cultural tour into the traditional life of the Bakiga.

Tom was born on the lake, as was his father, he has been the Night Watchman at the Heart of Edirisa in Bufuka for almost 10 years.  A former prison guard he has many interesting stories to tell.  He is 68 and has 6 children, all boys, one unfortunately died on the lake returning from an election polling station late at night. Very few of the locals swim and the lake does claim many lives during the course of a year. This drives home the importance of swimming lessons for the children, which we try to provide every day at the Heart.

Tom

Tom

Edirisa has been bringing trekkers to Tom’s since 2005 and during these years he has developed a brilliant campsite. In 2013 it is finally being made accessible to those guests who might not opt for hiking but still crave for a unique island experience. For those more active  you have a choice of  combining it with a 5-hour Lake Bunyonyi trek, a 1-day Kabale-Bunyonyi trek or a 1-day Canoe Trekking.

View of Habukomi Island

View of Habukomi Island

The full-board homestay experience includes a professional guide, a dugout ride to the island and back, a tour of the island by Tom, camping near his house in spacious tents, a great local dinner enriched by crayfish, a performance of an enanga (traditional string instrument) player and the island dance troupe, stories near the campfire, breakfast with local honey, bananas and chapatis.

Campfire

Campfire

In case camping isn’t your cup of tea a night boat ride back to your lodge an be arranged – but then you will miss the beautiful, relaxed Habukomi morning.

For bookings call the Edirisa Home in Kabale on +256 75 2558 222 or send an email to home@edirisa.org .

We’re looking forward to celebrating Tom’s 10th Anniversary with him next year!

Vocational School

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Edirisa UK have recently donated a sewing machine and knitting machine to a vocational school in Ngoma in Kabale District. The school was started by Richard Mugayehwenki who founded the Special Needs Education Centre in Kitanga that Edirisa UK supports.

Pupils greeting us when we visited in July 2012

Pupils greeting us when we visited in July 2012

Pupils at the school are taught various vocational skills including brickmaking, agriculture and car mechanics.

The brick making machine

With the new sewing and knitting machine they can now add tailoring to the curriculum and hopefully as the pupils skills improve we will be able to include the products they make in our craft shop.

Receiving the new machines

Receiving the new machines

Keep up the good work Richard!

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!