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Doctors On Bwama Island

April 5, 2016 3 comments

Short report from the medical doctors from Slovenia who worked at the Bwama Health Centre.

Aerial of clinic

The Bwama Health Centre is a fine example of international cooperation, in this case, the cooperation of Slovenian doctors and nurses that work within the section of tropical medicine of the medical faculty of the University of Ljubljana,  Edirisa UK and the Ugandan public health services. Staff from Slovenia have been coming regularly to this part of Uganda since 2006, trying to provide a steady and quality health service for the people living in the vicinity of Lake Bunyonyi.

Daily we examined on average forty to fifty patients during our regular hours and emergency cases and deliveries at other times in the day or night. In 2015 over 3,000 adults and 8,000 children were examined and 96 babies delivered.

Waiting area May 2014

Our working day starts with taking patients’ vitals and writing them in the patients books. The work then continues in our examination rooms, where we talk to and examine our patients with the help of translators. When we reach a diagnosis, the patient goes to the pharmacy, gets written into the registry for the purposes of the local district health officer, and receives the proper medicine. If they require additional treatment or diagnostics, unavailable at our health centre, they are referred to Kabale regional hospital – 10 km away.  During our time at the island we have had quite a few baby deliveries, and more are to be expected to come, when the new maternity ward will be operational. For now, many women still chose to give birth at home, which is partly the reason for a high perinatal children mortality rate. The clinic is offering ante natal visits and maternity aftercare which is making a big difference. All these services are offered free of charge.

The outpatients clinic, built by Edirisa UK and equipped by us, has three examination rooms; a small laboratory with equipment for basic tests; pharmacy; storage room; room for dental services and a room for measuring vital signs of the patients. Medicines are provided by the government and part by the funds gathered in Slovenia. Power for the clinic is from solar panels which we have been slowly increasing. There is now enough power for the use of our dental chair, which we brought with us from Slovenia.

Bwama C3

The local people had not seen anything like it – it moves!

The other part of the building is the staff quarters for visiting doctors –  a living room and kitchen area and two bedrooms. This part is only used by Slovenian doctors and other staff while they are working at Bwama. Outside of this building, there is also a small shower and toilet facilities for us and separate facilities for the patients.

The other building is a maternity ward, part built by the Government and being finished by Edirisa UK, it is almost completed and now needs equipping.

We believe the clinic is a cause well worth supporting and it is our hope that cooperation between the three parties involved continues for years to come.

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A group of doctors who worked at the clinic

 

 

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

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.

Clinic outreach and workshops

January 21, 2014 Leave a comment

The doctors and medics from the University of Slovenia Tropical Medical School have been working hard at our clinic on Bwama Island and in addition are also running small outreach clinics and health workshops in the community.

Last week they visited The Full Gospel Church in Kabale. The Church run a street children rehabilitation program in partnership with Koinonia ministries.They have 15 children who live at the church full-time and 10 or more who come during the day.

The day the doctors arrived there were a total of 27 children and they were taught about how to prevent diseases by practicing good hygiene, dental hygiene, nutrition, and HIV prevention.

All the children were medically examined and treated where necessary, they had their teeth examined and 6 children had teeth extracted.

Everyone was given a tooth-brush and toothpaste and the project was giving de worming tablets for the children.

Tooth-brushes!

Tooth-brushes!

The doctors will be returning to do HIV testing next week.

Thanks to our Operations Manager, George, for organising this workshop and special thanks to the doctors.

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