Update Report The last Trustee trip to Jinja was extrem

 Update Report The last Trustee trip to Jinja was extremely busy as we had a medical team Hamish and Mina, film crew from Canada, Ben and Vicki, Swiss friends Ursula and Heinke, Tessa and I all there at the same time. Cars and drivers proved a challenge for Dave but it all worked out and we had a very productive time. Tessa and I arrived a few days ahead of everyone else which was a very useful time to spend with the heads of the schools, the Jinja team, Ivan, Melissa and Damali. We had a slow start on the first day of everyone else’s arrival as the weather was so bad no one could go out until nearly lunch time. This did mean juggling the film crews schedule about a bit, but one of the joys of Uganda is you learn to be flexible and to go with the day! As always everyone made us very welcome, it was good to be able to spend time with the Jinja team and catch up with all that is going on. Spending time together in the evenings is particularly useful as we have a chance to catch up on the day when everyone has come back from their day. St Patrick’s Primary school This school is going from strength to strength. Since the new kitchen, repaint and new trees were planted the school looks much smarter which has meant more parents have opted to send their children there. The head Michael is always there and is a very forward thinking, proactive leader. He has excellent staff who do their best with all the children they have. Michael has even allowed some students in their twenties to join the classes; they are young people who have never had a chance at an education when younger and now want to acquire some basic literacy and maths skills. The teacher training three days that were attended by all our primary school staff was held at St Patricks, it proved to be very successful with the staff enjoying exchanging ideas and learning from the trainers who came in. The washrooms are dangerous but we have received a donation to rebuild them and this will be done very soon. Kitchen Outdoor exams break time washrooms Great Hopes Primary School. This is quite a new project and continually surprises us as they get excellent results despite having virtually no facilities at all. The head and director of studies are hands on teachers and managers of the whole school of over 250 students. The first day we went Florence, the director of studies, was making porridge for them all as the cook as off sick! This is especially hard as there is no water supply nearby, but with this in mind we have just had HYT build a water tank which should be ready for use now. This was funded by Leighton Park School when they visited in October. We have also added windows and doors to the main block of the school to protect the new desks and benches Leighton Park put in during their stay. New blackboards have helped and we will be putting in bookshelves this week. Water Tank kitchen classroom Great Hopes is one of our more rural projects but such a good use of funds as they serve a wide population and get such good results with the little they have. School attendance is good and the school is well kept and well ordered. Buyala Primary School We spent some time with the new head of Buyala and it would be unfair to comment on his progress as he had only been there two weeks. However our first impressions were positive the school seemed to have better discipline, be generally tidier more organised. Dave and Emma were on the interview panel for this appointment he was recommended by Amina, the Director of Studies, and Sarah the old Head of Victoria Nile. He had worked for her at Victoria Nile for 8 years and had been a head somewhere else after that. He did push for us to do the second phase of development at the school, especially as they have no nursery now due to lack of space; they had pulled the old one down! We made it clear that there would have to be a period of time where we would need reassuring the school could look after what they had before we would even consider another phase. New Building Old Building Mutai Senior School Mutai continues to be the Flagship school for JET. They embrace everything we try to do for them and are always willing to help themselves as much as they can. The school, as always looks well cared for and professional, the vocational courses have started and are proving very popular. A new tailoring teacher has been employed and these classes seem to be going well. Agriculture is also now taught with two cows, both pregnant, and two goats already onsite. School have employed a herdsman for security and the welfare of the animals. The pig pen is ready with the pigs expected to arrive any day. Thoughtfully the track to the pigs is separate to the track to the other animals, so the Muslim students do not have to pass the pigs on their way to tend the other animals. Hair and beauty and carpentry are two other subjects on offer which the school have put in themselves. We do have the foundations next to the newest classroom which, if carpentry proves popular, we may roof to give shelter to this department. Tailoring Cowshed possible carpentry site We are working towards putting on another careers day with HYT taking about the building trade, an electrician and carpenter we use will speak, a teacher, nurse and secretary will also come in and Angelo to take about micro financing and small business opportunities. The results at Mutai are not as good as we have hoped despite all the best efforts of everyone concerned. Head Emma thought a lot of this was to do with the student’s lack of English understanding, the students are taught English but speak local languages at home and to each other. We have now employed a part time English teacher to supplement their studies who is overseeing that all lessons are taught in English and she is taking additional classes on Saturdays for examination years. Despite two great labs science results were also poor, again partly due to poor English one suspect, but we have employed a part time science teacher to help here as well. He was recommended by Amina, Tess and I met him and were very impressed, his job is instructing teachers so we are hoping he will be able to put good practices in place. Dave’s parents are both science teachers and we have sent them the curriculum books from Uganda. They are putting together packs using lab aid and their technicians to ensure the students have all they need to be able to carry out the experiments and practical work. They will visit this summer so will be able to see first-­‐hand how to put this into practice. Mama Jane Agnes was thrilled to see us and Tess and I spent a good hour with her during our first few days, she is thrilled with the new kitchen which was completed just before Xmas. The tailoring department continues to make dresses for Son Rise and bags for Mahdvani. After Jacqui’s class in October I am pleased to report both items are much better made now and look so much more professional. Mindful that Son Rise get much of our donated clothing this time we made sure we had plenty of bigger things for Mama Jane children. Son Rise Son Rise consists of three home, baby, children’s and Merembe Cottage. Merembe is for girls abandoned on the streets between the ages of 10 and 16. We don’t do much in the way of support here except that Jacqui coaches the girls in tailoring and we buy the sugar bags and beads from them. This helps them to support themselves. We do make small donations of clothes, toiletries, Maca pads and food. The baby home continues to care for about 25 under 3 year olds.Each time a new little one arrives they are given to Auntie Peace to care for and within a matter of days they are chubby and contented! The home is clean, well ordered, a very caring and loving enviroment that encourages the babies to thrive. We had a particlular concern over one little girl, Nicolette who at 2 years old had failed to thrive. Despite being seen by a paediatrician on our last trip and a trip to hospital for many tests she was always limp and unresponsive, preferring to sit in our arms head resting against us. Jacqui and I had spent several hours with her in October trying to get her to respond. She would only take a bottle of milk, refusing to eat any solid food at all. Luckily Heinke, who is a physiotherapist specialing in children and babies, was with us. She spent time very gently working with Nicolette by massaging the top of her neck, she found that there was a lot of tension and pressure.( I may have got this bit wrong as I didn’t understand the medical termanology!)Resulting in Nicolette feeling as if she had a permanent migraine. The transformation was dramatic and wonderful to see, immediately she started to respond to toys, smiled at us and attempted to stand and crawl. Before After After three days she was having a great time discovering her world and is now being helped to gain strength with one of our volunteers working with her each day. The other babies are generally fit and well, even the newest ones who are underweight were declared healthy by Dr Hamish! Son Rise Children’s home. The children are all doing well but the home is generally not fit for purpose any longer it is far too small. Six new children joined from the baby home last month and although they have settled well it is very crowded there. Brenda manages and lives at the home, she is truly amazing and runs the home with such care and attention. The homework club is progressing well and the teachers are diligent in making sure the educational supplies are well looked after and the children’s progress monitored. They are clearly trying hard to make sure that the guidelines put in place during the last teacher visit are carrying on. The colourful counting egg boxes have been retrieved from the cook who was storing eggs in them!!! The children’s academic records are shared each term with Sally and we keep a record in the Jinja office so we can track their progress. Generally all the Victoria Nile children are making great progress with the ones at St Patrick’s considerably slower. This is to be expected as Victoria take the brightest children. Medical notes It was wonderful to have Hamish and Mina with us on this trip and to get an insight on all they do for the children in the orphanages. As we are moving towards welfare and healthcare as well as education, Mina and Hamish made several useful contacts at Kikira hospital on the Madhvani estate and at Soft Power Health. Many years ago I went to the SoftPower health centre and it was very impressive then, but it has clearly moved on since then and Mina and Hamish had a very interesting meeting with Jessie Stone who started it all. Hamish did medical examinations on all the Son Rise children and babies and also all the Mama Jane children who were at home. I will leave Hamish to update you on the medical side of things but we were very pleased to hear that generally the children were fitter and healthier than on his last visit. Son Rise were particularly fortunate to have Hamish there when a young family of three girls were brought in aged 10, 3 and 7 months. The 10 year old had already been living at Merembe but mum had just died leaving the other two. The baby was very smiley and contented, despite being very small and the 10 year old is happy and healthy too, but sadly the three year old has many health issues. She had jiggers and was severely malnourished but also had a discoloured eye and skin. Hamish has put a care plan in place with Dave so that they can do the best possible for Cindy. It is a testament to how resiliant these little ones are though as we returned two days later to see Cindy running about with a lolly, smiling away! She has a long road ahead but she is much better off at Son Rise than left in her village. Nurse Rose is doing an excellent job and she is always thrilled to be able to work alongside Hamish. Hamish has encouraged her to keep medical records on the children and to highlight any major problems. She seems to be doing this and is also aware of the children’s ongoing health issues. Mina and Hamish spent a lot of time putting all the medical data from the children onto a spreadsheet that will make a lasting record for us to update their details when necessary. Medical for babies. Inhaler instruction. SoftPower. Kikira Hospital Financial matters Ben spent a day with Dave and Marcus helping them to sort out the finanaces between HYT and JET. Ursula and Heinke had raised a lot of money before they came out which they withdrew during our stay and spent on the various projects. A large market (the old market, despite being opened the new one isn’t used!) shop so the children had plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, new mattress covers for all beds at Son Rise, mosquito nets, a bike for the herdsman at Mutai to name but a few things. The bike was a necessity as it gets the animal feed and carries it on his back at the moment. Ben with baby Emma with the Nelly at the Richard Herdsman’s Bike market New Mosquito nets for Son Rise General We had a busy but productive trip, although travelling out together meant it did seem a little rushed at times it did enable us to understand what we all do towards the success of JET. Dave, Emma and Nelly are doing a wonderful job and work well together, Dave has taken the educational side of the Trust to the next level and we are making good progress in all projects. Angelo did a picture with some of the children’s hand to auction, it was a bit bigger than we imagined but I know it will look stunning on the wall of a large London office somewhere! Sue