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Incredible transformation for Rachael

Posted on May 22, 2017

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Over her whole time in Child of Hope, Rachael, one of the children in nursery top class, had not been a happy girl. 

Nursery staff observed a catalogue of problems including general poor health, poor nutrition, and very low self-esteem. Rachael was always crying and was unable to explain what she needed to the teachers. Although we identified her as being a bright girl, she was making little progress because her basic needs were not being met. 

Nursery Rachel (5).JPGHeadteacher, Amulen Scovia, approached the school nurse to get a medical assessment, and then recommended that the Family Support team carry out a home visit. It was found that Rachael was sleeping with the goats (outside the main house), was being inadequately fed and was not being washed. She was also being used for general labour. 

It was agreed that regular home follow ups would be made by both the Family Support Unit and nursery staff. Rachael was also put on the feeding programme. 

Since then, we have seen an incredible transformation in Rachael this term! She is now clean and smart when she comes to school and she always has a big smile on her face. She is active in lessons and is making excellent progress in both Language and Mathematics. She has made friends and she enjoys playing with them at break times. We are excited to see how she continues to progress over the course of this year!

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Jo visits the school

Posted on May 17, 2017

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CoH UK volunteer Jo Edom loves the impact of our work with slum children – so she decided to travel to Uganda (on her own!) and visit the school.

Long-term supporter Jo was very impressed with what she saw. During her two weeks, she got involved with the various different departments, especially the family support unit visiting with the most needy families around the community and some of the mums we have help set up in business. 

Jo visiting.jpgJo said: “I am really impressed with the services Child of Hope offers. As well as a fantastic primary school, the IGA and Welfare services are a real bonus for the community. Probably the key challenge that Child of Hope faces is finding enough funds to support this ever-expanding organisation!”

She spoke to Rita Nandudu at the school in an interview about her experience…

Jo, is this your first time in Africa?

I’ve been in Africa before – I lived in Zimbabwe for four years when my husband had a job with Barclays bank in Zimbabwe.

But was this been your first time in Uganda and at Child of Hope?

IMG_7549.jpgYes; I stayed in Entebbe for two nights then travelled through to Mbale. I was amazed when I saw the school building – it looks more amazing than it in the pictures I’ve seen. After driving through the Namatala community and its small houses, then seeing Child of Hope’s large premises, it is amazing to see. 

How do you feel about Uganda?

It seems much greener that other countries in Africa. But when I walked around Namatala, I was shocked. I’ve been to so many places where people are poor, but I had never where people are as poor as in Namatala. It’s the most needy place with the most needy people I’ve seen. Then, when I arrived at the gate of the school and all the little children came running to shake my hands, it was wonderful.

When and how did you join Child of Hope?

It was about seven years ago; I attended a church service in England where Moses and Bex Okotel were speaking. They talked about Child of Hope being a community-based organisation that was in need of help for children and their mothers in the Namatala community. I quickly became interested and asked them what I could do to help. Now I help with the finances, keeping track of donations coming in and working with the team to explore fund raising opportunities.

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At the Elim Leaders' conference

Posted on May 9, 2017

CoH Elim stand 2017.jpgThis week we are again exhibiting at the Elim Leaders' Summit at the Harrogate International Centre.

Here is volunteer Diane Aylett from Wimborne Elim Church; she and hubby Alan are manning the stand to tell Elim pastors all about the great work Child of Hope is doing for slum kids and their families!

Child of Hope is an Elim-approved organisation and our Ugandan school is often visited by pastors from the UK.

 

 

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Growing our own food

Posted on May 4, 2017

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An idea for a new project that began in January will soon bear fruit… well, vegetables, actually!

In an attempt to reduce the cost of food at our school, we are utilising two acres of land we own in nearby Namabasa to grow beans and maize. Once we have harvested the crops, we will then decide whether to sell them or use them for our own food, depending upon circumstances at the time.

Local community people were hired to clear the land for ploughing and 23 pupils’ mums were paid to do the planting – these are mums we have helped with a start-up business.

Depending on how the project goes, we may eventually also provide seeds to parents so that they can carry out small-scale farming themselves – which will help them fight poverty by providing some of their fresh food and/or produce crops to sell.

 

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Top results!

Posted on April 26, 2017

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We have found some interesting stats from the national 2016 Primary Leaving Exam results – which show that Child of Hope primary pupils achieved exam results well above average, with a terrific 100% pass rate.

2016 results/pass rates:

Level

All schools

CoH

Total pass rate

87% 

100%

Division 1

10.2% 

36% 

Division 2 

40.5%

55%

Division 3 

15.5%  

0% 

Division 4 

15.5%

9%

Division U 

13.3%

0%

Note: Division 1 is best, division 4 is still a pass. Division U is a fail.

And more news... we have now been authorised as an official examination centre for the Primary Leaving Examinations – so from now on our pupils can sit the exams here, rather than going off to another school to take them. That will save us a lot of hassle, so we’re very pleased!

 

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The founders of Child of Hope Uganda, Moses and Bex Okotel, will be in the UK for four weeks from May 15 to June 12 – and they’d love to visit supporters, sponsors, churches and schools! 

If you’d like to meet them, please contact Phil Dowding (phil.dowding@childofhopeuganda.org or 01202 697201) with some possible dates. 

But please note that our office is closed for Easter from April 12–18, re-opening on April 19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter cards that raise funds for CoH

Posted on March 27, 2017

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Our friends at Just Cards Direct have lots of Easter cards available... and if you nominate CoH as your charity, a donation goes to our work to help slum children!

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Mary's new home

Posted on March 22, 2017

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Single mum Mary Nakiru has had some big ups and downs in her life but we’ve been there to support her more than once… and now her small business is doing well, she is building a new home!

Mary (49) has 6 children and lives in the Namatala slum. She came to our attention in 2011 when her husband passed on after a long illness and the family needed help in terms of burial expensesAt that time we took care of a number of expenses, including food for the family, transportation of the body for burial in the village and other burial related items.

Life continued to prove tough for Mary and her family; she fell sick for three months and the children had no food, clothes, shelter and all the general household items needed to support them. Child of Hope stepped in to offer medical care to Mary and a free school place to daughter Mary, now in Primary 4 Class.

Mary Nakiru_1481.JPGThen the suffered an arson attack in February 2016 following the Ugandan presidential elections. She lost all her household property in the attack (picture) but she and her children escaped with only minor injuries. Mary was helped to recover from her loses and Child of Hope assisted her in renting another property. 

Mary started to dream about one day owning her own house, and through the help of our Family Support team, Mary was encouraged to save weekly towards building her own house. By December 2016, Mary had saved the equivalent of just over £100, enough money to start building her three-roomed permanent house. That’s built from bricks and cement, as opposed to bricks and mud. Right now, Mary is confident she will be able to complete her new house by June 2017.

 

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Family rescue

Posted on March 14, 2017

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While doing their rounds in the Namatala slum, our family support team learned of a suffering pregnant woman and 2 year-old son who had been abandoned by a husband and were really struggling without much hope. So our social workers visited Annette (23) in her temporarily-rented home, and found the situation worse then they thought… Annette now also had a 3 day-old new baby girl, who was looking very weak and sick. So they decided to help.

Annette has been unable to pay rent for some time, and the landlord was allowing her to stay in the one room building until she recovered from the pregnancy. She would then, most likely, be evicted. Annette sat on her mat bed (which is the only belonging she has) carrying her newborn baby, while her young son sat nearby. 

Apparently Annette had not eaten any food for two days apart from the cup of black tea a friendly neighbour had given her – and she gave most of that to her son. The baby was born weak and sick with malaria and had to be hospitalized for three days.

Annette had occasionally attended the same church as Moses and Bex, which donated some money and clothes, while Child of Hope donated 10 kilos of rice and 10 kilos of beans.

She is currently facing a difficult life of no income, food, home or material items. The report from the social workers suggests that Annette is in an emergency situation and if nothing is done soon, the situation and this young family’s suffering will only worsen. We normally only work with families that have a child at our school, but in this case we will continue to monitor and help her… and try to ensure she isn’t evicted.

She told the social workers that she was an orphan who was raised by different people in her village. From a young age, she had worked as a housekeeper and had often been abused and mistreated as a child. Her decision to try and find a husband was as a result of all the suffering she had gone through.

 

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Rising from the ashes

Posted on March 7, 2017

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Another of our pupils and her family suffered an arson attack in February, totally destroying their mud hut home and all their belongings.

Thankfully, Rebecca (14) and her six family members managed to escape unharmed and our welfare team responded quickly to relocate the family to a safer place. Child of Hope is assisting with the cost of their new rented home, at 20,000 Ugandan shillings (around £5) a month.

The picture shows Rebecca and her sister with Charles (one of our social workers) in the remains of their home.

For more information about the social impact of helping families like these, please click here.

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