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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:


All schools


Total pass rate



Division 1



Division 2 



Division 3 



Division 4 



Division U 



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 ( 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


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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Child of Hope continues to positively impact the lives of many of the Namatala slum community’s most desperate and impoverished families through the family support programme. 

Check out our new social impact page showing specifics in disaster intervention, family assistance, advocacy, land disputes mediation and family conflict arbitration. Click here…


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Phonics is the breakthrough for Christopher

Posted on February 27, 2017

Christopher.jpgChristopher is a changed boy… thanks to phonics!

Before its introduction, Christopher was struggling to read and write. But since the phonics programme was introduced towards the end of 2015, his reading really took off. By the end of 2016, he was the strongest reader in his class, and was always looking for a book to read! He has just moved up from nursery to join Primary 1 class… that’s him with head teacher Scovia and class teacher Irene.

Mum Evelyn said: “My son joined school at the age of 4yrs and he had behavioural challenges that were affecting his learning at school. His performance was low and the teachers advised that he should be retained in middle class for an extra term to better his performance.” 

At around this time, the new phonics programme was introduced. Christopher improved, and then excelled, becoming one of the best performing children in his class. We hope he continues to enjoy reading, and look forward to seeing how he progresses through primary and beyond.

Read about how we have introduced phonics as our main method for teaching reading and writing with our nursery children.

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Motorbike breakthrough

Posted on February 24, 2017


A slum mum running a tiny business selling beans identified a possible business idea – and has now launched a successful new business selling motorbike spare parts. Better still, she has been able to employ skilled workers to do the maintenance and repair work on the bikes!

Stella Arakit, a 50 year-old mother with a family of five children and three dependants, was inspired by the increasing number of motorbike transport businesses (Boda Bodas) in the Namatala slum. She developed a business plan to start a motorbike spare parts shop to provide motor bike repair services for the local Boda Bodas. Then Stella shared her business idea with our IGA support staff, who gave her encouragement and business counselling on how to realise her dream. 

Stella1.jpgStella patiently saved for eighteen months, supported by her simple food produce business, and was able to generate the necessary cash. This February, Stella realised that she had saved enough money to start up the shop.

The shop is now up and running and attracting customers – and is a good sign that Child of Hope’s family support is having impact in transforming the lives of needy communities.

For more information on our business start-up programme, click here.

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