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Beautiful crafts from the vocational class

Posted on December 9, 2016

Craft Jewellry_1814.jpgEarlier this year we started a new vocational programme for those of our children that have significant learning difficulties. Well, they're getting really good at their practical projects!

Each morning, these children follow a different style of syllabus to other children, which focuses on the simple basics of reading, writing and maths. Then, in the afternoon, the children have practical lessons in carpentry, tailoring or craft-making.

Over the last few months, we have been excited to see the children getting to grips with their new skills. Those children in the craft-making class are now producing some really beautiful items, including ladies tote bags and jewellery.  

The standard of design and workmanship is now impressive and the children take great pride in their work. In their small group, the children often spur one another on and can be quick to point out (in an entirely constructive way, usually!) any errors that they see in each other’s work.

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A huge 'thank you' to everyone who has donated to the Child of Hope children's slum Christmas party appeal – we're well on the way to organising an amazing party, plus gifts, a slap-up meal and clothes each.

We are 40% of the way to our goal... the party costs roughly £4 per child, and there will also be parents, siblings and local VIPs.

Chan (above) and all the kids love this annual event, putting on lots of dances and drama... it goes on for hours!

Donate button.pngIf you've not yet had a chance to donate, please could you help us? Just £4 will pay for a child... but feel free to give more. You can donate safely online by credit/debit card or Paypal, or you can post a cheque or donate via Justgiving.

Any fundraising for the event would also be very welcome... if you fancy doing any festive events (like carol singing... craft fayre... selling mince pies), feel free to join in the fun! You can link in with our appeal page on Justgiving.

And you can even donate by text! Simply text SLUM37 £…. (an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.

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New homes for needy families

Posted on December 2, 2016

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One of the challenges faced by families of our school children is the ever-increasing cost of rent in Namatala – and it’s forcing some of our children to drop out of school and move away. But thanks to a generous grant, this new project will go a long way to provide affordable homes for the families involved.

Our IGA programme has been a huge benefit to many parents and enabled them to cope with the constant increases in costs of living. However, some of our children are looked after by elderly grandmothers (and even great-grandmothers!) who find it very difficult to work. In the UK, such elderly women would be receiving benefits. Here, however, there is no help at all.

Many of these elderly women feel that they have no choice now but to go back and live in their rural villages. This would mean that, if they wanted their children to remain at the school, then Child of Hope would have to try and find foster families for their children or, alternatively, bring the children into our Children’s Home. Of course, this means separating the family, which is something that we really want to avoid.

So, we have bought some land and have started to build some basic accommodation, which we will rent to ten small families at an extremely reasonable. This will enable the families to stay together and the children to remain at home with their other family members, with one of the families employed as caretaker of the plot.

Building work began last week of ten rooms, two pit latrines, and three bathrooms, being constructed using metal poles as columns, local bricks and mud, cement plastering of walls and floor, and timber and iron sheets. Each room will be 12 feet by 8 feet in size.

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Today is the start of our Christmas Party Appeal 2016! Last year was a great success with our children (and their mums and a sibling), all having a fantastic time... this year we want to do the same, but of course, now we have 490 children including the ones at secondary school.

So, today we’re launching our appeal; it costs just £4 to provide each Child of Hope pupil with a present and party food. Please donate to help us give the kids a day to remember. You could buy it for yourself, or pay for a friend!

Donate button.pngAny donations would be helpful, small or large, and we'll e-mail you a ‘thankyou’ card to print out and pop on your mantlepiece with all your other Christmas cards!

And you can even donate by text! Simply text SLUM37 £…. (an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.

If you'd like to help us with fundraising for the event, you can link in with our appeal page on Justgiving.

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VIP Owen pops in

Posted on November 29, 2016

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Owen Smith.02462.jpgThis week we were privileged to host Owen Smith MP, the British Labour Party MP for Pontypridd. He had a tour of the slum, visited a few homes of Child of Hope children and saw a couple of businesses started under our IGA scheme. Finally, they had a tour of the school and our kids performed some dances for them.

Owen was accompanied by three other guests, including Roger Neuberg, who funded our playground equipment through his rotary groups, and two members of Welsh twinning organisation PONT. It was great to see you all, thanks for coming!

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Chan’s mum (we helped save her leg)

Posted on November 25, 2016

Chan & Joyce_1868.JPGChan is a young boy in the top class of our nursery school. Some years ago, his mum Joyce broke her leg and, although the leg seemed to have healed, Joyce continued to have pain and regular ulcers on it. Recently, the pain and ulcers became very severe. The local hospital believed that there was a serious infection and even gangrene in the bone and said that the leg would have to be amputated.

We were extremely keen to try and see if we could save her leg as it would make things extremely tough for Joyce to survive in the slum with only one leg, especially as the dad is not on the scene. So, we arranged to take her to an Orthopaedic Hospital in Kumi (about an hour’s drive away). 

After quite a complicated operation, costing around £750 and paid for by Child of Hope, Joyce’s leg has been saved and she is due to come home from the hospital at the end of this week. Chan is eagerly looking forward to seeing his mother again!

Incidentally, Chan has never met his father; he was one of many Chinese workers who arrived in Uganda to build roads and then disappeared again.

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Team wedding

Posted on November 14, 2016

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Here are some photos from a wedding that took place over the weekend… our welfare deputy manager Pius married his beloved Ruth. The wedding ceremony took place at the nearby City Victory Church, with the reception at Child of Hope school. 

Pius wanted to celebrate his wedding with the community, so he gave out an open invitation… and there were over 800 people at the reception. It was beautiful!

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New statistics show rise from worst poverty

Posted on November 4, 2016

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We now have 162 of our parents benefiting from our highly successful Income Generating Activity (IGA) programme. New statistics from a survey of our IGA parents and their families reveal how our children are gradually moving away from abject poverty, thanks to the businesses of their parents. 

•   95% now live somewhere better than a hut.  (2015: 89%)

•   100% eat at least two meals a day.  (2015: 100%)

•   52% have at least two pairs of shoes.  (2015: 48%)

•   75% sleep on a mattress rather than on the ground.  (2015: 46%)

•   100% have access to clean water and a working pit latrine.  (2015: 100%)

•   69% of the parents are now able to afford to pay school fees for another child to go to a state school.  (2015: 61%)

You can see two videos filmed in the Namatala slum of some of the mums who have benefited from the scheme, and how that has influenced the lives of their children.

To read more about our IGA scheme, please click here.

If you'd like to help a young mum start her own small business with a £25 start-up grant, please click here.

And to part-sponsor one of our IGA staff for £10 per month, please click here

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Vaughan Gething visit

Posted on November 1, 2016

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Great to host a VIP visit from the Welsh Assembly and to meet Vaughan Gething, cabinet secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport.

DSC02329.jpgVaughan came with Jon Townley, who’s the head of International Sustainable Development at the Welsh Assembly. Out in the slum they visited one of our IGA ladies who runs two businesses (a hair salon and a shop), the (very poor) home of a new baby class child, and then our children’s home to hear about our new respite/rehab programme and fostering programme.  

After that they came to the school and saw the roof, which had been partly paid for with a donation from the Welsh Assembly… a nursery class and heard a nursery song from all the nursery kids… the health department and the IGA office (including crafts made by IGA mums)… and on to the vocational class to see their carpentry, sewing and jewellery items. They also visited a couple of primary lessons and then our assembly hall for songs and dances by the primary children.

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