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Latest video: Now I'm Free

Posted on July 18, 2016

Here's a terrific new five-minute video about our work in the Namatala slum. Fear permeates everyone's lives in the Namatala Slum... but Child of Hope is working to bring hope, God’s love and release from the chains of poverty to young slum kids and their families.

Those of you met Bex Okotel on her UK summer tour may have seen this video... but it's worth another look!

If you'd like to see the video full-screen, please click here to watch it on YouTube - or click here to see it on Vimeo.

Soundtrack: The song ‘Do not be Afraid’ by artist Kaleb Jones is used with permission. The Music Bed, LLC. 9555 Harmon Road, Fort Worth, TX 76177 1-800-380-8154

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No more mud!

Posted on July 12, 2016

Pavers_0835.jpgIn order to reduce the amount of dust and mud carried into the school by all the kids coming and going, we have laid paving slabs on our lower playground, which is situated in front of the school. The area was previously flattened soil.

It also now gives our nursery children somewhere relatively clean to play and rainwater drains more easily away from the front of the school. It’s made a huge difference!

We didn't buy the pavers ready-made... we had them made onsite using a mixture of stone dust, cement, sand and red oxide. There were some issues with quality, so we had to change contractors part way (that’s often the way!). They were dried in the sun before being laid… it was tricky making sure levels and lines were all accurate! 

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IMG_0817.jpgLucy Swift, who is the deputy headteacher at St Mary Redcliffe Primary school in Bristol, emailed and told us about some terrific fundraising their children had been doing for Child of Hope. They raised the fantastic total of £1229.15 for sports equipment!

Lucy said: “I just wanted to let you know about the fundraising event that we have just held for Child of Hope. All classes held sponsored events the week before half-term – these varied according to what each class wanted to do. 

Early Years classes rode bikes all day; one year 1 class came to school in their pyjamas and one year 1 class held a dance-athon; year 2 timed how long it would take for each class to reach a thousand skips; one year 3 class did hula hooping and one year 3 class a dance-athon; year 4 did obstacle laps around the playground; one year 5 class did a read-athon and the other year 5 class had a run in their pyjamas; and lastly year 6 held a sponsored silence. 

They presented Bex Okotel – one of our directors in Uganda – with the cheque when she visited the school last week. Thank you everyone at the school, what a terrific donation!

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Rabbit, rabbit

Posted on July 1, 2016

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While sorting out the compound for the duck programme recently, we thought it was a good chance to kick-start our rabbit project again… so now we have six new baby bunnies and four adult rabbits who are enjoying their new enclosure.

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School bands perform to help slum kids

Posted on June 27, 2016

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Jazz bands from Lytchett Minster and Canford schools – and the swing band from Sherborne School – performed at an amazing fundraising event on Saturday for charity Child of Hope.

Our Ugandan director Bex Okotel was formerly a student at Lytchett Minster school and a founder member of its jazz band in 1984.

The school bands came together to fundraise for the charity, and also to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Bex’s parents, Poole couple Les and Gill Sherlock. Les is a piano tuner and has tuned pianos at the schools for many years.

Together they raised over £3,300 for Child of Hope.

Les Sherlock said: ““We were thrilled with the whole event held in the wonderful new arts block in Lytchett Minster School. Thank you everyone who performed and all who supported and gave so generously in time and money toward our daughter’s cause.”

Bex, who is currently touring the UK to meet supporters, said: “It was a fabulous evening and we were all thoroughly impressed by the bands from Lytchett Minster, Sherborne and Canford - such incredible talent.  

“It was a real treat for me to see how the music department at Lytchett has come on in leaps and bounds. They performed brilliantly and, of course, the glorious venue of the new arts block helped too!  

“I’m so grateful for the continued support and generosity of our local community who, unswayed by economic uncertainty and gloom, resolutely choose to help the poorest and most vulnerable where I work in Uganda. Huge thanks to everyone involved and all those who came along.”

For more pictures, view this online album

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Dancing to beat poverty

Posted on June 24, 2016

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Huge thanks to Dorset-based Jane Farrell Ballet School for donating to Child of Hope the proceeds of £220 from its 25th anniversary show at Pavilion Dance in Bournemouth.

 

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In the press

Posted on June 23, 2016

Bex’s mum and dad are featured in the Bournemouth Daily Echo today – along with the fundraiser concert they have organised for this Saturday for Child of Hope. 

In celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary, Les and Gill Sherlock will host an evening of jazz & swing, food & fun on June 25. It takes place at Lytchett Minster School in Dorset, featuring some of the best school swing and jazz bands in the area. Everyone is welcome.

Tickets cost:

ADULT: £12.00 inc hog roast, or £8.00 concert only
CHILD:  £8.00 inc hog roast, or £4.00 Concert only 

To see their story in the Daily Echo, click here. 

For more details of the concert, and how to buy tickets, click here.

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Duck!

Posted on June 16, 2016

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A great friend of ours who lives near our school had far too many ducks and asked if we could take some off her hands. Well, we’re pretty keen for our children to learn about how to look after animals and birds – so we jumped at the chance and sectioned off a portion of our land next to the school for the ‘duck playground’!

We are now the proud owners of 60 ducks and the children are having great fun feeding them, sorting out their house, filling up their ‘swimming pools’ and generally looking forward to when the eggs will arrive!

 

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Meet Bex in the UK

Posted on May 30, 2016

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Bex Okotel, one of our Uganda directors, is making a solo return trip to the UK from Uganda during June and July to meet as many friends, supporters and sponsors as possible.

If you’d like her to visit your church, school, group of friends or business colleagues during that period, please contact us and we'll do all we can to set it ups. She has a great story to tell! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sew there you are!

Posted on May 26, 2016

DSC00892.jpgQuite a while back we had a very generous donation to help our beleaguered school tailor. Finally, after a lot of research we have good news. 

Sarah makes over 400 uniforms each year for our children, plus uniforms for our school guards, cleaners and kitchen workers. She really has her hands full and has been finding it difficult to get everything made on time using her treadle machine.   

Despite our best efforts we really struggled to find an electric sewing machine that would be ‘man enough’ for every day, heavy use.  

A couple of months ago, Bex stumbled across a tiny stall in the local market where a man was selling spare parts for industrial sewing machines.  Cutting a long story short, she sent Joseph (our new operations manager) to go and investigate and we now have two brand new industrial strength sewing machines from Kampala!  

The first machine is a standard sewing type which can run up uniforms super-fast while also able to make button holes and sew on buttons.  The second machine is an overlocker – this helps finish off the edge of the material so that it doesn’t fray.  

We had to get our friend Ken (the electrician) to come in and install power to Sarah’s small office but the smile on Sarah’s face has all been worth it! That’s her in the picture getting training from technicians. Many thanks to everyone at Wimborne Elim Church for their generosity and patience!

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