THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME.
The 2017 Volunteer Programme will start on 1st July and will run for 5 weeks, until 7th August. Lynsey Dower, Mari Lynch, Yvonne Bell, Richie McCarthy, Ciara Dollard and Audrey Meenaghan will be living and working in Madudu, in the district of Mubende in Uganda.
Our first couple of days will be spent near Kampala (the capital city of Uganda) organising money and phones and visiting the Irish Embassy. We will visit Busuubizi Teacher Training College in Mityana, on our way up to Madudu, to see how two of the young women on our Scholarship Programme are getting on.
Our Volunteer Teachers will work in Kawuula Primary School on Monday from 8.30 – 4pm and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8.30am – 1pm. They will teach English, Art and PE to all class levels. Thursday mornings will be spent in Kiruuma Primary School. As Lynsey and Mari are both artists, they will be taking the lead with the art classes. Yvonne, as an IT specialist with experience in project management, will project manage our Building Programme and give computer classes in St. Andrews Kaggwa Secondary School. It will be our second year working with these schools and we are really looking forward to building on the relationships and friendships started last summer, with our Ugandan colleagues and the pupils.
Volunteers will spend their afternoons meeting other NGO’s working in the area and Mubende, walking home with some of the pupils of Kawuula Primary, meeting the girls doing A levels on our Scholarship Programme in St. Andrews Kaggwa Secondary School, meeting our Field Coordinator, Ema, and visiting his plantation, talking with local health care professionals about their daily work and spending time on our Safe Motherhood Programme…
We have developed strong links with the Juliana School for the Deaf, in Mityana, and next July we will spend a few days with them.
You don’t have to be a teacher to join our Volunteer Programme. We can also facilitate health care professionals and general skill volunteers.
Medical Volunteers will work in the Government Clinic in Madudu on Monday from 8.30am -4.30pm and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8.30am – 1pm. They will spend Thursday mornings in St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
General Skills Volunteers will work in our partner schools. The work they do will depend on their particular skills but could involve project managing the Building Programme, helping with the introduction of SODIS (a safe water programme), painting, working in the school garden, using and sharing their administrative skills…talk to us about your experience and expertise and we will place you where you can be of most help.
Volunteers all live together in a house in Nalawondwa. It is basic but clean and secure. We have a house girl to look after the house for us and to cook us local food – although we cook for ourselves on Tuesday nights, traditionally pasta night…. Lámha Suas covers the cost of your food and accommodation in Nalawondwa.
We travel to work and around the local area by boda boda (motorbike). Everyone gets their own driver who will be with you every day. Volunteers pay for their daily transport. Lámha Suas provides you with your own helmet.
Volunteers raise €2000, which goes to pay for our programmes, and they pay for their own airfare. Lámha Suas covers airport transfers, transport to Madudu, Mityana, back to Kampala, we subsidise health insurance with the International Hospital in Kampala and as already stated, cover food and accommodation in Madudu. We can help with fundraising ideas, t-shirts, information leaflets for your donors etc.
To ensure volunteers are properly prepared for their trip, we have 3 pre-trip orientaion days and there will be in-country orientation and an observation day once we arrive in Uganda too. Post trip debriefing is also part of the placement and is a great opportunity to meet up with everyone again a few weeks after our return.
Anyone interested in volunteering with Lámha Suas, should contact Deborah Sheeran at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next July will see the second of our Building Programmes in Kawuula Primary School. We will be building teacher accommodation for the staff of Kawuula Primary School. Currently most of the staff have long distances to travel to work and have to pay rent and transport costs. Living at the school would afford them a little more finanacial security. It would also reduce teacher absenteeism and late arrivals which is good for the children.
Last July, we built a classroom for P5 in Kawuula Primary School. Up until then, they were being taught under a mango tree at the front of the school. It was terrible in the rainy season but was worse in strong sunshine…
Over the past 4 years, our Building Programme has provided Kisoolo Primary School with new latrines and Madudu Primary School with a kitchen, grinding machine, grinding machine shelter, a new staffroom, a Rain Water Harvesting System and five 10,000L water tanks, fruit trees, doors and window shutters on all classrooms, we have renovated the teacher quarters, painted all the classrooms, employed an extra teacher and a school cook and converted the original school building to staff accommodation and a library for the children.
THE SAFE MOTHERHOOD PROGRAMME
We started a Safe Motherhood Programme in partnership with the Rural Health Care Foundation Uganda (RHCF) in January 2015. Dickson of RHCF recruited 20
women from different villages and trained them as Mama Ambassadors.
The Mama Ambassadors educate expectant mothers in safe birthing practises and encourage them to go to the maternity clinic in Madudu to have their babies. At the clinic, they will have access to trained medical personnel. The clinic does not have even basic resources though so each mother is also provided with a Mama Kit
containing: a plastic sheet, surgical gloves, cotton wool, blades for cutting the chord, a water sterilisation tablet and a record card for the baby. The mother needs these, as if she arrived at the clinic to deliver her baby without the Mama Kit, she would be turned away. We also give each mother a mosquito net. Our Mama Ambassadors continue to support the new mothers with visits until the babies are 4 months old.
200 expectant mothers were helped in the first year of the programme. 300 were helped in the second year.
In 2017, another 300 expectant mothers will be helped.
THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME.
Our Scholarship Programme is for female students of St. Andrew Kaggwa Secondary School in Madudu.
Secondary school in Uganda follows the British model of O Levels and A Levels. Students start in S1 (1st year). At the end of S4 they sit O Levels, after which they can go on to do 2 years Teacher Training to become a primary school teacher. They can also go on to do S5 and S6 and then do A Levels, after which they can go to university.
At present, we have 6 young women on the Scholarship Programme. 2 are in St. Andrew’s Kaggwa Secondary School studying for their A Levels – one in S5 and the other in S6. 2 are in Busuubizi Teacher Training College – one in first year and the other in second year. Last August, 2 young women started in Nkumba University. Nakawumba Sarah is studying Agricultural Science. Nakazibwe Josephine is studying Textile Design & Fashion. Both courses are 3 years long.
Sodis is the Solar Disinfection of Water. Kevin McGuigan of the RCSI has been researching it and introducing it to communities in developing countries for over 20 years. He very kindly met us and gave us advice on introducing the programme to Madudu, which we did for the first time in July 2015. We hope to bring it to Kawuula Primary School and Kiruuma Primary School in the near future.
SODIS is a cheap, easy way of making water safe to drink. You can use water from any source. You put it in a clear container, leave it in direct sunlight and after 6 hours, it is safe to drink! If the water was cloudy going into the container it will still be cloudy but all germs and pathogens will be dead and the water is perfectly safe to drink. That’s it! It sounds ridiculously simple and it is!
To hear how it works, click on this link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cotBM0laSSo)
In July 2015, we provided Madudu Primary School with 4 water cooler bottles for each class. The bottles were rotated so that while the children were drinking the water from 2 of the bottles today, the other 2 bottles were in direct sunlight being disinfected for the following day. Cathal Gahan gave talks explaining the programme to the children and teaching staff of Madudu P.S. and St. Andrew’s Kaggwa Secondary School, to a group of 40 community leaders and finally to the whole school community – a group of almost 1000 people.
THE SCHOOL TWINNING PROGRAMME
Under the School Twinning Programme, 5th and 6th class pupils from St. Brigid’s BNS, Killester, Dublin, write to the P5 and P6 pupils of Kawuula Primary School. They send letters or cards on an agreed topic once a month. The children learn how much they have in common and how differences are just that – differences, not necessarily better or worse, just different. We hope this will help to get rid of many of the assumptions the children have about each other’s lives and that they will grow up with feelings of solidarity with one another.