Due to recent severe flooding, Kampala slum school relocates during recovery effort

Photo: Recent floods destroyed most of our school’s desks and benches; we are operating in makeshift facilities during renovations.

Our native team operating in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, reports that they are still experiencing unusually heavy rains which began in April, causing severe flooding. The destructive weather has affected our Children’s Hope Center since it is located in a colony situated at the bottom of sloped terrain near the shores of Lake Victoria. Thus, sadly, much of the sewage and rainwater drainage of neighborhoods in higher elevations collects in stagnant pools causing flooding problems during the rainy season. The recent floodings washed the soil away, flooded and destroyed our pit latrine toilet, rotted our school desks and washed some of them away, ruined many of our textbooks and other school supplies, and weakened our floors.

The floods have harmed our facilities and hindered our normal operations to the point that we had to delay opening the school at our Children’s Hope Center. We have temporarily moved the school to nearby Kabalagala where 127 children are enrolled who would otherwise have no access to education. We are in the process of completing renovations which are needed to make the facilities at our Kampala Hope Center operational and safe for the children again. Recently, we were able to make some improvements such as repairing the toilet facilities, and phase one of repairing the floors with trucks of soil. We are now in the second phase of repairs which includes adding cement to the floors, purchasing new school supplies and textbooks to replace the damaged ones, and repairing old desks and rebuilding new ones.

07_2016KampalaPicFramePhoto inset: (Top-left): A photo taken before temporarily relocating our school reveals how the flooding washed mud into the classrooms at our Kampala Children’s Hope Center. (Top-right): Our Kampala field director reports the floods have damaged the entire village; much of the sewage and rainwater drainage of neighborhoods in higher elevations collects in stagnant pools causing flooding problems during the rainy season. (Bottom-left): The recent floods have rotted our school desks, and also washed some of them away. (Bottom-right): Our native Kampala team is in the process of renovating and repairing the Hope Center so classes may resume there.

Our long-term goal and the ideal solution to the challenges our Kampala team faces is to relocate permanently. The ongoing flooding creates repetitive problems, especially for the foundations of our buildings — they continue to be weakened by high levels of water, threatening to collapse the buildings at any time. Thus, we need to relocate to an area that will not be severely affected by heavy rains. With your support we hope to purchase a plot of land where we can construct a strong structure for a new school with many classrooms, cultivate a garden, and build an orphan home, a medical clinic, the caretaker’s quarters, a kitchen, and a guest house. We are looking for 5 acres (or more) of land outside of Kampala where the prices are more affordable than in the city. This new location would be a great answer to prayer, and would ensure the safety and comfort of our children.

Many of our students have been rescued from extremely hazardous child labor situations, which are often a precursor to human trafficking. Our director has previously sheltered some of the at-risk orphan students in a transitional boarding facility near the school. We look forward to building better facilities to ensure the best care possible for these children. Orphan girls in Uganda are especially vulnerable to human trafficking, so it is our priority to work for their protection, education, and care. Studies have shown that education is the key to preventing the rampant rise of the trafficking of minors.

In the words of our field director, Joseph: “The area where we are, floods have damaged the whole village and many people are also running away from this village because water went into their houses, children are suffering. We need to buy other places where we can keep children, all the rooms we had were affected, so all we need is God to help us. We thank God so much for the great work He is doing to help change the lives and future of these vulnerable children.”

As always, we are extremely grateful for your faithful prayers and support, enriching the lives of our children physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

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