Kampala, Uganda: Construction completed for new Children’s Hope Center School building; one orphan girl’s uplifting story; end-of-year news roundup

Photo: Students are happy that our new school building facility is now on higher ground away from its previous location which was prone to frequent flooding.

We are happy to report that at the end of December, construction was completed for a new building for our Children’s Hope Center School in Kampala, Uganda. A new building has been much-needed for a long time because our previous location faced many challenges, especially continual damage caused to that vulnerable facility during severe flash floods. Thanks to your support and our partnership with the “Lift Up” organization, we were able to shift the Hope Center School to a building near our team’s local church which will keep our children and teachers on dry ground even during the rainy season.

To keep the project economical it was constructed with iron sheets, timbers, and cemented poles. However as this is a very common and well-proven construction technique in Uganda, we anticipate that the facility should stand for a good number of years to come. The new building has been painted with a beautiful blue color. The building consists of two structures with six classrooms (3 classrooms for each structure), a teacher’s lounge, and a storeroom. However, we are in need of some items for the school to function optimally, and for the children’s comfort. We need to raise $250 in order to purchase 6 chalkboards for the classrooms — right now the teachers are using simple boards made of plywood, but they are difficult to write on.

Currently, the children are using adult-sized chairs from the church, but they are uncomfortable and impractical for them since their feet cannot touch the floor. We also need tables and desks where the children can learn and study efficiently. Thus, we are seeking to raise $1,737 in order to purchase 150 child-sized plastic chairs, 10 tables, and 10 desks.

Through our Hope Center School, we are also able to serve 3 fresh-cooked meals a day — such as posho (corn meal), rice, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, and sometimes meat — to approximately 190 children when funding is adequate to do so — that includes both our students and other children in the local slum colony where our school is located. Our faithful field director reports: “We thank you so much for all that you are doing to help save the lives and futures of these children. We are happy for the new school building and that now we are safe from floods. Thanks a lot and may God bless you all. Amen.”

In more good news, our 168 students took their end-of-semester exams on November 29th and everyone passed with good scores and were promoted to their next grade levels. To celebrate, our team organized a special event in December where the children enjoyed music, dancing, acting in plays, swimming in a portable pool, face painting, and delicious food such as rice, bananas, posho and meat, beans, and nuts. The new school semester begins on February 10th, and in preparation over the holiday break, the children are receiving special tutoring sessions for school subjects that were difficult for them such as social studies, science, and mathematics.

Our 23 rescued orphans (10 boys and 13 girls, ages 4-15) are doing well in school, but they still face some health challenges. These children came under our team’s care in late 2018 after being rescued off the streets by our Kampala director and the local police. The children were previously living in very dangerous situations: alone on the streets, eating from garbage, begging for food from strangers, and without access to clothing, medical care, or an education.

Now these children are living in safety under the loving care of our field director and volunteers from his church, and they receive nutrition support and an education at our Children’s Hope Center School. However, so far we only have 10 mosquito nets and 10 beds, and 3 children sleep in each bed, so when any of the children get sick, illnesses such as malaria, measles, head lice, and diarrhea tend to spread quickly amongst the other children.

We are teaching the children the importance of hygiene to stop the spread of infectious diseases, but we also are praying for donations to cover the costs of 16 more beds and 14 more mosquito nets to create a healthier environment for these children. Thus, we are seeking to raise $1,800 to purchase the additional beds and mosquito nets. These funds are sought on top of our usual operating budget needs.

Today we’d like to share the uplifting story of one of our orphans, 8-year-old Miremba*:

My name is Miremba and I am 8 years old studying at the Kampala Hope Center. I lived on the streets without any help and my life was very difficult because I had nobody to help me until Pastor Joseph found me. I lost both of my parents and I was left alone with my uncle who had a bad wife who beat me all of the time. I was forced to run away from him and live on the streets.

I thank God for the Kampala Hope Center and all of the directors for supporting me and the other children to have a place to sleep, to get medical care, and to go to school. I am happy that I did well in school and I am being promoted to another class next semester. Thanks a lot and may God bless you in all things!

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* Names are changed to protect our program beneficiaries.

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