2017 Annual Report

Dear supporters and sponsors,

Last year was a challenging but fruitful year in our programming. Before we share with you our annual updates, we would like to restate our core values in the struggle for grassroots development.

We began operations by assisting local girls to go to school, with the long term aim of increasing the capacity of local families to support the education of their children. Since then, we have worked continuously with the communities we serve through a wide range of projects focused on education, livelihood, agriculture, preventive health care support and cultural exchange. Through these initiatives, we have had strong support from the local communities.

Our focus is on capacity building in and for rural communities, especially the education and empowerment of girls, women and children.

Our emphasis is on community participation and leadership which helps community members work together, own the achievements facilitated by our programs, and sustain positive change. We are disability inclusive.

Our Vision is to have empowered communities that can take charge of their own development.

Our Mission is to enhance knowledge and skills within rural communities and to promote the exchange of information and best practices through education, mentorship, advocacy and strategic partnerships for social, cultural and economic development. We seek to break the cycle of poverty and empower communities to take charge of their own developments.

Our major development objectives include:

  • To increase enrollment of girls in schools, especially in secondary and tertiary education and through that to cultivate leadership and empower youth in rural Uganda.
  • To increase crop production and promote agricultural best practices.
  • To promote savings and entrepreneurship in order to reduce donor dependency.
  • To promote skills education (particularly equal access for girls) in rural Ugandan communities, including entrepreneurship, vocational skills training, cultural exchange and mentorship engagements.
  • Promote health education, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  • To promote cultural exchange and diversity locally and internationally.

Our annual report is therefore designed, built and implemented based on the above objectives and values.

We would like to thank all of you who have generously contributed toward our work here at the grassroots. Eighty (80) percent of our programs and interventions are dependent on individual donations from across the globe and what we have achieved this far is unbelievable to many who visit with our project sites and beneficiaries.

We receive extremely encouraging and positive feedback from all who have visited with our work, this is not because we make it happen ourselves but it because YOU are standing with us in every way possible. Thank you!

Here are the highlights of our interventions from January to December 2017.

Portland School

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Portland Nursery and Primary school was completed in 2017, and now provides educational opportunities for children from baby class (age 3-7) to primary seven (age 8-15). You can find details of the Ugandan education system on the Where We Work page of our website. Portland school is registered and certified with the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda.

Although we have not yet acquired the Uganda National Examinations Center number issued by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), ten (10) of our primary seven pupils sat for their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) – a standardized national test for secondary school promotion. They sat for their national examinations under a registered public school, Abongit Primary School. Our pupils excelled so highly, receiving first and second class honours only, what would be As and Bs in the US system. This was our first seating and we were one of the five best-performing schools in Tororo district.

We are required to operate for at least 12 more months from now before we are issued our Uganda National Examinations Center number, which will permit us to have our pupils sit for examinations within Portland school. We are looking forward to this fulfillment.

By the end of 2017, we had 220 children enrolled in Portland school. This sounds like a big achievement, but it was a struggle feeding them, paying teachers and non-teaching staff, and meeting the scholastic needs of the school and that of the children. We appreciate the 22 sponsors of 22 children in the Portland school, you are giving these children a strong foundation. They are in the right hands and learning in a great environment.

We are happy to inform you that before the end of 2017, donor Karen B committed to sponsoring 40 children for the 2018 academic year (January – December 2018). We are amazed and humbled by Karen’s generosity!

Portland School also acquired a Digital Classroom, where educational television programs, typing and printing services as well as lighting for all 13 classrooms are now available. In our struggle to provide a range of opportunities in a rich and balanced curriculum that allows each individual child to develop physically, intellectually, personally, emotionally, socially and morally; Richard Carss helped us improve the learning abilities of the students through use of technology! We believe that use of the television with educational programs that match the curriculum and processing tests and assessments further improves the vocabulary of the children. We are very grateful to Richard Carss for funding this project!

Portland School Teacher Housing is another big achievement from 2017. Funded by Richard Carss, the twelve-room teachers’ housing will be opened in January 2018. Mi Corazon and Ms Ingrid van Thiel-Sluiter, who donated to build the 7-classroom block of the Portland School in 2017, made an extra donation that enabled the full completion of the teachers’ housing, and the addition of solar lighting for the entire building.

From November 2016 through February 2017, there was a terrible drought. With no rain and high temperatures, crops died and the water wells dried up in the villages. People were using and drinking very dirty water that slowly dripped from drying swamps. These water sources were shared with animals. To help prevent this from happening in future droughts, we received a gift of a water well, water pump and tank from generous friends including Robin and Geoff Heatherington, Lorraine Salmon, and Toni T, who donated all the necessary tools and equipment. In September, Conrad (US) and Jason (UK) visited and helped us address some technical challenges and bring the well into full operation. The water is now in use by the Portland School and the Amor Village community at large. The second water well, funded with extra donations from Toni T will be completed in 2018.

Additionally, Joyce K. Fletcher, who donated lightning arresters for Portland School in 2016, donated a machine that makes interlocking bricks. We are currently making bricks that will be used towards the completion of the Amor Village Library project, which is still on hold since early 2017 due to lack of funds. Thank you Joyce!

Rural Girl Child Mentorship (RGCM) Program

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The RGCM project INCREASED the number of beneficiary students from 108 in 2016 to 143 in 2018 due to a prospective sponsorship promise made to us which was unfortunately not fulfilled. Despite the heavy challenge of maintaining them all in schools and colleges, the fruits are impactful; 143 more delayed marriages as we continue to build a strong and independent group of empowered and educated future professionals and parents.

Here is a list of our active students, including our graduates:

Name of Course Course Type No. of Students Year of Graduation
Accounting and Finance Degree 1 2019
Accounting and Finance Diploma 1 2018
Adult and Community Education Degree 1 2016 (Graduated)
Business Administration Certificate 1 2015 (Graduated)
Clinical Medicine Diploma 1 2018
Community Development and Social Justice Degree 1 2019
Developmental Studies Degree 1 2017(Graduating in 2018 instead)
Economics Degree 1 2019
Education (Early Childhood Development) Certificate 15 2017 (10 Graduated)
2018 -2019
Education (Primary) Certificate 7 2018 -2019
Education (Secondary Arts) Degree 8 2019 -2020
Education (Secondary Sciences) Degree 2 2019 -2020
Human Resource Management Diploma 1 2016 (Graduated)
Secondary Schools UCE/UACE 77 Varies
Motor Mechanics Certificate 1 2016 (Graduated)
Nursing Students Certificate 15 2018 – 2021
Midwifery Students Certificate 7 2020 -2021
Plumbing Certificate 1 2017 (Graduated)
Water Engineering Diploma 1 2018
Total number of Students 143

You are helping us create a better generation for some of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized group. Take for example the 15 nurses and 7 midwives enrolled in nursing schools of Mityana, Nyenga and Hoima Institutes of Nursing and Midwifery schools. These students are already practicing injection, cannulation, delivering mothers, oxygen administration, resuscitation, catheterization, surgical toilet and suture, wound dressing and drug administration among others. They have seen so many deaths, one Martha says “I am now used to seeing dead people, I cannot get very depressed when I lose a loved one, I can instead prepare and dress them and give them a decent send off.” These girls talk about such empowering experiences; most of our RGCM students are now interested in taking nursing/medical fields, the best we can do is support their dreams and career paths as this field is badly needed for a healthy nation. We cannot imagine the impact of each of our current students in this country in the next 10 years! Again, we thank you our sponsors, mentors and supporters!

The Buloba teachers reflected above are becoming experts in primary school teaching and early childhood social service provision; one Christine Achari is a teacher in Portland school. According to the Head Teacher, she is a very skilled teacher, so much appreciated by not only the learners but also by her fellow teachers. We expect to have more students enrolled for this career in 2018.

There’s just so much to say about each category of our students; our students in tailoring and salon skills school now make garments and braid so perfectly well, respectively. Again, we are very grateful to you our supporters. We are only able to do all this because you are standing behind us with your support.

Transition of Educational Support program, appeal reminder

As mentioned in our 2016 annual report, we are changing our long-term strategic path for education. For our first five years of operation, we carefully selected the brightest students in our rural area and sent them to boarding schools in Kampala. We expected the educational opportunities to be better there and thought that the students would be able to concentrate more on their studies if they weren’t also required to help around the home and on the land.

This was true to a great extent, but we realized that there are some negative aspects to this approach as well. Transporting the students to Kampala and paying the boarding school fees is becoming increasingly expensive, with the increasing inflation and taxes in the country. In addition when a mentor is unexpectedly no longer able to support their mentee financially, it puts a tremendous burden on the program. Another concern is that as these girls complete their education, they are more likely to remain in the city than to return to the village and use their skills to help the community prosper. And finally, this approach limits PCE Foundation to helping a relatively small number of students when there are many more actively seeking our support.

To address these concerns, we have decided to work at improving educational opportunities in Tororo area, Eastern Uganda. Our eventual goal is to facilitate the development of a complete school complex, including pre-primary, primary, secondary and vocational/technical schools within the Amor village community, which will enable a far greater number of young people to acquire a good education. It is also anticipated that more of them will remain in the area following graduation, and use what they’ve learned to benefit their communities.

In 2014, we took our first step toward this goal by building the Portland Nursery and Primary School in Amor village, Tororo district. Portland Nursery and Primary school is now a complete school of thirteen classrooms with 220 pupils and 10 teachers. Although it focuses on a younger age group (ages 3 to 14) than those in the RGCM program (12-24), we believe it is an important step in the right direction.

The school is being administered and run by qualified, experienced teachers. Portland School administration works hand-in-hand with the PCE Foundation to provide a safe, secure, happy, practical and stimulating environment with appropriate play and learning experiences for the academic and personal development of each child. Most of these children are living in precarious situations, having lost one or both parents to HIV. Two of the children have disabilities, and unfortunately there is no school or special support available anywhere in the area. The Portland teachers, although they are not specially trained to handle children with disabilities, are working to give them a chance at a good education. So far, their academic performances are promising.

We are calling on to people who might be in a position to support us in development of the remaining buildings in the school complex, including:

  1. expansion of the nursery and primary schools
  2. addition of secondary and vocational/technical schools

If you would like to help us reach these goals, please get in touch with us so we can pursue this dream together.

 

Amor Community Empowerment Center

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What used to be known as the Amor Village Library and Community Center is envisioned to transform into the Amor Community Empowerment Center. This project was started in January 2014 as a shared effort between the community members who made the bricks and our donors across the globe. Our goal at the outset was to have an information sharing and safety center, and a space where community meetings could be held indoors. It has however come to a standstill due to lack of funds since late 2016.

The transition was made during one of the community meetings in December 2017, as a result of new and ambitious ideas of converting the existing single-level structure into a three-story building. The primary drivers for this decision were the limited space available in the vicinity of the Portland School, and a desire to make the most of our donated funds, as guided by our vision of community empowerment.

The beneficiary community suggested that we transform the structure, to benefit the communities in five major dimensions, as described below. Each floor will have four rooms and a hall.

Ground Floor

This floor will remain as originally planned in 2014.

  • Two emergency rooms to shelter mothers and children facing domestic violence and abuse.
  • Library room and computer room that will serve 48 schools, including nursery, primary, secondary, vocational and other higher levels of education in and around Tororo and Buteleja districts.
  • The Hall shall be used for meetings, trainings, sharing of indigenous and adult wisdom and other functions that involve large gatherings.

First Floor

  • PCE Foundation offices will be located above the emergency rescue rooms on the ground floor.
  • Extended space for the schools served by the library and computer rooms beneath them.
  • The hall will function as an examination hall for nearby schools as well as a dining hall for Portland school. In the evenings it will be available as a reading and study room.

Second Floor

  • Above the PCE Foundation office space we will house the office and staff room of the Portland Vocational School. This school is intended to provide hands-on-skills to over 100 students every year, including tailoring, catering, radio/phone/TV repair skills, painting skills, and basic wiring and electricity skills.
  • The hall will be subdivided into three rooms and used in conjunction with the remaining two rooms on the floor for lecture and study rooms for the vocational students. Each discipline will have a dedicated room.

The construction team who analysed the building and made the revised budget is composed of skilled engineers who have professional experience in multi-story building construction and who are often contracted by NGOs and the local government in construction projects.

The community is urgently seeking your support for the completion of the ground floor, especially the meeting hall because the current weather conditions make it difficult for the community meetings to be held under the mango tree. The upper floors can be left for the future. The expected time of completion will depend on the availability of the funds.

Once completed, the ground floor would be safe for use as the other floors are built in phases.

The community is ready and willing to contribute the necessary bricks as well as food for the builders.

It would cost USD $28,663.00 to complete the ground floor. This includes the windows and doors, glass and painting. If you are able to help, please contact us.

Funded projects

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We are currently running two community projects. The first is an Opportunity Grant from AmplifyChange for the RGCM Girls’ Village to Village Peer Education project, which covers 24 villages within Tororo and Buteleja Districts. This initiative involves our sponsored students who each provide sex education to ten girls in their home village during school breaks. This project started in September 2017 and runs through September 2018.

The second project is the Maker Girls Social Enterprise Project, which is being implemented by 330 girls from 15 rural schools. The girls are making and marketing a skin jelly which provides economic empowerment and helps support their education by partially covering the cost of their personal and school needs. Since small tins of body cream such as this are sometimes used by men to lure young girls into sex and early marriage, this project also reduces the effectiveness of such bribes. This is a one year project, funded by the Embassy of the United States in Kampala. It began in November 2017. More updates about these two projects shall be shared in our 2018 annual report.

On March 25, 2017, PCE Foundation implemented a Girl Empowerment Workshop that benefited 100 girls, funded by the Embassy of the USA, Kampala. This was a life skills training which included topics like; building self-esteem and networking; career choices, entrepreneurship and volunteerism; communication and leadership; decision making and problem solving; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It was as a result of this training, along with feedback from the beneficiaries that the Maker Girls Social Enterprise Project was designed.

As a Fellow with The Pollination Project (TPP), I was given the privilege to identify four projects worth funding, anywhere in Uganda. I chose to identify grassroots initiatives within my reach to allow easy monitoring and mentoring. The seed fund is USD $1,000 per project.

The first project is a Mothers’ Food Pantry involving 20 mothers, and benefiting the wider community of Tororo and Buteleja districts. The project addresses the challenge of food storage, preservation and management at household levels. This is as a result of rural women complaining about their husbands and sometimes their sons taking their hard-earned produce and selling it to use for personal benefit, such as alcohol, clothing, pleasure, or marriage, instead of supporting the household or educational needs of their children. The issue of men and boys taking foodstuffs from their wives and mothers is not uncommon here; in fact it is one of the key causes of domestic violence in rural Uganda. When food is taken away and sold off, the families are left with little to eat, leading to starvation, lack of income and lots of suffering. This project kicked off in September 2017.

The second project is The Kisoko Family Health Agents, which is a community-based project designed by 20 mothers from 9 villages of Kisoko sub-county to address the challenge of household hygiene and malnutrition by educating and working with the mothers. This is based on some of the key causes of death, especially infant mortality and children under 10, being traceable to hygiene and nutrition. More specifically, untidiness in the house and around the compound, improper cooked-food storage, improper cooking of food, lack of hand-washing, use of dirty utensils, drinking untreated water.

Third is the Bendo Youth Technicians project, initiated by Owor Michael, a technician with over 20 years of working experience. Michael decided to train 26 youths on television, phones, radio, computer and other electronics repair. “Brain work is a permanent source of wealth. I have a personal experience that even without formal education, people can still earn a living. I have worked in electronics for 29 years repairing televisions, radios, phones, computers, flat irons, DVD players, transformers, speakers, among other electronics. I would like to pass this skill to the youth,” he says. Michael has earned a decent living out of his job; as a father of 5, he can afford feeding, educating his children and supporting his family.

The fourth project is Vegetable Growing using Drip Irrigation for HIV Positive Mothers. People living with HIV in rural Uganda are characterized by immune deficiency; this means they cannot do hard work without putting themselves at risk. Additionally there is extreme poverty in rural areas; people living with HIV have very limited income and therefore can hardly meet their basic needs such as food, medication, clothing and general household support. This group of 30 women living with HIV teamed up to start vegetable growing using drip irrigation. They grow tomatoes, onions, eggplants, cabbage, spinach and collard greens throughout the year. Drip irrigation allows them to conserve their energy during the growing season, and once they sell  their vegetables they use the funds to support their families – meeting their household needs including educating their children and the children under their care. More updates about these projects will be reflected in our 2018 annual report.

Agriculture

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We did not have any major agricultural activities this year, apart from the longstanding pineapple garden. There were mainly individual household activities. One notable update occurred in June, when Mandy Fazeli – the founder and Executive Director of A More Balanced World, our partner and fiscal sponsor in the U.S. – donated mango seedlings to over 150 households. This is not simply a mango tree donation, but a sign of commitment from each of these households to value and support their children’s education, rather than marrying them off. It is a plant that is meant to signify education in each of these households.

Our mango and pineapple projects are doing well and have both been harvested twice now. We are also promoting beekeeping, vegetable growing, poultry and piggery projects. All are still quite small, but growing steadily.

We are promoting organic farming, whereby our fruits and vegetables are treated with natural remedies rather than chemicals. This approach is better for the environment, as well as our health.

We would like to increase in our agricultural interventions because this is where the grassroots people earn a living year over year; with skills in better farming practices, provision of farm seeds and equipment, we can improve their lives, income and food security.

International Cultural exchange and trainings

We encourage our mentors, sponsors and supporters to visit us to share their skills and expertise with us. This is not only helpful in understanding our work in person but brings along new ideas and skills to our community.

This year, PCE Foundation partnered with The Red Pencil in the implementation of an art therapy program in Amor village. The Red Pencil is a non-profit organization helping children, adults and families through art-based therapy, which promotes self-expression, healing and well-being. This project was run in three phases from January to September 2017. The project was especially empowering to mothers, most of whom were writing for their very first time. This project benefited 40 girls and 30 women (mothers). Many thanks to the on-the-ground team, Melanie Teresa Stalteri (Canada), Samantha Fiegel ”Sammy” (United States) and Sanaa Abouayoub (Morocco), and to the Red Pencil International program team!

Mandy Fazeli of A More Balanced World, our partner and fiscal sponsor in the United States, visited us in May. It was an extraordinary visit because she pampered everyone she came in contact with. She donated mattresses, blankets and food to extremely poor families, and visited with all our beneficiaries, including all the students and their families. She offered a listening ear to the girls, some of whom felt comfortable enough to share with her details of their personal lives. During her visit, Mandy donated mango tree seedlings to over 150 families. These mango trees are seeds of agreement with the community members, especially the parents and guardians, to embrace the education of their children. We all enjoyed her visit very much!

In the month of July, we received guests from Australia – Connor, Julie, Sharon and Susan; they donated clothes, shoes, balls, eyeglasses, a bicycle and food to many families in over 6 villages. They also donated underpants to all the 150 students of the Portland school. They had a meeting with 15 staff members of the Portland school where they gave empowerment talks, imparting their teaching tactics and training to the teachers. During this meeting, the head teacher raised concerns about the need for a first aid clinic in the Portland school. A donation came through Sharon from within the Australian Community which was used to initiate the clinic! Samantha Brick from Australia – with extra support from Sharon Sandy, Connor Sandy, Julie Stasinowsky and Susan O’Rourke – furnished the First Aid clinic for Portland school. Sharon Sandy and her son Connor Sandy also funded the building of a house for a vulnerable family. The entire community is grateful for their support and visits.

In August, Conrad Olivier from the United States visited with us. Through his fundraising for a Public Address System, he managed to purchase one and bring it along. During his visit, Conrad also helped us address some technical water challenges, and brought the well into full operation. We are very grateful to him!

Amor Village Children’s Party III

It has become a tradition for kids to celebrate their special day in Amor village every December 26! The Amor Village Children’s Party was initiated in 2015 as a dedicated celebration of the children, due to children often being ignored in other rural community celebrations.

In Tororo and other rural communities of Uganda, during any gatherings or celebrations that include feasting, children are hardly considered. They are actually not even invited, but in most cases many will show up anyway. Adults are served food and drinks first, and the children are considered last, usually only when there is little to no food left. If there’s any food left for them, they have to struggle to get a share.

The Amor Village Children’s Party therefore is a celebration strictly for children ages 3 to 15. This year we hosted over 600 children! Candies and balloons came from Australia, Canada, Europe, the United States and from Uganda! Financial donations from various individuals helped us buy food and drinks, hire a brass band, rent a public address system and facilitate several fun competitions among the children.

Special thanks to Ellen, Jımmy, Katie, Kelly, Kirsty, Laura and Auntie Robin; your donations fed, entertained and made a memorable day for the children! To you our local team; Betty, Catherine, Constance, Josephine, Joseph, Lazarus, Sabina, Scovia, Sylvia, Solofia, Yakoba, our mama, the Peace catering group and all our RGCM students who turned up to help; thank you very much for all your hard work!

Other Updates

In an effort to raise income, ten mothers are engaged in crafting baskets, paper bracelets and necklaces. Three hundred (300) of these were shipped to Australia, Europe and to Canada this year. The funds generated were used to start a catering project. More about the catering services will be shared in our 2018 report. We are very grateful to all who support this initiative.

The year 2017 brought us two lovely babies; Mercy and Tom. Mercy’s mother Zerida died tragically, shortly after giving birth. Zerida was only 17; a mentally ill girl who had been raped by a group of men, and had no one to help her deliver her child. Thankfully Mercy is in good health and feeding well. I am so grateful to all who answered my call for help on Facebook. Special thanks to Aimee, Ellen, Mary C, Mandy, Tara, Panthea, Robin and to all the others who have contributed! Mandy’s family (Tara, Mandy and Panthea) and Ellen make monthly donations for Baby Mercy’s upkeep and nanny support which is very much appreciated. Tom is now 11 months old, and his mother Joan suffers autism, and wouldn’t allow doctors to examine her. A caesarian section was done to remove baby Tom. Although he is not an active child, under our care, we think he is happier living with us. Thank you so much Robin and Geoff Heatherington for your contributions towards food and other basics. We are continuing to search for caring families to adopt these babies, who can give them the bright futures they deserve.

In regard to our preventive health intervention project, we are happy to inform you that PCE Foundation rescued a dying child in Namaliri village, and following badly needed medical care, she now glows and happily attends school. Dorothy (age 12), was born with HIV, and lost her mother when she was six years old. We shared Dorothy’s plight on Facebook in November 2016, and a compassionate young woman from New Zealand volunteered to support both her education and health needs. Since then, there has been a tremendous improvement in Dorothy’s health and well-being. We are very grateful to Kirsty M for her kind and generous support.

We are facing a serious transportation challenge. We have just one van that we use for all our transportation needs, and it broke down repeatedly in 2017. In June, while driving from Tororo to Kampala, the timing belt and crankshaft broke. We were in the middle of nowhere, and were forced to sleep in the bush for two nights while the car was being fixed – thanks to Mandy and Robin for the funds! After rectifying this problem and driving to Tororo, the engine developed a knock as well. We thought that was the end of our van because the cost of repair was unaffordable. We sent out emails and messages seeking support for its repair, and thank God, Lisa B, Connor S, Julie S, Sharon S, and Susan O contributed funds that helped us fix the van! Later in October, we slept in the bush again due to an injector pump fault, for two days with the two babies aboard. It was tough! The nature of our work needs more than just a van, so we are in search of a reliable 4-wheel-drive vehicle (like the Toyota Double Cabin, Land Cruiser, or Rav4). Please contact us if you can help us gain more reliable transportation.

One of our very own RGCM girls was married on 9th December. Mary Sylvia Agolla introduced her fiancé to her family in April, and the traditional marriage was massively supported by the PCE Foundation community. They also resolved to assist each other as their daughters and sons marry. Sylvia’s education was supported by a group of 7 amazing Australian women who call themselves The Rat Pack. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Adult and Community Education in 2016, and is currently volunteering with PCE Foundation while continuing to search for a paying job. We are very happy for her!

Financial Report – January to December 2017

We are grateful to all you who donate to support our work, without which we could not achieve anything. We appreciate your continued and dedicated support!

Below is our Statement of activities:

Income

BF as per December 31, 2016 25.65
A More Balanced World, USA (includes the tuition paid by mentors, sponsors and supporters) 53,444.42
Hans-Joachim Hermann, Germany (includes the tuition paid by mentors, sponsors and supporters) 25,343.58
Amplifychange, United Kingdom 10,285.71
The RED Pencil International,  Switzerland 1,493.74
Donations from Australia (includes the tuition paid by mentors, sponsors and supporters) 10,831.50
The Zoe Carss (Richard), United Kingdom 16,742.40
American Embassy, Kampala – Uganda 13,956.00
Carole H,  United Kingdom (tuition paid a mentor and sponsor) 1,289.00
Portland Nursery and Primary School, Tororo (sponsors and parents) 9,512.54
PCE Foundation Parent’s Contribution, Tororo and Buteleja 3,600.00
Maker Girls, Tororo (social entreprise) 365.71
Sale of crafts, Tororo (social entreprise) 2,342.86
Others (Western Union, Moneygram, World Remit), U.S and Australia  (includes the tuition paid by mentors, sponsors and supporters) 8,796.00
TOTAL INCOME IN USD 158,029.11

Expenditures

 

 Direct Expenses  
   School fees & expenses (Nursery/Primary/Secondary/University) 90,504.00
   National Examination registration 1,844.29
   Communication/Postage 1,964.97
   Construction (Portland, Teachers Quarters, Digital classroom, Well, Kitchen renovations) 29,317.71
   Girls Empowerment Day Training/Materials 4,975.00
   Maker Girls Training/Materials 4,310.29
   Public Relations/Media 148.57
   Farming and Agriculture 166.29
   Medical expenses 1,046.17
   Transport and General Maintenance 5,432.29
   Consultancy Fee 71.43
   Feeding Portland Nursery and Primary 4,447.00
 Project Personnel  
   Salaries Portland teachers 7,733.74
   Volunteer Stipends 1,800.00
   Security expenses 400.00
 Indirect Expenses  
   Utilities 1,505.71
   Office Expenses 2,128.57
   Bank Charges 1,816.74
TOTAL 159,612.77

PCE Foundation Management and Volunteers Update

Board Members Transition

From the beginning, PCE Foundation has been mentored, monitored and supported by visionaries from across the globe, and their knowledge and skills have greatly benefited the program. As of November 2016, we formed a new Board of Directors based in Uganda. With a deep understanding of the culture and needs of the people, the new board is fully equipped to guide our growth and support our development in the years to come. Please visit the “Board of Directors” page on our website for details (pce-foundation.org/board-of-directors).

Management Team

PCE Foundation is continuously expanding at the grassroots on a voluntary basis. The Portland school alone now operates with volunteer teachers (who are paid for facilitation), administrative support and other support team. Together, there are 36 volunteers supporting different projects and programs, including website management as listed in the last page of this report.

Since our founding, PCE Foundation has been run by a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers. The following people are the core volunteer management team behind its operations and success:

  • Adam M
  • Andrew O
  • Anthony O
  • Aunest K
  • Beatrice A N
  • Cecilia A
  • Christine A
  • Connie A
  • Dominic O
  • Donato O
  • Felix O O
  • Francis O
  • Gabriel J
  • George W
  • Isaac O
  • Jamach O
  • James M
  • Jane R N
  • Joana D
  • Joseph M
  • Joseph N
  • Joseph O
  • Josephine A
  • Judith M
  • Lazarus O
  • Mary S A
  • Margret A
  • Nigel & Rebecca K
  • Nociata A
  • Norah C A
  • Patrick S
  • Peter N
  • Richard A
  • Richard O
  • Sabina A
  • Scovia K
  • Ted & Lindsey C
  • Valentino O
  • Veronica A

Current challenges and future plans

Our challenges and future plans remain much the same as last year’s. We are continuously looking into building partnerships with local, global and international NGOs & Charities in order to create sustainable solutions with and for the people at the grassroots.

Based on our vision, “to have empowered communities that can take charge of their own development,” all our projects are community-driven solutions to community challenges. This fosters the implementation of need-based projects that are not only relevant and appropriate, but also sustainable.

In line with this principle, PCE Foundation has identified community needs that are being developed into fully-fledged projects. Some of our goals for the next 5 years include:

  1. Completing the construction of the ground floor of the Amor Community Empowerment Center by December 2019.
  2. Constructing secondary and vocational schools in order to benefit the wider community by December 2022.
  3. Finding sponsors for those deserving and vulnerable children and students who are currently without educational support, from nursery, primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education, this is on an ongoing basis.
  4. Strengthening the health, agriculture and micro-finance projects, including introducing new innovative enterprising ventures.
  5. Securing administrative grants/funds. PCE Foundation is a volunteer-based organization with no paid staff. This limits the human resource maintenance because everybody here is looking for income; to support themselves and their families while doing good to the world.

URGENT NEED: We are currently looking for a few people who could support our fundraising activities; we are especially seeking volunteers who could look for sponsors for students in all levels of education (nursery to college levels). This is where we struggle every day as we have so many vulnerable students enrolled without sponsors. It is very difficult for us to reach out to the right people who could potentially support our work because of our physical location here at the grassroots. At the same time it is very stressful looking for support and at the same time monitoring, managing, executing on-the-ground programs, operations and activities. We all serve as volunteers due to limited financial resources to cover administrative costs. We therefore welcome volunteers from all corners of the world! Please contact us for details.

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Impact Stories

Throughout the year, we visit with some of our beneficiary households, to listen and record stories of how they have been impacted by the work we do. We are especially tracking the Christmas gifts of chickens, pigs, and goats that were donated to families by some of the sponsors in previous years. It was amazing seeing so many families whose chickens and goats had multiplied!

Poultry Dreams

Josephine Nyamwenge (48), a mother of 6 children, appreciates the gift of chickens donated to her family early this year. Josephine is active in a small household poultry farming project which is helping to generate income.

“I have been digging for other people to earn income. I believe this will end soon because I can make a living out of my poultry. I am very grateful to Denise for all that she is doing for my family. I pray for her every day. I will be in position to support my other children in school too. I have a big dream for my poultry project,” she said.

Josephine is a widow living with HIV. Her husband was a witch doctor, who married over 30 women and left behind over 80 children. Most of these children are just sitting in the village, not attending school. Moreen (18), Josephine’s daughter, is very lucky to be sponsored under our RGCM project. Although Moreen is happy about her education and sponsorship, she worries about the heavy responsibilities ahead of her.

During the August 2016 PCE Foundation Community meeting, the parents and guardians of the sponsored students decided to start home-based poultry farming as an income-generating activity. The weather in Uganda was extremely dry in 2016, resulting in failed crops and starvation in the rural areas. It was felt that poultry farming would provide fresh eggs and meat to eat, as well as serving as a source of income. As a first step, the group voted to make it mandatory for all the parents and guardians of the sponsored students to build chicken coops in each mentee’s household. Most of the families now have chicken coops; however, the birds are mostly on free range, to minimize the cost of maintenance. Josephine keeps her birds on free range.

Every December, several sponsors donate funds to purchase chickens for the sponsored households. Due to the prolonged drought that would have impacted on their survival, the chickens were actually purchased and distributed between April and May.

At every month-end meeting, PCE Foundation provides the parents and guardians with vaccinations and medications for their chickens. This has reduced the rate of infections and loss in the household poultry venture. Many families, including those who did not receive the chicken donations, are now raising poultry and are finding success in their farms. Other families received goats from their sponsors, and they have multiplied and are doing very well.

Working in Theatre was scary to me

My name is Abbo Martha, I am 21 years old.

I joined nursing in May 2016, that is Mityana Institute of Nursing and Midwifery.

Before I went for this course, I used to think Nurses only do give medications to their patients and that is all they are supposed to do until when I joined this field that I realized how interesting nursing is.

When I went for my practice in Mityana Hospital for the first time, I was allocated in the maternity ward which I had never entered before. I watched mothers deliver and I was so impressed by this. This experience made me love my mother the more all mothers around the world. Although I am not a midwife, I LOVE working in Maternity ward because I want to see every woman deliver safely.

Working in Theatre was so scare to me. I observed caesarean section and almost fainted but after a few days, I got used and could even assist the surgeon when carrying out operations. I used to fear so much seeing a dead body, when someone dies in my community.

The second allocation, I was taken to Kiboga district referral hospital and worked in the male ward. My first day in the ward we received three dead bodies after an accident in the nearby trading center. I and other two student nurses were told to carry out last office (preparing the dead bodies) and after that, we had to observe postmortem as being done by the doctor.

I was so afraid and had a lot of nightmares BUT as the saying goes “EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER”, I learnt and got used to all these.

Our college Motto says “LOVE AND SERVE” indeed I love nursing so much and I do not regret joining this course.

I encourage others to also join and we help the world.

My great thanks goes to Auntie Ritu, my sponsor from the United States of America and the Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation for supporting in school.

Lots of Love,

ABBO MARTHA

Articles

FIGHTING VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS IN RURAL UGANDA.

By Gloria Geno Akello

Fighting for human rights would be the best thing I would ever do with my life. In Uganda girls are considered inferior whereby, they have no choices and voices in many sectors. Mostly to rural areas where girls are stopped from going to school. They are always kept home and fed to grow faster. They are later on married off to older men who are already having other wives. Most greedy fathers and clansmen marry off girls to very old men who can afford dowry of many cow heads and goats to enlarge their farms and they call it wealth.

After girls of as young age as fourteen years have been married off to as older men as seventy four years, their husbands assume they now fully own them as their property. So, they start they start beating them day and night, Burning them, Giving them heavy work beyond their energy , including neglecting them with their children and fully abandoning their responsibilities as heads of families.

When girls are already married off, they are not allowed to go back to their ancestral homes. They are chased away when they go back regardless of the prevailing situations. Such cases have led to death of very many young innocent girls. Some of these young married girls get problems during their labour periods since they marry when they are still very young. They get difficulties during the time of birth and leads to loss of lives and production of abnormal children.

To girls who refuse to get married, they are given heavy punishments by their mothers, Fathers, clansmen and community members, they are taken to be a disgrace in the community. Most parents beat up their children, Burn them, Pull them out of schools, and even chase them away from homes so that they can get frustrated and choose to get married. This is completely wrong and I strongly fight against it with every nerve of my body. Such cases have consistent in parts of Uganda and it has led to loss of very many lives of very innocent people. Women are made to dig all day long with heavy load on their backs and their children. They are beaten severely by their husbands.

To some pregnant women are kicked on the stomach and they end up getting a miss courage. This is human violence which is surprisingly silenced and never reported to any authority and if ever reported, the case will go nowhere after a while my at-most intention is to report violence authority, media, human right advocate and to any organizations willing and ready to fight this inhuman behavior in rural Uganda. I promise to keep loud until action is taken on any single case of human violence. I will also create a platform at grass roots for especially women and girls for them to share their stories, Challenges and ideas before situations gets out of hands. Additionally I will engage in researching concerned people like parents, guardians, health workers, human right authorities and teachers to make sure the becomes a better place for all.

DEVELOPING TALENT IN EVERY YOUTH IN MY COMMUNITY

By Akello Chloe Miriam

Talent is something which already exists within somebody’s workforce, just waiting to be discovered and developed. It promotes effective communication across different disciplines and helps in ascertaining, the right person is deployed in the right position.

Talent contributes in retaining the youth top talent. It also helps in understanding employees better and shaping their future. Talent being so beneficial as such some of the youth still are prohibited from developing their talent especially the girl child.

There is quite a number of talent for example sports based, music , dance and the girl child in my community is mostly denied the sports based talent saying it suits only the male yet even the female are talented.

If a girl child is found discovering and developing her sports talent such as football, she is tied under a tree from morning to sunset informing her that football is not the best to do. She is also denied food saying that the male are strong enough to starve and her love for football as a talent qualifies her to be a man hence left to starve.

The majority of the youth lack knowledge on how to discover and develop their talent ending up dead without exposing any of the talent to the world.

I can change all these by involving the youth in community development process introduction program for example sports based and policy planners need to better youth culture.

Getting youth involved on all levels, respecting their invaluable contribution to society. Validating all children and youth.

Ensuring that all basic needs are met for all children and youth through joining and working with organizations to ensure that the unable are funded.

Another is supporting and protecting the rights of all children and youth and developing competencies in children and the youth.

Conclusion

We greatly appreciate your continued support, and we hope you consider helping us meet our goals in 2018 and beyond.

We would like to make it clear to all our supporters that we are a very transparent grassroots NGO. The funds that we request from you in terms of educational support for the students, construction, gifts and any other community interventions are implemented as intended and required. We are open to issuing school and college circulars to any of our supporters who may be interested in them. These include the schools’ direct contact information in case of need for verifications.

We also encourage you to visit in person, to see the impact of your donation. You will be very welcome!

Have any question or concerns? Please write to us or use the Contact page of our website.

Wishing you the very best of the year 2018!