With the COVID-19 crisis around the world, we are sending prayers and positive thoughts to all of you, our supporters, your families and loved ones.
To-date, Uganda has had 203 cases, 63 of these have fully recovered. We know that the western world has been badly hit by this virus, this is why we go on our knees every day to pray for you and for the entire world. We urge you to take precautions in this no-cure ongoing crisis.
The year began well for us; students were happily back to school, construction works of the Portland High school project, dormitory, toilets and agricultural interventions were going on well, through your dedicated support.
Uganda is yet in another lockdown. The Ministry of Education has also informed the nation that schools and colleges will reopen on July 21, 2020. Ugandan schools, colleges and universities (all institutions of learning) were closed March 20, 2020 due to Coronavirus.
We know that these are difficult times for everyone around the world. We know that some of our supporters from across the globe have stretched their own resources to support the urgent need for food here at the grassroots. Over 1000 people have been reached with food and soaps at household levels through home-to-home outreach.
There is increasing starvation here and small bits of support to these families are far better than nothing at all, we appreciate your intervention and generous support!
Amor Village Library and Community Center/Portland High School
Due to increasing fees in city schools, we have decided to refocus our efforts from the community center and library into a high school. The construction of Portland High school kicked off in June 2019 with generous support and the non-interest loan from Hans-Joachim Herrmann Stiftung worth 15,000 Euros and a donation of 10,000 Euros. We invested every penny in the construction work from June 2019 to-date. Allow us to acknowledge the following donations and support from different individuals that summed up with Hans-Joachim Herrmann Stiftung to completion of the construction, provision of 101 desks, lab equipment and school supplies to the end of the year; Karen B, Kelly S, Anita B, Citizen H, Eva H, Ellen S, Pieter (PJ), Barbara R, Samantha B, Krystina and Asmund K, Natasha S, Terre B, Joyce F, Robin and Geoff H, Ted and Lindsey C, Max Y, Shelby Y, Lisa B and each and every one I might have forgotten to list here, thank you so much for helping us start a High school in Amor village!
Our long term goal is to keep the village library and community center functional as well as have an independent high school premises.
New Developments at Portland Nursery and Primary school
To fulfill the requirements of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) for Examining center for Portland Primary school, so many things were required at the school, without which the school was not to be certified. We made an appeal to different individuals from across the globe for ramps, school kitchen, toilets, fencing, playground equipment, clinic equipment, fire extinguishers, incinerator, office and sitting hall furnishing, beds for boarding students, school library, and more. We are very grateful that we achieved all these within the three-month deadline and we indeed got certified, Portland Primary school is fully registered by UNEB. Many thanks to Karen B, Barbara R, Nancy W, Haidee W, Lorraine S, Samantha B, Krystina and Asmund K, Pauline O, Pieter (PJ), Robin and Geoff H, Terre B, Joyce F, Nina H, Jim H, Rebecca H, Shelby Y, Lisa B, and the Christopher Fielden Family.
Such team spirit made everything easier solved. We appreciate you all for positively responding to our appeals.
Shoes and games for Portland kids
A miracle came through in June for all the pupils of Portland Nursery and Primary school; Natalie M and Sharon S launched a fundraising that helped each and every child have a brand new pair of shoes! All the 268 children got a pair of shoes for themselves. 40% of the children were walking barefoot to and from school, and for the rest, most of their shoes were falling apart. This was a special gift to each child, so much appreciated by every beneficiary family and the entire school! Portland school also got a piano donated by Laura N and Hellene FO and board games donated by Robin and Geoff H. We are very grateful!
PCEF Vehicle Donations
In September we received a transport grant from MIVA/OneMen in collaboration with the Lilliane Foundation through Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services. This grant purchased a 29 seater bus for community outreach support services. This was and has been a huge transport costs relief for us! The families of our support students have all been able to visit with their children in their respective schools using this bus, those who had never reached the city before were and remain amazed of how different the world is for them. Thank you so much MIVA/OneMen, the Lilliane Foundation and Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services!
In the same month Robin and Geoff Heatherington of Oregon, one of key individual supporters also bought us a car – Spacio, for reliable transport for our Executive Director Ms. Beatrice Nas Achieng and the support team. You might be aware that in the past few years we have written in our reports about breakdown of the super custom van which was our only transport means in all programs. This van was donated to PCE Foundation in 2015 by MIVA/OneMen and has served the purpose – non-stop. We had been stuck in the middle of nowhere countless times, especially in 2019. We always traveled with fingers crossed and with hearts in ourthroats because we were not sure of our van.
Thank God the Spacio came, to-date we have not had a single mechanical fault. We are very grateful!
Community Outreach Support Services
We received 99 Waka Waka solar lamps from the Respectief Foundation, Netherlands in May and in August 2019. We have distributed these lamps to the most deserving families. These lamps targeted especially families of the sick and those of the aged who would always stay in the dark because they cannot afford money for the daily kerosene lamps. These lamps have been received with lots of gratitude!
We distributed clothes and shoes to over 300 people in December 2019. For the second time we tried out lobbying for clothes and shoes for the most deserving and we indeed received massive support from across the globe. We are very grateful to Pieter (PJ), Kathryn G, Karen B, Elizabeth P, Julie K, Ellen and Geno S, Kirsty M , Laura F, Shelby Y, Robin and Geoff H and several other people.
Permaculture Introduced in Amor Village
We were lucky to have a permaculture visitor and volunteer in the community from the USA. Kevin E spent nearly 4 months (January – April 2019) in Amor village teaching and practically implementing permaculture with the locals. He trained over 200 farmers and also planted over 900 plants including herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and soil cover crops.
Our mango and pineapple projects initiated in 2014 are still doing well and have both been harvested every season. We also continue to promote beekeeping, vegetable growing, poultry and piggery projects. All are still small scale, organic and growing steadily. We are grateful for SALT-uk for funding the poultry project at household levels. We have established a breeding center that supplies chickens to households one at a time.
This is our emphasis: 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, and for the bees. We teach our students, parents and guardians to do the same at their household levels.
On this same note, we received five soil testers from Rita R, Christa L and Karla W. These are helping us teach our beneficiaries about the types of soils around them and what they can grow and get good yields from their daily efforts. Kevin E also left books and tools for permaculture projects. All are very handy tools!
Entrepreneur Initiatives for young women
Young entrepreneurs are evolving from the RGCM beneficiaries! In September, Sharon S of Australia started a salon business for Amy Akoth, a student she sponsored at a beauty school for two years. Amy 22 now runs a salon in Kasokoso, a Kampala suburb. This is one of the most powerful empowerment programs for especially young women to pave their own ways into independence and financial freedom. We are very grateful for this initiative, and will share more about this at a later date.
If you are interested in funding a young person with a business adventure (plumbing, salon, tailoring, restaurant, agriculture), please get in touch with us.
Gift of Deep Water Well
In February 2019, Portland school and the Amor village community received a gift of deep water well which was funded by Fields of Life through Tororo Local government. This water well was lobbied for by Samantha F, who had visited with us in 2017 and witnessed how challenging it was for the community without water. She is a board member with Fields of Life, this was how she rooted her donations for the gift of water well which was a great need in the community and for the children in Portland school. We are very grateful to Sammy, Field of Life and the Local Government of Tororo!
In March we lost a sponsor child, Patricia Akullo who had a long fight with hydrocephalus with minimal treatment. She was a pupil in Portland school. Her classmates, teacher and the entire school miss her. It was especially painful for her family and her sponsor family. The good news is that all her three siblings Priscilla, Proscovia and Ephraim are being sponsored to attend school at Portland. They are all happy and healthy.