February to May 2021 Update

Dear our supporters and donors,

We are picking up from our February update. Thank you so much for taking time to read our updates!

First of all, we hope that COVID-19 hasn’t robbed you of your loved ones. It is so heartbreaking hearing and seeing all the suffering going on around the world. Back here, we haven’t yet registered COVID-19 cases in our supported communities. We are grateful to God no one has been sick yet, and praying it continues this way. Otherwise it can overwhelm the impoverished and densely populated communities we support.

Picking up from Phoebe’s story in our February update; Phoebe is now fully settled in her new house! Although we were not able to fund suitable solar power in her house, her caretaker Julie is already using her manual sewing machine to make school uniforms for Portland school children. Phoebe and Julie will also train Portland students sewing skills – something we are looking forward to in the future! Many thanks to all who donated to support the Phoebe house project, especially to Eva H, Karen B, Nina H, PJ, Robin H, and Samantha B.  

We had an internet shutdown between January and March due to political reasons – the national elections and the aftermath. This slowed our work somehow but also helped us appreciate the power of the internet and social media. It feels like a prison to be offline for months.

Portland Schools

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Schools re-opened in February for more classes; it was a short notice declaration by the government, so many schools were not prepared at all. We are very grateful to Deanna I and Kathryn G who donated food for the first two months. It wouldn’t have been easy without their support.

Jackie B also donated a water tank and rainwater harvest system for Portland Primary school. The school uses this water for washing hands and for general cleaning.

The Christian African Relief Trust charity has recently donated funds to invest in bananas, chickens and cattle for Portland Primary and High School for food and income, helping it to become a self-sustaining school.

Robin and Geoff H provided a water irrigation system for the farm, which will help the schools carry on with farming throughout the year. It is rare to have irrigation systems in place, especially in rural Uganda. This is one of a kind!

Pauline O has donated drugs to Portland clinics every quarter since 2020. This support has helped reduce cases of illnesses in both schools, as patients are able to receive immediate attention and the right medication.

28 Pupils of Portland Primary school sat for their national examinations, an assessment that promotes them to secondary/high school. Everything went well; and now that the school has acquired an examination center code of its own, all results will be credited to Portland Primary School, unlike the past three years.

The Portland Schools have recently received a donation of 6 solar batteries. These were sorely needed, as the previous batteries were worn out, which led to blackouts. We made an appeal on social media and got all the batteries needed in a very short time. Many thanks to Ellen S, Krystina K, Lorraine S, and Samantha B for your generous support! 

One of the nurses we supported – who is currently employed in a busy private clinic spares her free time to reach out to Portland students, teaching them about personal hygiene, sex education and COVID-19. She has created a big impact not just as a role model, but also helping young people, especially girls, understand their bodies and lives in general.

Community Interventions

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We have never stopped giving relief aid support to vulnerable families. To date, two houses have been constructed within Amor village for widows whose houses were falling apart. Many thanks to Veeda and her children Keithan and Keisha, and Helene F for their tireless efforts! Veeda, Keithan, and Keisha have pledged to fundraise to build ten houses for vulnerable families. 

Our friends and new sponsor Khatijah B and her husband Abdallah from Singapore purchased 202 moon cups/menstrual cups for the rural girls. Khatijah asked us about the most urgent needs of the rural girls and if the moon cups would be of help, we said YES and they acted immediately. We have already distributed 68 moon cups to the girls. They are very happy and appreciative of this support! We were so lucky to host a German guest who has used moon cups for over 15 years. While she was in Amor village for 3 days, she helped us educate 42 girls and shared her own testimonies with them. This gave the girls more confidence to use the cups without fear.

Foodstuffs and household items have also been donated to starving families. All the beneficiaries were extremely vulnerable – without bedding and proper housing, living in empty rooms without food. Many thanks to Aimee K, Asmund K, Ellen S, Garry C,  Jeremy C, Joyce F, Kathryn G, Krystina K, Lindsey C, Lisa B, Lorraine S, Marga D, Nancy W, Nat G, Patti H, PJ, Robin H, Samantha B, Susie S, and Terre B!

We are also supporting women and out-of-school youths to acquire small businesses so that they can support their families. Two women who were abandoned by their husbands are currently running second-hand clothing and food store businesses, a young man is selling used shoes and clothes and a young woman is trading in metallic suitcases. Many thanks to Justine W, Patti H and Krystina and Asmund K for funding their businesses.

The RGCM project

Since March this year, we have been looking for sponsors for those students without them. The good news is, we have secured sponsors for 14 students, of which two are university students, two are in primary school, nine are in secondary school and one (4 years) is still staying home with his grandmother. We are very grateful to our new sponsors for considering and taking action to sponsor these young people! 

We are so glad to inform you that nine (9) nurses we have been sponsoring for the past 9 years have recently completed their final examinations. They are now just waiting to graduate and get certified. Many thanks to all the sponsors who have walked this long journey with us! It surely isn’t easy to help someone to the realization of their dreams – you all are amazing people making a huge difference in lives today and for generations to come. All together we have educated and are educating 34 nurses. Thank you so much!

Farm Projects

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We recently received funding from Christian African Relief Trust for Portland Schools banana, chicken and cattle project. We have begun with the bananas and fencing of the farm. This project will feed and generate income for Portland schools. The schools are directly in charge of the farm projects.  We will share more updates about this project in the near future. 

Our Beekeeping project is picking up! We harvested 20 liters of honey in March, up from 10 liters in the previous harvest. We have also acquired more hives, thanks to Robin and Geoff H and Terre B for helping us acquire more 20 beehives, which are all colonized hives. All together we now have 66 beehives which are all colonized. Our aim is to have 600 hives within 5 years, we hope to re-invest from the current investment for sustainable growth and development. 

We have also received a variety of flower seeds from the UK, these are mostly for feeding the bees. We also received tomatoes and pumpkin seeds from Australia, and several herbs from the US. Many thanks Pauline O, Victoria O, Linda C, and Julie K!

 Dancing Heart K Bakery, Café and Shopping Center Project in Buwenda

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Picking up from our 2020 annual report, the Dancing Heart K Bakery, Café and Shopping Center Project in Buwenda is an income and skills training center. The project started from the acquisition of the business house to the official launch of its operation in Jinja.  We are so lucky to have amazing donors who sacrifice so much to see us push through to sustainability. We received a business loan from Karen B which purchased the business house, furnished and also purchased all the shop equipment and supplies plus some of the bakery and cafe equipment. We recently received a grant from the Kitchen Table Charity Trust which helped in acquiring more equipment, furniture and supplies for the bakery. Thank you so much Karen B and KTCT! We are already into the journey of sustainability. 

Obituary 

Early this year we lost our community mobilizer, Mr. Anthony Owere Ali. He was a community giant who was so passionate for change. Anthony left behind 11 children from his one wife. We educated one of his children – his first born daughter who is now a midwife by profession. Anthony fell off a motorbike, injured his head and neck and died on the spot. His death left a big gap in his family, clan and in PCEF at large. We are very grateful to Asmund and Krystina K who gave a one time donation to support this family. 

The Future for Us

We continue to survive the impact of COVID-19. Thank you so much for generously walking this journey with us; without your TRUST in us and the tireless support you give, we couldn’t have survived this far. We are grateful to you!

As we continue to plan for sustainable projects in order to reduce donor dependency, we hope that you will keep walking this journey with us. We are still surrounded by so many community needs. Some of our current and projected needs for the next 2 years include: 

  • A classroom block for Portland High School – 10 rooms including Library and Laboratories. 
  • Currently they are using the community library as classrooms.  
  • Ten toilet cubicles for Portland Primary school, what they currently have is falling apart.
  • Sponsors for vulnerable students on a rolling basis; we still have many students without sponsors. 
  • Relief Support funds for food and treatment of extremely needy people in our supported communities

Thank you so much once again for taking your time to read our updates and reports and for supporting our community interventions! 

Looking forward to your feedback, recommendations and referrals!

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