Thanks to a Grant awarded to us by Cares 4 Kids we have been able to build a new washing facility for the girls.
Immediately on receipt of the Grant work started at record pace with a team of local workmen, headed up by our loyal builder (and St. Michael’s parent) Tom of Kayoro Construction Ltd.
Matt Watts, a Financial Advisor from Eames Laurie based in Newbury, Berks, was instrumental in securing the Grant from Cares 4 Kids -The Openwork Foundation part of Zurich Community Trust (UK) Ltd – and did not want to miss out on being involved on the ground.
He arrived at St. Michael’s in late July to volunteer and helped with the build. This was Matt’s first visit to Africa and it did not take him long to see that this new washroom was going to transform the girls’ washing routine and improve significantly their personal hygiene.
The existing washrooms were over 30 years old and were in a terrible state – they were falling down with no roofs – Unfortunately they were also right next to the dormitories, with plenty of standing water that attracted mosquitoes. This meant that throughout the night if the girls did not cover themselves properly with their mosquito nets that there was a real chance of being bitten and contracting malaria. In a report from the Uganda Ministry of Health malaria is still the biggest killer in Uganda. Our mission is the girls’ health and we must do everything we can to prevent the girls getting bitten in the first place, and the new washroom placed away from the dormitories with proper drainage is going to have an immediate impact on their health, and classroom attendance.
During the 7 week build, and with Matt’s help, we realised that the Grant from Cares 4 Kids was going to be able to stretch to tiling on the floor and installing shower heads. Tom went off to get all the materials and tiling and pipework was soon being laid. The cost of electricity is high and at the moment pumping water to the large new storage tank does not happen every day – but it is a start and it is wonderful that as the school develops the washroom is ready to have running water everyday.
Large laundry sinks were installed outside the main washroom – under cover, so the girls will now be able to wash their clothes and bed linen sheltered from the rains.
Tom and his men worked everyday during Matt’s stay – a huge thank you to them, we know how much it meant to Matt to see the building rising from the ground and almost finished by the time he returned to the UK.
Friends of St. Michael’s main focus will always be on nutrition, health, sanitation and care for the orphans – so obtaining grants for these bigger builds are essential.
The Staff and Parents at St. Michael’s warmly thank Cares 4 Kids for funding this new washroom –
An all girl schools is rare in Uganda, and letting parents and guardians know and see that we in the UK value and nurture the education of girls will send a very strong message to encourage all parents to educate their daughters, and to support their development into young Ugandans who will be part of the transformation of this amazing country.