My 10th visit to St. Michael’s, Uganda – August 2013
It is always hard to summarise my visits to Uganda in only a few words, for even though I have been going to the school for over ten years now, each visit is different.
This visit was made special as I travelled with a friend, Stuart Beech for the first week. It was his first visit to rural Uganda. Only being able to spend a week at the school, he was thrown into the deep end, but you would have thought he had been there a hundred times by the way that he slotted into the community straight away. See his post about his experience here.
He was the perfect companion and is already planning his next visit in 2014.
I stayed at the school for 4 weeks in total, overseeing various projects at the school as well as starting new projects.
Thanks to the team at British Airways, I was able to take a staggering 20 suitcases with me to Uganda, full of clothes for the orphans, as well as science equipment, tennis balls, racquets, art materials and a hand sewing machine all of which were received with grateful thanks & greatly appreciated.
The BA event hosted in June 2013 (see the website post about this) raised £1200. All of this money was well spent during the visit – overseen by Stuart who brought the money with him, he is a pilot with BA.
• Mosquito screen for the windows of the two small boys bedrooms, where 14 boys currently sleep
• Repainting of the bedrooms
• Matting for the boys bedroom
• Building a wash area for the boys
• Planting of Moringa Trees
• Phase 1 of building the Assembly stand
Stuart felt keenly that the BA funds should be used towards specific needs that FSMU were not able to fund. Although there are only a few boys their accommodation was in great need of renovation, the conditions were not good and so some funds were used to improve this. Moringa trees were also bought & planted. It is known as “the miracle tree” because of the amazing properties of its tiny leaves, namely 7 x the amount of vitamin C of an orange, 4 x vitamin A of a carrot, 4 x the calcium of milk, 3 x the Potassium of a banana and 2 x the protein of yoghurt. If they grow well the idea will be to plant more.
Lastly at the request of the Headmistress and staff an Assembly stand was started, somewhere for performances, for assemblies and so on. Phase 1 was completed.
The purpose of my trip on behalf of the charity was to start, encourage or set up various projects on behalf of Friends of St. Michaels. The following was achieved:
The Volunteers House
• Buy and install matting on the house floors
• Building a secure wall around the garden
• Renovation of the wash area
The School Lunch Feeding Programme
• Setting up a new feeding programme at Bishop Willigers (the senior school linked to St Michael’s) feeding the 95 children
Enabling Jude the school nurse to run a Health Seminar for all the members of staff at St Michael’s
The staff room
• Notice board for the staff room, Sick Bay and Headmistress’ office
• Repainting of the staff room
• Building pigeon holes in the staff room
As always it was fun and memorable. There is so much to do and never enough time to do it in.