Wrap-up, Program Evaluation, and Award Ceremony
On Saturday June 16, my final full day in Iganga we had the Wrap-up and award ceremony. It was held at the Buckley High School that is really a primary school. This was the first school that we taught after my arrival, but Moses and the team had trained another two schools the week before I arrived.Read more
Friday June 15 was declared an impromptu public holiday because it was new moon and the Muslims need to have a day of fasting and prayer. Fortunately, Moses had prearranged with one of the schools that was taught Smart Choices in 2017 to have sample contingent show up at school for us to do a follow-up evaluation.Read more
Second Week June 11-16
Completion of the Idudi Parents School Program
At the beginning of the week we completed the program at Idudi Parents Primary School. This is the school that I showed last week with no window or door frames and huge step up to the classroom floor from the playground. I have learned that this is private school, and such does not receive any government funding. So, teacher's salaries, school upkeep, feeding, security, and all other costs are paid by the student’s parents. In a society where an entry level teacher earns $104 and Head Teacher (Principal) earns about $170, you can only imagine the type of incomes the parents have. The Great thing is that Director at this school is a great guy the teachers are extremely dedicated and love and care for the children as best they can. The students at this school and in most of the schools, were very well disciplined and I was pleasantly surprised at their English ability. All instruction is given in English.
Mbale weekend trip. Impact Ministries and Faith Radio
Pastor Moses Lyagoba, our Uganda Smart Choices Associate made the following Whats App posts after our world wind trip from Iganga to Mbale last weekend June 10-11.
God is opening new expansion of His evangelical replication of the smart choices to Mbale. Since yesterday and today we explored a lot of ventures to penetrate Mbale and we hope that we are gonna roll this Ministry to Mbale thru Faith Radio as a channel of our operation.
We were so humbled to have this visit to Bishop Patrick Okabe who has done an incredible job and his compassionate work has touched lives in Uganda.
Central Busoga Diocese Of the Anglican Church of Uganda
We had a meeting with the Lord Bishop of Central Busoga Diocese (CBD) the Rt. Rev. Patrick Wakula and his Missions / Youth Management team. There were about ten people in the team. Everyone introduced themselves and described the role on the management team. The Bishop only arrived at the tail end of the meeting because of other commitments. The Secretary to the Bishop seems to be the chairman of the management team and spoke very glowingly about the Smart Choices program and about pastor Moses Lyagoba, our Smart Choices team leader. The CBD oversees 276 Christian schools within geographic confines of the diocese. These are the schools that Moses has been targeting for the past three or four years.
Photo-op on the stairs of the new Diocese Administration Building.
The Bishop's Inauguration Day
Wednesday – Friday June 6 - 8
In the morning we had a meeting planned with the Education Department, but they had to cancel due to an Education Ministry meeting that they were summoned to. In the afternoon we started a new Smart Choices program at St Lawrence Secondary school. We did two more sessions on Thursday and then finished the program today. This school was a real challenge the Students were undisciplined and unruly and aggravated by a class size of about 250 with the kids packed in with five on a bench designed for two. It is wonderful to here about how God always redeems those kinds of situations. As we were bemoaning the situation as we were packing the equipment into the car. The coordinating teacher came up to us to hand us the school questionnaire form that she had just completed. The comments on the form were very complementary about the program and she said that several of the girls from the class had come to speak to her, realizing that they had made bad choices and asking her for advice on how to get out their bad situation.
On Thursday morning we started a new program at a primary school, Idudi Parents Primary. I think that some of these kids were really to young to hear some of the content in the course. One of the requests we have had from Uganda as we revise and update the content of the Smart Choices, is that come up with a presentation that is suitable for the younger kids. The conditions at this school where really dire. Dirt floors, no window or door frames and in some instances the classroom floor level is about 2ft of the round and no steps. You will see from the pictures. The crazy think about poverty that always gives me something to smile about, is the kids in the worst possible situations are the most cheerful and full of life. It is as if they don’t have a care in the world. We will go back and finish up lessons 3-6 at this school next Monday and Tuesday.Read more
Monday June 4
On Monday we had a 9:00am start for a three-hour Smart Choices session at the Buckley High School, which is not a High School at all. The kids were aged 10-13. There was a contingent of about 8 hearing impaired kids that were ably assisted by one of the teachers who signed for them. I haven’t seen an official count of how many students were there, but I guess it was about 250. During our presentation we had a torrential downpour accompanied by fierce lightning and thunder which took out the electricity. I love African thunder storms. This school had mostly girls but there were also a handful of boys.
In the afternoon we went to an all-girls school St Francis. This was a school founded by the Catholic church. There are about 240 students in the school and all of them attended the class. We had three hours to teach at each of these schools, so we finished about half of the program.
Tuesday June 5
We went back to St Francis in the morning and Buckley in the afternoon and completed both programs. Also had another torrential downpour late morning, this time without the thunder and lightning.Read more
Sunday Church Busoga Anglican Church
On Sunday morning I woke the familiar mournful cry of the hadada birds as they set out on their trip to their feeding grounds for the day. On Sunday we attend part of the Luganda language church service at the Anglican Church Busoga village, then stayed for the lighter attended English service which was more of a youth service. Busoga is the newest Archdiocese that just appointed a Bishop about eighteen months ago. After the services, I treated Moses and Doreen to lunch at the Mum Resort where I am staying. I then spent the afternoon getting caught up on some much-needed sleep. I have never seen such a concentration of Schools and Churches as are in the area of the Archdiocese of Busoga. A lot of the schools where started by the churches, Mostly Catholic and Anglican (also called the Church of Uganda.)Read more
The flight on Emirates Air took us northeast over Quebec, Greenland, over Norway, down the west side of the Caspian Sea, over Iran, across the Persian Gulf into Dubai. The temperature in Dubai at 6:00pm was a hot dry 98deg. I slept over one night in Dubai (UAE). I arrived in Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria on Saturday June 2 at about 2:00pm. Again, the temperature was about 98deg but this time with high humidity. Uganda has been having heavy rains and flooding for the last month or so and it hasn’t let up let. I arranged with a drive to meet me at the Entebbe airport and drive me to Iganga in the Eastern region on Uganda were our team had already been engaged for three days teaching the Smart Choices program. This was about a two and a half hour 155km journey.Read more