Friday, 18 August 2017

A new teacher at Bridget's Crane Academy school

This is Bridget's new teacher, Olivia, helping pupils in class at the Crane Academy for Infants in Uganda.

Several years ago Bridget started her own nursery school in the house of her sister in Kampala. It has grown and now has three or four classrooms. Many schools in Uganda are private schools as the government has failed to keep up with the increasing population and the gap is filled by the private sector. Bridget has been extremely enterprising to get her school to grow as it has.

Bridget was at Lutengo school with Harriet and was the second female student supported by the Guildford Mukono Link through university.


Monday, 31 July 2017

Farming Skills Workshop

I was very impressed by the knowledge the teachers brought to the workshop.

Mercy, from Busenya, brought a banana 'bowl' and a banana tree and showed how suckers could be cultivated.

Mercy showed how drainage ditches could be placed to collect the most amount of water.

She also described how manure can be made in pits.

Douglas explained how fertilizer can be made by fermenting tree leaves.

Suitable crops were discussed. 

Busenya's farm should become a model farm. Advice is given by a Governor and the children will be very proud of what they have achieved.

St Andrew's School grows food in grow-bags.

*** To revive school farms in Mukono district the schools need:

Hoes - at 1,000 UgX each (£0.21 in British money).

Forked hoes - at 20,000 to 25,000 UgX each (£4.20 in British money).

Rakes - at 15,000 UgX each (£3.15 in British money).

Watering cans - at 10,000 UgX each (£2.10 in British money).

Spades - at 10,000 UgX each (£2.10 in British money).

Spray cans - at 60,000 UgX each (£12.60 in British money).

Wheelbarrows - at 60,000 UgX each (£12.60 in British money).
A padlock.

A one-off supply of seeds would kick-start LunchForAll.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Fund raising dinner in Guildford on Monday 18th September at 7.00

All supporters are invited to our annual fund-raising dinner in Guildford.

It will be a great opportunity to meet other supporters and to hear about the many developments we have supported in Mukono schools.

We hope you will be able to come. Please let Tamsy know on: 


See you!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Many changes at Mbalala!

Dear Douglas,
This year has seen many changes at Mbalala: clean latrine, new fuel efficient stove 
and a water harvesting scheme which I hope will provide water for your saplings
and the school farm and even the cow as well.

The sports programme has also been taking place at Namawojollo and St

I heard you had done amazingly well in the district sports, or even
nationally. With your small school the results say so much about you as
a coach. Please congratulate the team for us! ...

This is the first year that the Sports Project has been run under the
new system and we want it to be a success.

We are hoping to get some new footballs to you.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,



Saturday, 8 July 2017

Lutengo United School developments

Alison Hall, from Seeds for Development, writes: "I went to Lutengo United Secondary School this morning. 

It is the holidays so no-one was there.

They are growing maize and sweet potatoes for the children.

Douglas wasn't at the school so we went to his house to find him.

He had planted twenty eucalyptus trees from the project and all were doing well in his compound.

He was just back from the District Sports, where Mukono came 11th out of around 63 districts.

Next from Douglas to Edward, via the sugar cane, where we met this woman wearing one of our Guildford Mukono Link t-shirts.

The chicken house we subsidized now has a roof, and Edward is hoping to add some chickens soon!

He said that he struggled with the rafters but has put them in now.

This is the bore hole that we have both made happen. 

Tamsy contributed to replacing the broken plastic pipes with metal ones. 

Alison funded the fixing of the hole and, when we tested it, it was working beautifully!"


Teachers from Uganda refused visas

'International' recognition must be an initiative to get schools in different countries to work together and understand each other's cultures through projects worked by each school.

Tamsy met with Milo, the teacher at Guildford County School with responsibility for the Link at Guildford County School. Milo is keen to make Guildford County school an 'international' school. 

He  had hoped to plan this work during the visit of the headteacher of the partner school but the headteacher, Julius, and his teachers failed to get visas.

"Jessica informed us the week before their arrival date, 29th June, that they still did not have their visas." 

The visas were expected on 27th June. It seems that Julius only applied for the visas on 6th June, leaving no time for appeals.

Tamsy had sent her invitation letters in February but has discovered recently that much more information is now required, like proof of her address and ability to financially look after them. 

The reason for refusal seems to be that Tamsy could not guarantee that they would return to Uganda. 

She feels ashamed of her country for taking such an attitude but, unfortunately, that does not help the situation.

Julius informed her on Wednesday that the visas had been refused, and, sadly, the visit will not now take place.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Worplesdon Primary School is funding two children's schooling in Mukono

Alistair Parsons, the headteacher of Worplesdon Primary School, near Guildford, has told us that his school will be fund raising to pay the school fees of two children at Mukono Boarding School.

The school plans that each year group will fund one child in the future.

'In 2009 we were looking for an opportunity to make a partnership with a school in a different part of the world with a completely different culture and environment so our children could learn about and appreciate the differences and compare the cultures. 

Through the Guildford-Mukono link I made contact with Susan Wamala the Head of Mukono Boarding School. This was the start of an ever deepening relationship where the children have been motivated to help improve the facilities at the school, learn about the region and the lives of the children that live their and exchange letters and information. 

Every year through grants from the British Council we have been able to take part in reciprocal visits by staff from the two schools.'

Worplesdon Primary School


Monday, 26 June 2017

Godalming nursery school to link with Crane Academy in Uganda

Some good news is that the Nursery and Preschool Major Minors in Godalming are to Link with the Crane Academy for Infants in Uganda which Bridget has started.

Bridget was at Lutengo school with Harriet and was the second female student supported by the Guildford Mukono Link through university. 


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Our footballs are wearing out

Hello everyone!

Namawojjolo and St Kizito schools have been running the Sports Programme.

Both schools have asked for balls and I expect Mbalala school will need some too.

The programme can only run if there are an adequate number of balls. If there are 12 teachers and each teacher needs 3/4 balls, we may need to find the money for up to 36 balls. 

As the first step I will ask how many balls are usable, then we can decide how many we need buy.  

I will ask Lawrence to send us some prices so we can make a decision on how many we can afford.

Tamsy Baker.
Chair of the Guildford Mukono Link.


Two main concerns that affect children directly

Our committee in Mukono raised two main concerns that affect children directly. 

The first is that many children do not have lunch which affects their academic and physical development so we have developed the Lunch4All project. 

The other problem is that many children drop out of primary school as families can't afford the fees, books, lunches and uniform. 

We were initially given money by a Supporter to set up The Wendy Shephard Education Sponsorship Fund in memory of her mother and in this first year we are sponsoring ten children. 

We are now looking for new Sponsors so enable more children to benefit. The cost is £85 a year per child.


"I therefore decided to establish a health unit"

From Harriet, who was sponsored through her social work university degree by one of our members:

I did not want to tell you until I have achieved what I really wanted in my life.

This is how I got it after spending three years on the street without the job of my dream. I got a loan from the bank with the help of guarantors. 

When I received this money I started a business, then operated it for two good years. During all this period I was keeping the profits which I eventually used to buy land in the Luweero district of Uganda in 2016.

On this land, which is five acres, I started planting maize and cabbage and also received money. Then this year I partitioned it into pieces, setting up gardens where people go to enjoy life, have fun, and so on, i.e. a recreational centre. It will basically be grass-hut houses with flowers and fruits like pineapples, pawpaws, oranges and mangoes.

This land is located in a village where people are really lacking health services - to the extent that for them to access such services they have to travel long distances. I therefore decided to establish a health unit. 

Right now I have bought bricks and sand until when I will slowly finish buying all the required materials for the building. I have no financial support from anywhere.

Am sorry for delaying my reply you. It's just that there is no electricity so I cannot access the internet.

Thanks. I love you all.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Child Sacrifice greatly reduced in the Mukono area

Tamsy Baker from Guildford has been supporting Sarah Nakintu for the last ten years. 

After her six-week leadership course in Canada, in January Sarah was offered the position of Lead Facilitator for World Vision's Child Sacrifice Programme starting in September. 

Two months later, World Vision said she had to be able to drive and have her own car. 

Child Sacrifice is rooted in the belief that blood sacrifice can bring fortune, wealth and happiness.

Children are either abducted from, or in some cases actually given to, witch doctors by relatives out of desperation for money.

Sarah's  programme reduced child sacrifice in the 40 communities in Mukono to almost non-existence. 

The Guardian

Donations to Guildford Mukono Link

Friday, 16 June 2017

Bridget's new school in Kampala has lots of children!

Bridget is one of the students sponsored by a member of the Guildford Mukono Link.

Several years after graduation she has now opened her own nursery school in the house of her sister in Kampala.

Bridget managed to build a roof, doors and windows for the school.

The school has grown and now has three or four classrooms.

Many schools in Uganda are private schools as the government has failed to keep up with the increasing population and the gap is filled by the private sector. 

Bridget has been extremely enterprising to get her school to grow as it has.

The school now has 87 children, with two teachers. Bridget reports that the  children are really very happy: "We shall go for a tour in August and see animals and birds," she says.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Wendy Shephard Education Sponsorship Fund

One of the two happy recipients of Wendy Shephard's Fund in St Kizito's Primary School in Mukono, Uganda, is Cotrida Athieno, aged nine. She came fourth in her class of 64 children: 

Another is Peter Mubiru, also aged nine:

Their Headteacher, Lawrence Lugoloobi writes:

"We have started the new term, 

Attached to thise mail are the progress report cards for the two
pupils sponsored by Wendy, care of the Guildford Link.

The two pupils (Peter and Cotrida) are striving to ensure that they
achieve the intended objectives of coming to school, given the
challenges faced at their respective homes.

Their performance is promising and we have a lot of hope in them.

It has been a rainy season. Our gardens and trees are doing well."

Monday, 5 June 2017

Uganda at Breaking Point with Refugee Crisis

The United Nations has warned that Uganda is at a "breaking point" as almost 3,000 refugees pour into the country each day from South Sudan, fleeing violence and famine.

"Uganda cannot handle Africa's largest refugee crisis alone," Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Kampala.

"The lack of international attention to the suffering of the South Sudanese people is failing some of the most vulnerable people in the world."

Uganda's Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, said the surge in refugees had placed "enormous strain" on public services and infrastructure, with food and clean water running short.

"We continue to welcome our neighbours in their time of need but we urgently need the international community to assist," Rugunda said.

Refugees receive small plots of land in host communities when they arrive to help support themselves.

A spokesman for UNHCR said that Uganda's approach to dealing with refugees had been among the most progressive on the continent, with the government and host community displaying outstanding generosity towards people fleeing war and conflict.

Full story.

South Sudan’s refugee crisis now world’s fastest growing, Uganda and region in critical need of help. (UNHCR)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Busenya R.C. Primary School, Mukono

Busenya Primary School is linked with St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School in Guildford.

Two of the teachers at St Thomas became aware of the existence of the Guildford Mukono Link, which was an organisation committed to the development of partnerships with the Mukono region of Uganda (set up by Tamsy Baker, Sallie Thornberry and others).  

Mukono is 100km east of Kampala

The partnership is designed to be a two-way learning experience so that children in Guildford can learn about the lives and challenges of children in Mukono and Mukono children can learn about the lives of children in the UK.

For St. Thomas’ the project has been a tremendous learning experience and the children are developing their knowledge of the culture of a region that is so different from their own.

Here are the Chairman of the school and some of the parents.

The children at St Thomas' School in the UK are extremely keen that children in Busenya have the same facilities that they do. 

They have helped the School to construct the three classrooms that it needs to house the children who previously had their lessons in dilapidated classrooms or indeed even under a tree.
These are some of the girls at the school.

There have been a number of reciprocal visits by staff from the two schools and there is a plan in place to cement the links.
These are some of the boys at Busenya.

St Thomas' School has funded and helped organise the installation of a much needed water bore-hole, a playground for the children and cooking facilities to ensure that every child has a hot meal each day.
This is the school kitchen.

St Thomas' School's current project for 2016-17 is B for Busenya... to raise the money to ensure that every child at Busenya Primary School can take a full part in their learning with the provision of exercise books, paper, pens and pencils – all the consumables that otherwise the children have to fund themselves meaning that many have to drop out of school because they do not have the money.

St Thomas' School has a Busenya Team of children aged 10 and 11 working alongside the staff to coordinate and plan all our activities this year. 

These include Busenya days each term, a sponsored read in the Spring term and lots of fun activities and opportunities to learn and share with our friends in Uganda.

We also keep in touch with the children with letters and Christmas Cards!

These two teachers' houses were funded by Guildford Labour Party.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Guildford School Students Link with Lutengo United School in Mukono, Uganda

Two staff members from a school in Mukono, Uganda, visited Guildford to collect sports equipment and books donated for their school library.

Meanwhile, two members of staff from St Peter's, Guildford - Amanda Alkema and Anne Chong-Seng - applied to the British Council for the Connecting Classrooms grant.

Amanda and Anne travelled to Mukono to spend five days working with staff and students in their specialist areas of economics and maths.

Some classes at Lutengo School had fifty students of mixed ages. They have virtually no access to textbooks," Amanda said.

Students have to pump their water every day for drinking and washing.

The Headteacher of Lutengo United Secondary School, Edward Kaweesi, and English teacher Babirye Samalie, visited St Peter's in Guildford and took more than 80kg of books back with them for the school.

St Peter's has a plan to launch a water harvesting and chicken farm project for Lutengo School.

(See the History of Lutengo United Secondary School, Mukono, below.)