It is our desire to use our talents and resources to assist the teachers at primary schools in eastern Uganda in providing their students the best education possible.
We also plan to use our association to provide a connection between primary schools in Uganda and in our community in order to enrich the educational experiences of students at both.
New letters access!!
All of the letters from the students at Aturukuku and Patewo Primary Schools can now be viewed... check them out in the box below! When you click on the image, the album will open in a new window. From there, you can scroll through the collection and read what the African students wrote to their US counterparts.
During our first trip to Uganda in 2006, we visited Aturukuku Primary School in the town of Tororo in the far eastern part of the country. The school had 13 teachers and about 350 students in grades P1 through P7.
We learned that all of the teachers walked to and from work, requiring a good deal of their time and energy. The school had no running water and no electricity. There was no library at the school and no means for the teachers to make copies of materials for their own use or for the students. These issues were distractions from the primary job of the teachers ~ lesson preparation and leading the students in their studies.
How could we not try and find some way to help, to share something of what we had with these children who called us Muzungu (white man) and welcomed us under that marvelous tree in front of the school...
...with singing and dancing. And a poem...
So we did what we could, with much help from church families, friends, coworkers and local schools. It seemed to be so little, but it meant much to the school in Tororo. Reports of the projects at Aturukuku are in posts in this blog.
Then, during our visit in 2008, we met with the teachers at Patewo Primary School in the rural area west of Tororo Town. There are 7 teachers for an enrollment in grades P1 through P7 of almost 700 students! Our plan is to meet with the school staff in 2010 about the barriers they face in providing the kind of education they would like the students to have and how we might be able to remove at least some of them.
The funds were raised and a local elementary school along with many friends, neighbors and co-workers brought in the books which were packed in a COLD garage in Wisconsin. All this in time to get them to Joplin for loading into the container.
The container finally arrived in Uganda in May and the books completed their journey to Tororo in July. Now, the students and teachers are enjoying access to a selection of reading and reference materials - something every school, everywhere should have.
In January of 2010, we will have the chance to talk to the teachers face-to-face about their experience with the books and about how we might be able to do to improve the library with additional books and other reference materials relevant to the needs of the school.
We now have more books and hope to find the means to get them shipped as soon as possible. If you are interested in helping with this effort, drop us an email. The address is in the "Contact" box on the right side of this page.
It seems as if everyone enjoyed the exchange and we have been asked to repeat the program for our 2010 visit.
Featured Letter from an Aturukuku Student
Letter 4 of 57
Click on image for a larger view
Also, there was a small excess in the funds raised for purchase of the bikes - small, but enough to have a water line run to a point near the building.
Teachers and the new bicycles at Aturukuku