So a successful year was had by TUSP in 2017, but there remains a huge amount of work and effort for the upcoming year and beyond.
Having established a solid infrastructure at the school, it has become apparent that the education standards at Bumakenya are significantly lower than what is an already low average. We knew this would not be an overnight fix, but a core aim of ours is this year is to put foundations in place for raising these levels significantly. To do so will require a huge amount of additional training for the teachers, who need guidance, motivation and empowerment to be able to inspire a thirst for education in the pupils.
We also want to create a supportive and creative learning environment that is conducive to improved emotional wellbeing of the children. Grace is currently involved with having the pupils paint the inside of the classrooms in designs and ideas chosen by them, and will be working to ensure their basic needs are catered for.
Key non-educational processes also need to be established, e.g the management of government funds, to ensure a smooth running of the school and to create engagement and trust with the community. We welcomed a new headteacher in Feb 2018 and will continue to work on these throughout this year and beyond.
Finally, given the growing popularity of the school in the community, we will be looking to construct a final two classrooms at the school. This is dependent on the purchasing of the necessary land by the community, the idea being that shared ownership and responsibility will lead to greater sense of collaboration and partnership.
Here's a breakdown of key aims and budgets for 2018:
2 x additional classrooms - £7,000
The growing population at the school means that despite the construction of 4 classrooms,
and the installation of classroom dividers to create more space, we are low on room! Based
on the previous constructions, we anticipate this to cost £7000 for a pair of classrooms.
Additional training and educational aid - £1,200
A recent survey commissioned by TUSP and carried out by local government, has highlighted
many areas the school needs to improve. This is not shocking to us – the school was in bad
shape and to help turn it around will not be overnight, but it has really helped to highlight
the level of work required and articulate how we can go about doing so. A primary focus for
this year will be to provide more support to members of staff so as to improve their quality
of teaching, motivation and wellbeing.
School Lunch Programme - £1,300
The lunch programme is going strong but continues to require funding. This provides a meal
of maize-based porridge, supplemented with ground nuts and milk for additional nutrition.
We will also be introducing a basic lunch for teachers.
Medical Aid - £1,000
This year we will continue with the biannual medical screening of the local community of
people with albinism. This involves bringing approx. 40 people to Bumbo Health Centre to
provide testing for skin cancer and eye testing, provision of protective clothing, and creams
and ointments for skin.
We will also continue to support a fortnightly rehabilitation clinic at the school, which brings
a physio and assistant to offer treatment for the physically disabled in the community.
Microfinance loans to 20 additional women - £1,400
With the Microfinance project proving very successful in its first year, we want to continue
to expand our support by offering more opportunities to more businesswomen in the
community. At the same time, a key factor in the success to date has been quality control,
i.e making sure that there are sound business plans behind the requests for these loans. We
will therefore look to add 2 new groups of 10 women to the programme, to coincide with
the further loans issued to the current groups.
Staff Expenses - £1,800
Whilst supporting the Staff Expenses may not be the ‘sexiest’ project to support, this is the
heartbeat of the organisation. To date, TUSP volunteers have paid 100% of their expenses.
However, we do also need a small team of Ugandan employees, who coordinate and assist
with our full scope of projects to make sure they’re running efficiently and any problems can
Sean’s Stipend - £3,000
It would be my dream to dedicate myself full time to TUSP, but this would require being
able to take a stipend to continuously live in-country, as opposed to spending periods in
London to support personal expenses when in Uganda. I’ve included a stipend for myself in
the target amount, which equates to £100/week (from March onwards). This is on a
restricted fund basis, which means that I would only use donations for this purpose if it is
strictly indicated as such by the donor.