Building a strategic school in Northern Uganda

In 2009, AAI’S Ugandan Co-ordinator, Sunday Sula Lasa visited Australia to report on the work of AAI in that country. In discussions with him the Australian Directors we heard of his desire to provide education for deaf children in the rural area of Bweyale in the north of the country. Lack of adequate provision for children affected by hearing problems often prohibits them from gaining an education or being accepted by society.

During Sula’s stay with us the first donation came in for the purpose of building a school. Since that time donations for this project have continued to be sent in by our visionary supporters.  It was decided to build a school that would educate deaf children while integrating them with hearing children, beginning with primary schooling and working toward the development of a secondary school.

To this end, 14 acres of land was acquired adjoining the position of the Gospel Hope Church in Bweyale. The initial primary school building is now complete with doors and windows fitted and awaiting external and internal paint works and fitting out with equipment and supplies. Plans are now in hand to build the required Admin/Teacher facility to facilitate the opening of the school.

First building of Upward Academy, Bweyale.  Completed in 2011. 220’ x 30’.


View of the school from the Bweyale Township.

LIGHTNING DANGER

During construction severe lightning storms struck many schools throughout the region and both teachers and students had been very badly injured and some died from injuries sustained. We then decided to install lightning conductors in the school and finance was sent and this was accomplished bringing safety for the future pupils.


Lighning rods fitted

Desks constructed

AN OPPORTUNITY SEIZED

The AAI board members were notified by Sula of an offer from a neighbour of his wish to sell a 17 acre section of land adjoining the present school site.  AAI intends the school to be self supporting and so it was decided to purchase this land for the purpose of providing financial support for ongoing costs and for the development of the school program by growing maize and other cash crops for the local market.

Although buying the land will initially delay the opening of the school it was felt that as Bweyale has been chosen to be the home of ‘council administration’ for the newly established ‘District’ in the region, and is a busy trading & business centre, the cost of land is consequently rising. It was therefore thought prudent to take advantage of this offer. Over half of the price of the land has now been paid, and the final payment, (approximately $20,000), is to be completed May 2012.

AAI is now the owner of a total of 31 acres for the development of a self sustaining District School which will bless many needy children and youth in Northern Uganda. For this we give all thanks to God by whom we are enabled to walk by faith and not by sight.


An extra seventeen acres secured for future use.

Dedicating well number four at a village near Bweyale.

LIVES SAVED

While in Bweyale we had opportunity to follow up two ladies who were in urgent need of medical attention and consequently surgery. Our friends and co-workers, Sula, Daniel and Ephraim were instrumental in assisting us in various ways to reach, transport and give accommodation to these ladies throughout this rescue mission. Both are now at home and recovering well. We are very grateful for this opportunity to save lives.

AAI IN KENYA
Mercy Compassionate Ministries, Uriri.

Mercy Children’s Home is managed by a dedicated team under the leadership of Rev Consolate Aluoch Muga. Her son Peter Muga is the  General Manager and his capable assistant manager is Stephen Ochieng. Stephen is a committed worker in the home and in charge of horticulture and agriculture. Beatrice is the Social worker, Elizabeth is the Matron, and Eunice is the cook. The farm produces food crops, which ensure a healthy diet. The cow, ‘Michelle Obama’, is providing fresh milk each day.

The Mercy Widow Group faithfully support the home in housekeeping and food preparation.

Elizabeth, matron at Mercy

 Eunice, cook at Mercy

Children at the gate

MERCY ACADEMY

The school is located on the same block as the home and farm. It educates a staggering 360 students in ten corrugated iron classrooms with fifteen persons on staff. While we were at Mercy a bicycle was purchased for the Head Master whom we found was walking to school, some ten km’s each day.

We were impressed by the eagerness and commitment of students and staff alike to see Mercy Academy provide excellence in educational subjects, Christian studies and lifestyle.

We found all the children well and in good spirits. We visited them at school at their studies and also from early morning to bedtime in the home. This is always a very uplifting experience as these children are so beautiful, each in their own special way. Hearing the singing and bible reading and prayers in the evenings is a very touching experience.

We met with the teaching staff as each one shared what their duties are. We were each presented with plaques made from soapstone from Kisii. Jean expressed to the teachers her desire to see the children have the opportunity to express themselves in art work. The teachers are willing to co-operate in this, the problem as always is the finance needed for art supplies. To this end Jean is seeking financial support for this to begin in 2012.

AAI Sponsorship for most of the 46 children at Mercy Home and many home based children provides food and helps meet their general academic educational needs, transforming their lives.

New land adjoining Mercy Home was purchased some time ago as a place to build a permanent school separate from the children’s home.

Initial plans have been drawn up and legal work is in transition. This can be a lengthy process in African Nations.

We are eager to assist Mercy Ministries become more self sustaining and viable long term. This may involve greater investment in land and infrastructure that can produce income. Your thoughts are most welcome on creative ways this may happen.

More Land is available for this purpose adjoining the lower half of the present 4.5 acres on which the Mercy Children’s Home is built.

Mercy is an awesome place. It is always a privilege to share with the children and staff .

Again, thank you to all who can see the vision of AAI for these people and have identified with the work.

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