Teachers’ housing

Provision of teachers’ accommodation is commonplace in rural schools in Uganda. There are a variety of reasons for this, not least of them being to make the post more appealing. Working in a rural primary school, as opposed to an urban location, is generally not a qualified teacher’s first or obvious choice.

At the end of 2014 we hit upon a good compromise which meant we could provide some accommodation at significantly lower cost than anticipated.

Here’s a couple of different views of the school office in Dec 2014

By extending an existing building we have been able to complete our first phase of teacher’s rooms, to house four staff members. By building off the back of the school office, built in 2009, the cost compared to an entirely new structure is about halved. Also in the process the newly rendered office building has its lifespan significantly extended.

The first thing to do was repair the veranda at the front of the building

The foliage laid over the newly rendered steps is to allow the …

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Does child sponsorship help?

Working amongst a culture and in a community that is quite different to your own is not without its challenges. Establishing a healthy balance of support and governance while working to avoid a culture of dependency is vital. For many years now there has been a huge emphasis on future sustainability in the charitable sector and rightly so. Charitable aid should not be a long term solution over sustainable change and like countless other charities we too are actively working towards a sustainable future.

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Home refurbishments

As the first new buildings (kitchen and toilet blocks) on the school site get closer to completion it seemed like the perfect time to make some minor repairs and general refurbishment to some of the charity’s existing buildings on site. The two children’s homes, boys & girls, in Kisimula village are home to our sponsored primary school children; each home houses ten children and a house mother, who is in permanent residence. Both homes were built in 2005 and while general maintenance has been an ongoing endeavor we felt they would really benefit from some repair and bringing upto the same high level of finish as the new buildings.

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Smokeless ovens

Autumn 2013 has been a VERY exciting time! All at Friends Reaching Out have been extremely busy and there have been some great positive leaps forwards to report, the down side of being so busy is finding time to make the reports on progress. This will be the first of our autumn feedback posts and while it’s a relatively small development it is one that will change lives and is quite literally ground (termite mound) breaking.

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Farmer training

Following on from our previous blog post, by July this year we were in a position to begin some training with our farmers, training that we were very keen to open up to all interested local farmers. Our consultation earlier in the year had established that our farmers were working approximately two acres per season, of our then five acre leasehold land, rotating from one season to the next and resting the land in-between times. Our plans for the now seven acres of land are fairly similar, on a slightly larger scale, and through use of seasonal labour, improved planting and seed stock, fertilising, a degree of mechanisation and better post harvest handling and storage practice we expect at least double the yield per growing season.

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Growing potential

For the last twelve months or so Friends Reaching Out has been dedicating some time to developing the agricultural element of our work in Uganda. It is an area of the project that has been quietly ticking over for approximately twelve years now, employing two local farmers on a part time basis to grow crops that supplement the children’s diet and reduce our feeding costs at key points throughout the year. While the operation has worked well on a relatively small scale the potential for development and the benefits that such development could bring are great, so we began to investigate some options.

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