Thursday, 8 May 2008

Gerrards Cross Church of England School & Love Africa

One of the team that visited projects in March was Nicola Flower. Nicola, her husband John and their two boys are members of St James. Nicola is the head teacher at the Gerrards Cross Church of England School. Here is an update from Nicola about the link she is hoping to build with a school in Kampala.

The visit of the March 'team' to the community school at Kiswa was a real highlight for me. The Gerrards Cross CE School is keen to build a lasting link between our children and the children at Kiswa. Our aim is that we will be able to support the school at Kiswa with resources and some financial gifts from fundraising activities, and also that by an exchange of letters and photos our children will be able to learn about and from those living such different lives.
Kiswa is a school set in one of the slum areas of Kampala. It is housed in a 'building' which is rented by the Baptist church and is led by Pastor Wilson Tamale. About 80 children attend the school during the week and this rises to about 250 on a Saturday! The school/church building has no water or electricity but an abundance of love and energy. The atmosphere on the day we visited was simply inspirational.

During our visit we were able to deliver stationery items generously donated by our children and their parents. Children in Ugandan schools need to provide their own pens and exercise books, and for many these items remain luxuries in life. The pens, pencils and notebooks from Gerrards Cross were received very happily and Pastor Wilson has told me that they have been used by all children in the school. We were also able to leave them copies of our school CD which was recorded last year.

The first letters and photos from our Year 4 pupils will be sent off to them in the next week or so - hopefully they will arrive just as the children at Kiswa return from a two week school break. Last term our children raised £600 for the school at Kiswa through our Lent Fair and a balloon launch. Pastor Wilson is excited at the possiblity of this being used to provide some desks for the children so that they do not have to kneel on the floor to do any written work. He is looking into costs and we hope the money will be put to very good use in the near future.