BGIPU Charitable Events and Fundraising: Update on Funds raised by the BGIPU Quiz
In October last year the BGIPU held a Pub Quiz, as part of the BGIPU Week of events, hosted by Nigel Evans MP in the House of Commons. The event was well attended by Members and staff of both Houses and the BGIPU team were able to raise funds for the Good Samaritan School in Kampala, Uganda, whom BGIPU Staff and Nigel had visited in March 2012 during the 126th IPU Assembly.
Below is an update from Paul Wright, who in cooperation with Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn has been working with the school and raising funds for a number of years. The works described below were carried out in the last few months and the funds raised by the BGIPU contributed to these projects
At Good Samaritan there was the usual welcome of dancing and singing and I was really pleased with the progress, the Hall looks splendid with the walls painted, and now there is electricity, so it can be used at night, Godfrey has even bought an ancient TV which he puts in the Hall on Sunday for the children to watch.
The two new classrooms are finished, with one floored and plastered before we arrived and the other done whilst we were there; they have secure metal windows and doors, with one having glass in the windows too; this is to be the dormitory.
Around the compound, the new kitchen, although very simple and tiny, is better than the old shack, and, vitally, the well is functional and has made a tremendous difference with no more carrying jerry cans from the river; also the new toilet block is clean and tidy. One problem is the old, and original, classroom block where a wall has become unsafe, this is being rebuilt and you will see pictures of a new roof being put on.
My main objective this trip was to get the 45 children having to sleep in the dreadful conditions that you saw, in to beds. I’d said that one of the new classrooms must be a temporary dormitory and set about finding beds.
I visited a roadside workshop about half a mile from the school, which I’ve used before, and did a deal on 15 triple deck beds, this was on Tuesday and I was promised delivery by Sunday! A bit of haggling in nearby Wakiso bought mattresses and mosquito nets.
Meanwhile at school plastering and flooring was underway, the walls were painted and even some curtains put at the windows. The roof on the broken classroom was also being rebuilt, so everything was a hive of activity with the children very excited. In addition to this it was clear that the steady increase in pupils (now 265) was causing problems with up to 5 children sitting at each desk; it was clear that more were needed. 40 were ordered, and the following day they were being made by the carpenter using only a saw, set square and measuring tape; the children painted them.
Academically the school is doing well, as you will remember, the teaching, with so few resources, is largely by rote, but the results in the recent, and all important, primary leaving exams were very good, with a few pupils gaining the top grade. I’ve made contacts with the education authorities and made sure that what resources are available are given to the school.
The challenge remains the number of orphaned children; although 45 currently sleep at the school, there are many that go home with teachers or live with extended family (Godfrey looks after 4 as well as his own 3 children) so a permanent dormitory would be ideal.
I’m really pleased with progress here, also the other school in the Kampala slums is now running independently as is the girls hostel on the Rwanda border.
If you would like to know more about the Good Samaritan School, or fundraising carried out by the BGIPU, please contact the Secretariat.