Kafuro gets ready to return to school

After the best part of seven months without children attending school in Uganda due to Covid 19, the children in P7 are going to be the first children returning to school next Monday 15th October. This significant time away from school has been made worse by the fact that the IT infrastructure is not good enough to support remote learning. The Government were making some promises about sending a television and radios to every village so that the children could access some learning, but this would not be on a scale that everyone would benefit.

P7 are the equivalent of Year 6 (although some of the children are older) and they have to take their Primary Leaving Examinations in November (their equivalent of SATs). Needless to say, they have a great deal of learning to catch up on.

Mr Thembo and his staff ave been busy making the site secure to minimise the risk of infection. This has included for the first time, a barrier preventing open access to the school.

There is now a barrier at the entrance to Kafuro Primary School

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Wants & Needs work with Year 6 at Liss

Greetings to all of our friends in Kafuro. We have heard that there is the possibility of P7 returning to school on September 20th. We hope that this works out and that you are able to resume your learning before Primary Leaving Examinations.

Year 6 at Liss Junior School have begun their work on the wants and needs learning that takes place in the UK every year and allows us to make some comparisons with Kafuro.

Our first task was to give each pair of children the outline of a child and  to give the outlined child a name. Next, we discussed what this child would need to grow up into a happy and healthy adult. The children were set the task of identifying twenty things that would help the child achieve this. At this point there was no input and the children could completely decide for themselves.

Once the pupils had completed their twenty things that a child would need, they wrote them on post its and placed them in the middle of the child. Next, they were asked to remove five of the things that the child could do without – this reduced the items to fifiteen. This exercise was repeated twice more and generated a lot of debate on each table as the children argued over what should stay. Eventually, each group had five items left which they shared with the rest of the class and compared.

Our next step was to introduce UNICEF wants and needs cards and perform a similar exercise. However, firstly the children were asked to divide the cards into three groups: those they thought were Most ImportantImportant and Least Important. Then, once again, Mr Stanley asked the pupils to reduce the cards down to just five, and the classroom became very animated as the children had to make some very difficult decisions over what should stay and what should go. It was interesting to see how the children made their choices compared with previous years. Although there were a lot of similarities, there were also some notable differences. This will be shared in a future blog post.

Once the pupils had completed this exercise, they compared the five wants and needs they had left with the post its they had created in the previious lesson. As a class, we then discussed the difference between wants and needs.

Needs: the things that are absolutely necessary for all children to have a happy and healthy life

Wants:the things that are nice to have but not necessary for a full life.

We finished this first session by discussing some key questions: Are wants and needs different for people in the UK and Uganda? Why don’t all children in the world have what they need?

To the first question, the pupils were quite clear that needs would be the same in both countries. However, there was an acknowledgement that wants would be different. For example, a pupil in the UK might want a Playstation or an Xbox, but for a pupil in Uganda, where electricity is scarce in places, a new bike would be something that they might really want. We were able to use Eben’s expertise as he was able to tell us that growing up in Malawi there were often power cuts, so what was the point of having a console?

The pupils were y not shocked that children in the world didn’t have everything they need. We discussed some of the reasons why this may be so:

  • War
  • Some countries don’t have enough money to feed people
  • Some governments are corrupt
  • Exploitation of poorer countries by richer countries
  • Climate change

There was widespread disbelief in the class that millions of people go hungry in the world when there is more than enough food to feed everyone comfortably.

Next, the pupils looked at the needs of children are protected. We studied the United Nations Charter for the rights of the Child. It was interesting to see the children make links with their work in the first session. One group were delighted to see that the right to play was enshrined in their convention and felt that justified them placing ‘play’ in their final five cards.

In our next session we will be trying to marry up each need from the first session with other rights in the charter.

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Message from Mr Thembo

Hello to everyone at Liss Junior and Liss Infant School. Every time I think about Liss I go and read the goodbye messages you wrote for me when I left the school to come back to Uganda. You all have my love and good wishes.

Uganda is still in a case of partial lockdown due to Covid – 19. Although we can move during the day, there is a curfew at night and we must stay indoors. However, things are starting to get better. Shops are open and boda bodas are available to use for transport. However, airports, schools and places of worship are still closed.

While Kafuro Primary School has been closed, work has begun on constructing a small accommodation block for members of staff. As Kafuro is a long way from the homes of some staff members, they have to stay in the village during the week and only travel home at the weekend. The new block, which is situated below the cob oven, will provide accommodation for three members of staff. We had to clear a lot of bushes to make space for the new building. We now need to plaster the building and fit doors and shutters.

My best wishes to all pupils in UK and I hope you enjoy your summer holidays.

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Gardening at Liss

Warm greetings to all of our friends in Kafuro. We hope you are keeping safe and well, and hope that you will be able to go back to school soon. When Mr Thembo visited Liss in March, it was just before the growing season although we did plant some tomato, pepper and courgette seeds while he was visiting Liss. We moved many of the seeds outside in May and now all of our plants are thriving in the warm summer weather. We are looking forward to hearing how Mr Thembo has got on with the courgette seeds given to him by Mr Stanley. Today, Mr Stanley picked the first courgette from our plants and we used it as a topping for pizzas we cooked in our cob oven.

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Changing Communities: Building in Liss part 10

Here’s the latest photos of the building work in Liss. As you can see there is a lot of work happening and the first show home is being built. For our friends in Uganda, a show home is a home that people can visit to get an idea of what all the other homes will look like. It is used to attract new buyers.

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Changing Communities: Building in Liss part 9

Building on the Andlers Wood development continues apace. The photos show that there is plenty of activity.

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Changing Communities: Building in Liss part 8

The Covid – 19 outbreak has delayed building on the Andlers Wood project in Liss. Show homes, which were due to be available to view in July, have now been delayed until December. However, work has restarted and there will be road closures for six weeks while essential work is carried out.

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Floods hit Kasese!

Nyamwamba River has once again burst it’s banks! Last night was horrible as floods spread throughout the entire community. Deep in the night, we first heard heavy sound of gushing water. By 6:00am , water had entered into people’s homes, community schools, playgrounds and Rihamu has not been spared by this menace!. The children’s dormitory and all the toilets full of water. We are on ground trying to control the situation.

The damage has not been conclusively identified since some places are still flooding. Some of our teachers have been affected because water entered their houses. Thank God no death has been reported yet. We need your prayers!


Head teacher

Rihamu Junior School.

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Changing Communities: Building in Liss part 7

Work continues apace on the site at Andlers Wood, and as the photos show, there is now a big billboard advertising the new houses.

The first foundations have been laid and the website below gives you much more detail about the new estate.


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Sharing this amazing experience is absolutely the most beautiful thing ever. Whatever thoughts and memories I have about this visit matters a lot to the children, teachers and people who established the twinning project.

Bravo! To QEPP, Bravo! To the British Ccouncil for initiating this awesome global education program for both Uganda and UK schools. You should feel proud, special for starting up and fully funding this educational program that has put a huge smile to many people and children a round the world.

First, it was the plane experience!! My first time to board a plane. I was nervous, scared but again glad😀because this has always been on the list of things I ask God to do for me. The difference is traveling in air but almost the same as traveling in a bus. I’ve been to some airports but not as big as Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi and the biggest Heathrow in London.

Thank God!!🙏We landed safely and being picked by Adam Stanley and his partner Heather Green. Everything was different, the environment, roads, houses, cars, people and weather. What a different world London is!! In 1 and half hours, we were at home, Waterlooville. A warm welcome from the Peach family, these people are amazing!!! Coffee, food, a bath and later to my beautiful room.

Morning Monday 2nd March ready to visit the park! Queen Elizabeth Country Park! My colleague Mr Thembo and I were received by the rangers Ashley and Jan. My first HOT CHOCOLATE and bread was served,very tasty! Later proceeded to the park, I was scared, I thought we were going to see deadly animals like the lions, leopards and snakes as those in QE National park in Uganda, but all in vain. Ashley kept driving us in the park. At some point we couldn’t move outside the car not because we feared the animals in the park like Uganda, but due to too much coldness and mud. We toured different places in the park including the Butser Hill National Nature Reserve. Tourists and their dogs were in as well!. We later went to Petersfield….interesting!!!

Another glamorous day! Hambledon Primary School, a place I knew even before being there! Adorable, brilliant pupils and teachers I imagined! And yes it was an admirable, colourful, charming, and beautiful place than I imagined. I was extremely happy when I was welcomed in the school. Hambledon is heaven!! Imagine going through a day with amazing people, lots of smiles, food, hugs, fascinating compliments, appreciations and even people holding the door to open for you, wow!!!!!! Everything at Hambledon Primary School is unique, the headteacher Paul has a unique friendly personality as well. Friends hold a special place in one’s heart. Thank you Mr Davies for being a friend,mentor and more!! Through the twinning project we met, I’ve learn a lot from you and this whole amazing experience will create a positive impact to me as a head teacher and the entire family of Rihamu Junior School. Lots of thanks to Adrienne, the deputy head teacher at Hambledon Primary School who led the fundraising exercise to rise money for renovating our primary one wooden class.. You don’t know the change you have made to beautify our school and the children who suffered during the rainy season.

For sure, this whole experience is worth sharing. The different places I’ve visited while in the UK are amazing. London city, Buckingham Palace and many more interesting places in London. Bournemouth at the seaside, thanks Paul this place was the best. Chichester University where we shared different experiences on global citizenship, Portsmouth in different shopping arcades and getting to understand how the UK money is used when shopping!! Liss village and Liss Junior, different pubs, the cricket pitch, Winchester and many other places I’ve not mentioned maybe because I can’t remember their spellings😀😀😀. All these places were hilarious!

The twinning project will contribute a lot to Rihamu Junior school in many ways: Through communication and letter exchange, it will improve English speaking at school. Enhancement of global learning , exposure to different learning and teaching contexts, change of perception and attitudes, cultural awareness and exchange through sharing experiences. Increased quality and effectiveness of games like cricket, tag rugby, football, dominoes, darts which Rihamu got to know through the project. Support towards the school projects like the water tank, supporting the orphanage etc. The list is endless.

I don’t have the right words to express my gratitude and thankfulness to the Peach family. They’re my parents,they treated me like their own. I felt at home and more!!!!

Again, special thanks goes to the following people who made my visit and stay in the UK so fabulous. Adam Stanley, Steve Peach, Paul Davies, Jan, Karen Peach,Heather Green, Teresa and the entire family, Jess and the lovely family, Jo Heath , Mary at Chichester university, the brownies, Ashlea, The entire staff and pupils of Hambledon and the education students I met in Chichester.

That’s part one of my UK experience,more still coming. Take care everyone,stay home and stay safe.

Shakilah Huda , Rihamu Junior School.

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