Something that lasts….
So, from the very beginning of this project, the question of mine (and others) that has always been in the back of my mind and sometimes waking me up at night is, “What happens when the trip is over and the school year is done? What will the kids do without your continued support?”
It’s haunting, and those of you who have walked this road with us from the beginning know how deeply this has weighed on our hearts and minds. The transition home has been a difficult one as we have deepened relationships, seen our friends living in poverty (but with extreme gratitude) and experienced the wealth in which we live and often take for granted. I know it’s now been five months, but things are still strange for us. It’s hard to explain.
But now I am beyond excited to tell you that we have an opportunity to do something in Kasanda that is more permanent and will hopefully help Ugandan orphans far into the future. A school came up for sale in the Kasanda District and after asking many questions and discussing options, we (along with a couple other anonymous, generous donors) have decided to purchase the land that the current ‘temporary’ school sits on that serves about 100 students and employs approximately nine teachers, one cook and a gatekeeper. The school is for students from Nursery age up to Primary 4, but our hope is that once it’s in the hands of Kasanda Children’s Aid, it will grow to serve more students because it’s in such a poor (but strategic) area. We do have twelve students from last year that get to continue their education as well as money still coming in from amazing people to continue to support students in need. Our hope is to move most of the sponsorships to this new school so that it is easier to manage and can be overseen by people that we know and trust.
I will be returning to Uganda in late January for three weeks to do some work in Entebbe, and then staying to visit some of our previous Get Schooled children. I will also use this time to visit the school’s property for the first time, meet the students and teachers and assess the needs going forward. I know that the school building itself is not sustainable (as you can see from the photos), but over time, our hope is that others will join us and contribute to make this school as good as we know it can be under the care and guidance of Kasanda Children’s Aid.
Please rest assured that if you gave money to our project up to this point, the money you gave is still going directly to support student school fees and not the purchase of this land. If you feel lead at all to give anything specifically for this school – in the form of teacher salaries, new building costs, student desks, school supplies, playground toys such as soccer balls, netball nets, etc., just please contact me and I can help you sort that out!
Stay tuned for more information after I return home with some news, photos and a better idea of how we can continue to support vulnerable children in the Pearl of Africa. We deeply appreciate you all!