Monday, March 31, 2008

Power outages

Wanted to give you all an update on our power situation. As many of you know we have been without power a lot this past month +. Today the power company will start scheduled rolling backouts (like we haven't been having them anyway, just not on a schedule) Anyway, we will have power every 3rd day so if it takes a couple of days to respond to your emails you know why. The internet is still down at our house, so we can't make phone calls either. If you call and leave a message we can hear it and then email you back or try and call on our cell phones. Othewise if you need to get in touch with us immediately you will need to call our cell phones. 011256 774095969 or 011256 774679339.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yes, we are alive

Yes we are alive and well. It has been awhile since we have been able to blog. We have had downed power and internet lines for the past 3+ weeks, but we are well.
David has done the blog for this week. We have some exciting things going on and some pictures as well after the letter. Thanks for being patient with us.

Exciting news!!

Orphan/Children Fund has just acquired a village primary school in Bakka outside the town of Wakiso. The school is for children 3yrs to 6th grade. They presently have 150 students (38 double orphans and 37 single orphans and 75 really poor kids). All the children live with extended family members and with their parents. This is the local school for all the poor families. The tuition is only $4.75 per term (3 terms/yr.) and half of the students cannot afford that. The school is on approximately 2 acres with 3 buildings that were built 20 years ago. It has a beautiful setting and spectacular views but the classroom buildings are just awful and I mean bad. Most of us would not use them for a doghouse. There are no doors, windows, books, desks, equipment, toys, water or electricity. The kids go all day without drinking anything because of a lack of water. The floors are uneven dirt with major leaks in the roof and the rain just blows in and makes mud in the classrooms. Most of the caulk boards are crumbling plaster painted black. (You can see on the pictures below) The teacher has to pick and choose where she can write. There are 4 teachers and 1 cook/ bottle washer. They serve porridge cooked on 3 rocks in a 20 liter metal bucket. Only the older children are served lunch meal and the smaller kids have to go home for the day hungry. The teachers barely speak English and have no real teaching skills. They are paid $40 a month, so no wonder they are not qualified. 40 kids per class doesn’t help.
What were we going to do when we were offered the school? Of course you pray and ask for God’s will and then do what you can. OCF can do so much more for these kids with your help. The kids were well behaved and just happy to be alive. The school has had no outside or Governmental help and the headmaster, Pastor Joseph was ready to give up and close the doors before we came to meet him. When God closes a door He opens a window, and that is where we are now. We are looking through that window seeing God’s plans. We need your help, time and resources to change this school into something special.
What we want to do is bring in building teams to do the repairs to the buildings and teachers/ volunteers to teach the children and to train the teachers how to teach. A new term starts mid May, so summer break in US will be a perfect time for teachers and volunteers to come here. Anyone interested please contact us ASAP. There are local accommodations that are sufficient. We have put together some of the costs and scope of the repairs. We want to start a sponsorship of $35 per month per child for the children for school administration, school fees, packs, books, nutritious meals, health care and uniforms. We will require that the families contribute something toward the school fees. This may just be food, sewing, gardening or something they have. We don’t want to start another welfare culture. We must teach them to think and do for themselves. Give them pride, not take it away.
We have agreed to reimburse the pastor for the cost he paid for the acreage and buildings. That cost is 6,00,000 UG Shillings or $3600.00. We don’t have the funds to do that now, but he understands we will start raising the funds, so how about a little help with that? Our goal is to have the buildings repaired, all students insured with medical coverage, uniforms, books, desks etc. by the end of summer/1st of Sept.
We have started clearing a plot on the property to start a garden. We will be using this as a community project to show them how to use the farming technique, “Framing God’s way”. This is the technology that we will be using on our land in Nakasongola for our larger farm. It will also serve as food to feed the children with and ongoing science lessons.
Plant a seed and watch it grow. Change a life and give a future.
On another note we have qualified 34 orphans from the school that are ready to adopt. We also have a 2 month old baby girl that we have from the village that we took into our home as she was malnourished and we weren’t sure if she was going to survive. Her father was killed in a car crash before she was born and her mom died after giving birth. She weighed in at 4 pounds. She is available to adopt as well. Very sweet baby Mary.

Estimation for repairs


Replace 50% and paint 50% 3880 SF total
1940 SF tin sheets $1164.00
1940 SF roof paint $550.00


2400 SF concrete $2000.00


17- 2’-8”X6’-8” solid wood doors
and locking hardware $1360.00


36- 3’X3’ bars only, wood frame

Bricks and Mortor $700.00

Plaster for Walls $1700.00

Paint $700.00

Tools $200.00

Misc. $800.00

Transport of materials $500.00

TOTAL for MATERIALS $10,954.00

Bring in Electricity $500.00

Wood Playground Equipment $2000.00

Kitchen Equipment $1500.00

150 Desks $3000.00

kids from school

kids from the school. They are holding their names and ages.
math lesson for the day

Bakka village pictures

kids peeking out of classroom window
kids lining up for their lunch, porridge meal. Pastor Joseph and Jamie with them.

Bakka Village school and kids

Inside one of the best classrooms
Kids getting ready for lunch

Bakka Village School

part of the school building with 3 of the youngest students