On 20 June 2018 the 202 children in the nursery received an amazing present. The space in front of their classrooms was finally turned into a play area with slides, swings and toys.
Thanks to the ground levelling work and the distribution of sand to make the area more suitable for playing in, 5 slides, 6 swings and 2 toys with 6 seats each were installed in the nursery playground.
Break times are now even more fun with the children able to play on the slides, swings and rotating toys under the watchful eye of their teachers.
And this is thanks to the Italian donors that supported this project to provide the Father Giovanni Scalabrini nursery school with a play area.
A way of enriching and making our children’s educational path more interesting, providing them with positive experiences and new forms of stimulation.
Everyone to school… on the school bus!
Traffic in Uganda isn’t exactly the same as in our cities with the roads particularly chaotic during the rush hour as cars, boda boda, lorries and other vehicles criss-cross haphazardly and the deafening noise of horns forms the soundtrack to the urban jungle.
Getting around on foot is therefore very dangerous. Yet, every day many women stand at the roadside to sell vegetables, often taking small children with them, and many students walk to school.
Schoolchildren often leave home very early in the morning, walking a long way with friends or older siblings to get to school.
With around 250 of the 1000 children at BCK Primary School living a long way away, it became clear that a new school bus was required also to help students from further afield.
The school’s existing bus was in a poor state due to the many miles it has clocked up and could no longer serve all the children that required it.
We immediately informed our donors of this pressing need and they generously responded, making it possible to purchase a new bus.
Finally, in April, the new bus arrived at BCK Primary School and the enthusiastic and joyous reactions of the children made it clear just how much they welcomed it.
Naturally they couldn’t wait to try it, but before its “trial run” Father Isidoro blessed the vehicle with the children singing during the ceremony.
The teachers then allowed the pupils to climb aboard the new bus, which they did with great excitement.
The new school bus is a real source of pride for BCK Primary School, so much so that even now, weeks after it arrived, the school looks after it as if it were a real “jewel”. It is now used regularly to transport the children but the cellophane that covers the seats has still not been removed. When we ask why Father Isidoro replied: “Well, at least this way everyone can see it is new!”.
Our sincerest thanks go to all the donors that made the purchase of the new bus possible.
The journey between home and school will now be quicker and safer for all children.
The students of Università Cattolica will once again have the opportunity to participate in the UCSC Charity Work Program in Uganda this year. Every summer the programme, promoted by Università Cattolica, sends numerous students to various countries across the world to carry out voluntary work. After the positive experience of last year, the BCK students can’t wait to meet the next set of teachers that will spend a month with them this summer. The children don’t know them yet but Sara, Giulia and Vera are already getting ready to make the most of this experience. We met up with them to tell them a bit about the context and the activities and they seemed really on the ball. We would like to introduce them to you too, using what they wrote in their presentation letters: Sara Giuliani, a graduate in Education Sciences and now enrolled on the Master’s course in Education Consultancy: “I decided to work for the Charity because I believe it will be a unique experience that enables me to test myself and discover my limits as well as my resources. I can’t wait to leave and experience the joie de vivre, the happiness and the love of the people I meet!”; Giulia Gafforio, 23, graduate in Education Sciences: “I am really happy to be involved with the Charity in Uganda. Voluntary work has always been a part of my life and through my experiences I have understood my real vocation: to help others. For me the Charity is a chance to put the things I have learned during my studies into practice, but also to learn more about myself and understand what I want from life”; Vera Brunelli, 21, Education Sciences student: “I chose to go to Africa because I hope to broaden my horizons, to experience new cultures. I hope I can help the Ugandan children with my teaching skills and knowledge, conscious of the fact that their school system is very different to the Italian system. I want to put myself to the test both as a teacher and on a personal level”. Six medicine students from Rome’s Università Cattolica will have the chance to work alongside the doctors in our hospital. They will experience a very different scenario where food, treatment and prevention are all lacking. Where perhaps the recognition they receive from patients will be their most vivid memory. We are certain they will open their eyes and hearts like never before! This is what some of them think on the eve of their departure: “Going to Africa – explains Alessandro Petracca – has been an ambition of mine since I was a teenager and one that has got even bigger during my studies. For me the Charity is not just a professional opportunity but a chance to grow as a person. I hope Uganda opens my eyes!”. Marta Vacca also believes that the Charity could be an opportunity to put some of her professional skills into practice in a different context from Italy: “I think that going far away from home and your comfort zone is the best way of growing and I am convinced that it is also a good way of changing your perspective of reality. Finally, I am really excited by the idea of coming into contact with a new culture and learning all about it”. Sara, Giulia, Vera, Francesca, Anna, Simone, Alessandro, Marta and Virginia: we wish you a positive voluntary experience that helps you grow as people, teachers and doctors.
TRAINING and WORK
Social Jewels: for women and with women
At Talent Garden Calabiana in Milan, where our offices have been located for a few months now, to mark International Women’s Day we gave all female workers necklaces made by women from the slums of Kireka and Kitintale, who we support with the “Social Jewels” project. In fact, lots of businesses work at the Talent Garden space. An intriguing gift that highlighted the work we do for the poorest women in the outskirts of Kampala. An original and unexpected gift for young women more familiar with apps, the internet and websites than African crafts that proved surprisingly successful in terms of the generosity they showed. Indeed, it was thanks to the donations we received in Milan that we were able to purchase cutting machines which will enable the women of Kireka and Kitintale to work more quickly and safely. In fact, the necklaces, bracelets and rosary beads, but also the Christmas decorations that we commission as gifts for our donors, are made from paper beads, produced from strips of paper that are rolled up and waxed. Riccardo Mariani and Samuel Okema took it upon themselves to deliver the machines personally: from the looks and the smiles of the women from the slums it was clear that they were sincerely grateful to receive this simple instrument that will speed up their work and therefore make it more profitable. For the women of Kireka and Kitintale this activity is important for both their economic development and independence.