Wednesday, October 24, 2012

People in the Mist...

We held a fundraiser on October 20th at the home of Dr. Fred and Sarah Kass in Mission Canyon. A nice size group of people gathered to enjoy wine donated by Dr. George Primbs and delicious food prepared by chef Harold Welch of World Cuisine. Many items from Uganda were available for purchase with all proceeds benefitting Turn the Page Uganda in the hopes of earning enough funds to support more schools. A Powerpoint presentation was given as a light mist fell down, creating a very intimate setting. We discussed the culture of Uganda, the systems that are in place to help the Country and identifed some of the daily struggles that are faced by the families who work diligently to provide for their children. By the close of the evening we had earned enough money to support another four schools! If only I would remember to put someone else in charge of taking photographs for our events, I would have more photos to share with you... I get so busy that I only take a few and then I forget to take any other shots later on. So, I'll need to improve on that for the future!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Checking in From Africa

"If I come to America, will my skin turn white like yours?" That was the shy question asked of me the other day by a sweet girl in a P4 class in one of the schools I was visiting. My answer... "only if mine will turn black when I come to Uganda. Let's see if it does." We rubbed our arms together, but they remained the same as before. Her classmates laughed and I said, you are still just as beautiful as before. The children want to know everything about American children. Do they wear uniforms? Do they eat the same food? What do they study?

Visiting children in the classes has been the highlight of my travel through Uganda. Though the roads have been rough and muddy due to the hard rains, and the red dirt is often on my skirt and sandals, driving into the actual schoolyard brings a chorus of shouting children running to greet the van. A muzungu (white person) is often seldom seen and quite a sight to behold. Welcome songs are sung in class, girls curtsy and boys shake hands. The headmaster has a guest book for us to sign. Some schools have performances with drumming and Ugandan tribal dancing as well.

I am happy to report that our books are being used in the schools we have supported. In some schools they have even tracked student progress from year to year and can link an improvement in student progress this last year to the implementation of our books. Now that is exciting! Having resources in the schools is actually making a difference in the rate of student achievement in these schools. In every case the schools I visited asked, if possible, could I get them more books. They were so appreciative, but are struggling with absolutely enormous class sizes- some as large as 100. I had to tell them that I must help those that have not yet received the books before we allow schools to receive a second helping. They were of course sad, but understood. So the need is great! PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TODAY !