Wednesday, October 8, 2014

   

     Hot Indian summer weather has blanketed Southern California in recent weeks... so hot that we find ourselves seeking the ocean, air-conditioned buildings, fans, anything for relief. It has brought back memories of equally hot days in Northern Uganda, where shade is the only relief for hot weather- unless you can find an Alvaro Pear Soda in a hotel refrigerator! Most people in Uganda don't have access to refrigerators.
     In the North, many schools have been created in buildings that were formerly "IDP" camps (set up to house internally displaced persons fleeing from the Lord's Resistance Army). They are spartan, without glass in the windows, or doors in the door frames. Some are lucky enough to have a few benches that students will crowd onto. Teachers often have class sizes that range from 60-100 students. Children either walk to school, or are driven on a boda-boda (small motorcycle). Sometimes we see entire families riding one boda-boda! Children, always dressed in uniforms, are excited to come to school.
     We sometimes pass children out in the fields, caring for animals and not allowed by their families to attend school. School costs money, and their small hands are needed for everyday survival of the family. For the lucky ones, they do get to go to school, and learn enough that their lives will be an improvement compared to that of their parents.
     Turn the Page Uganda is trying to make a difference in the lives of these lucky students. We donate $500.00 worth of textbooks to the needy schools, textbooks chosen by the teachers in the schools, so that they will have a vested interest in using the books. The books come from a bookstore in Kampala, and are the best books available that support the National curriculum. Once the schools receive the new books, they can design their lessons to help students succeed and pass onto the next grade level. Unlike America, students must pass a test to be promoted to the next grade level. Without the textbooks, it is extremely difficult to cover the necessary material. We are excited to be helping the next generation of Ugandan children, and we hope you will consider helping us help them!

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