News from 2007
 

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what ACE is

what ACE does

what ACE has done

where ACE works

what you can do

desk appeal

honey project

schools we support

student sponsorship

fundraising

upcoming events

Uganda visit 2006

ACE 200 Club

annual reports

easyfundraising

Eden Quayle

links

 

 

 

 

 


 

ACE 200 Club

The 200 Club, which we started in July 2006, has proved very successful. By the end of 2007 it had raised just over £2,000 for ACE.

By Autumn 2007 we had over 200 numbers sold. However, about sixty numbers were purchased as Christmas gifts in 2006. They entered their first draw in January 2007 and their last in December 2007. Only a few of these have been renewed.

That means that our numbers are now down to 164 which reduces the prize fund, and the amount of money raised by ACE.

Please try to enrol some new participants so that we can get back to 200. You can obtain more details and download an application form, by clicking here.



Christmas Events and School Donations

Carol singers  

St. Hilary School have been raising funds for ACE during the current school year. Prior to the Christmas 2007 period they had raised just over £1,400.

Their school choir sang Christmas carols at the Wharfside shopping centre in Penzance on Saturday 15th December and collected for ACE. Unfortunately it was bitterly cold so they couldn't perform for as long as planned, but they collected £87. With other events during the festive season they have earned a total of £336. They have several more events planned for 2008.

Nancledra School sang carols at the Tesco store at Carbis Bay on Wednesday 19th December. They wore their nativity play costumes and sang inside the store, right under the heaters. They have also given the proceeds of their Christmas carol concerts to ACE. The total they raised was £327.

Mounts Bay School raised £145 for ACE at various Christmas events.The money will be spent on desks at Rukongi Primary School.

Pendeen School have donated £182 which has been earmarked for new desks at Bukazi School.

We are very grateful to all four schools for their support.


Silvertree logo

 

We received a cheque for £35 from Silvertree Engineering of Truro.

Supporter, Martin Trathen, collected the money from his workmates.



Distribution of Exercise Books

These pictures show Eden Quayle giving out exercise books, which were funded by ACE, at Mukibugu school.
 
These gifts don't cost very much ....
 
.... but they bring so much joy to children with so little.
 


Pupils Do Best when Taught by Women

Charles Etoru has sent us an interesting article from the New Vision newspaper. The article contains a lot of information about Ugandan primary schools.

To read it click here.

Currently two of the schools which ACE supports have female headteachers. They are at Rukongi and Nyakabaya.



Sponsored Events

Two sponsored events have taken place during August 2007.

Click here for details.




Newmill Open Gardens

Sunflower Logo

This year's main event took place on Sunday 1st July 2007. Takings on the day amounted to £2,350.

For full details click here.

Sunflower Logo

Prior to the event, there was a private preview of 3 of the gardens for Ludgvan Gardens Group on 21st June.

Angela's garden at Chynoey was also visited on 28th June by a group from Trinity Chapel, Newlyn, and on 29th June by the Lamorna flower-arranging group.




£200 Cash Prizes Raffle
Raffle tickets

During spring and early summer we were selling raffle tickets for a draw which took place at the Open Gardens event on 1st July.

To see the prizewinners click here.

Money



We enrolled ACE into easyfundraising on 9th May 2007, enabling supporters to raise money for us whilst shopping online.

Direct Line logo
Payments are now coming in. The first one was a £15 donation from Direct Line Insurance when someone purchased pet cover. Other smaller amounts have come from Amazon and other companies.
Amazon logo

Thank you to those who have signed up. If you would like to know more about the scheme please click here.


Stone Collection

David Epidu

David Epidu

 

ACE's representative in Uganda, David Epidu, sends a monthly report to the ACE committee.

In his April 2007 report he wrote -

When at Kisoro District met various Heads and advised them to have a routine collection of stone and keep the stones around the school compound, such that if there is any chance for any of the eight schools supported by the A.C.E. getting any help, we should not be running up and down looking for the stone, this should be the contribution for the community.

They all accepted the idea and said that they would all have a routine collection of stones and keep them around the school compound.


This is a good example of the advantage of having a person on the spot to oversee ACE's efforts. It also illustrates David's ability to intelligently think about how our efforts can be improved and to act on his ideas.

He also added some less good news -

I also want to inform you that prices in our country keep on going up everyday so I want to keep you informed about that because at the moment transport is very high because of the rise in fuel prices.

He sent news of our work at Bukazi primary school and we have subsequently received an e-mail from the headmaster. Click here for details.

Mukibugu Stone Collection
 

This picture was taken in May 2007 and shows stones that had been collected and heaped up by parents at Mukibugu school.

The picture also shows the rainwater collection system and storage tank in the background.



More ACE 200 Club Members Needed

200 Club Logo  

Numbers in the 200 Club have dropped this year. This is mainly because subscriptions which were given as gifts to friends have not been renewed.

Please consider buying more numbers, either for yourself, or as gifts to friends.

Click here for details and to download an application form.



Angela Peake wins Citizen of the Year award

From The Cornishman newspaper, Thursday 22nd March 2007 -

"Outstanding individuals from across Penwith have been honoured at the presentation of the Alan Harvey Citizen of the Year awards.

"The awards, named in memory of the late former chairman of Penwith Council, were presented to four local people for their outstanding contributions to their communities and organisations.

"Angela Peake picked up the award for Penzance.

"Each of the recipients were given a glass trophy and £100 for their chosen charity."

 
Angela's Award

The award winners with the Chairman of Penwith Council, Irene Bailey. Angela is standing modestly at the back.

 



ACE has a Patron

Jon Snow

Jon Snow

 

We are delighted that Jon Snow has agreed to become a patron of ACE.

He is best known as the presenter of Britain's award-winning Channel 4 News. He has also hosted a wide range of discussion programmes and a number of high-profile documentaries for Channel 4, the most recent being War on Terror Trial, Bloody Sunday Debate, Snow in Japan, The E-millionaire Show and Secrets of the Honours System.

He was presented with the prestigious Richard Dimbleby Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of news and current affairs at the 2005 BAFTA Television Awards, and he was named Journalist of the Year at the 2005 Royal Television Society TV Journalism Awards.

He has a longstanding affinity with Uganda, beginning with a spell there as a teacher when he was 18.


A recent article in The Independent newspaper included -

Snow was also instrumental in C4 News's decision to base last year's coverage on the G8 summit not at Gleneagles, where it was taking place, but in Africa, subject of much of the discussions. Snow, whose political views were shaped as an 18-year-old teacher with VSO in Uganda, after which he was rusticated from the University of Liverpool for his involvement in anti-apartheid protests, says he was intrigued to know whether anyone in Africa knew that Gleneagles was going on. "Had they heard of Bob Geldof?"

At Snow's behest, the programme was broadcast from Namasagali, the Ugandan village on the banks of the Nile where he had taught almost 40 years earlier, and where depopulation and malaria had become rampant. "You never found anybody who had heard anything about the G8 and certainly nobody knew anything about Live Aid or Bob Geldof."

If you want to read the whole article click here.

In his letter of acceptance Jon wrote -

"Because I don't come from Cornwall, and stand little chance of getting down to meet the volunteers, I was tempted to say no to your flattering request for me to become a patron of ACE. But then when I think about the primary schools in Uganda, the need is so great that I'd really like to do anything to assist your work, so I am delighted to say yes but fully recognising that I am not able to do much practically to help."

ACE is delighted to have such a distinguished supporter.



Desks

A young lady called Hannah Westren, who is 11 years old, recently donated to ACE a jar of coins she had been saving from her pocket money. They added up to £19.17.

The ACE trustees have decided to make the gift up to £21 and purchase a desk and bench seat for St. Joseph School with Hannah's gift.

The desk will be marked as a gift from Hannah with a small plaque.

  Desks

 

These desks are designed to seat two pupils but are often occupied by three or four.

They are normally used indoors but this class was taking place outside because of the lack of classrooms.


Lots more desks are currently needed at most of our schools. If you would like donate one click here for details.

For donation of £21, you could have a desk with your name on it. Or you could donate a gift in the name of a friend and have their name on it.

We are very grateful to the gentleman from Weymouth who recently bought a desk named for his granddaughter.



First Work Completed at Nyarusunzu School

The school at Nyarusunzu was visited for the first time by ACE representatives in October 2006.

The needs of the school are great and it was decided that the first priority should be to provide a water storage tank and guttering, which will cost about £1,300.

The project began in February 2007 and was completed a month later. Click here for more information.




Solar Power Chargers

When David Epidu made his regular visit to all the schools supported by ACE in the Kisoro district in February 2007, he reported that the teachers currently have to travel to Kisoro each time they need to charge their mobile phones. They have to wait for two to three hours whilst this is done, pay for it, and then travel back.

He asked if ACE would consider providing one solar power charger for each of the nine schools. He said that they could be purchased locally for 65,000 Ugandan Shillings, which is about £20, each.

This sort of request is difficult for ACE because our priorities are naturally to the schoolchildren and the cost of each charger would provide a new desk.

However, we are delighted that a local supporter donated £200 in order to provide the chargers. A Gift Aid form was also signed so ACE will get another £56 for our general funds.

By the time David purchased them in April, the price had gone up, but the donor made up the difference. David is now distributing the chargers to the headteachers.

The solar chargers will enable the teachers to save a great deal of time and money. After all, sunshine is plentiful in Uganda. And it's free.

Headteacher with charger

 

This picture shows the headteacher of Nyarusunzu school with his new solar charger.



David and Christine Marry

David and Christine  

ACE's representative in Uganda, David Epidu, had an official marriage ceremony with Christine on 10th March. They have been together several years and have a daughter called Fortunate.

The ceremony took place at Soroti, northeast of Kampala. The trustees of ACE have personally sent a present of some money.

Below are some pictures of the marriage ceremony and the celebrations.

 

 

 


Three New Teachers Nearly Trained

The three teachers, who are being trained with ACE's support, have nearly completed their courses.

They started their final teaching practice on 4th March. We have just paid the final amounts for their stationery. We also pay for their food as they have to live away from home.



Typical Problems

This article was forwarded to ACE by Charles Etoru. It highlights some of the problems of primary education in an area of Uganda quite close to Luwero where we support St. Joseph School.

The article came from the online version of New Vision newspaper and was written by Elizabeth Namazzi.

Many people await the rainy season in anticipation. Not so with the pupils and teachers in Nakasongola district. To them, rain heralds woes as the district lacks decent shelter. Trees and makeshift shacks serve as classrooms and teachers' houses.

At present, Nakasongola has 143 government-aided schools and six registered private schools. The senior education officer, Sarah Bugoosi, said: "Some schools have no buildings at all, while others have just one building and an office."

The pupils of Kalinda Primary school sit in a partially grass-thatched shack that is supported by weak poles. Although an effort to construct permanent classrooms is evident, little has been done to provide accommodation for the teachers. Lack of teachers' houses is the biggest challenge we have. Some teachers live six kilometres away from school and their houses are several miles apart.

In the absence of reliable transport and good roads, most teachers are unwilling to trek long distances in the name of teaching. The situation worsens during the rainy season when the roads are completely impassable.

Unwilling to brave more than six miles of mud and pools of water, most teachers choose to stay at home until the roads improve. Even those with accommodation at the school premises are not better off.

To many, a good night's sleep is a luxury they dream of. "You cannot enjoy your sleep in such a house. We always sleep with one ear open, prepared to run out of the house at the slightest indication that it's falling," a teacher at Kateebe Primary School said.

In Nakitoma sub-county, the teachers of Kikanga Primary School also reside in grass-thatched huts. The only 'permanent' house has one room and one has to bend to go through the doorway.

In a district where dry spells hit with a vengeance, rain brings a smile to many faces, but for teachers, rain means sleepless nights. The roofs on teachers' houses are riddled with holes that leave rain flowing right into the houses. "When it rains, we spend the night standing. All our property gets wet," a female teacher of Kateebe Primary School laments.

Their residence is a tiny two-mud house on the brink of collapse. The doors are so weak that they can be kicked open without much force. Their biggest concern though is the roof. "It leaks at every point you can imagine," one of the teachers, who preferred anonymity, said.

After such a night, the teachers are in no mood for classes. The students are not enthusiastic too. Their attention is divided between cattle keeping and classes. When a sleepy and poorly-paid teacher stands before such a class, the quality of education is bound to suffer.

This, plus the fact that most of the teachers in Nakasongola district are not trained, does not help matters. According to Bugoosi, the district has about 500 trained teachers out of over 1,100 teachers.

It is not surprising that when the results of the national examinations are released, Nakasongola district records one of the worst performances in the country.

Bugoosi says for the last five years, Nakasongola has had the biggest percentage of pupils drop out before they complete Primary Seven. Out of those who sit Primary Leaving Examinations, only 7% attain first grade and the highest percentage attain third grade.

One sure way to improve Nakasongola's performance is by building a highly-motivated teaching force. In some schools, some teachers have solved their accommodation problem by using their meagre resources to construct small houses.

A few schools have benefited from NGOs like World Vision and Concern International. Whereas World Vision finances the whole project, Concern International covers 80% of the construction costs and requires the community to shoulder 20%.

There is still the fact that Nakasongola's people are not entirely convinced that education is worth the investment.

 

 

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