News from 2012
 

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Dog Show

A dog show was held at Marazion Community Centre on Sunday 2nd December 2012.

For more information, and pictures, click here



First ACE School to get Electricity

Lightbulb  

For some time the ACE trustees have been looking into the possibility of providing electricity to our schools.We would like older pupils to be able to continue to study after dark and we have discussed starting adult literacy classes, particularly for women, in the evenings.

Because the schools are so remote, we have been trying to get information about using PV solar panels. This has not so far been successful as the African organisations fitting panels don't reply to our communications.

However, the Ugandan electrical grid is slowly expanding and has now reached fairly close to the school we support at Kabami. We obtained a quote of just over £600 for putting a supply into the school to provide lighting to two classrooms.

We have decided to go ahead with the project on the condition that it is a one-off payment. The school and the pupils' parents will be responsible for the electricity bills and replacement lightbulbs.

 
Kabami School


We will be closely monitoring the effect that having a basic electricity supply will have on the school and that will guide us as to whether we try to push on with providing electricity to other schools. Most other schools will need to be solar powered as the grid is unlikely to go close to them.

Obviously the supply of electricity has other possibilities, such as the use of computers, but that is a little way down the road.



Nyarusunzu Headmaster Graduates

Emmanuel's Graduation  

Emmanuel Sakubu, the headmaster of Nyarusunzu school, has recently graduated from Kampala International University with a BA in Education. This picture shows him celebrating his graduation with members of his family.

He has been working very hard, running Nyarusunzu school and attending the university during the school holidays. All at ACE send him our congratulations.




September Trustees' Meeting

The ACE trustees met on 23rd September and welcomed Judith Nicholls to her first meeting. You can scroll down the page for more about Judith.

This meeting was also the AGM and the officers all agreed to carry on doing their jobs for another year. Judith agreed to become the ACE secretary.

There were a lot of matters discussed. Here are a few of them -

  • Nyarusunzu school has more classes than classrooms. However the classes for older pupils have many less pupils than those for the younger ones, so, as we do not have sufficient funds to build more at present, we will look into dividing a couple of existing classrooms with partitions, which is obviously a much cheaper option.
  • For some time we have been investigating the provision of electricity to our schools using solar power but have not made much progress. However there is now mains electricity fairly close to Kabami school. We are getting estimates for wiring in a supply for lighting. The parents of the pupils will pay the electricity bills if we provide the hardware.
  • The new classrooms we built at Kamfizi school are still very short of desks. We currently have sponsors for 7 desks through our Desk Appeal so we will use ACE funds to make it up to 10, which is a lorry load.
  • We are liaising with Mounts Bay Rotary Club and The Rotary Club of Kibale about the provision of another water tank and a latrine block at Gisozi school. The plan is that Mounts Bay Rotary will raise the money, Rotary International will double it with matched funding, and Kibale Rotary will check on the construction work. This is in the early planning stages but sounds promising.
  • We have received a list of the mock Primary Leaving Examination results for the final year pupils at our schools. Some of the results are very good and we urgently need sponsors who would support the brightest children through secondary education. If you could help please read about the scheme and offer to support a child. Details are on the Sponsorship page.

Work Proceeding at Gisozi

On 30th August, David Epidu visited Gisozi School to check on the work which is going on there.

Paul, the ACE builder, is renovating and upgrading a 2-classroom block at the school. Cracks in the floors and walls are being repaired and the interiors are being replastered and repainted. Glass windows will be put in place.

ACE has provided £1,600 for the work.

 
Renovations at Gisozi


Furthest Ever 200 Club Winner

Hollywood sign  

The winner of the first prize in the September ACE 200 Club draw is Jessica Hamilton, who lives in Los Angeles, California.

We think that she is the furthest-away winner we have had, beating the previous furthest person who lives near Seattle.


How do we have winners who live so far away? The answer is that Jessica's grandmother lives in Newmill and bought her a 200 Club number as a gift. Quite a few ACE supporters have bought 200 Club numbers as gifts for friends and family.

With Christmas approaching, why not give ACE 200 Club numbers as gifts to your friends? Like Jessica, they may win prizes, and you will be helping to raise essential funds for ACE.

If you go to the 200 Club page you can download a form to buy 200 Club numbers. They cost just £12 each for a year's membership. We are able to supply gift cards for you to give to your friends telling them you have enrolled them.

And the more people who join in, the bigger the prizes.




Christine Epidu Graduates

Christine is the wife of ACE's representative in Uganda, David Epidu. For the past two years she has been studying for a Diploma in Business Administration at Makerere Business Institute in Kampala.

She recently graduated and David joined her at the graduation ceremony.

Congratulations to Christine from everyone at ACE.

 
Christine and David Epidu


Vision School Study Trip

Kisoro Vision School, the secondary school attended by students in the ACE Sponsorship Scheme, has made a summer study trip. Several of our sponsored students participated.

We have received this information from Dan Mbabazi, the school director -

We have finished our six day study trip to western Uganda in six districts with our candidate students of senior 4 and 6. It was too exciting not only to the students but also to myself and other teachers. This is the second time we have organised this and it will continue running for the subsequent years. The area selected is very rich in tourist sites and academic endowments.

School transport   We were able to hire two big buses and one costa bus from the neighbouring distict for transport purposes.
Zebras   We visited Queen Elizabeth National Park and saw a number of animals.
The equator   We saw the site where the equator passes.
Fishing boats   We visited the fishing site of Katwe.
Tractor at work   We saw a tractor doing real cultivation. It is only in class that we hear that machines dig (cultivate). For us around Kisoro we use hoes.

We saw Katwe salt mines and the manual ways of excavating salt.

We visited the defunct railway line that headed to the copper mine. It last operated in 1971.

Once again thank you for sponsoring your supported children under ACE. They were able to see the world and its beauty. Truly, this was a satisfying trip.

All our partner schools, we wish you the best of life and enjoyable holiday. Our holiday ends on 3rd September 2012.




ACE Has New Trustee

At their July meeting, the ACE trustees decided to ask Judith Nicholls to become a new trustee and we are delighted that she has accepted.

Judith has been a great supporter of ACE over the years and has visited the schools in Uganda. This photo shows her teaching a small group of pupils at an ACE school.

 
Judith in Uganda

Judith Nicholls  

She writes -

I am a secondary school teacher, currently working as Special Needs Coordinator at Humphry Davy School where I also work with a group of International Prefects who are raising money along with a partner school in Brittany to build and equip a science lab at Vision High School in Kisoro.

I first became interested in ACE when my daughters Charlotte and Chloe got involved in a fund raising project at Mounts Bay Academy and subsequently they went to Kisoro to the opening of the classroom they had built in 2006.


This spurred them on to more fund-raising at Penwith College and I decided that I wanted to see for myself what had made such a tremendous impression on them. Angela invited me to go with her in 2010 so I spent 2 weeks visiting the ACE schools and working on reading with small groups of students. I saw for myself the fantastic work done by the charity and how it is changing the lives of the children and how much more work there is to do and I hope to go back to work in the schools again in the future.

I also spent a week in Nigeria in 2010 as part of a Cornish Schools Olympic Legacy Initiative so it was interesting to have two contrasting pictures of life on the African continent.

I have been active in fund raising for ACE and in spreading the word at Humphry Davy since I got back. I enjoyed hosting Dan the principal at Vision when he attended the Green is Global Conference at the Eden Project and I am looking forward to becoming more involved as a trustee.


Another Successful Fundraiser in Scarborough

Val Humphreys and her team have put on another successful fundraiser for ACE in Scarborough.

For details and pictures click here

 
Harbour Bar Ice Cream


Congo Refugees Flee into Uganda

The ACE trustees have been trying to monitor the situation in the area where our schools are situated. Rebels across the border in eastern Congo have caused thousands of refugees and over 600 Congolese troops to flee across the border.

There is information and a picture in the Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen. You can read it by clicking here

You can read the latest Ugandan newspapers by using the links on our Links Page

We have received reassuring information from our partner, Kisoro school inspector, William Balibutsa. On 10th July he wrote -

William Balibutsa  

I am happy to inform you the situation of Kisoro. As I talk now, at Nyakabande refugee reception centre, there are about 8,000 refugees waiting to be transfered to a refugee settlement place near Mbarara.

Last week schools near the boarder were full of refugees but as I write there is nobody. I can assure you the security for Ugandans was guarded and fleeing DRC solidiers and refugees could not disturb any Ugandan.

The refugees stayed in Bukazi School for only one day, and did not destroy any school commodity.



Sponsors Visit Uganda

Tom and Marta Gunkel visited the two students they sponsor through the ACE Student Sponsorship Scheme between 13th - 20th May 2012.  


Tom and Marta (centre) with some of the ACE trustees in 2010

On their return they wrote -

Two years ago you may have read on this website that we asked our wedding guests to sponsor two ACE students to go to high school. Last month, we finally visited Uganda to meet them.

The two children we sponsor are Herbert, in S4, and Lilian in S2. ACE makes it possible to send letters to and from the children, so we felt we knew them a little bit. But what would they really be like?

We took a direct flight to Entebbe with BA, landing early on the Sunday morning. David, ACE's employee on the ground, met us and we started the 9 hour drive down to Kisoro. The roads were not great, but David is a good driver and we arrived safely in Kisoro by nightfall. David had arranged for us to stay at the Countryside guest house, which was basic but clean and with friendly staff.

The next day we went to the high school and first met with Dan, the director of the school. We discussed about the children's performance, some books we wanted to purchase and some coaching we wanted to arrange. We also learned how Dan started Vision high school less than 10 years ago and it has now grown to achieve the best grades in the entire district and has over 1000 pupils.

 

  And then it was time to meet Herbert and Lilian. It was obvious both we and they felt quite nervous, but during the rest of the day the ice was broken, and by the end of the trip we knew them well. That afternoon they took as to see their villages. The area is incredibly beautiful with mountains and lakes. Herbert and Lilian's parents made us feel really welcome, and after taking the car as high up the mountain as it could go and then walking for another 30 minutes, we were glad of the bowls of potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans that Herbert's family had cooked for us.
  On the Tuesday we visited some local ACE-supported primary schools. We saw classrooms, latrines and water tanks that ACE had funded. One thing that amazed us was a table we saw pinned up on the wall - in P1 there are 250 children in the year, but by P7 it has dwindled to around 60. And then approx one of those children will get the required grade '1' that means they will receive ACE sponsorship to go on to high school. So the children that make it through are incredibly talented.
  On Wednesday we started the long drive back to Kampala, this time with Dan, Herbert and Lilian, as well as David. On the way we stopped at the equator, which was fun for all concerned.
  Thursday was our day to visit Makerere University, we had arranged this through the kind support of Ugandans we had sought out at home in Oxford using Linked In. We wanted the children to understand what a university is like, and that it is really achievable for them to come here. We spent a lot of time in the faculties of Technology and Medicine, the subjects Herbert and Lilian are interested in. This was their first trip away from Kisoro and the day was full of surprises including seeing a room full of computers and their first ride in an elevator!

The last couple of days we spent on a range of activities, from buying clothes and books, to visiting a zoo and the airport! By the time we said goodbye on the Saturday evening and put Dan and the children on the bus back to Kisoro, we had gotten to know each other well and it was a wrench to say goodbye.

We really recommend to the other sponsors that if you have the chance to visit Uganda then you should. You will have an intense and wonderful time! A week would be enough, although more would be better. Flights are expensive, but once there accommodation and travel costs will be less than anything you could do in the UK or Europe. Angela was not there, so David spent the week with us. He was a good driver and travelling companion, and he arranged everything for us. Meeting the children and spending real time with them means we now know them much better than through their letters. They and everyone else we met were wonderful, and we really enjoyed our visit.

If any sponsors would like to know more about our visit or are planning your own, you are welcome to get in touch via ACE and we can tell you more by phone.

Kind regards, Tom and Marta Gunkel


Praise for ACE

On 24th April 2012 we received this e-mail -

Dear Angela,

I hope this mail finds you well. My name is Connetie Ayesiga, a female Ugandan living in Uganda and working in the Kigezi region.

I was in Kisoro last week and I visited one of your school projects in Rurembwe primary school. Its the same school I was meeting a group of mushroom farmers and other credit and saving groups that my project supports.

Throughout the discussion about the school facilities with the headteacher, she mentioned your support to the school and gave me your contacts.

I must say, after the visit, I have been forced to send you this e-mail just to say thank you for the work you are doing in these communities. For me a Ugandan, it was fascinating and touching to see the facilities that have been supported under your project visiting your project area in Kisoro, Uganda.

Its very much appreciated by the community and Icouldn't resist passing on this feedback to you.

May God bless you

Connetie


2012 ACE Schools Debates and Sports Competitions

Sports competitions between the ACE schools was started by Eden Quayle when he was teaching there and ACE has supplied the trophies for the winners.

This year's competitions were organised by school inspector, William Balibutsa, and took place on Friday 30th March.

 

William wrote -

"I am happy to inform you that ACE schools have successfully concluded their sports and debate competitions that had been slated for today. We started with debates at exactly 11.00am and finished at 1.30pm.

 

"Schools that participated in debate were Rurembwe, Kamfizi, Gitenderi, Bukazi and Rukongi. Mukibugu and Gisozi came late and we disqualified them because of not keeping time.

Nyarusunzu and Kabami were not invited because they would inconvenience us because of distance.

The venue was at Gitenderi.

 

"In debate we had invited a secondary school teacher who specializes in English to look at the expression, articulation and proper pronunciation, and presentational ability.

 
"Constructiveness and the number of points each speaker was giving was also judged.  

"Each school was forwarding 2 principal speakers from both the opposition and the proposition.

The purpose of all these was to motivate the teachers and children to develop a culture of reading and talking English, hence leading to better educational standards.

 
"The winning team in debate has been Kamfizi and is the one that has taken the trophy.  

"In football, which was played after lunch, Rurembwe managed to take the trophy from Rukongi.

The trophy had been at Gitenderi for many years.

 
"In volleyball,we were not able to finish the fixtures and agreed to have another date for the finals.  

"We have been able to manage this interesting and exciting day by the help we got from Paul.*

He enabled us to get a public address system and payments for the English expert and transport to the venue.Thanks be to him.

 

"Attached are the photos of excited children and different people making speeches. I beg you to greet me all friends. Mandela is right here with me and greeting you joyfully.

Thanks. William"

* Paul is the builder who carries out ACE's construction work and manufactures the school furniture.

 

The ACE trustees are delighted that the schools are now moving forward with their own ideas and support. Much of this was begun with the visit of William and Augustine to schools in Cornwall in 2010.


ACE Receives Large Donations

We are delighted to announce that during March a local business has donated £1,000 to ACE funds. They wish to remain anonymous.

We have also recently received gifts of £250 from the National Union of Teachers and £185 from Mounts Bay Rotary Club.

The ACE trustees are very grateful to them all.




Kamfizi Classroom Completed

Completed classroom
Local school inspector, William Balibutsa, has recently visited the school we have started to work with at Kamfizi. He sent this picture of the newly completed classroom block. He said that the classrooms were looking beautiful.
New latrines
He also sent this picture of the new latrines which are nearing completion.

He wrote - "I visited Kamfizi primary school and everybody was thanking you for the work done over the beautiful classroom and well built latrines. Parents and the communities were thanking you through me. The pictures of both the classroom and the latrines are hereby attached. At the time of the visit, the workers were very busy ready to finish the latrine in two days as they claimed. The only work remaining was painting."


Donation from Bournemouth Rotary Club

Mike Pring, who was a member of Mounts Bay Rotary Club, moved to Bournemouth and joined the Rotary Club there. He got them interested in the work of ACE and we have just received a second donation from them. The £300 they sent will be used to provide new cupboards to go into the classrooms at Rurembwe school.



Windows12 Appeal

 

During 2012 we want to put windows into classrooms that don't have any.

Please click here for details and pictures. Or click the logo to make a donation.



easyfundraising Earnings Reach £1,500

 

The amount raised by ACE supporters using easyfundraising has now passed £1,500.

Click here to see what we have raised.



New Sponsored Students Enrol at Kisoro Vision School

New students 2012
 

This year we have found sponsors to enable seven students to go to secondary school. Here are our students in their new uniforms.

Click here for details and more pictures.



Good News and Bad News from Kamfizi

New block being built

Progress is now being made at one of the schools ACE recently adopted. But it's not without problems .....

..... click here to get the latest news and pictures.

Old classroom collapses

Praise for ACE's Work

David Epidu

David Epidu

 

In his February 2012 report to the ACE trustees, our representative in Uganda, David Epidu wrote -

 


  • ACE as a charity in Uganda has made tremendous changes in schools that it supports and is now ranked one of the best performing charities in the region.
  • If you follow it closely it could be even the top leading given the way it fundraises for its money.
  • People are getting to know about the charity and are very happy with the people working in it.
  • Communities around the area where the schools are based are very happy and they are thanking all those who are working hard to look for money which runs the charity.
  • ACE has broken a record of construction in Kisoro because it is the first organisation which has made very beautiful classrooms and it's also the first organisation to build classrooms with windows protected with burglar proof to stop other objects from breaking the window glass. It is known that it produces quality and very strong classrooms in the whole District. This has made many recognise the importance of the charity in the region.
  • ACE is also leading in the sponsorship scheme as it takes its students to one of the best schools in Kisoro and provides them with all the fees and all the school requirements.
  • ACE does not only build classrooms, but also provides furniture in all the classrooms it builds and textbooks
  • All the above has made the charity one of the best organisations in Kisoro region.



Kisoro Vision School Calendar

Kisoro Vision Calendar  

Kisoro Vision Secondary School is where our ACE Sponsored Students are educated.

You can download a 2012 school calendar by clicking on the image.



Second Training Day for Teachers

 

The second training day for teachers at ACE schools was held in Kisoro on Friday 27th January 2012. The venue was St. Allens Primary School. This is a private school with very high standards which has been very helpful to the country schools which ACE supports.

It was organised by local school inspector, William Balibutsa, and Augustine Mbonigaba, a director of St. Allens, who were the two educationalists we brought to Cornwall for training in 2010.

William sent us this report -

Our workshop was well attended last Friday and was very successful.

Most of the teachers arrived at 9 am and we started the meeting at exactly 9.30 am. We started with setting the climate by individual introductions and refllections of the past perfomances and concentrated on the recent PLE (Primary Leaving Exam) results.

Here we invited the best performing schools to give us their experiences and in particular the teachers at St. Allens. After a long dicussion on how we can improve on our standards, the inspector of schools explained to the members the rationale for having the workshop.

 

He informed them that, because of the availability of many books in our schools and especially the readers, there was a need to create a reading culture to our students.The reading culture would improve on the standard of English, which is regarded as the main element needed for performing well.

He lamented that there was need to make a difference in performance, since the ACE schools had tremendously improved in the infrastructures compared to other schools in the district.

 

More to that effect was talked for some time and later. An English specialist, Miss Phiona Bahungirehe, went through with them all methods of teaching languages, instructional materials needed for teaching languages, and sample lesson plans for teaching language and especially the need for including a library lesson on the timetable.

Later, after lunch, the teachers were put in 6 groups and were tasked to prepare different English teaching lessons including a library one and the groups presented their findings with many corrections and advices from the inspector and the specialist.

 

Lastly we went around the classes at St. Allens and watched some few chosen lessons presented by teachers of that school. Teachers were given oppurtunities to react.

The teachers and the inspector came up with a way forward of mainly putting the books in the hands of children and emphasising on the use of library.

 

The teachers at St. Allens were role models during their participation with the rest of the teachers.

Thank you for availing us this opportunity to meet and share a lot about our schools as teachers. Frankly, this is a rare opportunity which many teachers are envying.

I (William) again promise to give every necessary support supervision to our teachers so as to realise improved results this year.

 


Students Chosen for Sponsorship

The results of the Primary Leaving Examinations have recently been published. School inspector, William Balibutsa, sent us a list of pupils at ACE schools who had done well and whose families are impoverished. There were six pupils on the list who had achieved Grade 1 this year. They were all boys. There were a further five students who missed Grade 1 by only one point.

We had seven new sponsors waiting to be allocated a student. The trustees agreed to offer sponsorship to the 6 boys with grade 1, and also selected the girl who had the highest mark for English from the second group.

New sponsors will be sent details of their allocated student after David Epidu has got them settled in and taken photographs.

 
William Balibutsa

 

 

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