NOTDEC has a new nurse!
Doreen, who works at Kagando hospital, comes to NOTDEC two part days a week.
She has already noticed an increase in NOTDEC babies with diarrhoea and vomiting – probably due to a policy change. Previously, all babies were in Houses 6 and 7. Now, to spread the workload, each house gets its share. But some house-mothers hadn’t looked after babies for years; and Carlee found that they weren't sterilizing babies’ bottles properly.
Basic training by Doreen should soon put that right!
Carlee’s verdict: “She is a very pleasant person who clearly knows her job. She will make a significant improvement in the children’s health.”
Snake in the …
One morning Samson went to check the drop toilet near the classrooms, only to find a very large snake.
In John’s words, this was dispatched, “with kerosene, many sticks, and much noise!!”
The Ministry of Gender … and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
In February 2014 the Ugandan Government said that all children over 3 should be back with their wider family by 2019. Ugandan society is family-based; so, if there are relatives who will accept them, this is best. The Ministry of Gender is now actively seeking to implement that policy. With the files of 129 NOTDEC children, its team of seven has begun visiting their wider families
NOTDEC itself has been working for over a year to resettle children with their families. To help reach families in remote locations, it has bought a new 100cc motorbike costing £720. And to get the resettlement moving, three new social workers have been recruited. Two are full-time (Edison in Kasese and Justus in Bwera), and one part-time (Sahon, an experienced counsellor in Kasese).
The process starts by visiting each child’s village, where known, to trace the father: he must sanction any placement. Next, comes finding three family members who will take the child – “insurance” that all won’t drop out and let the child down. Plans for the child are also shared with the Community Development Officer, the local chairman, and possibly the local head teacher or clergy. All this involves many visits finding people and getting agreement. Once the child is back with the family the social workers continue to visit to ensure the child is safe and happy. The schools are also visited by Robert (who monitors all the children’s education) to check on the child’s academic progress.
Many primary school children previously spent short holidays with their relatives so they could get to know each other. In May (2015), fifteen of them went to live with those relatives: Abigail (5), Priscilla (6), Godfrey (7), Leah (7), Faidah (7), Eric (7), Anold (8), Barbra (8), Titus (8), Jack (9), Christine (9), Mackline (10), Reagan (10), Joy (10), and Agnes (11).
They will return to NOTDEC each January to meet up – and to receive your Christmas present! Of course they all still need sponsoring: NOTDEC pays their school fees, for uniforms, stationery etc. and for social workers to check that they’re still happy – not to mention that motorbike!
- Jesca (20) has started her training at Kagando Hospital School of Nursing.
- Dan (20) has been accepted into a University in Kampala to read mechanical engineering
- Vero, Ellen, Patricia, Priscilla, Ellen & Pelucy (20-23) will finish their University courses in June 2016
- Yoneki (22) now works at a private nursery school in Kasese and is very happy.
- Chris (18) was at his family home when Carlee and John delivered him a much longed for recorder: he immediately played for the assembly.
- Joseph (14) was at NOTDEC Kabirizi when they delivered the football he requested in January: he was delighted, and much football followed.
- New footballs, netballs & volleyballs were hugely welcome and played with long & hard! DVDs & books too! Thanks to all who chipped in.
Building the Future
NOTDEC management have set out their future building plans:
- Extending the office building – for more office space, a meeting room, larger clothes and food stores, and a tailor’s room
- Providing two more staff accommodation units each for either a couple or two singles
- Moving the lean-to garage
NOTDEC owns two portions of land. John Leftley has spotted legal problems with both of them!
But John’s on the case and will follow it up when he returns in October.
Good progress is being made by a local charity (supported from the USA) on installing 25km of water pipe from natural springs up in the mountains through several villages towards the village of Kabirizi – 2 km from NOTDEC. The big challenge will be stopping locals tapping the pipe, and meeting the huge demand once water is available locally instead of miles away. The charity wants NOTDEC to benefit from this water supply and to help fund an extension of the pipeline to NOTDEC and the next village. Once water is definitely coming to Kabirizi, NOTDEC UK will need to address this request. Given some notice, the cost of 5km of 50mm plastic pipe would be manageable. Even then it could be many months, or even years, before the project is finally completed.
In the meantime, NOTDEC relies on pumping water from the river into a 10,000 litre bowser and hauling it in by tractor 3 or 4 times a week. To improve the security of supply, a new 2” pump has just been bought for £430 so there are now two good working pumps.
Called to Account
Whilst at NOTDEC, John spent a deal of time raising accounts issues with Tom, Pascal, Milly and Samson. Their account keeping is impressive – but there were important issues to sort out and talk through with them.
Praise the Lord
John and Carlee twice went to the Sunday school, which was led by teachers Alice and Christine.
The pictures show “collection time” – when the children are each given a 200 Ugandan Shilling coin (4p) which they immediately put into the collection basket.
John and Carlee write:
“We greatly enjoyed the Sunday school … Both Sundays were wonderful times with the children, great worship, clear Bible teaching and moving prayer times. Praise God!”