The sponsored students in Nakabango gathered on the front steps of the church!
Today was the day we met with the sponsored students in Nakabango. There are 140 kids in the program from Primary 1 level through vocational school. Some of them have been sponsored since Messiah Lutheran began this in 2006! What a joy to watch them grow!
Our packet distribution went as smoothly as it can in Nakabango; they are notorious for being our most chaotic day - a label I believe they wear with pride. The church building is large and ventilation is small so it is always a warm 2-hour process! However, any amount of work is worth the smiles we see as kids are reading letters and looking at pictures from their sponsors. It is a Christmas-like atmosphere and we feel honored to be a part of it! We took the group picture you see above after packets were handed out.
I had the privilege of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new latrine, recently built for the school with funds raised during Celebrate Uganda last year. The Ministry of Education had threatened to shut th school down if a latrine was not built large enough to accommodate the growing school and not able to be emptied. Thankfully, the project is complete - including a hand washing station for the boys, girls, and staff.
Lunch became a working meeting with the teaching staff and leadership at Nakabango. The headmaster gave a wonderful report of some of the accomplishments of the students and staff. He listed challenges as well, but indicated that they were planning on working with parents to develop ways of raising funds to address some of the needs. A permanent structure for the school remains the number one priority.
Twenty-eight students in the P7 class will be "sitting for exams" in early November. This is a nationwide standardized test that determines what secondary school they qualify to attend. The students are studying hard and are a bit nervous! The team promised to put the kids' request for prayer in front of the congregation as the testing dates draw closer!
Ten of the P7 students who will be sitting for exams (Primary Leaving Exams) are in the sponsorship program. We wish them the best!
We said our good-byes and hopped on the bus to visit more homes. Much like our experience in Kainagoga, this was precious time spent getting to know these kids and their families better. While some of the living conditions are difficult to see, watching the parent or guardian talk about the kids they care for is heartwarming. They truly do the very best that they can.
One of the families we had the opportunity to visit with; anyone see Patricia?
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.