Monday, June 21, 2010

Bethany Centre School Revisited – One Year On

DSCF2458So, I had the great pleasure to visit my favorite school in East Africa again last week.  Bethany is about an hour out of Kampala, Uganda and is run by my friend Peter.  Peter attended LSU for collage and made very close relationships with a number of people from our home church.  When Peter decided to return to Uganda and start a school in his home community a group formed in Baton Rouge to help support and encourage his efforts. 

One of the ways they chose to help the school was by funding a clean water intervention. LWI drilled a borehole and installed a handpump exactly one year ago.  This pump has made a great difference for the children of the school and for the population of the community.  Reducing sick days and some of the water collection burden on the young girls. 
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Bethany has come a long way in the last year.  They have built teacher housing (allowing the attraction of better skilled instructors)
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Constructed a kitchen area to prepare lunches for the kids – most students in the region must walk home for lunch leading to drop off of attendance for afternoon sessions.
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Nearly completed the 2nd wing for the older children – they are holding classes now on a dirt floor – just waiting on the cement stage.
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And have successfully purchased 4 adjoining acres of land that I am very excited about.  My brain is awash in theories of creating a sustainable farming operation that could allow the school to become more self reliant.  Peter had to abandon the chicken farming program this year do to extremely elevated feed costs in the zone.  What would be the highest reward / lowest cost / low risk use of this land?  Farming maize to feed the children directly and selling the excess for funding, goats…….?  It is currently the training ground for the 2022 Uganda World Cup team
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The school has grown to service 440 children up to P7 (about age 15).  The water is being well utilized by the kids and 100 or so local households by evidence of the worn tracks leading away from the site.
The sanitation facility is appropriately located and in excellent condition.
All in all I am proud of the school and pray it continues to provide the opportunity for a bright future to these beautiful children.DSCF2463 DSCF2509 DSCF2533DSCF2470   DSCF2516  DSCF2476DSCF2519
playing a type of jump rope game using a long line of tied together field grass.