Allow me to update you on a few things that happened in the month of August.
We continue to offer love and care to the children and also ensure their well-being both at home and school. The children are fine and healthy, thanks be to God. The children are studying in the various Secondary boarding schools and also at the Lulwanda Primary school. The staff is committed to the care of these children. We are at peace here at Lulwanda and everything is going on smoothly.
The month of August witnessed the return of John Palmer and the family to Uganda after their summer home leave. They were originally meant to land on July 30 but due to a technical hitch in New York, their flight was rescheduled to August 3rd. Nevertheless, we thank God that they made it safely to Uganda and they were able recover all their luggage. John has been given so many names here at Lulwanda: the children call him “Uncle John”, the staff called him “Yokaana” – a Luganda translation for John. Others call him the “money man” given his position of Treasurer. Betty in particular has severally referred to him as “Farmer” instead of Palmer….. Hmmn some bit of craziness here. I call him “My Brother” due to the fact that we are age-mates and work closely together on almost everything pertaining to Lulwanda and Tendo operations. So I was excited to see my brother come back. Bobbi of course is as well the pride of the little children and the ladies’ because she teaches the ladies Bible study every Tuesday. Lilly and Jackson are friends all over Lulwanda and indeed have lots of company.
Still under the missionary docket, we received the Kelley family who have moved to Mbale to serve at Lulwanda. The twins have indeed grown since their visit last summer, that is what caught everyone’s attention. They arrived safely and they were picked by John from the airport. Once in Mbale they found that Natalie and Bobbi had prepared a house for them in Senior Quarters, an affluent area associated with Mzungus. The compound is indeed large and has a wonderful ambiance and a cool serene environment. The children have a very large play area and the house is spacious enough for the family. Ryan has been locally baptized as “Ssalongo” meaning father of twins while Megan as “Nnalongo” meaning mother of twins. In the first week, the children fell sick but later recovered and they are fine. The Kelleys have also shared dinner with Pr. Morris and Mama Aidah Ogenga thus being welcomed officially to Uganda in general and Lulwanda in particular.
In the month of August we experienced a power blackout at the Children’s home that lasted for about five days. Therefore, we called upon the advice of Pete Palermo and so we decided to revisit the whole electrical work to find what was the problem. It was discovered that some cables were worn out and in contact with water. Therefore, a team comprising of John, Pete, Sam the handyman and three electricians decided to undertake major electrical repairs and replacement of new cable lines and wires. They also came up with a new meter box that would contain the flow of current from the supply pole into our power house. Since then we have not had issues with electricity.
On the farm side and animal husbandry in particular, it is regrettable to note that one the cows died due to east coast fever. It was a loss because it reduced on the number of cows we have. The rest of the cows were immunized against the same as a preventive measure. It was a black and white mom that even was pregnant. In essence therefore we lost two cows. We continue to engage a veterinary doctor on a two weeks period to carry out vaccination and treatment so that we ensure safety of the animals. This involves both cows and pigs.
Secondary School Students
The Secondary students got their holidays in late August after four hectic months of being at school. They came with report cards showing how they performed in individual subject and the scores that they got. We really have a few students who are extremely excellent in their performance such as Sarah Gimono, John Mutsoshi, Joseph Wabuyi, Emma Napokoli, Brenda Nabwire, Fatuma Namubya, Malvin Nakayenze, Lucky David Mudali, Antony Wojjambuka, Abel Musoba, Naster Chebet and Anthony Wanzala. These are potential career holders and we continue to pray and advise them not lose track of academic pursuits. The social workers will be writing a report on their second term performance that I will be sharing with you. We are grateful for your financial support that has enabled us to pay for these students tuition and provide the necessary scholastic materials.
However, again two of our secondary students were involved in indiscipline cases while at school. There was Aaron Wanda from Nabumali High School who first of all “misplaced” a friend’s wallet with 90,000 shillings inside. Then secondly he sneaked out of school and came up to town to see a friend! The school authorities noted it and informed us and so I sent John and Betty to go and handle the issue. The school administration was so kind and merciful that Aaron was neither suspended nor expelled even when the other boys who had sneaked out with him were sent home for good. Aaron has been in the habit of sneaking out even at Lulwanda – a vice we have sternly warned him about. Personally I prayed for him and even led him to Christ before his mom but his inner character seems not to have changed. We have not yet given up on him. We shall continue to show him love and care until when he becomes a well behaved person.
The other discipline case was that of Doreen Namasaba who is at St. Paul’s in which she plus 12 other girls cut the fence separating the dormitories and the classes. So in case they are late from the dormitories, they would simple escape through the cut area. Unlucky for her, once she was caught passing in the place and so we were called again. I and John went there and jointly counseled her with the teachers of the Disciplinary Committee. Hopefully she reforms. We later addressed all the children we have at Lulwanda and we told them that should anyone sneak out of either school or Lulwanda, then that child will face very serious consequences.
Work on installing a pump in our borehole in order to give us our own water supply has begun by Bryce and his team (generously provided by John 4:14 Foundation). Pipes have been laid in the ground from the borehole through the children’s play ground, past the boys’ dormitory up to the large black storage tanks opposite the girls’ hostel. Once this project is completed, we intend to get off of National Water supply. The project includes a solar powered pump in the borehole that will pump water all the way up to the tanks, and then it will be distributed to the other places. This will save us a great deal because currently our National Water bill stands at an average of UGX 1,600,000 per month. This of course is very exorbitant for the Children’s Home.
We held our staff meeting in the month of August before teachers departed for a three weeks’ holiday break. We discussed about the children and their stay at school, and we also talked about their commitment towards work. The Program Coordinator Natalie laid out the holiday program and also told them she will be leaving in the month of October. I and John stressed the issue of financial discipline and accountability from whoever receives money to purchase supplies for Lulwanda. John gave an update of the farm both in Namajje and at Lulwanda as well. The issue of school uniforms for home children was raised by teachers and I told them in third term, I would buy new sets of uniforms for all our 55 children in the school.
- Pick up the secondary students from school and bring them home to Lulwanda for the term break.
- Celebrate with a big birthday party.
- Have Guidance and counseling for all children.
- Have a talk on Re-settlement and family re-integration with all children. (See March 2016 Administrator’s report for an explanation of the re-settlement program.)
- Have all on-campus bible studies, twice weekly.
- Have a farewell party for Natalie Rolfe, who will leave Lulwanda on October 10 after serving with dedication and love for 9 years.
- Start on landscaping around Lulwanda.
- Celebrate the Good Neighbor Day.
We are committed to show love and care to these children whom God has entrusted unto us as per James 1:27. We pray for special Grace to abound in us. We also pray for you our dear sponsors and donors. We appreciate all that you do for us.
In His Name
SIMON PETER MUSAGALA