Receive warm greeting from the children and the staff of Lulwanda Children’s Home. We send our salutation to you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been fine under God’s mercy, loving kindness and His Grace.
The Children are fine and growing up steadily. We really thank God for what He is doing in their lives. Allow me to make a small correction on the aggregate of the children. We have 120 children with 70 girls and 50 boys. The summary is seen in the following table;
|CHILDREN’S AGE & GENDER BREAK DOWN AS OF FEBRUARY 2016|
|1-4 YEARS||5-9 YEARS||10-14 YEARS||15-17 YEARS||18-24 YEARS||25 YEARS +|
|Total 02||Total 14||Total 35||Total 60||Total 09||Total 00|
In addition, these children can be distributed academically as in the table below. Therefor at LCH, we have 59 children including the 5 who study at Makhai while 61 are in boarding schools, trade school and the specialized institution.
|NURSERY / PRE-SCHOOL||09|
|TRADE / VOCATIONAL SCHOOL||02|
|SPECIAL NEEDS INSTITUTON||01|
At the Lulwanda Primary School, in addition to the 45 LCH children, we have 124 community children enrolled. The total is 169 students at LPS.
Birth Day celebrations was another event that characterized the month of February. The birth day “babies” assembled in the main hall on February 4. We had skits, dance performances from the older children most especially those from secondary schools. We also had a few speeches and later the cake was cut. Gifts were handed out to the babies and among the celebrants was our own missionary – Bobbi Palmer. We took lots of sodas as well munching the cakes that were prepared by Mercy, Doreen, Rachael and the team. We wish the babies 1001 years of longevity!
The Good Neighbor program was carried out on February 12. As usual Pastor David began by carrying out massive shopping of scholastic materials three days before the event. The day began with the arrival of the good neighbor children as early as 8:00am. They assembled in the main hall and the program kicked off with prayers, praising and worshipping. Then groups were formed for deeper bible study purposes. They had porridge for breakfast. This was followed by several games and plays. Sumptuous lunch was then served to our guests after which various activities were carried out. The climax of the event was when scholastic materials (school supplies) were handed out. Normally in the first term of the year, new school uniforms are sewn and the children also get a new pair of shoes. Indeed this term was no exception. Special thanks go to Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church for their generous contributions towards these events. I know Pastor David will give a comprehensive report including the accountabilities.
Secondary students were enrolled in the various schools this year. Schools opened on February 22 after the Presidential and Parliamentary elections that were held peacefully. Like stated earlier, this year we have a total of 63 students in secondary education. We have 5 schools where we enrolled our children: St. Mary’s College (Lugazi), St. Paul’s College (Mbale), Nabumali High School, Tororo Girls’ School and Makhai Seed Secondary School. I made some changes in the allocation of schools due to performance and discipline issues. For instance Bernard Womeli and Isaac Watelo were expelled from St. Mary’s due to indiscipline while Beatrice Nambozo was meant to repeat S.3 in the same school. So I brought them to Makhai seed, a day school which they can walk to from LCH daily as an example to the rest. Rachael Nandudu and Derrick Masaba were meant to repeat S.2 in Nabumali High School. These as well are in Makhai. While Abel Musoba, John Mutsoshi and Antony Wojjambuka who performed very well at St. Paul’s, I transferred them to St. Mary’s College- Lugazi to promote competition. For Faith Grace Nambuya and Mary Gorretti Nalumansi, I took them to Tororo Girls School, a single sex school because they had issues with boys. The breakdown of which children study where and in which class is given below on a school by school analysis.
MARYS’ COLLEGE LUGAZI, here we have 20 children as seen in the following table.
|11.||DAVID PETER YEKO||S.4|
|12.||LUCKY DAVID MUDALI||S.4|
|16.||SEDDU WYCLIFF TAMBAKI||S.1|
PAUL’S COLLEGE, MBALE; here we have 18 children as seen in the following table.
|NAME OF STUDENT||CLASS|
|8.||DISON JUNIOR OSANGADA||S.3|
|12.||PEACE ADUORI AYOMBE||S.3|
The last three students are new entrants in S.1.
NABUMALI HIGH SCHOOL; here we have 14 students and they are distributed as seen in the following table.
|NAME OF STUDENT||CLASS|
|3.||DEEZI ANDREW OCHIENG||S.3|
TORORO GIRLS’ SCHOOL; in this school we have 06 students as indicated below.
|NAME OF STUDENT||CLASS|
|01.||FAITH GRACE NAMBUYA||S.3|
|02.||MARY GORRETTI NALUMANSI||S.3|
|03.||SARAH FATUMAH NAMUBYA||S.1|
MAKHAI SEED SECONDARY SCHOOL here we have the five children that I talked about earlier. Beatrice Nambozo, Rachael Nandudu, and Derrick were meant to repeat S.3 and S.2 respectively but they pleaded with the school authorities that they proceed to S.4 and S.3 respectively. The school has given them probation of only this term and if they don’t show improvement, then they will definitely have to repeat the classes they were meant to. This school however, has very good performance within Busoba / Busiu area. If these five children perform well this year, they can go back to boarding schools next year. I must report that they are working very hard and very committed. Here is the breakdown;
My sincere thanks go to our esteemed sponsors and donors without which these children’s pursuit of education would have remained a wishful thinking. May God richly bless you.
NOTE: This year we have a total of 32 candidates for UNEB exams (Ugandan National Examinations Board): 13 in Primary 7, 12 in S.4 and 07 in S.6. Please remember to join us in prayer as we commit them to God for success in the National Exams they will be sitting in November this year.
On medical issues, we carried out HIV screening for the 10 older children at Tendo. They are all HIV negative and we really thank God for that. According to the District Health Office guidelines, we are supposed to carry out screening quarterly, meaning that every holiday we are obligated to do this to ensure safety of our children.
Generally being largely holiday time, we did not envisage serious medical cases. We continue to feed the children on a balanced diet, ensuring both quality and quantity. We still provide them with fruits as well.
Discipleship is still on as part of ensuring the moral upbringing of these children. We continue to have evening devotions; we have also introduced Saturday morning fellowships where Paul the Social Worker comes around on Saturdays to disciple the younger children. John Palmer also comes around Sunday afternoons to disciple the children. We continue to have Friday fellowships in the main hall for both children and staff that encompass the school and the home. The only challenges we have during this fellowship are music / sound instruments: the keyboard got spoilt, the amp mixer, and the speakers are all in need of repair. We no longer have wireless microphones so we just rely on our hands and the natural voice to sing and preach yet the audience is very big.
Visit the GICF website for opportunities to fund the purchase of new music equipment
MARCH OPERATIONAL REPORT:
The Vocational / Trade School program started off for the first time at LCH in March this year. In the January report, I had informed you of our two students who did not perform well in last year’s S.4 National exams. These were Rita and Zulufa. We took them to Uganda College of Commerce (UCC) in Tororo. They are to undertake a nine months Certificate in Hotel and Institutional Catering whose acronym is CHIC but the students and lecturers alike humorously call it ‘chicken’. They can advance to a two years Diploma program once they complete the Certificate.
Resettlement (the following paragraphs added by Rob Marshall of GICF to provide background)
Lulwanda is home to children who are complete orphans. It is also home to children who have a living parent but the parent was deemed too sick or too poor to care adequately for the child, and the child was therefore neglected or abandoned. In order to preserve their lives, the government authorities assigned these children who had no one able or willing to care for them to Lulwanda for total care.
In the past few years a UNICEF sponsored group called Alternative Care Uganda (ACU) has been influencing the laws in Uganda with regard to orphans. They believe all children deserve to grow up in a family. We couldn’t agree more! As good as we try to make Lulwanda, all children are better off in their own homes with a family that loves them.
ACU proposes that most children in institutional care actually have families that they could live with. They are pushing the Ugandan government to resettle all children with their biological families or relatives. An ACU group has been visiting Lulwanda over the past few months to ensure that we have resettlement plans in place for any of our children who are able to be returned to their families.
During this time, we became aware that some of the children who came to LCH several years ago may actually have living parents who are able to care for them. Put simply, the parents misled the government officials into believing that their child was not their own, and that the child was actually an orphan with no one to care for him/her. They did this in the hope of having their child live at LCH, obtain a great education, receive medical care, etc at no cost to themselves.
In light of the above, we have recently undertaken home assessments for a few children that we learned may have a biological family member or relative now able to care for them. We will not resettle a child to a home that would be dangerous to the child where the child would be beaten, neglected or otherwise abused, as many had been when they initially came to us.
Based on these investigations, we anticipate resettling a small number of children with their parents soon. We do not do this lightly. We know it will be a tremendous change for a child to move from Lulwanda back to a village and attend a village school. The child will no longer have his Lulwanda family around him, and the remaining children and staff will dearly miss the resettled child. However, we believe that poverty is not a reason to separate a child from his family and therefore resettlement is the right thing to do. The silver lining in all of this is it will open places for children who truly have no one able to care for them — such as the 12 we received in May 2015. Extensive family investigations done by our own staff as well as the government officials confirmed that these 12 children truly had no relatives able or willing to care for them.
Please pray with us as we navigate these turbulent waters. Pray for the children who will be resettled and for those who will miss them. Pray the truth about the living situations will be revealed and no child will go back to an unhealthy environment. Pray for our sponsors, whose sponsored child might soon leave Lulwanda and their relationship will end. We will notify sponsors in writing when we confirm which children will be resettled. In all this we praise God that He is the Heavenly Father of all the children entrusted to us and He has their best interests at heart.
We went through this same exercise in 2010, at which time 3 children were returned to their parents.
(the paragraphs above added by Rob Marshall of GICF to provide background)
Home assessments for possible resettlement were carried out in this month. There are 5 children whom we have lined up for potential resettlement. The Social workers have made thorough investigations and they are to give me (Simon) a detailed report by the end of this week.
In the field of medical, we have children who had very serious malaria, Christopher Mukisa, and Godfrey Okware who even fainted!! However, we intervened quickly and took them to town for treatment. They were treated and they have fully recovered. Dezi also fell sick of malaria and we brought him from school for treatment. Siraji had a problem with his bladder and whenever he went to pass stool or urine, it was blood that would come out!! We brought him from school and we treated him for five days. He has recovered and we took him back to school. Mary Namairi, one of the new children we admitted last year, broke the left wrist while playing and she has a cast for the next three weeks. We want to embark on serious indoor mosquito spraying to avert the malaria menace especially now as we approach the rainy seasons.
The MDPC TEAM left for us some money last summer and I decided to buy for the children who are in nursery and primary a pair of new shoes, stockings, sandals, undergarments, blankets and bed sheets. This has greatly improved on the well being of our children. What remains now is to get for them a new pair of uniforms and mid-week wear. Again we are grateful to Memorial Drive Presbyterian for their kind gesture. Our children look smart in their new school shoes.
The Tendo house in town is on course. We paid rent for the whole year. We have not sent their another set of children because the space is not enough. We want to see how the current 7 perform in the S.6 exams, we have Naster who joined S.5 this year and she will be there until the whole of next year. Rita and Zulufa will also have to continue residing there when they get holidays until they complete their certificate in December this year.
We celebrated Easter in a peaceful and quiet environment. This time round only one secondary school allowed the children to come back for the Easter holiday break. John was able to show a couple of movies including the Jesus film. The children were very enthusiastic and excited as well. John even showed them a video of his wedding to the excitement, shouting and laughter from the children. We had prayers on Easter Sunday, a very sumptuous lunch accompanied with soda. Thanks to our donors for the financial support that you relentlessly offer to us.
FUTURE EVENTS / ACTIVITIES:
- Anxiously waiting to welcome Natalie Rolfe back to her second home- Lulwanda Children’s Home – after her sabbatical in USA.
- Work on the process to renew our NGO certificate and the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development License which expires this March.
- Continue with assessment on resettlement and present the findings to the District Alternative Care panel.
- Visit the Secondary schools starting with Tororo Girls on April 2, St. Paul’s College on April 9, and St. Mary’s College on April 17.
- Embark on painting and do major repair at LCH.
- Hold LMC meeting.
- Continue to provide holistic care to the children.
In conclusion I want just to appreciate the GICF supporters for your great work of lobbying for us resources, praying for us. I also extend my gratitude to our sponsors on behalf of the children and the staff for all the support. Let me end with two famous quotes from Abraham Lincoln:
“I do the very best I know how- the very best I can;
And I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
“If there is anything that a man can do well,
I say let him do it. Give him a chance.”
In His Name
MUSAGALA SIMON PETER
Lulwanda Children’s Home.