Thursday, 6 June 2013

News From Kasese Humanist Primary School In Uganda

Students raising their hands at KHPS
KHPS students raise their hands during an assembly on Friday at the end of this second term's first week.
(photo: Bwambale Robert).

There is a lot going on at the Kasese Humanist Primary School (KHPS) in Uganda and it's been awhile since my last update. The two main focal points of activity are the new KHPS permanent site electrification project and the severe flooding at affected Kilembe, which is just northwest of Kasese. Apologies for the length of this post. I'm relaying some news that School Director Bwambale Robert has e-mailed me over the past few weeks.

School Update & How You Can Help

The school opened up for its second term of the year on May 27th. This past Friday, the school completed its first week of the second term of the year. Enrollment is up to 225 pupils at the school and the number is expected to rise in the coming weeks. In his e-mail, Bwambale thanked all of the atheists and Humanists out there who have stood together with us in an effort to avail a balanced education that is free from dogma, indoctrination and fairy tales.

Not that I have anything against fairly tales per se. They are part of any culture. But the unproven mythologies of religion should not be taught as absolute truth.

Bwambale also informs me that, due to poverty in the region, there has been an increase in the number of parents unable to keep up with school fees.  Due to a lack of funding in the last term, there was a shortfall in funding. He notes that this somewhere affects day to day operations of the school. However we are designing measures to encourage the parents to be paying in time.

Remember you can check out the school's page here and make a donation to the school's daily operations by donating through Atheist Alliance International! Every cent counts.


(photo: Bwambale Robert)

A Special Donor

On May 19th, Bwambale informed me of a major contribution by a private donor earmarked for the construction of classrooms on KHPS' new permanent site:
Hi Sean, as I wait for the Electricity guys to bring the poles to the KHPS Property, I have received some good news from a generous donor from Germany by the name of  Jörg Schnückel who has donated 1200$ through AAI Paypal towards the KHPS Project, these fund are earmarked for the classroom construction project and is a good start of our next fundraiser.
Thanks so much for your help, Jörg!

UMEME receipt
Electrification Project

The two power poles required to bring electricity to the recently repaired building one on the school's new permanent site have been fully paid for. However, it looks like we will need to wait awhile for them to be installed as it is on a first-come first-serve basis.

Bwambale also let me know that the special department within Uganda's power company that deals with pole installation is UMEME.

So far, everything has been paid for. Now we're just waiting for the truck to show up with the poles.

Broken bridge in Kilembe
Damaged bridge in Kilembe (photo: Bwambale Robert).
Flooding in Kilembe

Bwambale has also informed me that the Nyamwamba River (which passes alongside the new permanent school site) has now finally receded and there is no longer any flooding in the region.

Although the situation in Kasese is calm and normal, there are still Kilembe locals who were displaced by the floods and are living in camps. Others have made their way back to the hills if their houses did not succumb to the mudslides.

The school is helping displaced children and families by offering free education for those children who are temporarily  housed in the Kasese suburbs until the end of school year.  
[The] school management offered 10 free scholarships to children from Kilembe who were affected by the floods and the children have been accommodated into the school and have reported for the new term.
In related news, the sand mining business has taken a hit due to the flooding in the region, which has deposited a substantial amount of sand along the river banks.

Walking along the river after the flood.
After the flood (photo: Bwambale Robert).
Here's some news on the local hospital that took on very bad damage during the flooding and had to be evacuated completely, local fears of another flood and costly structural damage.
The outpatients unit at Kilembe Mines Hospital is going to open this coming week. People are still living in fear as they are still worried of another nasty experience especially when it rains. When I was there, it rained terribly but surprisingly when I reached Kasese it was dry. The Nyamwamba River has gone down and one may think it's a small river. The main bridge at Katiri which connects Lower Kilembe to Upper Kilembe areas of Katiri, Kanyaruboga, Bulembia and Kyanjuki is still in bad shape and I wondered what the government is waiting for to repair it. 
These updates came into my e-mail box while I was moving house (May 15th - June 1st), so it's taken me this long to read and report them. Thanks so much to Bwambale for keeping me informed and I'm happy to pass on his news to my readers!

Oh, and in case anyone wondered... the chickens and the coop are doing just fine!

Boy running alongside derelict houses in Kilembe.
(photo: Bwambale Robert)

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